Seminar: Ken Conca - American University, 11am

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
Ken Conca, American University
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 11:00

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Title: Climate change, water, and the social construction of risk

Abstract: Strongly influenced by climate change, global water-policy discourse has shifted from stressing optimal allocation and use of water resources to managing risks and unpredictability in the water sector. This ongoing project examines how water-sector experts construct an understanding of and interpret water-climate risks; how those understandings are embedded in the analytic tools used to make decisions around water infrastructure; and the resulting distributive consequences for people and communities exposed to climate/water risks. It asks: whose risks get managed? Three specific domains of water infrastructure, and the expert networks around them, serve as focal points: (1) water-aid programs to rural areas of the developing world for water/sanitation and small-scale productive water uses; (2) urban water infrastructure for drinking water/wastewater/stormwater management and disaster risk reduction; and (3) large dams and other water-storage projects. Empirical components in each case include key informant interviews, analysis of relevant decision tools addressing climate resilience, and place-based case studies.

Seminar presented by Ken Conca, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) sabattical fellow and Professor in the School of International Service at American University.

SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

Event type: 
Event Attendance: 
Open to the Public
Share: Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Linked Icon