Refining the drinking water resilience gap: When is today’s resilience
There is much discussion in the literature about the need to balance
abilities to respond to short-term and long-term risks among water
systems. Yet our understanding of what contributes to our ability to
respond to acute as well as long-term change is challenged by
insufficient empirical work on water systems to date. We begin to fill
this gap through an examination of the capacities of community water
systems to absorb short-term shocks as well as to learn from them and
act to reduce future risks. We investigated these capacities and how
they interact using interviews (n=24) and a survey (n=85) of Connecticut
community water systems. We found most systems have increased their
capacity to respond to short-term risks and most have some (but
differing levels) of capacity for learning from those experiences.
However, few are preparing adequately for future risks. We present
opportunities for reducing this gap.