Deciding for resilience: Utilizing water infrastructure investments to prepare for the future

Wieke Pot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Governments are increasingly faced with climate change realities and have also committed themselves to international agreements with objectives to tackle long-term problems such as becoming climate neutral by 2050. Governments, therefore, will need to carefully consider how to contribute to combatting climate change, when investing in their water infrastructure that is reaching an end-of-lifetime due to technical aging or changing functional requirements. Such investments offer crucial windows of opportunity to create more resilient water systems, because large budgets are involved and lifespans of infrastructure are long and co-determine possible futures. Based on a literature review, this article develops key ways of how infrastructure operators could adopt a long-term perspective and choose water management strategies that increase absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities. With these perspectives and strategies, this article sets out a basis to help governments prepare for the future when they invest in water infrastructure. This article is categorized under: Human Water > Water Governance Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change Engineering Water > Planning Water.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1661
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
Issue number5
Early online date29 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • climate change
  • futures
  • infrastructure investments
  • resilience
  • water governance


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