The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Fight or Flight: Coastal Community Adaptation

In 2017 nearly 10 percent of U.S. citizens were affected by major disasters. Hurricane Harvey that year was estimated to have resulted in more than $120 billion alone to southeastern Texas. After a tradition of coastal management that paved over wetlands, channelized floodplains, and pushed poor communities into low-lying areas, many coastal communities now also experience sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, and increasingly severe weather.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in author, professor, and photographer Elizabeth Rush to discuss her latest book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. We interview Elizabeth to find out more about vulnerable coastal communities around the United States — from New York to Louisiana to California. In Rising, climate change is no longer a problem of the future but an imminent threat. Through poignant stories, we hear how communities handle these realities on their own terms.

Following our main interview, we asked Elizabeth to read an excerpt from her book that would be especially relevant for our listeners. She examines the complexities around “risk” and arrives at some really insightful conclusions about how perceptions are shifting over time.
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OOSKAnews Voices | The Long View On Long-Term Climate Impacts: Building Cathedrals Of Resilience

The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This article from AGWA's Coordinator proposes that cities are the landscape where most climate adaptation occurs, and that water is at the heart of these plans of action. Dr. Matthews takes the long view on resilience, comparing the lengthy but necessary courses of actions taken by cities to improve resilience to the historic processes of cathedral building. Both are "messy affairs, achieving perfection and persistence through adaptive management, patience, and clear vision." Specific attention is given to two parallel initiatives taking place in and around Mexico City to increase resilience.

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"Listening to speakers, I wondered if CDMX is effectively building a new cathedral — this one to water and climate change..."
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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Ensuring Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions to Reducing Risk

Infrastructure or ecosystems? Nature or economic development? Historically, those have been the tensions expressed about investing how we innovate, grow economies, reduce the impact of disasters, and alleviate poverty relative to preserving natural systems and ecological integrity.

Climate adaptation has shifted the terms of this long-standing debate. Traditional gray infrastructure is harder to design and maintain to be resilient. Nature-based solutions (NbS) work better in some situations, such as when we need more flexibility or face higher levels of uncertainty. Is a middle ground appearing?

In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we bring in Dr. Elena Lopez Gunn to discuss her leadership to study, demonstrate, and ultimately quantify the insurance value of nature through a project she is leading known as NAIAD. This EU-funded project aims to expand the evidence base around NbS for reducing flood and drought risk while creating the business and financial frameworks necessary for operationalizing these approaches.

After our main interview Al Meghji, an MPA candidate at Cornell University, sends us a “Postcard from the Future” for a glimpse into the world of 2070 and some advice on how we can focus our efforts now to create a more equitable and livable society in the future. Stick around until the end for next year’s winning lotto numbers!
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AGWA Updates: October 2018

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the October issue by clicking here. You'll want to check out this issue to learn about the incredible amount of activity taking place within the AGWA network. Plus, as always it is full of the latest news on the intersection of climate and water from the fields of climate change adaptation, climate finance, policy, and much more. Stay updated! Stay informed!

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