The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Water Resources IMPACT 2018 Article of the Year Announced

American Water Resources Association (AWRA) selects inaugural Water Resources IMPACT magazine Article of the Year winner, names two runners-up.

MIDDLEBURG, VA, March 26, 2019

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is pleased to announce that "Climate Change: Resilient Infrastructure or Infrastructure for Resilience?" written by John Matthews and published in the November 2018 issue is winner of the Water Resources IMPACT magazine 2018 Article of the Year.

In nominating this article one of the editors wrote, “Matthews’ engaging writing style draws in the reader, asks critical questions, and promotes multidisciplinary approaches.”

"Many, many thanks for this," responded Matthews, lead and co-founder of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), chaired by the World Bank and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and a senior water Fellow at Colorado State University. "I'm so honored to be nominated, much less to have achieved article of the year. Resilience may be the newest, most important (and least understood) concept for water management today. Practical lessons for resilience water management -- what we need to do differently in light of climate change -- are here already, but often those examples are not where we're used to finding them. Now is the time for us to draw on the global pool of examples and reach across traditional boundaries to achieve the non-traditional solutions we need today."

Download Matthews' winning article here.

The evaluation process also revealed two articles that tied for second place:

"Endangered by Injustice: The Human Right to Water in the United States," by Susan Lea Smith, March 2018, IMPACT.
"Integrating Law, Science and a Path Forward: Opportunities for Collective Action in a Time of Change," by Lara B. Fowler, and Robert T. Caccese, November 2018, IMPACT.

Download runners-up articles here.
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City Water Resilience Approach: New Publications on Assessing and Mitigating Urban Water Risks

As more people flock to cities around the globe, increasing demands are being placed on urban water systems. Climate change and other unprecedented stressors will exacerbate the challenges related to cities' water security in the decades to come. Developed by Arup and SIWI, the City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) is designed to help cities grow their capacity to anticipate and mitigate water-related shocks and stressors. To commemorate World Water Day, the CWRA team has released a new set of publications to help share information and build capacity for urban water resilience.
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Climate change altering wetlands, affecting bird migration in the American West

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

The Summer Lake Wildlife Area is a wildlife refuge in south-central Oregon. Photo by Susan Haig, U.S. Geological Survey. CC BY-SA 2.0

CORVALLIS, Oregon, USA. – New research shows that recent climate change is having profound effects on wetlands across the American West – affecting birds that use these wetlands for breeding, migration and wintering.

According to a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, long-term trends towards higher temperatures and less precipitation have altered environmental water quality and reduced waterbird habitat, creating clear winners and losers in bird species and potentially threatening the integrity of the Pacific migratory flyway for many species. The study, which began in the mid-1990s, is the result of a research collaboration between scientists at Oregon State University, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California, Merced; and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

Study co-author John H. Matthews, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, said, “Migrating, breeding, developing and post-breeding birds need water, but they also need good quality water. This is one of the first studies globally to show that climate change is altering water quality. If shifts in climate can alter water quality for birds, then climate change can alter our water quality too. These bird populations are the canary in the coal mine for all of us.”

The researchers examined more than a century’s worth of temperature and precipitation data across the Great Basin, which spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho and Wyoming. They compared the data with more than 50 years of results from the U.S. Geological Survey Breeding Bird Surveys, which began in 1968.

The research focused on waterbirds, which are species that include shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, herons and rails. The Great Basin is a major part of the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south route for migratory birds in North America. During spring migration, more than 2 million waterfowl pass through the southern Oregon-northeastern California region of the Pacific Flyway.

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AGWA Updates: March 2019

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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