Land use changes have been recognized to have considerable impacts on water; and vice versa, changes in water use and governance may have implications on land use and governance. This study analyzes recent land use/land cover (LULC) changes, and how changes in land use and water governance are perceived to affect land use and water-related risks in three case-study areas exposed to frequent flooding and inadequate or deteriorating water quality. The areas studied included the Vantaa basin in Finland, a section of the Grijalva basin in Mexico, and the Lower Xe Bang Fai basin in Laos. We show how there are complex and context-specific interrelationships between land use, water governance, and water-related risks in each study area. In a remote sensing analysis of LULC changes during the past 30 years, we found that LULC changes have been the most dramatic in Xe Bang Fai, Laos in the form of expanding agriculture and built-up areas; however, there has also been an expansion of built-up areas in the two other sites. According to our stakeholder scenario workshop data, analysis of policy documents and field visits, the nexus between land, water and risks is recognized to some extent in each study area. There have been modest shifts toward more integrated land use and water governance in Vantaa and Grijalva, while the integrated governance seems to have been most absent in Xe Bang Fai. Tighter integration of land and water policies is needed in all the three cases to manage the land use changes in a way that their effects on water-related risks will be minimized.
- 5203 Kehitysmaatutkimus