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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 12
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 3429–3441, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-13-3429-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Building social capacities for natural hazards: an emerging...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 3429–3441, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-13-3429-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 23 Dec 2013

Research article | 23 Dec 2013

Social capacities for drought risk management in Switzerland

S. Kruse and I. Seidl S. Kruse and I. Seidl
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Economics and Social Sciences, Zürcherstr. 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Abstract. This paper analyses the social capacities for drought risk management from the perspective of national and regional water users and policy- and decision-makers in Switzerland. The analysis follows five dimensions of social capacities as prerequisites for drought risk management. Regarding information and knowledge (1), basic data is available, however not assembled for an integrated drought information system. As for technology and infrastructure (2), limited proactive capacities are available with the exception of a few of the drought-prone regions; in emergency response to drought however, provisional capacities are put together. Regarding organisation and management (3) most regions have enough personnel and effective cooperation in the case of acute and sporadic drought; long-term strategies though are largely missing. Economic resources (4) are sufficient if droughts remain rare. Finally, institutions and policies (5) are not sufficient for proactive drought risk management, but have been suitable in the drought of 2003. Starting points for building social capacities are first, to draw on the extensive experiences with the management of other natural hazards, second to build an integrated drought information system, including social and economic impacts, and third to improve the institutional framework through consistent regulations and coordination for proactive drought risk management.

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