The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Resilient Cities, Robust Water Management: Emerging Solutions for Sustainable Cities

Making cities resilient in a time of rapid urbanization is difficult enough, but quickening climate change, how do we manage growth while also creating resilient cities? Urban areas are caught between the struggle to maintain existing services while also expanding basic services for new residents and shifting needs. Climate change exacerbates these issues. Climate impacts are both accelerating and evolving in their expression. Past climate is no longer an effective predictor of emerging conditions, especially for long-lived parts of the landscape such as infrastructure. As a result, increasing uncertainties about future climate and urban growth make the work of planners and decision makers far more challenging to build or upgrade new energy, water supply and treatment, and drought and flood structures, as well as negotiate resource management with other cities and farmers. Are we doomed to a state of ever-heightening crisis?

Beginning about 2009, several teams — the World Bank, Deltares, the Dutch Infrastructure and Environment Ministry, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst — began experimenting with a series of new approaches to deal with high-uncertainty issues such as rapid demographic change and climate change in which risk tolerance was low and quantitative frameworks were necessary. More recently, a global consortium funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and The Resilience Shift and led by Arup have been working to create an overarching framework that links high-level urban decision makers and technical and operational concerns. In most of these programs, water resources management plays a key role, given the volatility of the water cycle to climate impacts and the cross-sectoral nature of water resources and water threats.

In this webinar, John Matthews, PhD, of AGWA: The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, will discuss these new approaches, the development of a set of next generation tools, and the global application and integration of these tools to urban sustainability.

UNECE Global Workshop on Water Allocation

Water allocation, which is the allocation over time of water resources between and within different sectors and for different uses, is one of the biggest challenges in water management and protection. Increasing demands on water from different sectors, growing water scarcity and climate variability have led to a rising global interest to the topic of water allocation.

The global workshop on water allocation in transboundary basins will be organized in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 16 and 17 October 2017. It will be followed by the fifth meeting of the Task Force on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus (18 October 2017).

International Summer Program on Sustainable Water Management in an era of Big Data

When: 25 July – 5 August, 2016
Where: ICHARM, Tsukuba, Japan & The University of Tokyo
How to Register: Visit this registration page to apply by May 22
Course Website:

The Summer Program explores how to develop resilience to disasters under the climate change, while providing comfortable, safe, and naturally rich environment. It considers risk of unforeseen disasters and researches how to introduce this risk into social management and planning to assure sufficient preparedness. It provides knowledge on how to exploit data and data integration functions of DIAS for this purpose.

It is mainly intended for undergraduate students, but applications by graduate and post-graduate students as well as young professionals will also be welcomed. All applicants must have sufficient knowledge of English, which will be the course language and must be able to attend the program for the whole duration. Applications from various majors and disciplines are welcomed. Read More...

ACM Series: Connecting Freshwater Knowledge to Climate Practice

As part of USAID's ongoing ACM Series, AGWA Secretariat Coordinator John Matthews will be presenting on the important cross-sectoral role of water management in effective climate change adaptation. This presentation in Washington, D.C. is open to the public, or interested parties can participate online via the live webinar broadcast. Read More...