RAVENS project assesses water security in coastal communities

March 14, 2014 • Filed under: News — melanie.rohr

Harry Penn reports his findings from the RAVENS project.

Friday Seminar Series

  • What: An update from RAVENS Phase 1: What should community and regional capacity look like?
  • Who: Harry Penn
  • When: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Friday, Mar. 14
  • Where: Duckering 531

The overarching objective of this project, entitled “Regional Assessments of Vulnerability and Environmental Security” (RAVENS), was to addresses regional vulnerabilities and capacity for enhancing water security in the face of a changing environmental and social landscape. The project carried out a series of assessments of water security assets in the coastal communities of Bristol Bay through structured interviews and conversations with city planners, local operators and community members. The project reports three major findings: 1) there is a relative lack of regional coordination in rural Alaska, 2) the temporal dimension is more central to rural challenges than the spatial dimension, and 2) a cumulative effects approach is more revealing than a vulnerability approach for planning responses to change. Following these findings, the project presents a synergistic approach to understanding the nexus of human and social capital, and community and regional capacity, identifies existing barriers to increased regional coordination, and proposes that a regional health care paradigm may be suitable for discussing what regional and community water resources capacity should look like.

Two drums with shovel on top
Small dam with wooden structure
Snow covered beach with small boat

The different water sources of the coastal communities of Bristol Bay. Photo courtesy of Harry Penn.