Creating Resilience Dividends with Road Water Management

Roads for Water
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It is a simple concept:  resilience, improving existing systems, making them more productive and stronger, better able to deal with shocks and even converting problems into opportunities. Resilience is a departure from the concept of ‘sustainability’ that aims to preserve what is there or pro‐ long what has been newly created – and as such is often conservative by character. Yet development is a lifelong project, even though nature and culture are always changing. There is no cut‐off date by which all is secured against all that comes after. It is here that resilience arrives – working with existing systems ‐ make them more robust, fair and productive to provide inclusive services and reduce the vulnerability of those that live by them.

The basic idea of ‘roads for water’ is to make roads instruments of beneficial water management and resilience. Roads have a major imprint on hydrology. They are a major human endeavor with a large impact on water management.  Roads block water,  guide water, concentrate the run‐off in limited drainage canals and affect subsurface streams. This paper is an attempt to quantify the resilience dividend from ‘roads for water’, using data from monitoring large‐scale roads for water program implemented in Ethiopia and also undertaken in  Kenya and Uganda. In addition, general data on asset management in road infrastructure are used.