Resilient Governance for Urban Water Systems in the Anthropocene
In an era marked by significant socio-environmental shifts, the Resilient Governance for Urban Water Systems in the Anthropocene project focuses on heavily engineered resource systems, such as urban water systems, facing both gradual changes and sudden extreme events. It explores the challenges of allocating resources and attention between crisis response and long-term planning. Decision-makers often lean towards reactive strategies, potentially increasing vulnerability to future failures. This research seeks to establish a new resource governance paradigm, encompassing redesigning “soft” social and informational infrastructure alongside traditional built infrastructure. By integrative cognitive, collective action, and robust control theories, the project aims to enhance the resilience of Urban Water Coupled Infrastructure Systems (UW-CISs) in the face of dynamic climate change impacts.
This research delves into the complex interactions within urban water systems, examining how individuals, groups, and networks respond to environmental changes, focusing on predictive capabilities aiming to reduce surprises by aligning actions with anticipated future conditions. Through this approach, the project aims to understand better risk perception, collective action dynamics, and robustness-fragility tradeoffs within UW-CISs. By incorporating hydroclimatic data, physical infrastructure, and institutional design, the research offers scenario planning and predictive modeling for future water reliability and affordability, addressing the immediate need for decision support in navigating the challenges of the Anthropocene.