A Community Approach to Climate Resilience

This article discusses how freshwater organizations and agencies learn to build natural capital in the form of river restoration, wetlands, and green infrastructure in communities affected by climate change.


At risk neighborhoods in the United States continue to be devastated by the effects of natural disasters, leaving people without clean drinking water for days. Droughts and floods cause these communities to fight to decontaminate their water supply.


5 Takeaways – Five basic principles can guide collective efforts to protect and restore freshwater resources and build a community’s climate resilience:

1. Work with the most trusted member of a community:

Learn about their history and knowledge by identifying mutual concerns and shared values. Ensure equitable opportunities for community engagement and shared decision making.

2. Prioritize diversity and inclusiveness:

Have an inclusive approach to problem-solving. Success in engaging diverse participants requires attention to chronic environmental justice concerns.

3. Identify existing strengths and adaptive mechanisms for climate resilience, in both natural and social capital:

Respect and strengthen preexisting methods of first responders to natural and man-made disasters.

4. Build cohesion among the social networks of the community:

Focus on bridging diverse interests and finding common cause. Ensure that participants are empowered to make choices and see them enacted.


Date: 2016
Organization: Water Innovations
Strategic Approach: Engagement
Organization: Water Innovations
Strategic Approach: Engagement

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