The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA at World Water Week in Stockholm
World Water Week 2016 will take place this 28 August - 2 September in Stockholm. World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues - bringing together experts from the world’s scientific, business, government and civic communities. It is organized by SIWI. This year, the theme is "Water and Sustainable Growth." Registration is open for those interested in participating.

AGWA will be hosting several events leading up to World Water Week as well as convening many workshops, panels, and seminars throughout. To find out about WWW's program, theme, and much more, please visit

This page will highlight the events specifically related to AGWA both prior to and throughout the week. It will be updated as more details and events are finalized. Make sure to check back periodically.
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"Water is key to our future prosperity, and together we can achieve a water wise world."

Important AGWA Events in Stockholm
With so many water experts and AGWA members in Stockholm for the week, AGWA often holds several organizational events leading up to WWW. This includes our annual member meeting - now in its sixth year already! We will also host a couple social events in order to let our 850-plus international members to get to know one another and network with colleagues and friends.
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AGWA Dinner

On Friday prior to World Water Week, AGWA will be organizing an informal dinner for members of its network. In the past we have had up to 25 people attend. This year it will take place at Restaurant Underbar in Stockholm. Dinner will consist of a fixed taster menu that includes 16 separate hot and cold dishes. Please RSVP using this form if you plan to attend so we can get an idea of the group size for a reservation.

When: Friday, 26 August; 19:30-21:30
Venue: Restaurant Underbar

Sixth Annual Members Meeting

AGWA has undertaken significant growth in membership since the last Annual Meeting. We plan to have a dynamic meeting, with activities meant to encourage active participation from AGWA members and to elicit ideas, feedback, and interaction. We plan on having several breakout groups to cover specific topics. AGWA is a member-driven network and we want to hear your input! Please RSVP using this form if you plan on attending.

When: Saturday, 27 August; 13:00-17:00
Venue: NL 361
AGWA's World Water Week Events
Below is a list of the official World Water Week events and seminars related to AGWA. In each of these AGWA serves in a leading role as either a convenor or co-convenor. All events will take place in the Stockholm City Conference Centre, where the World Water Week was held in 2015. Events, sessions, lunches and coffee breaks are held in both buildings of the Stockholm City Conference Centre - Norra Latin and Folkets Hus.

Water Security in a Changing World: Coping with Threats

This seminar will take place over three sessions.

International and regional crises and conflicts, and changes in the environment and climate, are threats to water security and sustainable growth. Massive political and economic consequences accrue from regional tensions in transboundary basins, in part resulting from human pressure on finite water resources. Conflicts at the national level often relate to water resources (among others) and climate variability, which becomes even more apparent in situations of weak governance.

The effects of climate change risk increasing the problems. The outcome of the UNFCCC COP 21 will therefore be important for future management of these threats. Resilience to climate change goes beyond mere adaptation measures and into the core of societies. What mechanisms can promote growth under situations characterized by conflict and change? How do transboundary and domestic challenges differ? What type of water management is required to promote economic development?

When: Sunday 28 August; 11:00-17:30
Venue: FH 300
Event website: Click here
Convenors: Stockholm International Water Institute
Co-Convenors: AGWA; Rockefeller Foundation; and UNESCO International Hydrological Programme

Climate Change and Water Quality: Connecting the Dots

Water is gaining traction on the climate agenda following COP21, and the issue is likely to become more prominent at COP22, November 2016 in Morocco. However, discussions on water in the context of climate change are largely focused on drought and flood management. This is despite that climate change effects on water quality are likely to be significant - an issue which remains under-discussed and under-researched.

The IPCC predict that climate change will exacerbate water quality challenges, due to altered precipitation and flow regimes, altered thermal regimes and, in coastal areas, sea level rise and salt-water intrusion. This will have negative impacts on freshwater ecosystems, human health, and water system reliability and operating costs.

An important area for policy and research is the increasing need to find cost-effective solutions and policy instruments to improve and maintain water quality under a changing climate. New developments in this area will contribute to minimising human health and ecological impacts, and to achieving the SDGs.

The objective of the event is to gather new evidence on how climate change affects water quality globally, to consider innovative policy responses, and to explore how climate finance can support water quality management.

When: Tuesday 30 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development; and UNESCO International Hydrological Programme

Source to Sea - Bridging Marine and Freshwater SDGs

The relationships between upstream pressures and downstream effects highlight the importance of integrating the efforts to achieve Goal 6 and Goal 14 of the Agenda 2030. A coherent management of fresh and marine water caters for maintained ecosystem services essential for sustainable economic growth while also contributing to the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals related to food security, poverty eradication and health.

Countries are increasingly investing in upstream “green” and downstream “blue” economic growth opportunities to support a mutually reinforcing economic growth and sustainable development, but efforts to meet future needs of water, food, energy and space place high demands on balancing complex economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development between connected systems from source to sea.

This event will discuss solutions to the persistent challenges in addressing links and trade-offs in activities on land, in rivers, along coasts and at sea to enable sustainable growth in connected systems from source to sea and support the realization of the development aspirations defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

When: Wednesday 31 August; 14:00-15:30
Venue: NL 461
Event website: Click here
Convenors: Action Platform on Source to Sea Management; FAO; SIWI; Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management; UNDP and UNEP - Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities

Water to Guide the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

Paris created a momentum for water issues. For the first time at the COP21, water was substantively present in the climate discussions and visible in initiatives coming from the civil society including the ClimateisWater communication campaign. However, formal negotiations under the UNFCCC did not include water as a leading subject. The closest mention to water in the Paris Agreement remains today a reference to ecosystems.

The high occurrence of water elements in the INDCs shows that water is in practice the operational core of the climate agreement. 92 % of INDC which mention adaptation include water. Following the Paris agreement, water should therefore be a key for the implementation of climate actions at a national level.

The seminar will present the main challenges and opportunities of the implementation of the Paris agreement. It will address how national experiences (showcased by the INDCs and the NAPs), through an efficient risk management can bring concrete solutions to cases of droughts and floods around the world. The event will offer an opportunity to engage an interactive dialogue with practitioners and state representatives, who are faced with the urgent challenge of planning mitigation and adaptation actions post Paris.

When: Thursday 1 September; 16:00-17:30
Venue: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; French Water Partnership; Global Water Partnership; Government of the Netherlands; and SIWI

Managing Groundwater Resources for Sustainable Growth

Water Global Practice of the World Bank Group and LEAD Pakistan will host an event to discuss best practices and innovative solutions for sustainable groundwater management in South Asia. Rising scarcity of surface flows, coupled with increasing socio-economic pressure, has made South Asia one of the most water stressed regions in the world. Subsequently, groundwater is increasingly supplanting surface water in all consumptive sectors. However long term viability of groundwater dependent economies is threatened from rapid resource depletion. In South Asia, unsustainable extraction is causing unreliable water supplies, saline intrusion, land subsidence and drying of wetlands. Climate change is projected to further intensify sectoral competition for water.

The event will unbundle challenges and innovative solutions for sustainable groundwater management. This event will feature a panel discussion comprising international experts.

When: Sunday 28 August; 11:00-12:30
Venue: FH Little Theatre
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA; Global Water Partnership; LEAD; Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, India; SIWI; and Water Global Practice of the World Bank Group

Retooling Finance for Resilient Solutions: Connecting Finance, Water and Climate

Discussions of resilience and climate adaptation often focus on implementation: the science, engineering, and governance necessary to accomplish a project. However, many technical solutions are structured by "upstream" processes such as finance arrangements and assessments of financial risk, which impact on the options available and often determine the final selection of a "resilient" solution. Can we use bonds, private equity, insurance and other mechanisms as tools for converting existing financial pathways into instruments for promoting resilience, natural infrastructure, flexible management, and low-carbon growth? How can we ensure that current thinking about effective implementation is supported by institutional processes, proper policies and regulatory frameworks, for developing better options and selecting resilient solutions? What kind of clear metrics to measure performance and impact of resilience activities can be used to design innovative financing instruments? In this session, we will provide examples of how institutions are beginning to bridge these gaps as economies begin to absorb a long-term sustainability perspective. We will engage with thought leaders and practitioners from the public, private, development bank, and non-profit sectors in a dialogue about how to bring adaptation into the mainstream of water management, investments, and resource management.

When: Tuesday 30 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: FH Little Theatre
Event website: Click here
Convenors: @aqua; AGWA; CBI

Options for Water Security: How Should We Decide?

The call for water security has raised many questions over how and with what resources. The ‘Securing Water, Sustaining Growth’ report of 2014 identified the need for further water storage as the common denominator for growth, food, and energy security. It also briefly highlighted the complex impacts in river systems as a consequence of barriers to river flow.

Conventional responses to climate impacts on precipitation call for more water storage, yet there are mixed benefits and impacts from these approaches. This session will bring together a wide range of expertise from different organizations to debate the question – how and who should decide our water secure future? The aim of this session is not to re-visit old debates on dams, but to facilitate active discussion between participants and the audience over what strategies exist that will allow us to build sustainable and resilient river basins that can deliver water, energy, and food security, but not at the cost of losing further ecological integrity.

A diverse range of stakeholders will be approached to present their global and regional perspectives, and partners working in the Tana and Volta River basins will guide the debate with key questions, together with audience participation.

When: Thursday 1 September; 11:00-12:30
Venue: FH 307
Event website: Click here
Convenors: IUCN; AGWA, CGIAR-WLE, IWMI, ODI, University of Manchester, ACCESS, University of Nairobi, Kenya, WRI-CSIR, Ghana, Basque Centre for Climate Change

Working Session on the Water and Climate Agenda

This session will take stock of existing initiatives on water in the Global Climate Action Agenda (The Paris Pact on Water and Adaptation to the effects of climate change in the basins of lakes, rivers and aquifers, the Business Alliance for Water and Climate Change and the Megacities Alliance on Water Under Climate Change). Speakers will highlight the first results and achievements of these initiatives since COP21, their emerging medium-term action plans, and aim to build a constructive dialogue on what could be done towards COP22. The speakers will also analyse how other initiatives could be integrated.

The common objective is to keep water high in the climate change agenda and to promote concrete solutions to tackle and adapt to climate change in the water field. By sharing results and experiences from COP21, this session aims to reinforce the water dynamics, scale up the level of ambition towards COP22, and get ready for the global stock take on climate change taking place in 2018.

When: Wednesday 31 August; 10:00-12:00
Venue: To be determined
Convenors: Morocco (COP22 hosts); France (COP21 hosts)