Water Resources Management

, Volume 31, Issue 10, pp 2951–2963 | Cite as

Managing Water Resources to Adapt to Climate Change: Facing Uncertainty and Scarcity in a Changing Context

  • Luis GarroteEmail author


Some of the most significant future efforts in water resources management will be devoted to climate change adaptation. Climate change adaptation is of special concern in regions facing water scarcity where water management is already challenged by many problems. This paper is a review of current knowledge on approaches to address water issues under uncertainty in water-scarce regions, identifying specific policy actions for climate change adaptation. The focus is on regions, like the Mediterranean, California or Australia, where water resources are well developed and have become an essential part of socioeconomic activities but are currently facing significant challenges due to their dependence on water availability to maintain living standards. We provide an overview of the expected impacts of climate change on water resources and discuss management responses based on peer-reviewed studies published over the past three decades. The adaptation choices cover a wide range of options, from adaptive demand management to utilization of remaining marginal water sources. The intensification of successful measures already applied in the past is still viewed as a solution to reduce climate impacts. However, the emphasis is progressively being placed on sustainability, developing and extending the water management paradigm to include not only technical and economic criteria, but also ecological and social considerations.


Water resources Water management Climate change adaptation Reservoir storage 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering Department: Hydraulics, Energy and EnvironmentTechnical University of MadridMadridSpain

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