The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA Updates: June 2019

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the June 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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Story Map Provides Tour of Climate-Related Hydrologic Risk Assessment for the California State Water Project

This article was written by Wyatt Arnold, Engineer, Water Resources at the California Department of Water Resources Climate Change Program.

To illuminate potential risks connected with the deeply uncertain future, planners with limited resources must often choose between two approaches. Option 1 provides a limited number of intensely bright yet narrowly focused spotlights (analogous to top-down analysis through downscaling of global climate models). Option 2 provides an unlimited number of glowing sticks, which may only softly brighten their surroundings, but cumulatively provide a more comprehensive perspective of the situation (analogous to bottom-up analysis through approaches such as
decision scaling). The second approach seems more worthwhile when tackling the wide range of climate changes projected for California within the next 30 years — from an overall increase of 1 to 4 degrees Celsius and from 20 percent less to 30 percent more overall precipitation.

In collaboration with researchers at the
Hydrosystems Research Group at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, we adopted the second approach for assessing long-term and persistent hydrologic impacts of climate change on the California State Water Project (SWP). The SWP is a water storage and delivery system that extends more than two-thirds the length of California, serves 27 million people, and irrigates more than three quarters of a million acres of farmland.

We summarize results of our bottom-up, decision scaling study
in an online story map to facilitate access to the crucial information produced and the methods and thinking that went into its production.

Welcoming AGWA's New Program Officer

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest member of AGWA's secretariat, Nureen Anisha. Nureen is an environmental researcher specializing in freshwater systems and wetlands and their overlap with climate change. An engineer by training, she has worked on several projects on climate change impact assessment and adaptation in Bangladesh where much of her work was closely associated with the human dimensions of water and climate.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Water Resources Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, where her thesis was focused on studying the relationship between climatic and surface water quality parameters in the Brahmaputra river basin in Bangladesh. Nureen received her MSc in Climate Change and Development from Independent University, Bangladesh. In her master’s research she comprehensively studied the accessibility of safe drinking water in the climate vulnerable southwest coastal region of Bangladesh.

She has previously worked at the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER) in BRAC University based at Dhaka, Bangladesh where she was involved in multiple projects related to climate finance, climate change impacts on river morphology, climate adaptation for riparian communities in the transboundary Ganges basin, the relationship between impacts of climate change and malaria resurgence in the hill tracts of Bangladesh, and more. She is currently a graduate student in Oregon State University, working towards her PhD in Environmental Science. Her PhD research is focused on conducting a holistic system analysis of vast wetlands in northeastern Bangladesh in order to understand the sustainability of the management of the wetlands. Nureen has also worked extensively as an environmental activist in Bangladesh and had her own TV show on national television. Her work and activism have been recognized through numerous awards including a REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship in 2016, The Asia Foundation Development Fellowship 2017, and an American Association of University Women International Fellowship for 2018-19.

Invitation to submit an abstract on "Practical Challenges in the Application of DMDU Methodologies to Climate Risk Assessment and Management"

Organizers have put out a call for abstracts for the session Practical Challenges in the Application of DMDU Methodologies to Climate Risk Assessment and Management at the upcoming Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty workshop from November 5-7. The session is convened by Casey Brown (University of Massachusetts - Amherst), Patrick Ray (University of Cincinnati), Umit Taner (University of Massachusetts - Amherst), and Ad Jeuken (Deltares). This session aims to bring in the expertise from both the research and practitioners community to discuss these practical challenges of adoption of DMDU methods, such as (but not exclusively) the World Bank Decision Tree Framework, Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA), adaptation pathways, and RDM.