The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

May 2017

Harnessing Nature to Manage Rising Flood Risk

Press Release from WWF

WASHINGTON, D.C. (24, May 2017 - 8:00am ET) – Worldwide, flood risk will continue to rise as cities grow larger and rainstorms become more intense, making conventional engineering insufficient as the sole approach to flood management. “Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management: A Green Guide” released today by WWF, introduces an integrated framework for flood management, drawing on policy, green infrastructure and conventional engineering to help communities adapt and better manage growing flood risk.

#ClimateIsWater Members Hold Side Event at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Global Water Partnership, International Water Association and World Water Council, three members of the #ClimateIsWater Initiative convened a side event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference on 18 May. The event, entitled "Implementation of NDCs – climate finance for water-related adaptation and mitigation action," was well received by the audience. It was covered by multiple types of media, allowing you to read all about the event or watch a full-length recording. See below for details.

Nominations for the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize are now being accepted

Do you know an outstanding woman, man or organization who has made significant contributions to the sustainable use and protection of the world’s water resources? Since 1991, Stockholm Water Prize has recognized individuals and organizations from various fields and continents for their important work.

You can now submit your nomination for the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize! Remember that anyone can submit a nomination, and it only takes a few minutes to do so.

Approach for the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action

The Marrakech call is loud and clear: nothing can stop global climate action. At the same time, there is universal recognition that if we are to realise the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must all go further and faster in delivering climate action before 2020, enabled by adequate flows of finance, technology and capacity building. The following document provides the way forward through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

Approach for the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action

Call for Abstracts | 2017 AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is one of the world’s leading multi-sectoral (private, government, academia), multi-disciplinary water resources professional societies. Their 2017 annual conference will be in Portland, OR, 5-7 November. They are seeking abstracts on any and all aspects of water resources.

AWRA is a great place to tell your water story to others outside your own discipline/sector. It’s also a wonderful venue for students and young professionals (YPs).

No papers are required. You can select an oral or poster presentation. If you wish to organize a Topical Session, contact the event organizers ASAP.

For more information and to submit (through 16 May), visit

Policy Group's New Briefing Document: Gender Dimension of Water and Climate Change

The AGWA policy group, coordinated by SIWI, has released a new policy brief outlining the gender dimension of water and climate change.

The latest policy brief from AGWA's Policy Group focuses on the importance of coherence between gender-responsive climate policies and the balanced participation of women and men in climate policy dialogue. Women are often made more vulnerable from the adverse impacts of climate change, especially in developing countries. At the same time, women also play a crucial role as change agents for successful adaptation to climate change.

This policy brief, prepared by SIWI and AGWA, is a contribution to the discussions and activities at UNFCCC meetings in order to improve understanding and application of gender and water knowledge in the climate arena. You can find out more on the AGWA Policy Group by visiting our Policy page. Read More...

AGWA Updates: May 2017

AGWA has just released the May edition of its newsletter -- available here. In this edition we cover a great deal of the latest climate and water news. You'll find sections on ecosystem and infrastructure trends, adaptive governance and policy, sustainable finance, and many upcoming events. Plus, it highlights funding opportunities and the latest publications. Enjoy!

Letter from the Coordinator


We have a lot of news this month in AGWA. We must first acknowledge with gratitude the years of service of Robert (Bob) Pietrowsky, who was one of the original members of the AGWA steering committee. Bob retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers quite recently. He gave much of himself to AGWA, and the Army Corps has been an enormous ally and partner with AGWA on a wide range of technical and policy activities. Bob will be greatly missed on the steering committee for his optimism and faith in the network, but I am also sure he will remain active in the network.

The past month has been very busy!

Very significantly, I am proud to announce that the World Bank, SIWI, and AGWA will be hosting our first technical meeting on mainstreaming climate adaptation into water resources management. The event will be held immediately after World Water Week this year in early September in Stockholm. Our partnership will also include an expansion of the site for capacity building and network level support. More details will be coming soon.

Other updates:

  • The AGWA Policy Group just had a meeting, and Sofia Widforss of SIWI will be representing the team at the Bonn intercessional meetings in May. #ClimateIsWater has also been active, organizing a session on 18 May in Bonn (details below). We always welcome new members to both groups! Please reach out to Danielle Gaillard-Picher for #CIW activities.
    • Ana Maria Quintero with The Nature Conservancy organized a well-attended session in Montreal, Canada, in April on bottom-up climate adaptation strategies, which included Ad Jeuken (Deltares) and Guillermo Mendoza (USACE) as well as myself (details here).
    • The World Bank and the Casey Brown lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have recently been host training workshops on bottom-up adaptation methodologies in Amherst, and will soon host another workshop in Korea for adaptation professionals based in Asia.
    • This week, WWF, the Inter-American Development Bank, Mexico’s National Water Commission as well as other water management, environmental, and climate change agencies, and AGWA convened a workshop on guidelines for using water reserves as a tool for climate adaptation across Mexico. AGWA has been providing technical support using an approach we developed through the network to integrate ecological and engineering approaches to freshwater resilience. Ninel Escobar with WWF will be presenting some of this work at the Bonn intercessional meeting on 15 May in a Nairobi Work Program event on ecosystem-based adaptation. The International Water Resources Association conference (IWRA) will host a followup event at the end of May in Cancun, Mexico.
    • Not least, AGWA’s task force had a good meeting about how to continue to adapt AGWA itself to adjust to new challenges and better serve the network as a whole in a more responsive, robust way. We are grateful for this service!

Our Stockholm World Water Week calendar is already filling up. Please be sure to reserve the afternoon of 26 August CET for the AGWA annual meeting. More details on AGWA events will be coming soon.

As suggested by the list above, I’d also like to announce that we in the secretariat will be producing a short document that provides some tracking details on the range of activities within AGWA. Called the AGWA snapshot, we hope that this document can serve as a mechanism to show how much is happening within the network as well as to invite even broader participation. Putting this material down into a single list has been enlightening for myself and the steering committee, and I hope it inspires and engages you as well.

For myself, April has been intense. I recently returned home from an inspiring trip to Lahore, Pakistan, where I was part of a DFID delegation engaging with the Punjab provincial government on water and climate issues across a wide range of sectors. April has shown me late snow in Canada, extreme heat in South Asia, and unseasonal rains in central Mexico. I have been deeply struck by how rarely I now seem to need to make the argument that climate change is water change — these issues now seem deeply understood and appreciated globally. The questions I hear now are much more about what we do now that water changes are here and more are on their way, and I am confident that we are on the right path as a network.


john matthews
mexico city, mx

KIWW Seeking Submissions for TIP Platform Sessions

The TIP (Technology, Implementation, Policy) Platform, the signature program of the Korea International Water Week 2017(KIWW 2017), was designed to lead implementation based on developed policies and technologies, and aims to promote sharing knowledge and experiences on practical solutions for water challenges at various scales.

The TIP Platform will be composed of total 15 selected sessions and held from Sep, 20th to 23rd 2017 in Gyeongju, Rep. of Korea during the KIWW 2017. The program is now accepting session proposals.

Several New ICIMOD Publications Now Online

ICIMOD has released several new publications related to climate change adaptation in the Himalayan region. Information on each document, including a download link, can be found below.

Regional Orientation Training on Ecosystem Services Assessment
The Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) initiative aims to support poor and vulnerable mountain communities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts through collaborative action research and pilot activities.

Strengthening Women’s Roles as Risk and Resource Managers at the Frontline of Climate Change : Adaptation Solutions Brief No. 1
In the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), rural women manage natural resources and deal directly with the impacts and risks associated with climate change. With more men migrating from rural areas, women’s roles as risk and resource managers need to be supported and strengthened.

Participatory Ecosystem-Based Planning and Management: A Resource Manual for Mid-Level Technicians and Development Workers
Management of natural resources (land, water, soil, vegetation) has multiple benefits. It not only provides ecosystem goods such as food, timber, fuelwood but also services like regulation of hydrological flows, erosion control, carbon sequestration and conservation of biodiversity. Sustainable management of natural resources in the upper catchments of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is critical for both upstream and downstream communities.

A Multi-Dimensional Assessment of Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services in Barshong, Bhutan
Occupying nearly 24% of the world’s land surface, mountains are home to 12% of the global population and provide a wide range of goods and services to one-fifth of humanity. The goods and services provided include water, hydroelectricity, timber, medicine, a wide variety of bio-resources, and opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal. Read More...