Monday 5
Social-Ecological Resilience, Climate Change and Adaptive Water Governance of Regional Scale Water Systems in the United States
Nils Ferrand, Lance Gunderson, Barbara Cosens
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Béziers
Linking the participatory evaluation of the water system vulnerability with resilience assessment in communal aqueducts to improve their performance
Gabriela Chaves  1, 2, *@  
1 : Laura Benegas
2 : William Watler
* : Corresponding author

In Costa Rica in 1941, the National Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems (AyA by its Spanish acronym) was created, with the main purpose to improve access to drinking water and population health. However, in the 90's decade AyA was unable to cover the water demand of the whole country, and delegated through a norm, the administration and distribution of water for human consumption to the Administrative Associations of Communal Aqueducts (ASADA). An ASADAs is a rural nonprofit organization for public service.

Decentralization, understood as a good strategy to promote local organization led to the creation of more than 2000 ASADA to the present. Nevertheless, this process lacks a suitable governmental planning, capacity building and economic support for a good performance of the ASADA. Nowadays, these organizations are highly dependent of the government in economic terms, which, together with the complex bureaucratic system, paradoxically generates a new centralization, and permanent problems of water management for the ASADA.

In 2012, with the financial aid of the Commission for Handling and Management of the Reventazón Basin (COMCURE), the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) did the participatory evaluation of the vulnerability of 25 ASADA located in the Reventazón basin in Costa Rica. The results showed evident problems which were diverse and at different scales, such as the lack of synergies especially among the governmental institutions and the ASADA, water quality issues related to actual land uses, aqueducts affected by intensive rainfall, lack of continuity in the processes due to changes in the ASADA's members every second year, absence of incentives to aid participation into this associations, and weak adaptive capacity.

The evaluation of vulnerability gave the knowledge of the actual situation of these ASADA, where 80% prioritized the problem of acueducto management -These are the key issues equivalent to the disturbances and uncertainties to what they have to build their resilience. Since we also know the projected water availability for all these system, ranged from 0, 5 to 3 l/sec. However the methodology does not elaborate on the different scales of analysis, and thresholds to improve resilience to disturbances

Given this situation, there is a need to assess and relate such problems from another perspective, not from a negative nature anymore, but from a possibility of problem's overcoming, where members of the ASADA can develop capacities to cope and recover from disturbances. With this goal, it will be used the approach of socio-ecologic systems, that is to say, of resilience to be able to do an integral management of water resources from the local knowledge of these aqueducts.

That is why recently initiated a new research from the resilience approach ASADA socio-ecological system will interact considering the different scales of analysis to generate the construction of systems that are able to resist, we will present the thresholds and interactions synthesis build for each aqueduct, at the conference.



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