Monday 5
Water, food and social-ecological resilience
Sylvestre Delmotte, Christo Fabricius
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› PNR Camargue
Needs for institutional transformations for managing freshwater and agriculture in South of Cordoba (Argentina)
Monica B. Wehbe  1@  
1 : Natinoal University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina  (UNRC)  -  Website
RUTA NAC. 36 - KM. 601 / RÍO CUARTO IV CÓRDOBA -  Argentine

Impacts on freshwater resources from land use changes are a major concern for science and policy at all scales from global to local. In this sense continuous agriculture and urban expansion have threatened ecosystems everywhere, putting in dangerthe hydrological cycle at different scales. At the local scale, these concerns are not always being acknowledged as a consequence of 1) no conflicts are yet being manifested or acknowledged, 2) where conflicts exist, the required institutional changes towards its appropriate management have not yet been put in place, or, 3) capacity and funding requirements are not sufficient. Despite many successful institutional transformations described in the literature regarding water and land integrated management, most of local situations are still in lack of such capacity.

In this context, and driven by an increasing demand for agriculture products as well as due to the recurrent losses caused by droughts, irrigation schemes are constantly expanding. However, freshwater demand is continuously increasing and for different economic and social uses, alerting on the necessity of managing the resource from various standpoints such as its availability and quality. This is particularly the case in the South of Cordoba, an agricultural region in the centre of Argentina, where a significant change in land use and the expansion of irrigation becomes apparent. Based on this study site we attempt to argue that, except during drought periods, the need for a transformation in freshwater management is not considered by the national or provincial governments or by its users. Without more anticipatory management strategies, the involved socio-ecological system will be unable to cope with future demands on the resource base, particularly in face of an increasing probability of extreme precipitation patterns.

Freshwater, the same as for many other components of the Earth system can be considered as global commons since many of them have been already caught by a vicious cycle of mismanagement and over-consumption that may put in danger life on the Planet. But, as in many common-pool resources there exist the possibility for an appropriate management in the short and long run. Successfully managed common- pool resources have been identified as sharing a set of attributes for both the resource itself, and its users. All of them points to the need of focusing on small scales. However, we will argue that fostering an appropriate management of freshwater as aglobal commons requires a multi level management transformationthat allows for deepening focus on smaller scalesfor both reducing social vulnerability and increasing systems' resilience in face of current and future disturbances.


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