Adaptive strategies to deal with uncertainty in water management are often collaboratively developed. So far, however, little attention has been paid to the influence of collaboration on handling uncertainty through adaptive planning. In this paper, we study how collaboration has influenced the handling of uncertainty through adaptive planning for water management strategies for the IJsselmeer area in the Netherlands. We show how a fixation on certainty, different perspectives among actors and unclear responsibilities between arenas affect the handling of uncertainty, and found that it is adversely affected by collaboration. The use of adaptive planning challenged current water uses and system functions, creating resistance from actors. We conclude that developing a shared problem perception, creating a common understanding of uncertainties and ensuring a clear demarcation between the water system, its societal functions and water usage, are necessary to make adaptive planning successful in handling uncertainty.
- adaptive planning
- collaborative water management