The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

International RiverFoundation and the upcoming International Riversymposium

This article was written by Carla Littlejohn, General Manager, Portfolio & Partnerships at International RiverFoundation

The International River Foundation (IRF) is a Not-For-Profit organisation that champions integrated river basin management for the restoration, protection, sustainable management and resilience of our world’s rivers. For over 20 years, the IRF has been promoting and supporting effective management of these resources by facilitating knowledge sharing, education and best practice river basin management, and by recognizing and rewarding those making a difference. Our programs include the International River
symposium and the prestigious International RiverPrize, which recognizes the outstanding work of our river stewards and communities around the world. We draw upon our large networks, and seek to build new ones, to revive the world’s rivers through multi-sector partnerships and are committed to supporting positive ecological, economic and social outcomes through our programs.

We are currently in the throes of planning the 22nd International River
symposium, which will be held in Brisbane 20-24 October ( This year’s event will attract over 500 delegates from 30 different countries. There will be over 150 presentations and 15 interactive workshop sessions over 3 days, promising a diverse range of sessions that will bring together river managers, policy developers, scientists, consultants, students, community and not-for-profit organisations, businesses and industry representatives from around the world to build relationships, share ideas and inspire others. This years’ theme of ‘Resilient Rivers’ recognises the urgent need to build the capacity of our rivers and communities to recover from disturbance, such as extreme weather events, and return to a healthy state. The road to resilience can be a complex journey with the interdependence of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Don't miss out on attending the 22nd International River
symposium! Join over 500 delegates from 29 countries for an exciting program that will change the way you think about resilient river systems. Full registration pricing and the Group Discount deal ends on 30 September. Register now at


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

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...

#ClimateIsWater - Murray-Darling Basin in Australia

In the tenth episode of the #ClimateIsWater series is Dr. Jamie Pittock, Associate Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at Australian National University. In this episode Dr. Pittock explains the issues facing the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia and outlines some of the solutions that the Australian government has implemented to address these challenges, such as nationalized water accounting and managing groundwater and surface water in conjunction.

Make sure to check out for more episodes to come!