Adaptive capacity in a Chilean context: a questionable model for Latin America

Margot Hill Clarvis, Andrew Allan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Climate change impacts are already being keenly observed in the Andes, with significant implications for water use due to alterations in both volumes and seasonality from changes in snow and ice. Concurrently, the style of water governance in Chile has long been held up by international institutions such as the World Bank as a potential model for other Latin American countries seeking to reform their own water governance frameworks. In light of both these issues, a closer inspection of the Chilean water governance context in relation to its adaptive capacity to climate change is warranted. To this end, a governance-related adaptive capacity assessment was applied to a Chilean river basin, the Aconcagua in Region V that focussed on both short and long term resilience, as well as proactive and reactive capacity. Results show that for the Aconcagua Region, the Chilean water governance regime demonstrates significant challenges in adapting to increasingly recurrent and intense periods of drought. Reactive coping techniques for climate variability can be quickly mobilised through the networks that exist. However, longer term preparations and transformative approaches for meeting the mounting challenges of climate change are blocked by lack of trust and cooperation, lack of agency at regional operational levels and lack of accessible and appropriate information on water resources.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-90
    Number of pages13
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
    Early online date2 Dec 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


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