Climate change adaptation, flood risks and policy coherence in integrated water resources management in England

Benson, David and Lorenzoni, Irene (2017) Climate change adaptation, flood risks and policy coherence in integrated water resources management in England. Regional Environmental Change, 17 (7). 1921–1932. ISSN 1436-3798

[thumbnail of Manuscript]
PDF (Manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (613kB) | Preview


Integrated water resources management (IWRM) assumes coherence between cognate aspects of water governance at the river basin scale, for example water quality, energy production and agriculture objectives. But critics argue that IWRM is often less ‘integrated’ in practice, raising concerns over inter-sectoral coherence between implementing institutions. One increasingly significant aspect of IWRM is adaptation to climate change-related risks, including threats from flooding, which are particularly salient in England. Although multiple institutional mechanisms exist for flood risk management (FRM), their coherence remains a critical question for national adaptation. This paper therefore (1) maps the multi-level institutional frameworks determining both IWRM and FRM in England; (2) examines their interaction via various inter-institutional coordinating mechanisms; and (3) assesses the degree of coherence. The analysis suggests that cognate EU strategic objectives for flood risk assessment demonstrate relatively high vertical and horizontal coherence with river basin planning. However, there is less coherence with flood risk requirements for land-use planning and national flood protection objectives. Overall, this complex governance arrangement actually demonstrates de-coherence over time due to ongoing institutional fragmentation. Recommendations for increasing IWRM coherence in England or re-coherence based on greater spatial planning and coordination of water-use and land-use strategies are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: integrated water resources management (iwrm),flood risk,institutional fragmentation,climate change,adaptation,river basin management planning,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:38
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 00:55
DOI: 10.1007/s10113-016-0959-6

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item