Handling uncertainty through adaptiveness in planning approaches: comparing adaptive delta management and the water diplomacy framework

M. Zandvoort*, M.J. van der Vlist, A. van den Brink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Planners and water managers seek to be adaptive to handle uncertainty through the use of planning approaches. In this paper, we study what type of adaptiveness is proposed and how this may be operationalized in planning approaches to adequately handle different uncertainties. We took a comparative case study approach to study two planning approaches: the water diplomacy framework (WDF) and adaptive delta management (ADM). We found that the approaches differ in their conceptualization of uncertainty and show that different types of adaptiveness are used in the approaches. While WDF builds on collaborative adaptive management as a set of ongoing adjustments and continuous learning to handle uncertainty, ADM deliberately attempts to anticipate future adaptations through a set of tools which allows for seizing opportunities and avoiding lock-in and lock-out mechanisms. We conclude that neither of the approaches is fully able to account for different uncertainties. Both approaches may benefit from specific insights in what uncertainty and adaptiveness entail for the development of water management plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Adaptiveness
  • environmental planning
  • planning approaches
  • uncertainty
  • water management

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