Bottom-up approaches are relatively new to the fields of climate adaptation and water management. This library of publications can provide more technical understanding behind the approaches described in the Knowledge Platform. As more studies are published and bottom-up approaches are demonstrated, this collection will evolve over time.


Looking for articles on a particular topic? Use the "search" function to look up keywords or click on a topic below to jump to that section.


Deep Uncertainty

Brown, C., Boltz, F., Freeman, S., Tront, J., & Rodriguez, D. (2020). Resilience by design: A deep uncertainty approach for water systems in a changing world. Water Security, 9, 100051. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100051

Haasnoot, M., Kwakkel, J.H., & Walker, W.E. (2012). Designing Adaptive Policy Pathways for Sustainable Water Management under Uncertainty: Lessons Learned from Two Cases. Third International Engineering Systems Symposium, CESUN 2012: Delft University of Technology.

Haasnoot, M. (2013). Anticipating Change: Sustainable Water Policy Pathways for an Uncertain Future. DOI: 10.3990/1.9789036535595

Hallegatte, S., Shah, A., Lempert, R., Brown, C., & Gill, S. (2012). Investment Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty: Application to Climate Change. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Kundzewicz, Z.W., Krysanova, V., Benestad, R.E., Hov, Ø., Piniewski, M., & Otto, I.M. (2018). Uncertainty in climate change impacts on water resources. Environmental Science and Policy, 79, 1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.10.008

Kwakkel, J.H., Haasnoot, M., & Walker, W.E. (2016). Comparing Robust Decision-Making and Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways for model-based decision support under deep uncertainty. Env. Modelling and Software, 86, 168-183. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.09.017

Maier H.R., Guillaume J.H.A., van Delden H., Riddell G.A., Haasnoot M., & Kwakkel J.H. (2016). An uncertain future, deep uncertainty, scenarios, robustness and adaptation: How do they fit together? Environmental Modelling and Software, 81, 154‐164. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.03.014

Marchau, V.A.W.J., Walker, W.E., Bloemen, P.J.T.M., & Popper, S.J. (eds). (2019). Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty: From Theory to Practice. Springer International. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-05252-2

Whateley, S., Steinschneider, S., & Brown, C. (2014), A climate change range-based method for estimating robustness for water resources supply. Water Resources Research, 50, 8944–8961. DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015956


Ecosystems and Environment

Bouska, K. L., Houser, J. N., De Jager, N. R., Van Appledorn, M., & Rogala, J. T. (2019). Applying concepts of general resilience to large river ecosystems: A case study from the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Ecological indicators, 101, 1094-1110. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.02.002

Findlay, S. (2018). The bright side of linking science and management in large river ecosystems: The Hudson River case study. River Research and Applications, 1-7. DOI: 10.1002/rra.3233

Grantham, T.E., Matthews, J.H., & Bledsoe, B.P. (2019). Shifting currents: Managing freshwater systems for ecological resilience in a changing climate. Water Security, 8. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100049

Hallouin, T., Bruen, M., Christie, M., Bullock, C., & Kelly-Quinn, M. (2018). Challenges in Using Hydrology and Water Quality Models for Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Services: A Review. Geosciences, 8(2) 45. DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8020045

Horne, A., Nathan, R., Poff, L., Bond, N., Webb, A., Wang, J., & John, A. (2018). Modelling flow-ecology responses in the Anthropocene: challenges for sustainable riverine management. BioScience, biz087. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biz087

Karrasch, L., Maier, M., Kleyer, M., & Klenke, T. (2017). Collaborative Landscape Planning: Co-Design of Ecosystem-Based Land Management Scenarios. Sustainability, 9(9), 1668. DOI: 10.3390/su9091668

Matthews, J.H., Mauroner, A.W., Grantham, T.G., Escobar Montecinos, N., Verbist, K, Jeuken, A., & Mendoza, G. (2018). "Eco-engineering decision scaling (EEDS): A new approach to integrating ecosystems within engineered water management systems.” In Proceedings of 8TH Asian Regional Conference on “Irrigation in Support of Evergreen Revolution.” Kathmandu: Nepal National Committee of ICID (ICID).

Nanda, A., Beesley, L., Locatelli, L., Gersonius, B., Hipsey, M.R., & Ghadouani, A. (2018). Adaptation Tipping Points of a Wetland under a Drying Climate. Water, 10(2), 234-254. DOI: 10.3390/w10020234

Olander, L.P., Johnston, R.J., Tallis, H., Kagan, J., Maguire, L.A., et al. (2018). Benefit relevant indicators: Ecosystem services measures that link ecological T and social outcomes. Ecological Indicators, 85, 1262-1272. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.12.001

Palmer, M., & Ruhi, A. (2019). Linkages between flow regime, biota, and ecosystem processes: Implications for river restoration. Science, 365(6459), eaaw2087. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw2087

Poff, N.L., Brown, C.M., Grantham, T.E., Matthews, J.H., Palmer, M.A., Spence, C.M., et al. (2015). Sustainable water management under future uncertainty with eco-engineering decision scaling. Nature Climate Change, 1–10. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2765

Poff, N.L. (2017). Beyond the natural flow regime? Broadening the hydro-ecological foundation to meet environmental flows challenges in a non-stationary world. Freshwater Biology, 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13038

Rolls, R.J., Heino, J., Ryder, D.S., Chessman, B.C., Growns, I.O., Thompson, R.M., & Gido, K.B. (2018). Scaling biodiversity responses to hydrological regimes. Bio. Rev., 93, 971-995. DOI: 10.1111/brv.12381

Simpson, M., James, R., Hall, J.W., Borgomeo, E., Ives, M.C., Almeida, S., ... Wagener, T. (2016). Decision Analysis for Management of Natural Hazards. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41(15), 489-516. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-environ-110615-090011

Stewardson, M.J. & Guarino, F. (2018). Basin‐scale environmental water delivery in the Murray–Darling, Australia: A hydrological perspective. Freshwater Biology. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13102

Tingstad, A.H., Lempert, R.J., Moskwik, M., Warren, D.L., Parmesan, C., et al. (2017). Demonstrating the Applicability of a Robust Decision Making (RDM) to Conservation Decision-Making Under Uncertain Future Climate: Pilot Study Using the Northern Pygmy Salamander (Desmognathus organi). Journal of Conservation Planning, 13, 11-24.

Verkerk, P.I., Sánchez, A., Libbrecht, S., Broekman, A., Bruggeman, A., et al. (2017). A Participatory Approach for Adapting River Basins to Climate Change. Water, 9, 958-974. DOI: 10.3390/w9120958

Wang, J., Nathan, R., Horne, A., Peel, M.C., Wei, Y., & Langford, J. (2017). Evaluating four downscaling methods for assessment of climate change impact on ecological indicators. Env. Modelling & Software, 96, 68-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.06.016

Webb, J.A., Watts, R.J., Allan, C., & Conallin, J.C. (2018). Adaptive Management of Environmental Flows. Environmental Management, 1-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0981-6

Zölch, T., Wamsler, C., & Pauleit, S. (2017). Integrating the ecosystem-based approach in municipal adaptation strategies to climate change. Journal of Cleaner Production. In Press, Accepted Manuscript. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.146


Risk Assessment and Planning

Alodah, A. & Seidou, O. (2017). The realism of Stochastic Weather Generators in Risk Discovery. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 220, 239-249. DOI: 10.2495/WRM170231

Bhave, A., Mishra, A., Raghuwanshi, N. (2014). A combined bottom-up and top-down approach for assessment of climate change adaptation options. Journal of Hydrology, 518, 150-161. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1061-z

Brown, C. (2010). The End of Reliability. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(2), 143–145. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.65

Brown, C., Werick, W., Leger, W., & Fay, D. (2011). A Decision-Analytic Approach to Managing Climate Risks: Application to the Upper Great Lakes. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 47(3), 524–534. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00552.x

Brown, C., Ghile, Y., Laverty, M., & Li, K. (2012). Decision scaling: Linking bottom-up vulnerability analysis with climate projections in the water sector. Water Resources Research, 48(9), n/a–n/a. DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011212

Brown, C. & Wilby, R. (2012). An Alternate Approach to Assessing Climate Risks. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 93(41), 401–402. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1454

Campos, I., Ng, K., Clemmensen, A.H., & Penha Lopes, G. (2016). Adapting to Climate Change Comparison of Case Studies. BASE Report.

Culley, S., Noble, S., Yates, A., Timbs, M., Westra, S., Mair, H.R., Giuliani, M., Castelletti, A. (2016). A bottom-up approach to identifying the operational adaptive capacity of water resources systems to a changing climate. Water Resources Research, 52(9), 6751 - 6758. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018253/full

Fisk, G.W. (2017). Climate risks and adaptation pathways for coastal transport infrastructure. Guidelines for planning and adaptive responses. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast.

García, L. E., Matthews, J., Rodriguez, D. J., Wijnen, M., DiFrancesco, K. N., & Ray, P. (2014). Beyond Downscaling: A Bottom-Up Approach to Climate Adaptation for Water Resources Management. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Gilroy, K. & Jeuken, A. (2018). Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis: A water security case study in the Philippines. Climate Services. DOI: 10.1016/j.cliser.2018.04.002

Girard, C., Pulido-Velazquez, M., Rinaudo, J., Pagé, C., & Caballero, Y. (2015). Integrating top–down and bottom–up approaches to design global change adaptation at the river basin scale. Global Environmental Change, 34, 132-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.07.002

Guo, D., Westra, S., & Maier, H.R. (2017). Use of a scenario-neutral approach to identify the key hydro-meteorological attributes that impact runoff from a natural catchment. Journal of Hydrology, 554, 317-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.09.021

Kim, D., Chun, J. A., & Choi, S. J. (2019). Incorporating the logistic regression into a decision-centric assessment of climate change impacts on a complex river system, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23(2), 1145-1162. DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-1145-2019, 2019

Kwadijk, J.C.J., Haasnoot, M., Mulder, J.P.M., Hoogvliet, M.M.C., Jeuken, A.B.M., van der Krogt, R.A.A., van Oostrom, N.G.C., Schelfhout, H.A., van Velzen, E.H., van Waveren, H. & de Wit, M.J.M. (2010). Using adaptation tipping points to prepare for climate change and sea level rise: A case study in the Netherlands. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 1, 729-740. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.64

Olabisi, L.S., Liverpool-Tasie, S., Rivers III, L., Ligmann-Zielinska, A., Du, J., Denny, R., Marquart-Pyatt, S., & Sidibé, A. (2017). Using participatory modeling processes to identify sources of climate risk in West Africa. Environment Systems and Decisions, 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10669-017-9653-6

Sauquet, E., Richard, B., Devers, A., & Prudhomme, C. (2019). Water restrictions under climate change: a Rhône–Mediterranean perspective combining bottom-up and top-down approaches. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 23(9), 3683-3710. DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-3683-2019

Ramm, T.D., White, J., Chan, H.C., and Watson, C.S. (2017). A review of methodologies applied in Australian practice to evaluate long-term coastal adaptation options. Climate Risk Management, 17, 35-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.crm.2017.06.005

Ray, P. A., & Brown, C. M. (2015). Confronting Climate Uncertainty in Water Resources Planning and Project Design: The Decision Tree Framework. Washington, DC: The World Bank. DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-0477-9

Wagenaar, D.J., Dahm, R.J., Diermanse, F.L.M., Dias, W.P.S., Dissanayake, D.M.S.S., Vajja, H.P., Gehrels, J.C., & Bouwer, L.M. (2019). Evaluating adaptation measures for reducing flood risk: A case study in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 37. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101162

Wilby, R.L. (2011). Adaptation: Wells of wisdom. Nature Climate Change, 1(6), 302–303. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1203

Wilby, R.L. (2019). A global hydrology research agenda fit for the 2030s. Hydrology Research nh2019100. DOI: 10.2166/nh.2019.100

Zhang, E., Yin, X., Xu, Z., & Yang, Z. (2017). Bottom-up quantification of inter-basin water transfer vulnerability to climate change. Ecological Indicators, Available online 22 April 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.04.019


Operations and Management

Barbour, E.J., Holz, L., Kuczera, G., Pollino, C.A., Jakeman, A.J., & Loucks, D.P. (2016). Optimisation as a Process for Managing River Ecosystems. Environmental Modeling & Software, 83, 167-178. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21483.8528

Boltz, F., Poff, N. L., Folke, C., Kete, N., Brown, C. M., Freeman, S. S. G., ... & Rockström, J. (2019). Water is a master variable: solving for resilience in the modern era. Water Security, 8, 100048. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100048

Carlsson Kanyama, A., Wikman-Svahn, P., & Mossberg Sonnek, K. (2019). “We want to know where the line is”: comparing current planning for future sea-level rise with three core principles of robust decision support approaches. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2018.1496070

Clarvis, M.H., Fatichi, S., Allan, A., Fuhrer, J., Stoffel, M., Romerio, F., Godard, L, Burlando, P. et al. (2014). Governing and managing water resources under changing hydro-climatic contexts: The case of the upper Rhone basin. Environmental Science & Policy, 43, 56-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.11.005

Haasnoot, M., Middelkoop, H., Offermans, A., van Beek, E. & Van Deursen, W.P.A. (2012). Exploring pathways for sustainable water management in river deltas in a changing environment. Climatic Change, 115(304), 795-819. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0444-2

Haasnoot, M., van Deursen, W.P.A., Guillaume, J.H.A., Kwakkel, J.H., van Beek, E., Middelkoop, H. (2014). Fit for purpose? Building and evaluating a fast, integrated model for exploring water policy pathways. Environmental Modelling and Software, 60, 99-120. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.05.020

Haasnoot, M., Schellekens, J. , Beersma, J., Middelkoop, H. and Kwadijk, J.C.J. (2015). Transient scenarios for robust climate change adaptation illustrated for water management in the Netherlands. Environmental research letters, 10 (10), 1-17. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/10/105008

Hallegatte, S. (2009). Strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change. Global Environmental Change, 19(2), 240–247. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.12.003

Kalra, N.R., Groves, D.G., Bonzanigo, L., Perez, E., Ramos, C., Brandon, C.J., & Rodriguez Cabanillas, I. (2015). Robust decision-making in the water sector: a strategy for implementing Lima’s long-term water resources master plan. Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 7439. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.

Kwakkel, J.H. (2017). The Exploratory Modeling Workbench: An open source toolkit for exploratory modeling, scenario discovery, and (multi-objective) robust decision making. Env. Modelling & Software, 96, 239-250. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.06.054

Liddle, S. & Fenner, R. (2017). Water point failure in sub-Saharan Africa: the value of a systems thinking approach. Waterlines, 32(2), 140-166. DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.16-00022

Martin, D.M., Powell, S.J., Webb, J.A., Nichols, S.J., & Poff, N.L. (2016). An Objective Method to Prioritize Socio‐Environmental Water Management Tradeoffs Using Multi‐Criteria Decision Analysis. River Research and Applications, 33(4), 586-596. DOI: 10.1002/rra.3103

McPhail, C., Maier, H.R., Kwakkel, J.H., Giuliani, M., Castelletti, A., & Westra, S. (2018). Robustness Metrics: How Are They Calculated, When Should They Be Used and Why Do They Give Different Results? Earth's Future. DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000649

Vij, S., Moors, E., Ahmad, B., Uzzaman, A., Bhadwal, S., Biesbroek, R., Gioli, G., Groot, A., Mallick, D., & Regmi, B. (2017). Climate adaptation approaches and key policy characteristics: Cases from South Asia. Environmental Science & Policy, 78, 58-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.09.007

Voisin, N., Tidwell, V., Kintner-Meyer, M., & Boltz, F. (2019). Planning for sustained water-electricity resilience over the US: Persistence of current water-electricity operations and long-term transformative plans. Water Security, 7, 100035. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100035

Weaver, C.P., Lempert, R.J., Brown, C., Hall, J.A. Revell, D., & Sarewitz, D. (2013). Improving the contribution of climate model information to decision making: The value and demands of robust decision frameworks. Wiley Interdisciplinary Rev.: Clim. Change, 4(1), 39–60. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.202

Zandvoort, M., Campos, I.S., Vizinho, A., Penha-Lopes, G., Lorencová, E.K., van der Brugge, R., van der Vlist, M.J., van den Brink, A., & Jeuken, A.B.M. (2017). Adaptation pathways in planning for uncertain climate change: Applications in Portugal, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Environmental Science & Policy, 78, 18-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.08.01

Zipper, S. C., Jaramillo, F., Wang‐Erlandsson, L., Cornell, S. E., Gleeson, T., Porkka, M., ... & Hoff, H. (2019). Integrating the water planetary boundary with water management from local to global scales. Earth's Future, e2019EF001377.


Urban Resilience

Beane, G., Bruebach, K., Ellis, L., Fisher, S., Gine, R., Jiménez, A., Ruiz-Apilánez, Saikia, P., Shouler, M., & Sobey,, M. (2019). City Water Resilience Assessment Methodology. City Water Resilience Approach report.

Brown, C., Shaker, R.R., & Das, R. (2016). A review of approaches for monitoring and evaluation of urban climate resilience initiatives. Environ Dev Sustain, 1-18. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9891-7

Jittrapirom, P., Marchau, V.A.W.J, & Meurs, H. (2017). Dynamic Adaptive Policymaking for Implementing Mobility as a Service (MAAS). Association of European Transport. Available online:

Radhakrishnan, M., Pathirana, A., Ashley, R.M., Gersonius, B., & Zevenbergen, C. (2018). Flexible adaptation planning for water sensitive cities. Cities. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2018.01.022

Salinas-Rodriguez, C., Gersonius, B., Zevenbergen, C., Serrano, D., & Ashley, R. (2018). A Semi Risk-Based Approach for Managing Urban Drainage Systems under Extreme Rainfall. Water, 10(4), 384. DOI: 10.3390/w10040384

Tellman, B., Bausch, J.C., Eakin, H., Anderies, J.M., Mazari-Hiriart, M., Manuel-Navarret, D., & Redman, C.L. (2018). Adaptive pathways and coupled infrastructure: seven centuries of adaptation to water risk and the production of vulnerability in Mexico City. Ecology and Society, 23(1). DOI: 10.5751/ES-09712-230101

Wamsler, C. & Raggers, S. (2018). Principles for supporting city–citizen commoning for climate adaptation: From adaptation governance to sustainable transformation. Environmental Science & Policy, 85, 81-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.03.021

Wardekker, A. (2018). Resilience Principles as a Tool for Exploring Options for Urban Resilience. Solutions, 9(1).

About the Knowledge Platform

The Knowledge Platform is designed to promote and showcase an emerging set of approaches to water resources management that address climate change and other uncertainties — increasing the use of "bottom-up approaches" through building capacity towards implementation, informing relevant parties, engaging in discussion, and creating new networks. This is an ongoing project of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) funded by the World Bank Group.

Contact AGWA

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