The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water


A Bright December: Notes from the Coordinator

AGWA’s network has been extremely active over the past month. As detailed below, COP22 in Marrakech saw a large and active AGWA and #ClimateIsWater attendance, led by SIWI, Arup, the US Army Corps and many others. An “outcomes” document is due soon that will provide a roadmap on how the water and climate change communities can support one another going forward.

The AGWA Policy Group was also very present at the Budapest Water Summit, while we saw AGWA representatives talking ecosystems and national policy (Mexico), cities and adaptation (China), and natural infrastructure and bonds (globally) at a number of events. Ben Denjean and Elena Lopez led an ambitious effort to synthesize the state of knowledge on insurance and climate adaptation around water issues, while this week Will Sarni with Deloitte with represent CBI, AGWA, and other partners at a TNC-Columbia University Global Water Summit in New York. The AGWA steering committee and a task force led by Joppe Cramwinckel with the WBCSD met to discuss AGWA’s institutional shape, while a team including the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the World Bank, Deltares, and the Army Corps of Engineers (among others) met to strategize how to promote the next generation of climate adaptation practice more broadly over the coming year.

As an individual, sometimes it is hard to believe how AGWA has moved from 30 people to just shy of 1000, and to feel the warmth of enthusiasm and support globally as many institutions speak for all of us about the need to include climate change in our water work, and to include water in our climate work. The sense of progress is palpable and direct over a scale of months and quite striking on a scale of years. Most recently, I was deeply struck by how far we have come as I co-moderated the Water Dialogue session at the COP, while wearing a badge as a representative of the Moroccan government — a real honor to the trust Morocco and the UNFCCC have placed in us. And a sign that the water has a seat at the UN climate table at last.

December is a wet, chilly, rainy month in Oregon. The sun rises late and sets early, with less daylight every day. But my office has a glowing wood stove, and the rain makes a comforting sound on the roof. AGWA too has a warm heart.

Best wishes for the coming December holidays and for the New Year, and deep thanks for your engagement and support.