Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index (AWRVI)


The Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index (AWRVI)

Why was AWRVI developed?

  • No index exists to assess resilience and vulnerability of people in the Arctic to changes in water resources.
  • Freshwater is critical to the sustainability of humans in the Arctic.
  • People face uncertainty in their day-to-day lives due to environmental changes.
  • The need for communities to determine their vulnerability to changes in freshwater resources is becoming more urgent.
  • The Arctic presents a challenging set of factors: very remote communities with poorly developed infrastructure and high energy costs, a rapidly changing climate, and an often limited abundance of liquid water much of the year.

What is AWRVI?

  • A composite water index to evaluate the well-being of Arctic communities with respect to fresh water.
  • It integrates a range of existing and community-specific water-related data and information into a series of indicators to give an overall score.
  • It provides a holistic profile of a community’s key water issues, allowing for intra-community and inter-community comparison and analysis.
  • A community can use it to identify where strengths and weaknesses exist in water management.


Why use AWRVI?

  • Water is one of our most critical resources.
  • Being able to see the ‘big picture’ of the water that communities rely on is important to making good decisions.
  • It provides a framework to map and assess water resources, use values and potential vulnerabilities under certain conditions.


How do I access AWRVI?

  • AWRVI will be available on
  • You can also call and request it be e-mailed or a hardcopy sent to you (see contact information below).


Who developed AWRVI?

  • Researchers from the Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, the Water and Environmental Research Center, the Institute of Northern Engineering, and the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska.
  • The Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of New Hampshire.
  • Alaska Science Center, The U.S. Geological Survey.
  • The developers come from diverse cultural backgrounds, including small, resource-dependent communities.


Who do I contact for more information?
Lilian Alessa (; 907 786 1507) or Andrew Kliskey (; 907 786 1136) Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, University of Alaska Anchorage.