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Environment Magazine September/October 2008

 

September-October 2016

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Scientists, Policymakers, and Stakeholders Plan for Climate Change: A Promising Approach in Chile's Maipo Basin

In the face of high-impact, but uncertain, environmental changes likely to affect the supply and demand of water resources, societies are discussing the need to adapt to such changes and considering their available options to do so. Inspired by a decision-analysis approach called robust decision making (RDM), a collaborative science-policy dialogue is being sustained in Chile's Maipo River basin. The Maipo is a highly populated, water-scarce basin that has long faced multiple environmental challenges.

Anahí Ocampo-Melgar is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

Sebastián Vicuña is associate professor in the Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering; and Director of Centro Interdisciplinario de Cambio Global, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Jorge Gironás is associate professor in the Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), and associate researcher at the Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable, Centro de Investigación para la Gestión Integrada de Desastres Naturales, and Centro Interdisciplinario de Cambio Global—all at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Robert G. Varady is interim director and research professor of environmental policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. He is also adjunct professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences; and research professor of in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and in the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Program—all at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Christopher A. Scott is professor in the School of Geography and Development and research professor of Water Resources Policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences; Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science; School of Natural Resources and the Environment; and Arid Lands Resource Sciences Program—all at the University of Arizona.

This work would not have been possible without the generous primary support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada, under grant 107081-001. We also acknowledge partial support from the International Water Security Network, funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), a charitable foundation in the United Kingdom helping to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement, and the application of research; and from the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), for Project SGP-CRA005, which is supported by U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) grant GEO-1138881, and for Research Project CRN3056, which is supported by NSF grant GEO-1128040. The authors are especially indebted to the many regional stakeholders representing all the organizations and entities that participated in the dialogues and events undertaken by this project. Finally, we are grateful for the helpful review and excellent editorial assistance by Robert Merideth of the Udall Center at the University of Arizona.       

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