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Climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessment of water resources systems in developing countries: a generalized framework and a feasibility study in Bangladesh

In addition to climate change, current demographic trends, economic development and related land use changes have direct impact on increasing demand for freshwater resources. These changes are affecting the vulnerability of water resources. This study reviews the evolution of approaches to vulnerability assessment related to water resources. The aim is to propose a generalised framework for scientifically based vulnerability assessment to support participatory decision-making processes in the field of water resources management, with a specific interest for climate change adaptation. A feasibility study is then presented in the context of the Lower Brahmaputra River Basin (LBRB), Bangladesh. The results show the current main constraints, which include weaknesses in local capacities for water management, lack of institutional coordination, and inefficient monitoring and evaluation. However, vulnerability assessment can play a significant role in identifying adaptation measures.