Water Resource Management and the Law
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Water Resource Management and the Law

Edited by Erkki J. Hollo

Scarcity of water, floods and erosion caused by climate change have made the management of water resources a challenge to national and international actors worldwide. States have also initiated water projects to improve social welfare, often with significant impacts on the environment. This book combines close analysis of the legal structures of water rights with consideration of the modes of water management projects to illustrate current water-related problems in terms of practical solutions in a global context.
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Chapter 12: Climate change adaptation in water management – regulatory challenges and approaches

Moritz Reese


Climate change is well underway and is set to have increasing impacts on water quality and quantity. Changing precipitation patterns, higher temperatures and more extreme weather events are expected to change the game for the public management of surface and ground waters in many regions around the globe. This chapter looks at the implications of this challenge for water legislation and at how regulatory frameworks can facilitate and enforce greater adaptability of public water management. It identifies key regulatory requirements of adaptive water management and analyzes whether these requirements are accounted for in existing international freshwater law and in the example of the EU Water Framework Directive as an advanced regulatory regime of integrated river basin management. The EU Water Framework Directive – with its quality-oriented, integrated and cyclical approach – is basically providing a suitable framework for adaptive water management. However, there is also room for further advancements in that regard. Keywords: Chapter 12 (Reese): Climate change adaptation, water scarcity and drought, water governance, adaptive water management, public good, German water law

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