The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

UNESCO-IHP, AGWA, ICIWaRM, & Partners Organizing Conference on "Bottom-Up" Adaptation

Over the past ten-plus years, various organizations have developed a set of complementary resilient water management tools and approaches that work to address climate risks and other uncertainties in a manner that can be integrated within existing planning, design, and operational decision processes. These "bottom-up approaches" have been heavily promoted within the AGWA network and include CRIDA, the World Bank Decision Tree Framework, Decision Scaling, and Adaptation Pathways, among others.

UNESCO-IHP, AGWA, ICIWaRM, and several other institutions have decided to organize a conference to enhance the understanding and visibility of bottom-up approaches for climate resilience, with particular attention given to the special role of climate finance, private sector involvement, and their potential in addressing global climate and development agendas. The event will be geared towards policy and decision makers and water managers, with input from practitioners as well as private and finance sector representatives. Conference dates are tentatively set for early November. The current COVID-19 pandemic will be closely monitored in order to ensure the viability of an in-person conference later this year.

Open for submissions: Water ChangeMaker Awards – Unveiling smart water decisions

Beginning Monday, April 6, the Water ChangeMaker Awards is inviting submissions from teams and organisations that have shaped water decisions which have helped build climate resilience.

The Water ChangeMaker Awards, launched on World Water Day 2020 (March 22), is an initiative of about 20 partner organizations, convened by the Global Water Partnership (GWP), that will highlight how smart decisions are made to use and safeguard water, and how to protect communities from water-related hazards, such as floods and droughts and pollution-related challenges in the midst of climate change. The ChangeMaker Awards are unusual in that, beyond celebrating Awardees and their teams, the submissions will provide a basis for creating learning communities of topic-specific groups to collaborate and learn from each other.

New White Paper - Corporate Water Resilience in an Uncertain Future

Businesses need to address water-related risks arising from climate change impacts to not only their direct operations, but also their local communities, supply chain, and broader network. Failure to do so threatens business continuity and long-term value creation. Companies are already starting to act to build their corporate water resilience in an uncertain future due to climate change.

A new publication on Corporate Water Resilience in an Uncertain Future is now available from the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, the Pacific Institute, along with CDP, Suez, and the WBCSD. The white paper summarizes the existing literature on the physical water-related risks of climate change to businesses and provides actionable examples of how businesses can address these risks and create corporate water adaption and resilience. Read More...

AGWA Updates: March 2020

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the March 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. 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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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Utilities of the Future, Today: How Public Utilities are Pioneering Climate-Smart Infrastructure

We count on public utilities to provide services integral to everyday life. When we turn on the tap or flip a light switch, the assumption is that water will run and rooms will light up. But as the climate changes and cities continue to grow at a breakneck pace, what can utilities do to continue to provide these essential services? Is there a way to avoid overexploiting natural resources while keeping ratepayers happy?

For insight into climate-smart development, we look to the pioneering efforts of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in the U.S. state of California. On this episode of ClimateReady, we’ll hear from three SFPUC representatives: Mike Brown, Sarah Minick, and Karri Ving. They describe the ways in which SFPUC is utilizing — and financing — nature-based “green” infrastructure to reinforce and supplement their existing systems in order to provide water, wastewater, and power services to millions of customers in a region highly vulnerable to climate change. In the second part of the discussion, we hear how SFPUC is financing these innovative projects — totaling over US$1.4 billion — through the use of the world’s first certified climate bonds dedicated to water infrastructure.

Following the interview, we wrap up with another installment of “Climate of Hope” in partnership with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Karan Gajare, a civil engineer from India pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering through an Erasmus Mundus program, shares a success story of a small village taking big steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change in his native India (full story at