Building a Climate Resilient Economy and Society
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Building a Climate Resilient Economy and Society

Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by K. N. Ninan and Makoto Inoue

Climate change will have a profound impact on human and natural systems, and will also impede economic growth and sustainable development. In this book, leading experts from around the world discuss the challenges and opportunities in building a climate resilient economy and society. The chapters are organised in three sections. The first part explores vulnerability, adaptation and resilience, whilst Part II examines climate resilience-sectoral perspectives covering different sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, marine ecosystems, cities and urban infrastructure, drought prone areas, and renewable energy. In the final part, the authors look at Incentives, institutions and policy, including topics such as carbon pricing, REDD plus, climate finance, the role of institutions and communities, and climate policies. Combining a global focus with detailed case studies of a cross section of regions, countries and sectors, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource.
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Chapter 10: Extreme drought and California’s water economy: challenges and opportunities for building resilience

Kathleen A. Miller

Abstract

Climate change is projected to aggravate water stress in dry and arid regions. Against the backdrop of the epic drought faced by the U.S. state of California in 2015, this chapter discusses the significant vulnerabilities and options for maintaining the resilience of the state’s water-dependent economic activities. The drought led to very uneven impacts on different water users and sections of the state, as well as on natural ecosystems versus managed landscapes. Differential vulnerabilities can be traced to the state’s complex geography, the configuration of its water storage and delivery infrastructure, and its imperfectly administered mixture of prior appropriation and riparian surface water rights coupled with limited regulation of groundwater withdrawals. Approaches for reducing economic losses have included selective fallowing, increased groundwater pumping, adoption of water-saving irrigation techniques, and market transfers of water. The chapter highlights innovative water management strategies that have emerged over the course of the drought and the lessons that California’s drought experience suggests for other areas that may face increasing drought risks in a warmer future climate.

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