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The changing water cycle: climatic and socioeconomic drivers of water-related changes in the Andes of Peru


Drenkhan, Fabian; Carey, Mark; Huggel, Christian; Seidel, Jochen; Oré, María Teresa (2015). The changing water cycle: climatic and socioeconomic drivers of water-related changes in the Andes of Peru. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 2(6):715-733.

Abstract

Water resources in high mountains play a fundamental role for societies and eco-systems both locally and downstream. Impacts of global change, including climatechange, glacier shrinkage, and socioeconomic forces related to demographics,agroindustrial development, and hydroelectricity generation; pose new hydrolog-ical risks for human livelihoods. However, these hydroclimatic and socioeconomicdrivers of water resource change are often poorly quantified and interconnected,while data scarcity poses challenges in these regions. Here we review the state ofknowledge for two major catchments in the Peruvian Andes, which hold the largesttropical glacier mass worldwide: the Santa River (Cordillera Blanca) and VilcanotaRiver (Cordillera Vilcanota). Our integrative review of water resource change andcomparative discharge analysis of two gauging statio ns in the Santa and VilcanotaRiver catchments show that the future provision of water resources is a concern toregional societies and must be factored more carefully into water management poli-cies. In this context, observed hydroclimatic and socioeconomic changes representimportant drivers of water availability, allocation, and conflicts over waterresources. The legal framework and decentralized institutional architecture in Perucould potentially provide a basis for participatory integrative water management;however, unequal power relations, institutional fragility and increasing competi-tion over water resources hamper these efforts. We identify sev eral research gaps,including the need for more in situ data, cultural analyses, and a risk-based frame-work that combines climate-related hazards with human and natural vulner abil-ities. Finally, this review suggests that future adaptation plans for watermanagement should better link science, society, and policy.

Abstract

Water resources in high mountains play a fundamental role for societies and eco-systems both locally and downstream. Impacts of global change, including climatechange, glacier shrinkage, and socioeconomic forces related to demographics,agroindustrial development, and hydroelectricity generation; pose new hydrolog-ical risks for human livelihoods. However, these hydroclimatic and socioeconomicdrivers of water resource change are often poorly quantified and interconnected,while data scarcity poses challenges in these regions. Here we review the state ofknowledge for two major catchments in the Peruvian Andes, which hold the largesttropical glacier mass worldwide: the Santa River (Cordillera Blanca) and VilcanotaRiver (Cordillera Vilcanota). Our integrative review of water resource change andcomparative discharge analysis of two gauging statio ns in the Santa and VilcanotaRiver catchments show that the future provision of water resources is a concern toregional societies and must be factored more carefully into water management poli-cies. In this context, observed hydroclimatic and socioeconomic changes representimportant drivers of water availability, allocation, and conflicts over waterresources. The legal framework and decentralized institutional architecture in Perucould potentially provide a basis for participatory integrative water management;however, unequal power relations, institutional fragility and increasing competi-tion over water resources hamper these efforts. We identify sev eral research gaps,including the need for more in situ data, cultural analyses, and a risk-based frame-work that combines climate-related hazards with human and natural vulner abil-ities. Finally, this review suggests that future adaptation plans for watermanagement should better link science, society, and policy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:16 May 2017 12:32
Last Modified:16 May 2017 12:32
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2049-1948
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1105

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