Adaptation to global-change processes is conventionally based on assessment of human and environmental drivers and vulnerabilities. Institutionalizing adaptation involves interactive planning, implementation, and iterative evaluation of response measures and their outcomes, accompanied by adaptive-capacity enhancement. When applied in a river-basin context, adaptive management has to respond to hydroclimatic variability and uncertainty coupled with rapid growth in urban and agricultural water demands and often the deterioration of ecosystem services. Less well understood are the challenges and opportunities for institutionalizing adaptation, which we assess here. While seeking to distill generic understanding, we consider the institutionalization of adaptation in the Maipo River Basin in Chile, where prolonged drought and human-induced water scarcity have been compounded by sectorally isolated response initiatives. Lessons of broader relevance include the pivotal role of science-policy co-production, the need for broad-based public support, examination of synergies and disjunctures in public and private interests, and flexible yet sustained institutional learning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Social Sciences(all)