The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Publications

Modeling the Water-Energy Nexus: How Do Water Constraints Affect Energy Planning in South Africa?

A new publication on the water-energy nexus has come out of the World Bank's Thirsty Energy Initiative, whose goal is to ensure sustainable development of water and energy resources. This research focuses on incorporating a representation of water supply and infrastructure costs into an energy systems model (SATIM-W) to better reflect the interdependent nature of the energy-water nexus in South Africa and the water supply challenges facing the energy system. The results of this investigation demonstrate the process and type of tools that can be employed to examine the energy-water nexus in a national level planning context, and the insights that can be gained from water-smart energy planning.
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Enhancing the climate resilience of Africa's infrastructure: the power and water sectors

Africa has experienced economic growth of more than 5 percent per annum during the past decade, but to sustain this growth, investment in infrastructure is fundamental. Much of these investments will support the construction of long-lived infrastructure (for example, dams, power stations, and irrigation canals), which will be vulnerable to the potentially harsher climate of the future. Enhancing the climate resilience of Africa's infrastructure: the power and water sectors is the first book to use a consistent approach across river basins and power systems in Africa, including a comprehensive, broad set of state-of-the-art climate projections to evaluate the risks posed by climate change to planned investments in Africa’s water, and power sectors.

This book has been published as part of the Africa Development Forum Series sponsored by the Agence Française de Développement and the World Bank.
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Papers on Water Diplomacy and Transboundary River Management

Adelphi has published a series of studies and reports on the role, challenges and opportunities of water diplomacy and trans-boundary river cooperation in light of climate change. They are free for download.

Adelphi is an independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development. Their mission is to improve global governance through research, dialogue and consultation.
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Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices has just been released

The Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices has just been released by the WMO/GWP Integrated Drought Management Programme. The purpose of this handbook is to cover some of the most commonly used drought indicators/indices that are being applied across drought-prone regions, with the goal of advancing monitoring, early warning and information delivery systems in support of risk-based drought management policies and preparedness plans. These concepts and indicators/indices are outlined in what is considered to be a living document that will evolve and integrate new indicators and indices as they come to light and are applied in the future. The handbook is aimed at those who want to generate indicators and indices themselves, as well as for those who simply want to obtain and use products that are generated elsewhere. It is intended for use by general drought practitioners and aims to serve as a starting point, showing which indicators/indices are available and being put into practice around the world. In addition, the handbook has been designed with drought risk management processes in mind. However, this publication does not aim to recommend a ‘best’ set of indicators and indices. The choice of indicators/indices is based on the specific characteristics of droughts most closely associated with the impacts of concern to the stakeholders.

A PDF version of the handbook is available at http://www.droughtmanagement.info/handbook-drought-indicators-and-indices/.

An interactive online version of the Handbook – a searchable database that includes the option to provide comments and additional resources on the indicators and indices – is available, aiming to make this publication a ‘living document’, which will be updated based on the experience of its readers.

The handbook is currently being translated to Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Read More...
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New GIZ Publication on Transboundary Water Management

GIZ is pleased to announce a new publication on transboundary water management entitled Transboundary Water Law and Policy – Exchanging Experiences across African River Basin Organizations. The publication provides an overview of different legal and policy arrangements for transboundary water management and summarizes the results of a workshop organized by GIZ and hosted by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 2015. At the workshop, high-level representatives of African RBOs and regional institutions discussed critical advances in the development and implementation of law and policy frame­works for transboundary water management and, in particular, the development of infrastructure on transboundary watercourses and the development and im­plementation of legal and policy frameworks that guide such infrastructure projects.

The publication can be found at https://www.giz.de/fachexpertise/downloads/giz2015-en-water-law-policy.pdf. Read More...
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High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy


A new World Bank reports finds that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could hinder economic growth, spur migration, and spark conflict. However, most countries can neutralize the adverse impacts of water scarcity by taking action to allocate and use water resources more efficiently.

Water and climate change are inextricably linked. In fact, water is the primary vehicle through which climate change's effects will be felt. Findings from a new World Bank report explore the possible outcomes of a business-as-usual approach to water management versus a more progressive approach to water management policy. As they say in the video above, "We can't control how much rain falls, but we can control how water gets used and move towards a world of resilience in the face of a changing climate."

Read the original article from the World Bank or download the full report by clicking here. This story is also covered by the Wilson Center's "New Security Beat" blog here. Read More...
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New Book on Water Management | Earth Observation for Water Resources Management: Current Use and Future Opportunities for the Water Sector

The World Bank has recently released a new book on water management. Earth Observation for Water Resources Management: Current Use and Future Opportunities for the Water Sector describes some key global water challenges, perspectives for remote sensing approaches, and their importance for water resources-related activities. It presents eight key types of water resources management variables, a list of sensors that can produce such information, and a description of existing data products with examples.

This book provides a series of practical guidelines that can be used by project leaders to decide whether remote sensing may be useful for the problem at hand and suitable data sources to consider if so. The book concludes with a review of the literature on reliability statistics of remote-sensed estimations.

It is now part of the World Bank's Open Knowledge Repository and can be directly accessed at http://hdl.handle.net/10986/22952. The publication is available to view or download for free.
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Designing for Climate Confidence | AGWA Members Write Chapter in "Water Monographies" Publication

The World Council of Civil Engineers, the United Nations Office in Spain and Aqualogy Foundation signed an agreement to publish a series of monographs under the topics chosen annually to commemorate the "International Year of Water" declared by the UN in the 2013-2015 triennium. At the close of last year they released the latest publication, entitled Water and Sustainable Development. This publication is a collection of pieces by different authors on a variety of issues related to water and sustainable development. You'll find pieces on the importance of the water management in sustainable development, risk assessment for water systems for a sustainable development of the communities, and sustainable initiatives on the water sector.

AGWA members John Matthews, Ad Jeuken, and Guillermo Mendoza wrote a chapter entitled "Designing for Climate Confidence: Moving Beyond Uncertainty in Sustainable Water Management" (click on link to view/download). A Spanish version is also available. Read More...
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INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Seeking Reviewers for New Publication on Climate Adaptation in China



The INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group is currently seeking reviewers for their new publication on climate adaptation in China. They have released this seven-minute video, which premiered at COP21, to illustrate how China has been working to understand and respond to climatic risk. If you enjoyed the video and are interested in reviewing the publication, please read below. Read More...
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Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong

The world's most biodiverse river basins—the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong—are experiencing an unprecedented boom in construction of hydropower dams. These projects address important energy needs, but advocates often overestimate economic benefits and underestimate far-reaching effects on biodiversity and critically important fisheries. Powerful new analytical tools and high-resolution environmental data can clarify trade-offs between engineering and environmental goals and can enable governments and funding institutions to compare alternative sites for dam building. Read More...
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WUCA Releasing Two White Papers Featuring Climate Change Planning in Water Utilities

The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) has released two white papers in conjunction with the National Adaptation Forum featuring case studies of water utilities actively addressing climate change. These papers advance the understanding of how the relatively new enterprise of climate change assessment and adaptation practice is developing, and provide valuable feedback from the front lines of climate change planning to guide future investment in this rapidly growing field of inquiry. More information and links to each paper can be found below. Read More...
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