WEBINAR: Ready for Anything: Adaptive Capacity in Western Water Planning

October 21, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Leah Cogan
Water Resources Analyst
GSI Water Solutions, Inc.

Leah Cogan is a Water Resources Analyst at GSI Water Solutions, Inc. in Oregon, where she supports water rights projects, due diligence research, and Water Management and Conservation Plans. A recent graduate of the Oregon State University MS program in Water Resources Policy and Management, her thesis research focused on western water planning with an emphasis on adaptive capacity to climate change and drought. Prior to entering the program, she worked as a grant writer for six years securing over $7 million in grant funding for a nonprofit youth conservation corps in California. She also served as an AmeriCorps Watershed Steward restoring salmonid habitat and conducting youth environmental outreach programs.

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Adaptive capacity is a critical factor for helping water systems meet challenges such as institutional fragmentation, conflicting management goals, and climate change. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) and polycentric governance arrangements may increase adaptive capacity, improving the ability of water systems to cope with changing conditions. This webinar will explore IWRM and polycentricity in state water planning and how it relates to determinants of adaptive capacity including integration, learning, resources, self-organizing authority, and participation. Lessons from a sampling of 11 states in the West will be shared with case studies from Arizona, Idaho, and Montana highlighting the impacts of contrasting governance strategies. The webinar will examine the potential adaptive benefits of data sharing, dedicated investment in water planning, and inclusive stakeholder engagement, and will look at how IWRM and polycentricity fit into different water planning contexts.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize key determinants of adaptive capacity.
  2. Identify linkages between integrated water resources management, polycentricity, and adaptive capacity.
  3. Compare strategies for building resilient water systems across the West.