Advancing metrics: models for understanding adaptive capacity and water security

Maria Carmen Lemos, David Manuel-Navarrete, Bram Leo Willems, Rolando Diaz Caravantes, Robert G. Varady

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant No. 1414052 (Manuel-Navarrrete); USAID PEER Sub Grant PGA-2000003421 (Willems); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , grants No. NA15OAR4310148 (Lemos) and NA11OAR4310143 (Varady); the International Water Security Network, funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) ; the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) Project SGP-CRA005 (Varady) and CRN3056 (Caravantes) and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation in Tucson, Arizona (Varady).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


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