Table of Contents

Handbook on Water Security

Handbook on Water Security

Edited by Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Anik Bhaduri and Joyeeta Gupta

Water security has received increasing attention in the scientific and policy community in recent years. This Handbook covers the wide range of perspectives required to understand water security as a concept guiding water governance and management at different levels and in different regions. It reflects on past, present and future challenges to water security and strategies on how to overcome them. An invaluable resource for scientific scholars, it will also appeal policymakers and practitioners interested in a deeper understanding of this important concept.

Chapter 6: Water security, systemic risks and adaptive water governance and management

Claudia Pahl-Wostl

Subjects: environment, environmental management, water, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Enhancing water security in an increasingly uncertain and complex world requires water governance and management systems to perform under conditions of irreducible uncertainty and surprise. Increasingly water security is approached from a risk based perspective and claims for need for action are numerous. The chapter analyses the historical development of governance and management of risks to enhance water security. It elaborates on drawbacks of risk management approaches based on a prediction and control and dealing with individual risks in isolation. The chapter concludes by highlighting the need for a reframing towards a systemic perspective on risk and for a transition towards integrative and adaptive governance and management systems.

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