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Water futures: Reviewing water-scenario analyses through an original interpretative framework

Abstract : Water is a vital need for humans and a critical resource for the maintenance of social–ecological systems. Against the backdrop of global environmental and societal changes, water scarcity looms large in many parts of the world. This uncertainty regarding the future notwithstanding, not until recently has scenario analysis, a technique to envision possible and consistent paths of the evolution of a system, importantly permeated research on water issues. Through review of theoretical and case-study papers, we built an analytical framework to characterize the use of water-scenario analysis and to evaluate the current situation and future possibilities. By means of qualitative and statistical analyses we propose guidelines to consider before initiating a water-scenario analysis. These recommendations pretend to capture better the complexity of nature–society relationships in scenario analysis and concern i) the representation of drivers guiding water use and in an integrated and transparent manner, ii) the use of participatory approaches and iii) the use of modeling. Despite departing from a water perspective, the framework and recommendations may interest those working with environmental scenarios from local to global scales.
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Hug March, Olivier Therond, Delphine Leenhardt. Water futures: Reviewing water-scenario analyses through an original interpretative framework. Ecological Economics, Elsevier, 2012, 82, pp.126-137. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.07.006⟩. ⟨hal-02650616⟩

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