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From Mosaic to Systemic Redux: The Conceptual Foundation of Resilience and Its Operational Implications for Water Resource Management

Industrial, Manufacturing, & Systems Engineering Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
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This is an extended version of conference paper Burgess, R.; Horbatuck, K.; Beruvides, M. From Mosaic to Systematic: Applying Systems Thinking to Water Resource Management. In Proceedings of the ISSS 2018 Conference, Corvallis, OR, USA, 22–27 July 2018.
Systems 2019, 7(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems7030032
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
Preserving and enhancing the resilience of water supply systems is an important goal for managers to help ensure the ongoing availability of a resource necessary to both economic activity and basic survival. If not explicitly identified as a goal, it can be inferred from the desire to preserve water supply against a variety of stressors for current and future generations. Pursuing resilience is less than straightforward as there are multiple concurrent theoretical paradigms. Furthermore, operationalizing even one of these can be challenging. The authors survey several dominant paradigms with an eye towards distilling the essential, combinative properties of resilience. The contention underwriting this approach is that each paradigm yields important insights about resilience as a complex, emergent system characteristic. This survey lays the foundation for the operationalized approach that is the central thrust of the paper. Specifically, the authors develop an equation based on these properties and identify water resource metrics that correspond to each property. The analysis concludes with a preliminary causal loop diagram intended to capture key system variables and relationships between them. The authors argue that a systemic, conceptually robust approach to resilience is necessary to (1) assess current levels, and (2) improve levels of water resource system resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; water resource management; resilience properties; social-ecological systems resilience; water resource management; resilience properties; social-ecological systems
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Burgess, R.; Horbatuck, K.; Beruvides, M. From Mosaic to Systemic Redux: The Conceptual Foundation of Resilience and Its Operational Implications for Water Resource Management. Systems 2019, 7, 32.

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