As the impacts of climate change are felt more forcefully around the globe, decision makers are asking, with increasing urgency, how they can make their communities and businesses more resilient. One obvious place to start is infrastructure. To address this, the Hoover Institution convened a yearlong collaboration with leading experts and practitioners in development banks, government agencies, universities, private firms, non-governmental organizations, and professional associations. It drew on diverse perspectives to the challenges of resilience, including physical and social science, engineering, policy, finance, and education. The resulting paper
lays out seven strategies for developing more climate-resilient infrastructure. Read More...
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. Read More...
The effects of climate change can come in many forms. More often than not, these effects manifest in changes related to water -- whether through slow onset events such as droughts or through extreme acute events such as floods and hurricanes. None of the aforementioned disasters adhere to geopolitical boundaries. In fact, a majority of these disasters occur in transboundary basins.
With this in mind, the UNECE and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) have jointly released a publication to guide countries on resilient disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. Read More...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Global Launch of New Water Resources Planning Framework for Addressing Climate Change and Other “Deep” Uncertainties
PARIS: 23/10/2018: 14:00 CEST
At this very moment immense changes are happening at all scales, from global to local. Climatic, economic, demographic, and land-use shifts are fundamentally altering the ways in which we interact with and manage the planet’s resources — freshwater being chief among them. The stressors on water resources management will continue to increase as population and urban areas grow, and they pose a real risk to economic, social, and environmental security in many parts of the world.
In practice, much of our management of water occurs through the medium of long-lived infrastructure. That infrastructure can easily endure for a century or more — even outlasting the financing and governance mechanisms that created it. Decisions made today about their design, allocation, governance, and operations may have impacts decades away.
For well over a decade, water managers, decision makers, investors, and scientists have been looking for better ways to address risks. The challenge has been to build upon existing decision making processes in order to work with, rather than against uncertainty. Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis
, or CRIDA, is a new “bottom-up” stepwise methodology designed for engineering-oriented water decision makers interested in incorporating resilience into planning and operational decisions with stakeholders. The CRIDA methodology begins with the early stages of project planning when stakeholders are engaged and vulnerabilities and future water demands are assessed. The goal is to mainstream robust and flexible approaches to water management by institutionalizing these methods into consistent, replicable, and accessible outcomes — especially in data-poor regions. Read More...
This article originally appeared on the Aquacross website.
The EU integrated the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, including three SDGs that are particularly relevant for the management of aquatic ecosystems as they cover Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Life below water (SDG 14) and Life on Land (SDG 15). The AQUACROSS project aims to support the achievement of these SDGs by providing knowledge and tools regarding the management of aquatic ecosystems.
In this attempt to reach out to the business community, this brief developed by IUCN discusses how businesses working directly and indirectly with marine and freshwater environments can profit from engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Arguably, supporting the achievement of SDGs will reduce specific threats to aquatic ecosystems and ensure the sustenance of services that these provide. This will in turn benefit economic activities that rely on these ecosystem service provisions.
The brief highlights the important role that business plays in the implementation of the SDGs, by providing crucial financing, in addition to contributing to innovation and technical capabilities. In addition, businesses can benefit from engaging with the SDGs, as the engagement will allow the identification of new markets and opportunities for investments and partnerships. Furthermore, by supporting the achievement of SDGs, the environmental performance of businesses can be improved, whereas risks related to biodiversity loss and water scarcity can be reduced. Also, by engaging with SDGs, businesses can improve their communication with consumers and stakeholders, as well as decision makers, to ensure their visibility and the continued access to resources. Read More...
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released two new reports focusing on national urban policies.Global State of National Urban Policy
Covering 150 countries, this is the first comprehensive report which monitors and evaluates National Urban Policies at the global scale, using a clearly defined common methodology that allows international benchmarking of NUP. It is also a significant contribution to the monitoring and implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Read More...
A new book on Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas: Conservation and Managemen
t, is edited by C. Max Finlayson, Angela H. Arthington and Jamie Pittock, and published by Routledge as part of their Series, Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management.
Freshwater ecosystems have the greatest species diversity per unit area. This book shows that, rather than a marginal part of protected area management, freshwater conservation is central to sustaining biodiversity. The book focuses on better practices for conserving inland aquatic ecosystems in protected areas (PAs), including rivers, wetlands, swamps, other brackish and freshwater ecosystems, and coastal estuaries. With an international authorship of 32 authors for 14 chapters, the book moves from describing the basic concepts of freshwater ecosystem types and ecological principles, through to defining the characteristics of freshwater protected areas, the threats they face, before discussing how to best manage them at catchment scale, and within the global landscape, and with the perspective of climate change.
For more details see: https://www.routledge.com/Freshwater-Ecosystems-in-Protected-Areas-Conservation-and-Management/Finlayson-Arthington-Pittock/p/book/9780415787147
. Read More...
Water plays a key role in most of the world’s environmental and socioeconomic challenges – ranging from food security to climate change adaptation and from regional cooperation to energy generation. The legal and policy framework for managing water resources at the local, the national and the transboundary level is, however, still underexplored. The recently published Routledge Handbook of Water Law and Policy
aims to address this gap by providing a comprehensive overview of water law and policy and their contributing to sustainable development. Read More...
A new article entitled Improving governance in transboundary cooperation in water and climate change adaptation
has come out in the journal "Water Policy." The authors examine the complexities of transboundary water governance in the face of climate change while simultaneously providing examples of lessons learned from almost a decade of cooperation on transboundary climate adaptation in water management under the UNECE Water Convention. The 63 lessons learned are also put into the context of the OECD principles on water governance. The paper concludes that developing climate change adaptation measures needs to improve in parallel the water governance system at transboundary scale.
You can find the publication online here
. Read More...
Building on its mandate and work towards helping countries develop peacefully, equitably and sustainably while protecting and restoring their ecosystem functions and services, UN Environment has launched a new five-year Freshwater Strategy
in line with the 2030 Agenda. Read More...
In 2015 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations, setting 17 goals for each country to reach by 2030. For the first time, a water goal was set which is ambitious and complete. Water is also essential to the other 16 goals. French Water Partnership (FWP) has created new material to help everyone understand the SDGs and the important role of water within each of the 17 goals. Read below to access the PDF "SDGs User Guide" as well as an infographic poster and video. Read More...
has released several new publications related to climate change adaptation in the Himalayan region. Information on each document, including a download link, can be found below.Regional Orientation Training on Ecosystem Services Assessment
The Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) initiative aims to support poor and vulnerable mountain communities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts through collaborative action research and pilot activities.Strengthening Women’s Roles as Risk and Resource Managers at the Frontline of Climate Change : Adaptation Solutions Brief No. 1
In the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), rural women manage natural resources and deal directly with the impacts and risks associated with climate change. With more men migrating from rural areas, women’s roles as risk and resource managers need to be supported and strengthened.Participatory Ecosystem-Based Planning and Management: A Resource Manual for Mid-Level Technicians and Development Workers
Management of natural resources (land, water, soil, vegetation) has multiple benefits. It not only provides ecosystem goods such as food, timber, fuelwood but also services like regulation of hydrological flows, erosion control, carbon sequestration and conservation of biodiversity. Sustainable management of natural resources in the upper catchments of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is critical for both upstream and downstream communities.A Multi-Dimensional Assessment of Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services in Barshong, Bhutan
Occupying nearly 24% of the world’s land surface, mountains are home to 12% of the global population and provide a wide range of goods and services to one-fifth of humanity. The goods and services provided include water, hydroelectricity, timber, medicine, a wide variety of bio-resources, and opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal. Read More...
Climate change will affect all types of infrastructure, including energy, transport and water. Rising temperatures, increased flood risk and other potential hazards will threaten the reliable and efficient operation of these networks, with potentially large economic and social impacts. Decisions made now about the design, location and operation of infrastructure will determine how resilient they will be to a changing climate.
This paper provides a framework for action to help policy-makers ensure new and existing infrastructure is resilient to climate change. Read More...
A new publication
on the water-energy nexus has come out of the World Bank's Thirsty Energy Initiative
, whose goal is to ensure sustainable development of water and energy resources. This research focuses on incorporating a representation of water supply and infrastructure costs into an energy systems model (SATIM-W) to better reflect the interdependent nature of the energy-water nexus in South Africa and the water supply challenges facing the energy system. The results of this investigation demonstrate the process and type of tools that can be employed to examine the energy-water nexus in a national level planning context, and the insights that can be gained from water-smart energy planning. Read More...
Africa has experienced economic growth of more than 5 percent per annum during the past decade, but to sustain this growth, investment in infrastructure is fundamental. Much of these investments will support the construction of long-lived infrastructure (for example, dams, power stations, and irrigation canals), which will be vulnerable to the potentially harsher climate of the future. Enhancing the climate resilience of Africa's infrastructure: the power and water sectors
is the first book to use a consistent approach across river basins and power systems in Africa, including a comprehensive, broad set of state-of-the-art climate projections to evaluate the risks posed by climate change to planned investments in Africa’s water, and power sectors.
This book has been published as part of the Africa Development Forum Series sponsored by the Agence Française de Développement and the World Bank. Read More...
Adelphi has published a series of studies and reports on the role, challenges and opportunities of water diplomacy and trans-boundary river cooperation in light of climate change. They are free for download.
Adelphi is an independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development. Their mission is to improve global governance through research, dialogue and consultation. Read More...
The Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices has just been released by the WMO/GWP Integrated Drought Management Programme. The purpose of this handbook is to cover some of the most commonly used drought indicators/indices that are being applied across drought-prone regions, with the goal of advancing monitoring, early warning and information delivery systems in support of risk-based drought management policies and preparedness plans. These concepts and indicators/indices are outlined in what is considered to be a living document that will evolve and integrate new indicators and indices as they come to light and are applied in the future. The handbook is aimed at those who want to generate indicators and indices themselves, as well as for those who simply want to obtain and use products that are generated elsewhere. It is intended for use by general drought practitioners and aims to serve as a starting point, showing which indicators/indices are available and being put into practice around the world. In addition, the handbook has been designed with drought risk management processes in mind. However, this publication does not aim to recommend a ‘best’ set of indicators and indices. The choice of indicators/indices is based on the specific characteristics of droughts most closely associated with the impacts of concern to the stakeholders.
A PDF version of the handbook is available at http://www.droughtmanagement.info/handbook-drought-indicators-and-indices/.
An interactive online version of the Handbook
– a searchable database that includes the option to provide comments and additional resources on the indicators and indices – is available, aiming to make this publication a ‘living document’, which will be updated based on the experience of its readers.
The handbook is currently being translated to Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Read More...
is pleased to announce a new publication on transboundary water management entitled Transboundary Water Law and Policy – Exchanging Experiences across African River Basin Organizations
. The publication provides an overview of different legal and policy arrangements for transboundary water management and summarizes the results of a workshop organized by GIZ and hosted by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 2015. At the workshop, high-level representatives of African RBOs and regional institutions discussed critical advances in the development and implementation of law and policy frameworks for transboundary water management and, in particular, the development of infrastructure on transboundary watercourses and the development and implementation of legal and policy frameworks that guide such infrastructure projects.
The publication can be found at https://www.giz.de/fachexpertise/downloads/giz2015-en-water-law-policy.pdf
. Read More...
A new World Bank reports finds that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could hinder economic growth, spur migration, and spark conflict. However, most countries can neutralize the adverse impacts of water scarcity by taking action to allocate and use water resources more efficiently.
Water and climate change are inextricably linked. In fact, water is the primary vehicle through which climate change's effects will be felt. Findings from a new World Bank report
explore the possible outcomes of a business-as-usual approach to water management versus a more progressive approach to water management policy. As they say in the video above, "We can't control how much rain falls, but we can control how water gets used and move towards a world of resilience in the face of a changing climate."Read the original article from the World Bank or download the full report by clicking here. This story is also covered by the Wilson Center's "New Security Beat" blog here. Read More...
The World Bank has recently released a new book on water management. Earth Observation for Water Resources Management: Current Use and Future Opportunities for the Water Sector
describes some key global water challenges, perspectives for remote sensing approaches, and their importance for water resources-related activities. It presents eight key types of water resources management variables, a list of sensors that can produce such information, and a description of existing data products with examples.
This book provides a series of practical guidelines that can be used by project leaders to decide whether remote sensing may be useful for the problem at hand and suitable data sources to consider if so. The book concludes with a review of the literature on reliability statistics of remote-sensed estimations.
It is now part of the World Bank's Open Knowledge Repository
and can be directly accessed at http://hdl.handle.net/10986/22952
. The publication is available to view or download for free
. Read More...
The World Council of Civil Engineers, the United Nations Office in Spain and Aqualogy Foundation signed an agreement to publish a series of monographs under the topics chosen annually to commemorate the "International Year of Water" declared by the UN in the 2013-2015 triennium. At the close of last year they released the latest publication, entitled Water and Sustainable Development
. This publication is a collection of pieces by different authors on a variety of issues related to water and sustainable development. You'll find pieces on the importance of the water management in sustainable development, risk assessment for water systems for a sustainable development of the communities, and sustainable initiatives on the water sector.
AGWA members John Matthews, Ad Jeuken, and Guillermo Mendoza wrote a chapter entitled "Designing for Climate Confidence: Moving Beyond Uncertainty in Sustainable Water Management
" (click on link to view/download). A Spanish version
is also available. Read More...
The INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group is currently seeking reviewers for their new publication on climate adaptation in China. They have released this seven-minute video, which premiered at COP21, to illustrate how China has been working to understand and respond to climatic risk. If you enjoyed the video and are interested in reviewing the publication, please read below. Read More...
The world's most biodiverse river basins—the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong—are experiencing an unprecedented boom in construction of hydropower dams. These projects address important energy needs, but advocates often overestimate economic benefits and underestimate far-reaching effects on biodiversity and critically important fisheries. Powerful new analytical tools and high-resolution environmental data can clarify trade-offs between engineering and environmental goals and can enable governments and funding institutions to compare alternative sites for dam building. Read More...
The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) has released two white papers in conjunction with the National Adaptation Forum featuring case studies of water utilities actively addressing climate change. These papers advance the understanding of how the relatively new enterprise of climate change assessment and adaptation practice is developing, and provide valuable feedback from the front lines of climate change planning to guide future investment in this rapidly growing field of inquiry. More information and links to each paper can be found below. Read More...