WATER ALLOCATION IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: INSTITUTIONS AND ADAPTATION

WATER ALLOCATION IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: INSTITUTIONS AND ADAPTATION Global warming may profoundly affect temporal and spatial distributions of surface water availability. While climate modelers cannot yet predict regional hydrologic changes with confidence, it is appropriate to begin examining the likely effects of water allocation institutions on society's adaptability to prospective climate change. Such institutions include basic systems of water law, specific statutes, systems of administration and enforcement, and social norms regarding acceptable water-use practices. Both climate and the changing nature of demands on the resource have affected the development and evolution of water allocation institutions in the United States. Water laws and administrative arrangements, for example, have adapted to changing circumstances, but the process of adaptation can be costly and subject to conflict. Analysis of past and ongoing institutional change is used to identify factors that may have a bearing on the costliness of adaptation to the uncertain impacts of global warming on water availability and water demands. Several elements are identified that should be incorporated in the design of future water policies to reduce the potential for disputes and resource degradation that might otherwise result if climate change alters regional hydrology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climatic Change Springer Journals

WATER ALLOCATION IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: INSTITUTIONS AND ADAPTATION

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences; Climate Change/Climate Change Impacts
ISSN
0165-0009
eISSN
1573-1480
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1005300529862
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Global warming may profoundly affect temporal and spatial distributions of surface water availability. While climate modelers cannot yet predict regional hydrologic changes with confidence, it is appropriate to begin examining the likely effects of water allocation institutions on society's adaptability to prospective climate change. Such institutions include basic systems of water law, specific statutes, systems of administration and enforcement, and social norms regarding acceptable water-use practices. Both climate and the changing nature of demands on the resource have affected the development and evolution of water allocation institutions in the United States. Water laws and administrative arrangements, for example, have adapted to changing circumstances, but the process of adaptation can be costly and subject to conflict. Analysis of past and ongoing institutional change is used to identify factors that may have a bearing on the costliness of adaptation to the uncertain impacts of global warming on water availability and water demands. Several elements are identified that should be incorporated in the design of future water policies to reduce the potential for disputes and resource degradation that might otherwise result if climate change alters regional hydrology.

Journal

Climatic ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 15, 2004

References

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