Strengthening Resilience of Andean River Basin Headwaters Facing Global Change

This collaborative research project is lead by Dr. Bram Willems, director of LABTEL at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima. This project, which is funded through a National Academy of Sciences/USAID Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), is linked to the NSF Coupled Natural-Human Systems project, “Strengthening the Resilience of Arid Region Riparian Corridors.” (LINK) Within PEER, our collaborative team is characterizingScreen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.22.56 AM the headwater systems of Chancay and Piura river basins using geospatial tools, identifying cause-effect relationship between biophysical and social processes that impact headwaters, and developing support tools for decision-making in an adaptive water management context.

The central research questions guiding this project are:

  • What characteristic of Andean river basin headwaters make them vulnerable to global change?
  • How can the effects of change in vulnerable headwaters be addressed through adaptive water resources management in order to strengthen the social and ecological resilience of Andean basins?