The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClmateReady Podcast | What Would Hammurabi Do? Adaptive Governance and Climate Change

Civilizations have always depended on water. It’s no surprise, then, that laws pertaining to water and water governance have been around for thousands of years. All of that experience shows how difficult it is to govern water well. Climate change compounds these challenges.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we look at multiple scales of water law through the example of a single river basin — from local allocation issues to national policies to international conventions. We are joined by Dr. Emma Carmody, an environmental lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales and an expert in governance for the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Emma also lends her expertise as a legal advisor for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. We discuss Australia’s influential Water Act, the need to adapt policies in light of climate change, and the role of broader international agreements in driving local and national environmental policy.

Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” sent by Alan Hesse, a cartoonist, freelance conservationist, and creator of the upcoming “Polo the Bear” comic on climate change. Alan draws attention to the important and often undervalued relationship between science and the arts.

You can find out more about Emma’s work with EDO in the Murray-Darling at or For information on Alan’s upcoming comic book due early 2019, visit

LIVESTREAM: "Water @ Wilson: 50 Years of Water, Conflict, and Cooperation"

Water is critical. It grows our food, generates our energy, and ensures our prosperity. To address the challenges that stand in the way of building healthy, prosperous, and peaceful communities, we must first tackle the challenge of water insecurity.

Join this live webcast right now as organizers and speakers look back on 50 years of Wilson Center research and analysis on water and its role in conflict and international cooperation. This event will feature experts on water from across academia, development, diplomacy, and the private sector. Organized in cooperation with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Wildlife Fund.

The event will feature a keynote presentation from AGWA's Coordinator, Dr. John Matthews, around 9:45 a.m. EST. You can find more details, including the program, at Watch the livestream below.

The Adventures of Polo the Bear: A Story of Climate Change

This guest blog was written by Alan Hesse, author of the forthcoming book ‘The Adventures of Polo the Bear: a story of climate change’

Polo says hello
My name is Polo, and I’m a polar bear. I’m an unusual sort of polar bear, because I can speak and understand human languages, I can walk on two legs, I wear a captain’s cap, I know how to sail a boat, and I use rational thinking to get me places.

You’ll hopefully all get to know me soon, and my adventures around the world, thanks to this new book I appear in. It’s actually a comic book, and it’s called ‘The Adventures of Polo the Bear: a story of climate change’.

My creator, Alan Hesse, is one of those guys who’s not really sure what he is, or where he’s from. I’d like to add he also doesn’t know what he’s doing sometimes, but that wouldn’t be a very useful comment right now. What I do know about Alan though is that he cares passionately about the natural world – polar bears and our Arctic home included. I also know he is a wildlife conservationist and cartoonist. You may think this is a very odd job description, I certainly think so. What does conservation biology have to do with cartoons, right?! But Alan is very adamant about the two things actually going really well together; he says that in ancient times, art and science were joined, and that modern people have segregated them too much. He says he believes that there is also way too much information out there these days, that because of it, people actually get swamped and tend to shut down to important information, like on climate change for example.

That’s why he created this book, and me as the main character.

AGWA Featured on the "Science History Podcast"

The Science History Podcast with Frank von Hippel features monthly interviews on important moments in the history of science. In the latest episode, AGWA's Coordinator, Dr. John Matthews, is brought in to discuss some of the history of climate change research and water resources management, and peer a little into the future of a changing world. You can listen to the episode on the podcast website or directly below. Read More...

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | A High Probability of Uncertainty: How Do We Plan with Unknowns?

Nobody has data from the future - it hasn’t happened yet. But for centuries we’ve assumed that the past can predict the future. What if it can’t anymore? Will engineers and planners become consumed by inaction and climate uncertainty?

Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) is a new five-step water resources planning framework that helps address deep uncertainties associated with climatic, demographic and land-use change. CRIDA tackles the hardest part of climate adaptation: those times we need a hard number as engineers and economists, especially in parts of the world where may not have access to much data.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we are joined by three of the lead authors behind the recently-released publication. Drs. Guillermo Mendoza, Ad Jeuken, and John Matthews each lend their perspectives on how an engineer, a climate scientist, and an ecologist (respectively) came together to create a new vision of resilience in water management planning and decision making.

The CRIDA publication and additional resources are available at The guidebook is a co-publication of UNESCO IHP and the Integrated Center for International Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), a UNESCO center in the United States.

AGWA Updates: November 2018

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the November 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. Plus, 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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