Local institutional adaptation for sustainable water management under increasing climatic variability and change: a case in the mid-Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe
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The study aims to explore institutional adaptation for sustainable water resources management at the local level in the context of increasing climate-related challenges in Zimbabwe using the case of a semiarid area in the mid-Zambezi Valley, north of the country. Inspired by the critical institutionalism approach, the study uses qualitative methods (i.e. key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews, community workshops and documentary review) to understand the role of different formal and informal water-related institutions vis-a vis responding to climate-related challenges in the case study area, and how the identified institutions can improve their efforts in the context of national water and environmental policy and regulation frameworks. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. The study found that climatic challenges in the case study area, as in most of rural Africa, have
raised the stakes in local water management with respect to regulating access to and balancing competing
interests in, and demands for, water. It ultimately argues for the embracing of complexity thinking and flexibility in local water management as well as clear coordination of institutions across scales in the face of increasing climate-related challenges. The study adds to case studies and evidence-based analyses focused on institutional
alternatives for climate adaptation vis-??-vis water resources management in water-stressed rural African