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Rethinking water security: How does flooding fit into the concept?

Octavianti, Thanti



Since first introduced in 2000, ‘water security’ has grown into a vibrant research area, with the majority of studies examining water supply security. Although protection to water-related hazards is recognised as a dimension in water security, only a few scholars have explicitly put flood-related research under the banner of water security. This paper seeks to theorise the position of flooding in the water security conception using the securitisation lens, which also influenced early works in the water security field. Securitisation is a process of perceiving an issue as a threat, enabling the pursuit of extraordinary measures outside normal politics. I find that water supply security and flood security have the same theoretical root: fear of an unknown future. They are based on the notion that threats to the shortage of water and surplus of water, respectively, create the need for robust policies, which often translate into climate-proofing infrastructures. Here I propose a conceptual tool to assess the likelihood of a threat to undergo a securitisation process and to help answer why a threat was securitised while others not. This tool is deployed to examine the case of flooding and sinking in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Octavianti, T. (2020). Rethinking water security: How does flooding fit into the concept?. Environmental Science and Policy, 106, 145-156.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2020
Publication Date Apr 1, 2020
Deposit Date May 27, 2020
Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Print ISSN 1462-9011
Electronic ISSN 1873-6416
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Pages 145-156
Keywords Geography, Planning and Development; Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Public URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Rethinking water security: How does flooding fit into the concept?; Journal Title: Environmental Science & Policy; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.