Participatory Evaluation of Water Management Options for Climate Change Adaptation in River Basins
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Case Study River Basins: Characteristics and Stakeholders
2.2. Challenges and Water Management Options in Each Basin
2.3. Fuzzy Cognitive Maps
2.4. Impact of the Water Management Options on the River Basin
2.5. Multi-Criteria Analysis
3.1. Definition and Comparison of Challenges in the Four River Basins
3.2. Comparison of Water Management Options Characteristics
- Character: Pedieos and Tordera had the highest percentage of water demand-oriented WMOs, while Vipava and Rmel had the highest percentage of water supply-oriented ones. Pedieos had the highest support-oriented percentage, and Tordera the highest with environmental conservation character.
- Approach to adaptation: Pedieos had the highest percentage of WMOs adopting a green approach, while Rmel had the highest percentage of WMOs adopting a grey approach. Tordera was, by far, the basic with the most WMOs adopting a soft approach.
- Feasibility: Vipava had the lowest percentage of WMOs with no obstacles for their implementation. The least number of WMOs with major obstacles was found in Pedieos and Vipava, while Tordera and Rmel had a higher rate of major obstacles to overcome regarding WMO implementation.
- Acceptability: In all of the river basins except Rmel, most of the WMOs were considered to have high acceptability.
3.3. Analysis of How the Water Management Options Tackle the River Basin’s Challenges
- For Pedieos (see Table S6 in the Supplementary Materials), 30 WMOs were identified. A total of ten of then tackled ‘flood risk reduction’, ten tackled ‘quality and quantity of groundwater’, and ten tackled ‘quality and quantity of surface water’ bodies. Although most of the WMOs tackled more than one challenge, each WMO was assigned to the challenge that it addressed the most.
- In Rmel (see Table S7 in the Supplementary Materials), each of the 19 WMOs that were identified tackled one specific challenge. There were three WMOs that simultaneously tackled ‘water quantity’ and ‘water quality’. There were four WMOs that addressed ‘forest and biodiversity management’, four that addressed ‘agriculture’, and three that addressed ‘awareness of civil society’.
- In Tordera (see Table S4 in the Supplementary Materials), most of the 33 WMOs that were identified tackled one specific challenge. There were five that addressed ‘water quality’, ten that addressed ‘water quantity’, eleven that addressed the ‘health of forest and water ecosystems’, and ten that addressed ‘integrated water management’.
- For Vipava (see Table S5 in the Supplementary Materials), from a total of 20 WMOs, six addressed all of the challenges, as they were related to raising awareness, governance, and environmental restoration as a strategy to reduce vulnerability. The other WMOs addressed at least two challenges. There were sixteen WMOs that addressed ‘water quantity’, ten that addressed ‘flood risk reduction’, and thirteen that addressed ‘water quality’.
3.4. Analysis of the Impact of Water Management Options on the River Basin
- For the Pedieos river basin (Figure S7 in the Supplementary Materials), the smallest improvements were observed for the ‘water quantity and quality of surface water’ challenge for all WMOs compared to the baseline, and the highest were observed for ‘flood risk reduction’. The ‘water quantity and quality of groundwater’ challenge had the highest number of WMOs contributing to a positive impact.
- For the Rmel river basin (Figure S5 in the Supplementary Materials), the impact of the WMOs determined both positive and negative changes in the challenges compared to the baseline situation. The challenge achieving a larger improvement and less negative effects resulting from the WMOs implemented in the map was ‘agriculture’, followed by ‘human resources and employment’. On the other hand, the challenges of ‘water quality’ and ‘forest and biodiversity management’ showed the highest negative impact from some of the WMOs considered.
- In the Tordera river basin (Figure 2), the analysed WMOs had an overall positive impact, improving the state of the challenges compared to the baseline situation. The highest positive impacts were in the ‘health of water ecosystems’ challenge. It is interesting to note that the case for the ‘water quality’ challenge, where most of the best performing WMOs were, were initially designed to tackle the ‘health of forests and water ecosystems’ challenge.
- For the Vipava river basin (Figure S6 in the Supplementary Materials), the majority of WMOs had a very limited impact on the basin’s challenges compared to the baseline. Few WMOs were able to provide improvement. Several WMOs induced worsening baseline conditions: reducing ‘water quality’ and ‘water quantity’ and producing decreases on ‘flood risk reduction’.
3.5. Evaluation of Stakeholder’s Preferences Regarding Water Management Options
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Area (km2)||120 km2||870 km2||865 km2||589 km2|
|Mean annual temperature |
|Mean annual precipitation (mm) 1||320 to 670||350 to 600||650 to 1050||1500 to 2000|
|Main land uses||Forest (23%) |
|Forest (24%), |
|Forest (81%), |
|Forest (61%), |
|Key issues||High pressure on|
|High pressure on |
by multiple users
|Limited resources |
|Character||Demand||Option targeting the need for water|
|Supply||Option targeting the availability of water|
|Support||Option targeting improved governance (including awareness raising, monitoring, and stakeholder involvement)|
|Environmental conservation||Option targeting the recovery of the ecological status|
|Approach to adaptation 1||Green||Ecosystem-based approaches|
|Grey||Technological and engineering solutions|
|Soft||Managerial, legal, and policy approaches that change human behaviour and styles of governance|
|Feasibility||No major obstacles||The implementation could be initiated straightaway, e.g., missing information or technical details or no obstacles at all|
|Minor obstacles||Some interventions are needed, but the implementation can be planned, e.g., costs and timing, responsibilities, political context|
|Serious obstacles||The implementation will not happen until the obstacle is removed, e.g., legal barriers, serious cost or timing mismatches, and administrative hindrances|
|Acceptability||High||There are no significant reasons a priori for anyone to reject the option|
|Low||There are significant reasons a priori for someone to reject the option|
|Water quality||√ 1||√||√||√|
|Water quantity||√ 1||√||√||√|
|Flood risk reduction||√||√|
|Health of forest and water ecosystems||√|
|Forest and biodiversity management||√|
|Integrated water management||√|
|Awareness of civil society||√|
|Human resource and employment||√|
|Character||Demand||20||5 *||24 *||10|
|Supply||7||32 *||6 *||30|
|Support||36||32 *||24 *||30|
|37||42 *||48 *||30|
|Approach to adaptation||Green||40 *||11||12||25|
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Sanchez-Plaza, A.; Broekman, A.; Retana, J.; Bruggeman, A.; Giannakis, E.; Jebari, S.; Krivograd-Klemenčič, A.; Libbrecht, S.; Magjar, M.; Robert, N.; Verkerk, P.J. Participatory Evaluation of Water Management Options for Climate Change Adaptation in River Basins. Environments 2021, 8, 93. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8090093
Sanchez-Plaza A, Broekman A, Retana J, Bruggeman A, Giannakis E, Jebari S, Krivograd-Klemenčič A, Libbrecht S, Magjar M, Robert N, Verkerk PJ. Participatory Evaluation of Water Management Options for Climate Change Adaptation in River Basins. Environments. 2021; 8(9):93. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8090093Chicago/Turabian Style
Sanchez-Plaza, Anabel, Annelies Broekman, Javier Retana, Adriana Bruggeman, Elias Giannakis, Sihem Jebari, Aleksandra Krivograd-Klemenčič, Steven Libbrecht, Manca Magjar, Nicolas Robert, and Pieter Johannes Verkerk. 2021. "Participatory Evaluation of Water Management Options for Climate Change Adaptation in River Basins" Environments 8, no. 9: 93. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8090093