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Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle   Dr.  Post Doctoral Researcher 
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Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle published an article in January 2014.
Top co-authors
Claudia Pahl-Wostl

29 shared publications

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(1970 - 2014)
Total number of journals
published in
Article 0 Reads 2 Citations Applying the Concept of Fit to Water Governance Reforms in South Africa Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle Published: 01 January 2014
Ecology and Society, doi: 10.5751/es-05964-190125
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Article 1 Read 3 Citations Integrated and adaptive governance of water resources: the case of South Africa Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle Published: 09 June 2012
Regional Environmental Change, doi: 10.1007/s10113-012-0322-5
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Climate change and its impact on water resources have become a reality in many parts of the world. Uncertainties in water supply as well as the gradual and abrupt change in water availability are increasing. To maintain the sustainability of the water sector, its ability to adapt to unforeseen events needs to increase. Making adaptation an integral part of the governance of water resources will thus be one of the major future challenges for the water sector. This paper focuses on how far Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), the guiding concept of water management and governance, is able to address these challenges and which additional features would be required for increasing the adaptability of water governance and management. In the empirical part of the paper, South African water legislation and its adaptability to the challenges of climate change is scrutinised. The paper finds that IWRM offers a number of entry points for increased adaptability. However, the IWRM concept should be complemented with features of adaptive governance such as polycentric, redundant and flexible governance structures to be better prepared for unforeseen events. It is concluded that the features of IWRM and adaptive water governance comprise a number of synergies and trade-offs, which play out differently in different combinations and contexts. The paper outlines the need for further empirical research on these trade-offs as well as on the appropriate degree of features such as participation, flexible institutions and redundancy.
Article 2 Reads 15 Citations Continuity and Change in Social-ecological Systems: the Role of Institutional Resilience Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle, Claudia Pahl-Wostl Published: 01 January 2012
Ecology and Society, doi: 10.5751/es-04565-170208
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BOOK-CHAPTER 2 Reads 0 Citations The South African Water Sector: on its Way Towards Adaptive Water Governance? Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle Published: 28 September 2011
Climate Change Management, doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-22266-5_6
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The African continent is likely to be highly affected by the consequences of climate change. The ensuing projected changes in the ecological system such as decreasing water availability and higher amplitudes of droughts and floods require responses from the social system, i.e. adaptation measures. Even though climate modelling is still plagued by high uncertainty, models suggest a reduction of precipitation and runoff for South Africa. This poses a major threat for South Africa, which depends heavily on surface water and whose water resources are already under stress. Adaptive governance has been proposed as an approach that provides a way to cope with rising uncertainty and environmental change. Against the background of decreasing water availability and in addition to technical solutions, adaptive water governance structures can serve as an important element for increasing water use efficiency, adaptive capacity and resilience of the water sector. The first part of the paper takes a conceptual approach towards adaptive water governance. It suggests characterizing adaptive water governance by referring to and merging elements of good governance, water governance and adaptive governance. In the second part of the paper, some of the elements of adaptive water governance are examined with regard to their relevance for South Africa’s water governance reforms. The paper concludes that, on the one hand, progress can be attested with regard to (1) a high level of flexibility built in the national water legislation, especially the National Water Act, (2) the provision of buffer capacities regarding institutions for solving water conflicts (redundancy), (3) the high level of participation of stakeholders at many levels and (4) the provision of equitable access to water. On the other hand, some (unintended) negative implications of these developments are documented. Among them are (1) the time-consuming processes of elaborating procedures and guidelines in the process of implementation, (2) the potentially negative effects of functional overlaps of CMA and regional offices of DWA, (3) effectively involving relevant stakeholders and (4) the lacking long-term sustainability of water infrastructure due to lack of capacity and capital.
BOOK-CHAPTER 1 Read 0 Citations Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Institutional Change in Kyrgyz Water Governance Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle
Water Politics and Development Cooperation, doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-76707-7_13
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This article analyses water sector reforms in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2002. It is argued that objective reasons for change in the form of endogenous and exogenous factors provided a good point of departure for the reform process, but that later in the process other factors, namely informal institutions and vested interests of major actors, came to influence the course of reform, resulting in its delay and unsatisfactory outcome.