Climate change adaptation and water governance (CADWAGO)

The CADWAGO project (climate change adaptation and water governance, with the aim of reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services) was a project led by the Stockholm Environment Institute. From 2013 to 2016 CADWAGO brought together 10 partners from Europe, Australasia and North America with the aim of improving water governance.

Reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services

The CADWAGO project created a forum for dialogue between actors from different contexts who work on transforming water governance at different levels and scales. Events throughout the project provided a space for shared understanding between those in research, policy, the private sector, and local contexts to explore how they work within the messy context of multiple water management dilemmas (e.g., managing catchments where there are conflicts among stakeholders in conditions of floods and drought, or where local water resource management institutions well outside of Europe are adversely affected by European policy, or where issues of nitrate and phosphate pollution have widespread systemic effects that are difficult to address at one level).

The project was structured around four ‘work packages’ (WPs): ecological components of ecosystems, climate change adaptability in water governance institutions and organisations, systemic governance practices, and governance learning. Figure 1 shows how three of the work packages applied their theoretical lens (inner circle) to a set of case studies (oval below) to reflect on natural resource management (NRM) dilemmas where water was central in a diverse set of national and transnational contexts. These lenses enabled the development of a cross-case narrative describing the orchestration of a diverse set of governance performances (second circle). The dialectic between the cross case narratives and co-learners of European water dilemmas was facilitated by CADWAGO’s fourth (governance learning) work package (third circle). The emergent governance learning enabled conceptual, institutional and practice innovations to support systemic and adaptive water governance in Europe (outer circle).