ADAPTS: Adaptive Local Water Management


ADAPTS sets out to increase developing countries' adaptive capacities by achieving the inclusion of climate change and adaptation considerations in water policies, local planning and investment decisions. 'Adaptive capacities' means the knowledge and ability of communities and decision-makers to effectively react to present and future changes in climate. By doing so making sure that the impacts of those changes on the environment, the people and their livelihoods are minimal. The project focuses on the inclusion of local knowledge and visions into river basin management and national policy dialogue. It does so by identifying, supporting, analysing and disseminating innovative, locally-based adaptation initiatives.


The poor are particularly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Witnessing the devastating effects of weather related extreme events each year on urban and rural communities. Climate change is increasing the severity, duration and frequency of extreme events. It causes gradual changes in temperature and rain patterns, threatening water availability and food security for millions of poor people.

Both water availability and water quality directly determine the potential for food production and ecosystem sustainability. Water managers and policy makers therefore play a key role in the development of adequate adaptation strategies.

This project (ADAPTS II) builds on the methodology and results and conclusions of ADAPT I completed in 2003. In this project climate change experts down-scaled global climate data to the level of river basins. ADAPTS II also builds on the experience gained in Both ENDS' project 'River Basin Management: A Negotiated Approach'. This project aims to bring the conceptual discussions on adaptation to a more practical level. It translates knowledge into concrete implementation of local adaptation activities as well as into policy proposals. It specifically links to, and builds on, existing local adaptation activities.


Both ENDS is working on adaptation to climate change since 2003. We found that a large number of civil society organisations are already considering climate change and implementing activities to adapt to these changes. However, the lack of access to relevant data and information and the fact that many policies do not support or even counteract their initiatives, are seriously hampering their adaptation capacities. This is mainly due to a lack of communication between national governments, universities and local stakeholders. Both ENDS aims to overcome these barriers and convince policy and decision makers that local approaches have potential. They can be replicated by other local stakeholders and be up-scaled to national basin-related policies and investment plans.



Annelieke Douma project leader



ADAPTS sets out to show that adaptation is already taking place at the local scale, and to provide practical experiences and lessons from various contexts that can feed into the discussions on climate-proofing water management from the local to the (inter)national level.

The project is currently being implemented in six river basins around the world. Projects with a three year duration are carried out in Ethiopia (Genale-Dawa basin), Ghana (Dayi River Basin) and Peru (Ocoña River Basin).

Studies with a one year duration are carried out in Botswana (Limpopo basin), Brazil (state of São Paolo) and Vietnam (Huong River BasinThua Thien-Hue Province).

Check the map of the project sites.

Check the factsheets:


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