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Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

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Climatic changes -- Research, Water conservation


Climate change and exurban development pose challenges for water resources. This paper examines the perceptions and adaptive responses to those stressors among stakeholders engaging in exurban water management. Drawing on 42 interviews with planners, water managers, and local experts, we analyze perspectives on water-related hazards in the Hood River watershed, Oregon, and identify contrasting approaches to adaptation. Interview subjects identified climate-related hazards as most significant, with relatively less – although not insignificant – concern about development. Interviewees understood the role of the Watershed Group in four different ways: resistance to change, sustaining the present system, adapting to improve resilience, or transformational adaptation. Despite tensions between these approaches, the Watershed Group empowers local actors, offering grounds for social development. This study indicates that exurban areas may be poised to experiment and develop methods of collaborative resource management that reconcile different interests toward transformational adaptations to the dual challenges of climate change and urbanization.


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.



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