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Seminar Abstract

Richard Slaughter & Don Reading - April 9, 2002


Institutional Effects in Climate Change Adaptation: Three Case Studies of Water/Hydro Institutions and Market Interaction

An end-to-end climate change assessment requires that one examine both the manner in which existing institutions transmit effects and evolve to cope with effects. Much of the transmission is shaped by institutional structure, i.e., the costs and benefits of change will be distributed according to existing rules. Some institutional adaptation may be autonomous, as rules evolve to accommodate the pressure of new uses and/or climatically-induced effects via the payoff matrix.

Additionally, resource markets are necessarily part of the institutional structure. Though frequently ignored, markets will ultimately affect the outcomes from both climatic change and alteration of the rules.

We examine three cases of water resource-related institutions for insights into both institution/market interaction and the efficacy of alternative coping strategies. The three cases are Snake River water and hydroelectric 1850 - 2000, the California/PNW energy crisis of 2000-2001, and the Klamath Basin crisis of 2001. The seminar will present this research at a preliminary stage.

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