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Versión en Español

Vulnerability and Adaptation in a Dryland Community of the Elqui Valley, Chile
Young, G., B. Smit, H. Zavala, M. Fiebig, J. Wandel, S. Salas, E. Jimenez, R. Espinoza, J. Cepeda and P. Diaz 2006 English

Livelihoods in drylands are already challenged by the demands of climate variability, and climate change is expected to have further implications for water resource availability in these regions. This paper characterizes the vulnerability of an irrigation-dependent agricultural community located in the Elqui River Basin of Northern Chile to water and climate-related conditions in light of climate change. The paper documents the exposures and sensitivities faced by the community in light of current water shortages, and identifies their ability to manage these exposures under a changing climate. The IPCC identifies potentially increased aridity in this region with climate change; furthermore, the Elqui River is fed by snowmelt and glaciers, and its flows will be affected by a warming climate. This case study highlights the need for adaptation to maintain livelihoods in the region. Community vulnerability occurs within a broader physical, economic, political and social context, and vulnerability in the community varies amongst occupations, resource uses and accessibility to water resources, making some more susceptible to changing conditions in the future

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