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Universidad Autónoma del Estado de San Luis Potosí (UASLP) 2014

Drought vulnerability assessment in northern-central Chile

Butz, Katharina

Titre : Drought vulnerability assessment in northern-central Chile

Auteur : Butz, Katharina

Etablissement de soutenance : Universidad Autónoma del Estado de San Luis Potosí (UASLP)

Grade : Maestría en Ciencias Ambientales 2014

Human-induced global changes, in particular, population growth, changes in consumption patterns and the globalization of markets have increased global demand for water and food. While more frequent and intense droughts further threaten water supply in semi-arid regions worldwide, irrigated agriculture is simultaneously seen as a chance and a challenge to water availability. As reduced water availability has major impacts on both, the society and ecosystems, a social-ecological system’s approach to the topic of drought vulnerability facilitates deeper understanding of the complex dynamisms in the Recoleta System in northern Chile’s Limarí River Basin, which focuses on irrigated agriculture supplied by a highly technified reservoir and channel system. Forming part of the Paloma’s super system, the Recoleta System consists of an ecological and socio-economic subsystem and system components, the Recoleta farmers. As Recoleta drought is related to the reduction of the reservoirs’ storage volumes and the decisions made by the system’s institutions in charge of water allocation, the system currently experiences a drought event due to a multi-year dry spell, which dried out the reservoirs. Recoleta System’s drought vulnerability is assessed by making use of a mix of quantitative and qualitative data in form of semi-structured interviews conducted during field research. Differential drought vulnerability within several organizational and spatial scales and among the system’s elements is highlighted. The system’s water governance institution provides homogenous conditions of water supply through the so-called solidarity concept, which implies equal distribution of water losses throughout all system elements. Flexibility of farmers in terms of an expanded range of decisions reduces their specific drought vulnerability, hence, leading to differences among farmers. Present and future adaptation strategies differ within the organizational scales and whether they focus immediate, shortterm adaption or long-term adaptation.

Mots clés : Differential drought vulnerability ; Social-ecological systems ; Water governance ; Irrigated agriculture ; Global change


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Page publiée le 20 octobre 2017, mise à jour le 9 janvier 2020