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Unravelling Stakeholder Perceptions to Enable Adaptive Water Governance in Dryland Systems

Adaptive water governance seeks to increase a social-ecological system’s adaptive capacity in the face of uncertainty and change. This is especially important in non-linear dryland systems that are already exposed to water scarcity and increasing degradation. Conservation of water ecosystem services is key for increasing adaptive capacity in drylands, however, how stakeholders perceive water ecosystem services greatly affects how they are managed, as well as the potential for adaptive water governance.

This paper focuses on identifying the system’s potential for enabling adaptive water governance by analysing different stakeholder perceptions on water ecosystem services. It takes the Rio del Carmen watershed as a case study, offering important insights for an increasing number of water-scarce regions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders in the watershed in order to unravel their perceptions and understand the governance context.

Lopez Porras, G., Stringer, L.C. & Quinn, C.H. Water Resoures Management (2018).