Table 1. Ideal-typical characterizations of a prediction-and-control and an integrated adaptive water management regime.

Characteristic Prediction-and-control regime Integrated adaptive regime
Governance structure Governance is centralized and hierarchical, with narrow stakeholder participation. Governance is polycentric and horizontal, with broad stakeholder participation.
Sectoral integration Sectors are separately analyzed, resulting in policy conflicts and the emergence of chronic problems. Cross-sectoral analysis identifies emergent problems and integrates policy implementation.
Scale of analysis and operation Transboundary problems arise when river sub-basins are the exclusive scale of analysis and management. Transboundary issues are addressed by multiple scales of analysis and management.
Information management Understanding is fragmented by gaps and the failure to integrate information sources that are proprietary. Comprehensive understanding is achieved by open, shared information sources that fill gaps and facilitate integration.
Infrastructure A massive, centralized infrastructure has single sources of design, power, and delivery. A decentralized infrastructure on an appropriate scale has diverse sources of design, power, and delivery.
Finances and risk Financial resources are concentrated in structural protection, i.e., sunk costs. Financial resources are diversified using a broad set of private and public financial instruments.