The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Follow-Up from "Tools for Urban Climate Adaptation" Workshop in Turku, Finland

This guest blog was written by Pilar Meseguer, iWater Project Coordinator in the City of Turku.

On 29 November 2017 we had a training workshop on urban climate change adaptation (CA) in Turku, Finland. As iWater project coordinator in the city of Turku, I am already working on stormwater management and CA issues, so I immediately thought that the training could help me a lot. We are already experiencing climate change effects in the region of Turku. Winters seem to be warmer and shorter, with less snow and more rain events.

The training workshop surpassed my expectations. It was very interesting, all the way from the presentation of the Finnish National Adaptation Plan by Saara Lilja-Rothsten from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to the case of Pori presented by Matti Lankiniemi, special supervisor of the city of Pori.

When planning the development of new areas in the city we do not know how to take into account the uncertainties of the future related to climate change. We need more information about methodologies that can help us develop resilient and flexible adaptive measures. That is why the most useful part for me was the new methodology CRIDA introduced by John Matthews from Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and Ad Jeuken from the Research Institute Deltares. I plan to use CRIDA within the iWater project. I am now trying to include the methodology in the Integrated Stormwater Management (ISWM) system that we are developing in iWater.

Unfortunately we are dealing with complex situations which need complex approaches and methodologies that exceed the knowledge of specialists in the city of Turku. It is still difficult to say whether there should be more training on those issues for municipal officers or if we should use external expert help. Probably the combination of both is the optimal solution.

Ecological Engineering and Climate Risks - Call for Contributions

Paris Agreement, adopted at COP21, embodies the urgent need to adapt our societies to climate change. Among commitments countries have taken, there are ‘nature based solutions’: ecosystems restoration, forestry programs, floodplains recovery, integrated watershed and coastal zone management, etc. These solutions are generally promoted to be ‘no regret’ measures, multifunctional and consume little resources (financial, energy, natural…). Taking action for diversified and resilient ecosystems absorbing several risks related to water and sea level rise (floods, droughts, erosion…) would represent a global approach for natural risks management, thus improving the adaptation capacities of our societies to climate change. This raises a growing interest but also several questions regarding the implementation of these actions.

Water Agencies have a leading role in preserving water resources and biodiversity on its watershed and abroad. Following the adoption of its Strategy on adaptation to climate change promoting ecological engineering, the Water Agency of Seine-Normandy (AESN) organizes an international workshop: “Ecological engineering and climate risks” in September 2017. If you are a project leader in ecological engineering (local authority, farmer, company, NGO...), the workshop organizers want to learn more about your experience.