Advancing metrics: models for understanding adaptive capacity and water security

Publicado en Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, v. 21:52-57 

Lemos, M.C., Manuel-Navarrete, D., Willems, B.L., Caravantes, R.D. and Varady, R.G.

Año de publicación 2016
  • School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, 440 Church St, Ann Arbor, MI 48190 USA
  • School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 800 South Cady Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
  • Centro de Competencias del Agua &ndash CCA, Juan Fanning 751, Miraflores, Lima 18, Peru
  • El Colegio de Sonora, Avenida Obregón No. 54, Colonia Centro, C.P. 83000 Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Udall Center, University of Arizona, 803 E. 1st St, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA




Proyecto CRN3095


•WS and AC are connected, especially in the face of future threats to water.

•Combinations of capacities may be necessary to foster water security and avert water insecurity.

•Metrics for water security and adaptive capacity have implications for management interventions.

•Capabilities and pathways are key to understand the relationship between water security and insecurity.

•New scholarship is needed to test how combinations of capacities shape water security outcomes.


We explore the relationship between water security (WS) and adaptive capacity (AC) the two concepts are connected because achieving the first may be dependent on building the second. We focus on how metrics of WS and AC are operationalized and what implications they may have for short- and long-term management. We argue that rather than static conceptualizations of WS and AC, we need to understand what combinations of capacities are needed as a function of how controllable key parameters of WS are and the types of outcomes we seek to achieve. We offer a conceptual model of the relationship between WS and AC to clarify what aspects of human-water interactions each concept emphasizes and suggest a hypothetical example of how decision-makers may use these ideas.