45
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
       
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Sinking deltas: trapped in a dual lock-in of technology and institutions

      research-article
      Bookmark

            Abstract

            In delta areas, flood protection structures and large-scale land reclamation are preferential water management strategies to cultivate soft delta soils. Over the past decades, river embankments, upstream dams, land reclamation, and groundwater use have intensified, and increasingly contribute to subsidence. In addition, the influence of institutions implementing these strategies has strengthened as they have acquired technical skills, knowledge, and vast financial resources. Sinking deltas are therefore trapped in a dual lock-in as dominating technology and institutions act as constraints to moving into a more long-term sustainable direction. Nine factors for the lock-in are introduced and illustrated for delta regions in Asia, Europe, and the US. To gain a better understanding of what researchers and practitioners can do to address the dual lock-in, a practical case is presented of Gouda, a Dutch subsiding city in search of more sustainable strategies and institutions. The paper ends with three steps to change the configuration of a dual lock-in: (1) getting to know the lock-in; (2) temporarily bypassing it; and (3) constituting a new, more sustainable lock-in. These steps should be further investigated in action-oriented research programmes with local experts, and targeted to policy processes and human behaviour in the sinking deltas.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Journal
            10.2307/j50022063
            prometheus
            Prometheus
            Pluto Journals
            0810-9028
            1470-1030
            1 September 2017
            : 35
            : 3 ( doiID: 10.1080/prometheus.35.issue-3 )
            : 193-213
            Affiliations
            [ a ]Inland Water Systems, Deltares Research Institute, Delft, The Netherlands
            [ b ]Subsurface and Groundwater Systems, Deltares Research Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands
            [ c ]Marine and Coastal Systems, Deltares Research Institute, Delft, The Netherlands
            [ d ]Integrated Water Systems and Governance, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands
            [ e ]Multi-Actor Systems, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
            [ f ]Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
            Article
            08109028.2018.1504867
            10.1080/08109028.2018.1504867
            c4b11c04-54cd-4c40-9230-04f5e55e0763
            © 2017 Pluto Journals

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata
            eng

            Computer science, Arts, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Law, History, Economics

            References

            1. Aarnoudse, E. (2011) Corruption Risks and Governance Challenges in the Irrigation Sector: What are Priorities for Water Integrity? Water Integrity Network, Berlin.

            2. Anadon, L., Chan, G., Harley, A., Matus, K., et al. (2016) ‘Making technological innovation work for sustainable development’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 35, pp.9682–90. doi:10.1073/pnas.1525004113

            3. Andersen, D., Vennix, J., Richardson, G. and Rouwette, E. (2007) ‘Group model building: problem structuring, policy simulation and decision support’, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 23, 4, pp.443–49.

            4. Arthur, W. (1989) ‘Competing technologies, increasing returns, and lock-in by historical events’, Economic Journal, 99, 394, pp.116–31. doi:10.2307/2234208

            5. Arthur, W. (1994) Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

            6. Beach, D. and Clark, D. (2015) ‘Scenario planning during rapid ecological change: lessons and perspectives from workshops with southwest Yukon wildlife managers’, Ecology and Society, 20, 1, Art. 61. doi:10.5751/ES-07379–200161

            7. Benedikter, S. (2013) The Vietnamese Hydrocracy and the Mekong Delta: Water Resources Development from State Socialism to Bureaucratic Captalism, LIT Verlag, Berlin.

            8. Can, N., Khiem, N., Hossain, M. and Tuong, T. (2010) ‘Farmers’ assessment of resource management and farm-level technological interventions in the Mekong delta' in Hoanh, C., Szuster, B., Suan-Pheng, K., Ismail, A. and Noble, A. (eds) Tropical Deltas and Coastal Zones: Food Production, Communities and Environment at the Land-Water Interface, CABI, Wallingford, pp.307–19.

            9. Chapman, A., Darby, S., Hồong, H., Tompkins, E. and Van, T. (2016) ‘Adaptation and development trade-offs: fluvial sediment deposition and the sustainability of rice-cropping in An Giang province, Mekong delta’, Climatic Change, 137, 3, pp.593–608. doi:10.1007/s10584–016–1684–3

            10. Church, J., Gregory, J., White, N., Platten, S. and Mitrovica, J. (2011) ‘Understanding and projecting sea level change’, Oceanography, 24, 2, pp.130–43. doi:10.5670/oceanog

            11. De Graaf, I., Sutanudjaja, E., Van Beek, L. and Bierkens, M. (2015) ‘A high-resolution global-scale groundwater model’, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19, 2, pp.823–37. doi:10.5194/hess-19–823–2015

            12. Dillon, P., Toze, S., Page, D., Vanderzalm, J., et al. (2010) ‘Managed aquifer recharge: rediscovering nature as a leading edge technology’. Water Science and Technology, 62, 10, pp.2338–45. doi: 10.2166/wst.2010.444

            13. Drexler, J., De Fontaine, C. and Deverel, S. (2009) ‘The legacy of wetland drainage on the remaining peat in the Sacramento San Joaquin delta, California, USA’, Wetlands, 29, 1, pp.372–86. doi:10.1672/08–97.1

            14. Erban, L., Gorelick, S. and Zebker, H. (2014) ‘Groundwater extraction, land subsidence, and sea-level rise in the Mekong delta, Vietnam’, Environmental Research Letters, 9, 8, 084010. doi: 10.1088/1748–9326/9/8/084010

            15. Erkens, G., Bucx, T., Dam, R., De Lange, G. and Lambert, J. (2015) ‘Sinking coastal cities’, Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 372, pp.189–98.

            16. Erkens, G., Van Der Meulen, M. and Middelkoop, H. (2016) ‘Double trouble: subsidence and CO2 respiration due to 1,000 years of Dutch coastal peatlands cultivation’, Hydrogeology Journal, 24, 3, pp.551–68. doi:10.1007/s10040–016–1380–4

            17. Evelpidou, N. and Pirazzoli, P. (2015) ‘Sea-level indicators’ in Finkl, C. and Makowski, C. (eds) Environmental Management and Governance. Advances in Coastal and Marine Resources, Springer, Heidelberg, pp.291–311.

            18. Evers, H. and Benedikter, S. (2009) ‘Hydraulic bureaucracy in a modern hydraulic society - strategic group formation in the Mekong delta, Vietnam’, Water Alternatives, 2, 3, pp.416–39.

            19. Fishman, R., Siegfried, T., Raj, P., Modi, V. and Lall, U. (2011) ‘Over-extraction from shallow bedrock versus deep alluvial aquifers: reliability versus sustainability considerations for India's groundwater irrigation’, Water Resources Research, 47, 6, pp.1–15. doi:10.1029/2011WR010617

            20. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006) ‘Five misunderstandings about case-study research’, Qualitative Inquiry, 12, 2, pp.219–45. doi:10.1177/1077800405284363

            21. Foxon, T. (2002) Technological and institutional ‘Lock-in’ as a barrier to sustainable innovation, ICCEPT working paper, available from https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/research-centres-and-groups/icept/7294726.PDF [accessed June 2018].

            22. Galloway, D., Erkens, G., Kuniansky, E. and Rowland, J. (2016) ‘Preface: land subsidence processes’, Hydrogeology Journal, 24, 3, pp.547–50. doi:10.1007/s10040–016–1386-y

            23. Geels, F. (2004) ‘From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory’, Research Policy, 33, 6, pp.897-920. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2004.01.015

            24. Geels, F. and Schot, J. (2007) ‘Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways’, Research Policy, 36, 3, pp.399–417. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2007.01.003

            25. Giosan, L., Syvitski, J., Constantinescu, S. and Day, J. (2014) ‘Climate change: protect the world's deltas’, Nature, 516, 729, pp.31–33. doi:10.1038/516031a

            26. Greif, A. and Laitin, D. (2004) ‘A theory of endogenous institutional change’, American Political Science Review, 98, 4, pp.633–52. doi:10.1017/S0003055404041395

            27. Higgins, S. (2016) ‘Review: advances in delta-subsidence research using satellite methods’, Hydrogeology Journal, 24, 3, pp.587–600. doi:10.1007/s10040–015–1330–6

            28. Hoeksema, R. (2007) ‘Three stages in the history of land reclamation in the Netherlands’, Irrigation and Drainage, 56, supplement 1, pp.113–26. doi:10.1002/ird.340

            29. Hooijer, A., Page, S., Jauhiainen, J., Lee, W., et al. (2012) ‘Subsidence and carbon loss in drained tropical peatlands’. Biogeosciences, 9, 3, pp.1053–71. doi:10.5194/bg-9–1053–2012

            30. Jones, C., An, K., Blom, R., Kent, J., et al. (2016) ‘Anthropogenic and geologic influences on subsidence in the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana’, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 121, 5, pp.3867–87.

            31. Kemp, R., Schot, J. and Hoogma, R. (1998) ‘Regime shifts to sustainability through processes of niche formation: the approach of strategic niche management’, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 10, 2, pp.175–98. doi:10.1080/09537329808524310

            32. Klitkou, A., Bolwig, S., Hansen, T. and Wessberg, N. (2015) ‘The role of lock-in mechanisms in transition processes: the case of energy for road transport’, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 16, pp.22–37. doi:10.1016/j.eist.2015.07.005

            33. Kondolf, G., Rubin, Z. and Minear, J. (2014) ‘Dams on the Mekong: cumulative sediment starvation’, Water Resources Research, 50, 6, pp.5158–69. doi: 10.1002/2013WR014651

            34. Loorbach, D. (2010) ‘Transition management for sustainable development: a prescriptive, complexity-based governance framework’, Governance, 23, 1, pp.161–83. doi:10.1111/gove.2010.23.issue-1 Magee, D. (2006) ‘Powershed politics: Yunnan hydropower under Great Western development’, China Quarterly, 185, pp.23–41. doi:10.1017/S0305741006000038

            35. Minderhoud, P., Erkens, G., Pham, V., Bui, V., et al. (2017) ‘Impacts of 25 years of groundwater extraction on subsidence in the Mekong delta, Vietnam’, Environmental Research Letters, 12, 6, Article 064006. doi:10.1088/1748–9326/aa7146

            36. Morton, R., Bernier, J. and Barras, J. (2006) ‘Evidence of regional subsidence and associated interior wetland loss induced by hydrocarbon production, Gulf Coast region, USA’, Environmental Geology, 50, pp.261–74. doi:10.1007/s00254–006–0207–3

            37. Ostrom, E. (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

            38. Pahl-Wostl, C., Craps, M., Dewulf, A., Mostert, E., et al. (2007) ‘Social learning and water resources management’, Ecology and Society, 12, 2, Article 5. doi:10.5751/ES-02037–120205

            39. Paul, A., Nath, B. and Abbas, M. (2013) ‘Tidal river management (TRM) and its implication in disaster management: a geospatial study on Hari-Teka river basin, Jessore, Bangladesh’, International Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences, 4, 1, pp.125–35.

            40. Pearce, F. (2006) When the Rivers Run Dry: Water - the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century, Beacon Press, Boston, MA.

            41. Pierson, P. (2000) ‘Increasing returns, path dependence, and the study of politics’, American Political Science Review, 94, 2, pp.251–67. doi:10.2307/2586011

            42. Raven, R., Van Den Bosch, S. and Weterings, R. (2010) ‘Transitions and strategic niche management: towards a competence kit for practitioners’, International Journal of Technology Management, 51, 1, pp.57–74. doi:10.1504/IJTM.2010.033128

            43. Reed, M., Evely, A., Cundill, G., Fazey, I., et al. (2010) ‘What is social learning?‘, Ecology and Society, 15, 4, r1. doi:10.5751/ES-03564–1504r01

            44. Reisner, M. (1986) Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Viking, New York.

            45. Renaud, F., Syvitski, J., Sebesvari, Z., Werners, S., et al. (2013) ‘Tipping from the Holocene to the Anthropocene: how threatened are major world deltas?‘, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5, 6, pp.644–54. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2013.11.007

            46. Rittel, H. and Webber, M. (1973) ‘Dilemmas in a general theory of planning’, Policy Sciences, 4, 2, pp.155–69. doi:10.1007/BF01405730

            47. Royal HaskoningDHV, et al. (2013) Mekong Delta Plan: Long-Term Vision and Strategy for a Safe, Prosperous and Sustainable Delta, Amersfoort, Netherlands.

            48. Sabbatier, P. and Weible, C. (2007) ‘The advocacy coalition framework: innovations and clarifications’ in Sabbatier, P. (ed.) Theories of the Policy Process, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp.189–220.

            49. Schiermeier, Q. (2014) ‘Floods: holding back the tide’, Nature, 508, 7495, pp.164–66. doi:10.1038/508164a

            50. Schmidt, C. (2015a) ‘Delta subsidence: an imminent threat to coastal populations’, Environmental Health Perspectives, 123, 8, pp.204–09. doi:10.1289/ehp.123-A204

            51. Schmidt, C. (2015b) ‘Alarm over a sinking delta’, Science, 348, 6237, pp.845–46. doi:10.1126/science.348.6237.845

            52. Schot, J. and Geels, F. (2008) ‘Strategic niche management and sustainable innovation journeys: theory, findings, research agenda, and policy’, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 20, 5, pp.537–54. doi:10.1080/09537320802292651

            53. Seijger, C., Douven, W., Van Halsema, G., Hermans, L., et al. (2017) ‘An analytical framework for strategic delta planning: negotiating consent for long-term sustainable delta development’, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 60, 8, pp.1485–509. doi:10.1080/09640568.2016.1231667

            54. Sestini, G. (1996) ‘Land subsidence and sea-level rise: the case of the Po delta region, Italy’ in Milliman, J. and Haq, B. (eds) Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence: Causes, Consequences, and Strategies, Springer, Dordrecht, pp.235–48.

            55. Seto, K. (2011) ‘Exploring the dynamics of migration to mega-delta cities in Asia and Africa: contemporary drivers and future scenarios’, Global Environmental Change, 21, 1, pp.94–107. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.08.005

            56. Slangen, A., Katsman, C., Van De Wal, R., Vermeersen, L. and Riva, R. (2012) ‘Towards regional projections of twenty-first century sea-level change based on IPCC SRES scenarios’, Climate Dynamics, 38, 5, pp.1191–209. doi:10.1007/s00382–011–1057–6

            57. Sydow, J., Schreyögg, G. and Koch, J. (2009) ‘Organizational paths: path dependency and beyond’, Academy of Management Review, 34, 4, pp.689–709.

            58. Syvitski, J., Kettner, A., Overeem, I., Hutton, E., et al. (2009) ‘Sinking deltas due to human activities’, Nature Geosciences, 2, 10, pp.681–86. doi:10.1038/ngeo629

            59. Temmerman, S., Meire, P., Bouma, T., Herman, P., et al. (2013) ‘Ecosystem-based coastal defence in the face of global change’, Nature, 504, 7478, pp.79–83. doi:10.1038/nature12859

            60. Tessler, Z., Vörösmarty, C., Grossberg, M., Gladkova, I., et al. (2015) ‘Profiling risk and sustainability in coastal deltas of the world’, Science, 349, 6248, pp.638–43. doi:10.1126/science.aab3574

            61. Tobin, G. (1995) ‘The levee love affair: a stormy relationship?‘, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 31, 3, pp.359–67. doi:10.1111/jawr.1995.31.issue-3

            62. Tosi, L., Da Lio, C., Strozzi, T. and Teatini, P. (2016) ‘Combining L- and X-Band SAR interferometry to assess ground displacements in heterogeneous coastal environments: the Po river delta and Venice lagoon, Italy’, Remote Sensing, 8, 4, Article 308 doi:10.3390/rs8040308

            63. Unruh, G. (2000) ‘Understanding carbon lock-in’, Energy Policy, 28, 12, pp.817–30. doi:10.1016/S0301–4215(00)00070–7

            64. Van Buuren, A. and Popering-Verkerk, J. (2014) ‘Delta governance scenarios: toekomstdenken als robuustheidstoets voor de governance van klimaatadaptatie’, Water Governance, 4, 4, pp.12–18.

            65. Van Der Brugge, R. and Rotmans, J. (2007) ‘Towards transition management of European water resources’ in Craswell, E., Bonnell, M., Bossio, D., Demuth, S. and Van De Giesen, N. (eds) Integrated Assessment of Water Resources and Global Change: A North-South Analysis, Springer, Dordrecht, pp.249–67.

            66. Van Notten, P. (2005) Writing on the Wall. Scenario Development in Times of Discontinuity, PhD thesis, Maastricht University.

            67. Van Staveren, M. and Van Tatenhove, J. (2016) ‘Hydraulic engineering in the social-ecological delta: understanding the interplay between social, ecological, and technological systems in the Dutch delta by means of ‘delta trajectories“, Ecology and Society, 21, 1, Article 8. doi:10.5751/ES-08168–210108

            68. Wada, Y., Van Beek, L., Van Kempen, C., Reckman, J., et al. (2010) ‘Global depletion of groundwater resources’, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, 20. doi:10.1029/2010GL044571

            69. Warner, J. (2003) ‘Risk regime change and political entrepreneurship. River management in the Netherlands and Bangladesh’ in Pelling, M. (ed.) Natural Disasters and Development in a Globalizing World, Routledge, Abingdon, pp.185–98.

            70. Werbeloff, L., Brown, R. and Loorbach, D. (2016) ‘Pathways of system transformation: strategic agency to support regime change’, Environmental Science & Policy, 66, pp.119–28. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.08.010

            71. Wesselink, A., Bijker, W., De Vriend, H. and Krol, M. (2007) ‘Dutch dealings with the delta’, Nature and Culture, 2, 2, pp.188–209. doi:10.3167/nc.2007.020206

            72. Xia, C. and Pahl-Wostl, C. (2012) ‘The process of innovation during transition to a water saving society in China’, Water Policy, 14, 3, pp.447–69. doi:10.2166/wp.2011.140

            73. Zarfl, C., Lumsdon, A., Berlekamp, J., Tydecks, L. and Tockner, K. (2015) ‘A global boom in hydropower dam construction’, Aquatic Sciences, 77, 1, pp.161–70. doi:10.1007/s00027–014–0377–0

            Comments

            Comment on this article