The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

The IWA’s Principles for Water Wise Cities – Developing a Shared Water Vision

This guest blog was written by AGWA member Lisa Andrews (IWA Intern for Cities of the Future) with edits from Corinne Trommsdorff (IWA Programmes Manager for Water Climate & Energy / Cities of the Future)

Water — it sustains us and the planet, and it is increasingly becoming a central focus for planning across disciplines and in the face of climate change. Many organizations are now using water as their central focus for planning and adapting to climate change, and this is the backbone of the International Water Association’s (IWA) Cities of the Future Programme (CoF). The Cities of the Future agenda harnesses the power of the IWA network to co-create solutions and join efforts to manage a city’s many waters in a sustainable and resilient manner, an approach summarized by the IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities detailed below.

Coming from the ‘World’s Biggest Gathering on Water’, the 7th World Water Forum held in Korea, the IWA set out to develop what is now called the ‘IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities.’ This initiative was taken as an outcome of the theme ‘Water and Cities’ of the Forum. The driver for action was the statement that ‘vision underlies all collaborative action’ and there was a strong need identified for a document to support the development of a shared water vision between urban and water stakeholders, and in particular to inspire urban leaders on a progressive water vision. Read More...

AGWA Updates: June 2016

AGWA has just released the June edition of its newsletter - available here. This issue has a great deal of the latest climate and water news as well as internal updates. You'll find sections on ecosystem and infrastructure trends, adaptive governance and policy, sustainable finance, and several upcoming events. Plus, it highlights funding opportunities and the latest publications. Read More...

Australian Rainfall and Runoff – The Interim Climate Change Guideline

This report provides a new approach to reduce key uncertainties for decision makers in Australia. The Interim Guideline for Climate Change for the Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) draws on the most recent climate science and new climate change projections to better inform decision making regarding the region's infrastructure. The approach incorporates numerous factors related to infrastructure and climate change in order to make better plans for new assets and mitigate potential damage to existing ones. Read More...

The Needs of the Adaptation Community

This guest blog was written by AGWA member Benjamin Denjean (Icatalist - Beijing Forestry University).

Thousands of professionals assembled to present their work, exchange ideas, and try to decipher the best way forward. This was the 2016 Adaptation Futures Conference — a magnet for climate adaptation professionals to feel of where the winds of change will blow next. But as the amount and variety of information forbid any real wrap up of the event, it is valuable to pause for a moment and reflect on the conference participants and the evolution of our common jargon.

As was highlighted at the opening keynote speeches, adaptation needs to shift to the implementation realm. But who will carry on this task? In the myriad of methodologies and frameworks presented, most were illustrated by on the ground data, gathered usually by the researchers or NGOs that developed those tools. And here we arrive to what appears to be the Gordian knot of the adaptation community — participants all understand the needs to move forward (as ecological professionals already understood the power of Ecosystem Services thinking) but they still evolve in a closed circle. Indeed, finance of all those innovations still comes from two main sources: research funding and international institutions. While those were crucial for the development phase of the sector, neither of them is fitted to mainstream innovation. Instead, they are best suited to demonstrate potential through pilot projects.

From Bonn to Marrakech - The Role of Water in Ongoing Climate Discussions

This guest blog was written by AGWA Policy Group members Maggie White (French Water Partnership) and Sofia Widforss (SIWI)

The "spirit of Paris" — transparency, inclusiveness and flexibility — was on everyone’s minds during the Pre-Cop meeting that took place in Bonn at the UNFCCC headquarters from 16-26 May. A sense of purposeful urgency was in the air. Participants sought to continue the positive dynamics of Paris that promoted involvement of all stakeholders, leaving "no one behind," and inciting countries to ratify quickly so that the Agreement could also enter into force earlier. "The world is looking upon us and we cannot disappoint it."

During the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) meetings, the constructive tone from Paris was present. An optimistic spirit was in the hallways — a willingness to build on the Paris Agreement (PA), albeit facing a complex process ahead. Shifting from an agreement-focus towards an implementation-focus, adaptation has replaced mitigation as the centre of attention. Water, as the key element mentioned in most Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and essential for adaptation measures, was mentioned in many different contexts (e.g., linked to sustainable business and agriculture, gender and human rights, as well as to funding). Read More...