The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

transboundary management

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Rewriting History: From Bad Math to Reasons for Optimism on the Colorado River

The story of water management in the Western United States is epitomized by the Colorado River. Water managers in the early twentieth century set up structures and policies that would have implications for tens of millions of users across multiple states and countries — and all based upon faulty math. How have the systems and infrastructure along the Colorado River impacted development? How is climate change coming into play? And are there reasons for hope that the story of conflict and mismanagement can become a story of cooperation?

In this episode of ClimateReady we are joined by John Fleck, a renowned author, science journalist, and Director of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program. We cover a range of topics relating to the Colorado River from transboundary management, to balancing competing water demands, to the role of storytelling in developing good water governance. All of this and more can be found in his new book Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River.

We wrap up with another “Climate of Hope” story as part of an ongoing collaboration with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Juliane Schillinger talks about the growing voice of scientists in political movements as a result of the climate crisis and the benefits of stepping out of the “ivory tower.”
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Words Into Action Guidelines: Implementation Guide for Addressing Water-Related Disasters and Transboundary Cooperation

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.
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Papers on Water Diplomacy and Transboundary River Management

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.
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New GIZ Publication on Transboundary Water Management

GIZ 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...
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From GIZ - Training Manuals on Sustainable Hydropower Now Available

From Susanne Schmeier of GIZ -

A collection of training manuals on sustainable hydropower, developed by GIZ together with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Network on Sustainable Hydropower in the Mekong Region (NSHDM), is now complete and available online. You can download the individual training manuals focusing on topics such as sustainable ecosystems, climate change and hydropower or the transboundary dimensions of hydropower development by clicking on the links below. Read More...
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#ClimateIsWater - Climate Change, Flooding, and Infrastructure in Pakistan

In the third installment of the #ClimateIsWater series is Usman Mirza, the Associate Coordinator of the Water Programme for LEAD Pakistan. Dr. Mirza addresses how climate change has affected Pakistan through flooding and other forms. He offers some solutions such as engaging the population and making changes to infrastructure. Make sure to check out this episode and keep checking on the AGWA Blog and the #ClimateIsWater Vimeo Channel for future installments.
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Hydropower in Transboundary River Basins

Hydropower development is forging ahead in a large number of river basins. Generation has grown steadily over the past decades and will continue doing so in the future – not least due to global dynamics related to climate change mitigation. Many of these basins are shared by two or more riparian states. This lifts existing challenges such as potential environmental and socioeconomic costs and benefits to an additional level of complexity by adding an international dimension. Within this complex framework of developments and interests, one dimension stands out that has received particularly little attention by both academic scholars and policy makers – the relationship between water resources management institutions at the basin-level (namely River Basin Organizations (RBOs)) and the (private) hydropower development sector (including financiers, developers and equipment suppliers).
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