The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

ClimateReady Podcast

New Episode of #ClmateReady Podcast | What Would Hammurabi Do? Adaptive Governance and Climate Change

Civilizations have always depended on water. It’s no surprise, then, that laws pertaining to water and water governance have been around for thousands of years. All of that experience shows how difficult it is to govern water well. Climate change compounds these challenges.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we look at multiple scales of water law through the example of a single river basin — from local allocation issues to national policies to international conventions. We are joined by Dr. Emma Carmody, an environmental lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales and an expert in governance for the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Emma also lends her expertise as a legal advisor for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. We discuss Australia’s influential Water Act, the need to adapt policies in light of climate change, and the role of broader international agreements in driving local and national environmental policy.

Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” sent by Alan Hesse, a cartoonist, freelance conservationist, and creator of the upcoming “Polo the Bear” comic on climate change. Alan draws attention to the important and often undervalued relationship between science and the arts.

You can find out more about Emma’s work with EDO in the Murray-Darling at bit.ly/edo-nsw or www.edonsw.org.au. For information on Alan’s upcoming comic book due early 2019, visit www.millgatehouse.co.uk.
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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | A High Probability of Uncertainty: How Do We Plan with Unknowns?

Nobody has data from the future - it hasn’t happened yet. But for centuries we’ve assumed that the past can predict the future. What if it can’t anymore? Will engineers and planners become consumed by inaction and climate uncertainty?

Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) is a new five-step water resources planning framework that helps address deep uncertainties associated with climatic, demographic and land-use change. CRIDA tackles the hardest part of climate adaptation: those times we need a hard number as engineers and economists, especially in parts of the world where may not have access to much data.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we are joined by three of the lead authors behind the recently-released publication. Drs. Guillermo Mendoza, Ad Jeuken, and John Matthews each lend their perspectives on how an engineer, a climate scientist, and an ecologist (respectively) came together to create a new vision of resilience in water management planning and decision making.

The CRIDA publication and additional resources are available at agwaguide.org/CRIDA. The guidebook is a co-publication of UNESCO IHP and the Integrated Center for International Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), a UNESCO center in the United States.
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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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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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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | “C” is for Climate Change: Lessons About Climate Change Education

For most students, climate change is a topic they’ve heard about — maybe a topic they really care about. While nearly every discipline is affected in some way by climate change, the subject is often relegated to the natural sciences. How can we make sure that the next generation of professionals — and global citizens — can think critically about impacts and adaptation?

In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in someone who quite literally wrote the book on that. Dr. Rob Wilby is a professor of hydroclimatic modeling at Loughborough University in the UK, and author of Climate Change in Practice: Topics for Discussion with Group Exercises. Rob tells us about the best ways to engage with students, even the most skeptical ones, in order to get them interested in the subject while providing them with the critical thinking and transdisciplinary skills they’ll need well after graduation. We also cover the role of continued education and the need for training outside of classroom settings.

Following the main interview we have another “Postcard from the Future.” This time we’ll hear from our very own ClimateReady co-host, Ingrid Timboe, in order to get a better understanding of the gaps in university training around water.
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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | "Adapting funding to fund adaptation: Tales from Manila"

How can we know if a climate adaptation project will be effective and useful? Unlike mitigation and meeting emission reduction targets, adaptation measures are often open to interpretation. Yet institutions funding these efforts are expected to use standard evaluation criteria to distinguish between options and maximize impact and return on investment.

In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we talk with a global expert from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) who also happens to have a background with the UNFCCC -- giving her policy, operational, and investment insights. Xianfu Lu is the ADB’s focal point for climate change adaptation and she schools us about how finance institutions are influencing adaptation projects, as well as how investment is shaped by climate and development policies. We also learn about the perception of climate change in Asia in contrast to other regions.

Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” featuring Kathryn Pharr, a researcher at the University of Oxford, who brings us a message from a popular environmental superhero of the 1990s.
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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | "Go with the Flow: Managed Rivers, Unmanaged Climate"

Freshwater ecosystems are in trouble. For centuries -- and until very recently -- rivers and ecosystems were always managed using history as a reference point. As we move into an era of uncertainty surrounding climate and hydrology, how should we think about ecosystem management in the future?

In this episode of ClimateReady, we meet with Dr. LeRoy Poff, a Professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University and Chair of its Ecology Graduate Program. LeRoy is a leading authority on aquatic ecology and lead author behind the seminal environmental flows (“eflows”) theory on river restoration and management. For the last 20 years, eflow science has been used to guide management and policy around ecosystem performance and natural flow regimes in regulated rivers. However, the underlying assumptions of this theory and practice are being tested by climate change. With an updated take on eflows, LeRoy explains how we must move beyond the natural flow regime to meet the challenges of a non-stationary and changing world.

Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” from Stephanie Lyons, a climate, environment, and water consultant with a story from Vietnam.
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AGWA Launches Season 2 of "ClimateReady" Podcast

After a few months off, AGWA is happy to announce the launch of the second season of its ClimateReady Podcast. The first episode focuses on how indigenous peoples and women are taking on meaningful (and deserved) roles in international water and climate policy discussions. We discuss the topic of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and the ways that island nations in the Pacific are adapting to climate change. Listen below, then make sure to subscribe and leave your reviews wherever you get your podcasts!
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The ClimateReady Podcast | Looking Back at Season 1

With Season 1 of the #ClimateReady Podcast now wrapped up, it's time to take a look back at all the great episodes. If you haven't already done so, make sure to listen, rate, and review!

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