Articles | Volume 13, issue 12
Research article
23 Dec 2013
Research article |  | 23 Dec 2013

Social capacities for drought risk management in Switzerland

S. Kruse and I. Seidl

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.

Final-revised paper