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Is "Greening of Economy" the Answer to Sustainable Water Resources Management Under Climate Change?

Author(s): Elpida Kolokytha

Linked Author(s): Elpida Kolokytha

Keywords: Green development, water resources management, climate change, EU adaptation policies, rebound effect

Abstract: The global financial crisis as well as the environmental crisis that the planet is currently facing, are mainly caused by the dominant economic development model and the policies that have been developed over the past decades. The current foremost development model, based on the uncontrolled use of resources to meet demands, has directly resulted in over-exploitation and overconsumption. Both, the problem of poverty (social sustainability) and the one of healthy ecosystem services (ecological sustainability), have not been successfully resolved. It is clear that there should be a shift to a �new type� of economy. The transition to this new �green economy� requires new thinking about water and its management. Climate change, as major environmental threat of our century which definitely affects water, calls for immediate action. Two types of response to climate change, mitigation and adaptation play an equally important role in the transformation towards sustainability. Sustainable water management should revolve around maintenance of ecosystem services, reallocation among sectors, true cost price and public engagement in all stages of decision-making. This paper explains the �new development model� and its characteristics and provides a set of structural and non-structural measures for adaptation to climate change impacts on water resources. A debate is presented on whether the �greening of economy� is the answer to sustainable water resources management under climate change. Various examples, using different applied methodologies on water adaptation policies, on how to improve water resources planning and management and on how to proceed with effective water policy actions considering climate variability and change are presented and discussed. Concluding, green development provides the necessary framework for sustainable water management, however specific parameters should be carefully considered and examined in order to be successful


Year: 2017

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