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scientific-based indicators and policy-oriented indicators (see basin Chapters 5-11). Also, the iterative character of AMR helps 'learning by doing' and supports the interaction between stakeholders from science and management.

Another important issue is the scale that adaptations target. Most adaptations in the ADAPT project focused on the regional (basin) scale. However, it is clear that most impacts (especially in developing countries) will have to be dealt with at the local (village) scale. Adaptation strategies in water management should increasingly be developed and implemented at the local level. This includes thorough connections to the potential of livelihoods and seeking combined poverty reduction and climate adaptation measures.

Furthermore, the costs of adaptation are scarcely studied and even less is known about the benefits of adaptation. Most studies focus on total damage costs - including adaptation - and not on avoided damages through adaptation (e.g. Zeidler, 1997). The ADAPT project has not focused on this subject specifically, although studies in the Rhine Basin, for example, point towards the beneficial effects of implementing adaptation measures. New water and adaptation research should address factors that affect adaptive capacity, such as: institutional capacity, wealth, planning time, scale, etc. (Tol et al, 1998).

Finally, more research is required on the timing of adaptations. Burton et al. (1998) point out that adaptation in socio-economic sectors is easier when investments are connected to activities with a shorter product cycle. For example, different cropping methods can be adjusted every year. But a forest has a life-cycle of decades, and hence feedback mechanisms are more difficult to simulate in advance. Dams are even costlier to reconstruct in order to meet new climate conditions.

It is important to realize that adaptation measures are not exclusively related to climate change, but may also be beneficial given other internal (= manageable) and external (= less manageable) stressors. Examples of stressors that should be taken into account in the selection of adaptation strategies are: land use change, population growth, increased competition between sectors (urban, industry, agriculture, nature), power generation, trans-boundary water allocation, environmental concerns. The term 'No regret strategy' is often used to indicate that an adaptation to climate change will be beneficial to other policy goals, even if future climate change turns out to be less than expected.

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