The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Water Security in an Uncertain Future: Enhancing Water Resources Management and Planning by Reducing Climate- and Weather- Related Risks

Global water security is vulnerable to a range of risks, including those that are climate- and weather-related, such as floods, recurrent droughts and variable rainfall patterns. As these become increasingly more frequent and intense, safeguarding water resources is paramount to achieving development outcomes that help countries become more self-reliant. An integrated approach to water resources planning and decision-making that addresses short- and long-term risks across capital investments in infrastructure, operations and maintenance, and human resources is needed to ensure high quality management and availability of increasingly scarce water resources.

The April Adaptation Community Meeting will focus on climate-related risks to water security and how USAID is responding through water resources management and planning. Approaches include examining climate related impacts affecting transboundary water resources and allocation, integrating a climate vulnerability assessment into decision-making, and use of natural infrastructure to improve water security and contribute to building resilience. The event will feature a panel discussion of relevant USAID-funded activities in Southern Africa, the Mara basin in East Africa, and Peru.

Driving Equitable Climate Transitions: Linking Governance Frameworks for the Climate Change, SDG, and Green Growth Agendas

World Resources Institute (WRI) will hold its 12th Greening Governance Seminar at its Washington, DC offices next week. The seminar will explore better ways in which to coordinate governance efforts around SDGs, NDCs, green growth strategies, and other transformative agendas.

International G-WADI Seminar - Citizen Science for Water and Drought Management

Availability of water resources is essential for communities, as well as for agricultural and industrial activities. The generation of agrometeorological and hydrological data underpins most decision-making on water resources and is the basis for assessing risks related to water such as floods and droughts. But despite its critical societal relevance, this area of science is characterized by an acute scarcity of data in space and time (e.g., Hannah et al., 2011), which contrasts significantly with the heterogeneity and complexity of actual water management and governing processes. As such, it is pertinent to reflect upon the potential role that citizen science could play in the generation of new knowledge in relation to the water cycle and drought-related aspects, and the use of citizen science in decision-making.

As part of the project ‘A Citizen Science Approach to Drought Risk Management in Peru and Chile’, granted by Newton-Picarte Fund through the British Council as a delivery partner, carried out by Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture, through its Section of Emergencies and Management of Agricultural Risks, and within the framework of the UNESCO Global Network on Water and Development Information for Arid Lands (G-WADI) program, the seminar invites experiences from the region of Latin America and the Caribbean on the different aspects of citizen science for water resources and drought risk management. The workshop is also a contribution to the 8th Phase of UNESCO IHP (IHP VIII 2014-2021) Water Security: Responses to Local, Regional and Global Challenges’.

Transition Towards Sustainable Delta Cities

In light of the upcoming Habitat III conference at Quito, Ecuador, The Government of the Netherlands as outgoing chair of the Delta Coalition together with the City of Beira and the knowledge network Delta Alliance are pleased to invite you to their network event “Transition towards Sustainable Delta Cities” on Wednesday the 19th of October 2016 from 14:00 pm – 16:00 pm in room MR19 at the venue of the Habitat III conference, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamin Carrion”.

During this challenging network event the aim is to build networks and make the next steps on concrete actions, innovations, proposals and research, hereby building on the results obtained at the Sustainable Urban Deltas Conference, which was held in Rotterdam (May 2016). These results were presented to the ministerial round table of the Delta Coalition and resulted in the adoption of a ministerial declaration and a call for action.

Furthermore, best practices will be presented, all of which will focus on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on local scale in Delta cities. The event will bring together national and local governments, the private sector, research organizations and civil society around an (local) action agenda of innovative solutions for challenges in delta cities. Read More...

Adapting Rwanda’s economy to a changing climate

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network and Future Climate for Africa are hosting a public event on "Adapting Rwanda’s economy to a changing climate." The event will take place at ODI's offices in London, but people can participate either in person or through an online simulcast.

Climate change is already under way and set to continue for the next few decades, even as countries take action to tackle its longer-term effects. With the mercury rising and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, drought and heavy rains becoming more common, climate change is a development issue now. Developing countries that depend heavily on farming, fishing and forestry are especially vulnerable. Rwanda is such a case: its lucrative tea and coffee sectors employ millions of people. Hear from expert panelists on these urgent issues facing Rwanda and other developing countries. Read More...

IIASA/USNMO Global Sustainability Seminar

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the National Academy of Sciences US Committee for IIASA, and the Embassy of Austria are hosting a symposium on International Scientific Cooperation for Global Sustainability: 3 Topics (see below).

Topic I: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Developing Pathways, Assessing Policies, and Measuring Progress
Topic II: Arctic Changes, Arctic Visions: Informing policies for the Arctic future we want
Topic III: Global Climate, Ecosystem Services, and Biological Sequestration Read More...

The whys and wherefores of "COP 21”: climate intelligence for the financial services industry

The "Women for Sustainable Finance” network is pleased to invite you to a discussion led by Dr. Christine Chan entitled The whys and wherefores of "COP 21”: climate intelligence for the financial services industry. The talk will predominantly focus on the eagerly awaited 21st UN Conference of Parties taking place in Paris at the end of this month. Read More...

A thirsty world: making local action global

As part of ODI's #GlobalChallenges event series, they will be exploring the increasingly politicised issue of water scarcity and security. To focus on the innovative ways in which local communities are tackling this challenge and to consider whether these efforts could achieve results at scale, ODI will be holding the event "A thirsty world: making local action global." Read More...

U.S. Water Partnership Events at WWW

The U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) will be holding a number of partner and stakeholder events during World Water Week in Stockholm. Beginning Sunday, each day will feature multiple events by the USWP and its partners. Please see below for a full schedule of events. Read More...

World Resources Institute | Water Pricing in an Age of Scarcity: New Research from the IMF and WRI

From California to Karachi, climate change, population pressures, and economic growth are exacerbating water stress conditions around the world. The International Monetary Fund and World Resources Institute invite you to a timely dialogue of policymakers, economists, and water resource experts on new approaches to water pricing to manage rapidly increasing risks in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner. Read More...

Global climate policy & national water action: towards COP21 and beyond | WWW 2015

The climate negotiations at COP20 resulted in the Lima Call for Climate Action; a critical step towards a legally binding agreement at COP21 in Paris, with the long-term aim of having zero net emissions by 2050. Impacts from climate change manifests through changes in the water cycle and water-related disasters such as floods and droughts, accounting for almost 90% of the 1,000 most disastrous events since 1990. Without wise management of water resources, socio-economic development will be at risk in a changing climate. Water is also critical for mitigation, as many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on reliable access to water resources. Hence, strategic management for climate resilient water resources could support ambitious and long-term mitigation and adaptation plans, and should therefore be incorporated in the future global climate agreement; for national planning and implementation. And as water related hazards exacerbate inequalities and are disproportionally borne by poor and vulnerable communities, climate resilient water infrastructure is also key for development and poverty reduction. Read More...

Cooperation on climate change adaptation and mitigation in transboundary basins | WWW 2015

Climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors depend on water. 60% of the world’s freshwater courses are transboundary, hence cooperation on climate change adaptation at the regional and transboundary levels is critical for successful adaptation. In addition, adaptation measures may hinder or facilitate climate change mitigation measures and vice-versa. While such interrelations are often overlooked at the national level, the transboundary context adds another layer of complexity. Read More...

Investment Approaches to Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation | WWW 2015

Green bonds have emerged in recent years as a promising new financial mechanism that offers investors an opportunity to support climate friendly investments. Maintaining credible market growth will require new tools that will assist issuers in meeting investor demand for climate-themed bonds; assist investors in recognising such bonds; and assist governments in supporting investments in such bonds. Water investments are fast becoming a popular theme for green bonds. The potential for green bonds to drive low-cost capital in search of thematic relevance to clean water projects is undeniable. But while it may be tempting to define every water project as "green," inclusion of environmentally destructive water projects could undermine market credibility and unnecessarily compromise the competitiveness of water projects with a higher environmental and social yield. Read More...

Climate change and political insecurity | WWW 2015

Climate change driven hazards can be an underlying reason for increased tension, armed conflicts and political insecurity that many parts of the world are experiencing today. Some studies indicate that Climate change can increase armed conflict with up to 50 %.

Climate change will impact the frequency and magnitude of droughts, floods and flash floods are with large consequences for human settlements and livelihoods, forcing people to become refugees, nationally or internationally. It is also a severe obstacle for socio-economic development in particular regions. For instance, in Syria droughts has been identified as an underlying factor contributing to the political instability in the region. Read More...

Wise Water Management: Fundamental for Mitigation & Adaptation and a New Climate Deal

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The side event will aim to build recognition of the links between climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience, while focusing on water resource management as an essential denominator for integrated strategies.

Date: Wednesday, December 10
Time: 11:30-13:00
Venue: Room Caral (130)

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), France (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs), UNESCO-IHP, and Leadership for Environment and Development, Pakistan (LEAD)

Sweden, the French Water Partnership (FWP) the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the National Water Authority of Peru (ANA), Servicio National de Meterología e Hidrología del Peru (SENAMHI), International Water Association (IWA), Conservation International (CI), Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), National Water Commission Mexico (Conagua) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Watercourse Lessons for Mitigation and Adaptation: Towards a Climate Deal

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This side event will showcase the critical role water plays in both the adaptation and mitigation of climate change, including as a link between these efforts.

Date: Saturday, December 6 Time: 13:00-15:00
Venue: Room 68, European Pavilion


AGWA Knowledge Exchange

Co-convenors: AGWA, Colorado State University, Deltares, SESYNC, OECD, UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme, University of Massachusetts, USACE IWR, World Bank

Representing a culmination of many of the efforts over the previous three SESYNC workshops, the third day of the fourth SESYNC workshop is more self-contained and will focus on sharing the SESYNC eco-engineering team’s work to other potential partners for amplification, extension, and adoption, using a knowledge exchange format. Each segment will begin with a short introduction and case and then have an exchange about applications.

Working with scarce data for eco-engineering decision scaling: SESYNC Workshop

Co-convenors: AGWA, NASA, SESYNC, World Bank — 7 October 2014

Over the past three previous workshops, our thematic group has developed what we believe is a robust approach to reconciling ecological and engineering approaches to long-term robust and resilient water resources management through the use of a decision scaling framework, an approach we refer to as ecological decision scaling. Integral to this approach is viewing ecosystems as dynamic and responsive in complex ways to climate-induced changes, which marks a significant shift from current approaches to ecological approaches to sustainable water management. A critical assumption in our approach is that there are specific resilience indicators that are not currently widely employed. While we believe that ecological decision scaling is both effective and practical, we are also concerned that in many regions of the world, particularly in those areas where water infrastructure development is occurring very rapidly, the lack of easily accessible knowledge products for these resilience indicators represents a major gap for implementation. Read More...

Fourth AGWA-SESYNC Workshop Summary

In early October AGWA hosted a SESYNC-sponsored workshop with one day focused on 'Working with Scarce Data for Ecological Scaling’. During this session participants deepened their exploration of the ability to develop remote sensing data products that are suitable to support the metrics and methods developed from earlier eco-engineering SESYNC theme workshops, particularly in regions with limited data. Read More...

US AID Adaptation Talk: Climate Information and Decision Processes

For our discussion this month, our speakers will be Lisa Goddard (Director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), a senior research scientist at the IRI, and an adjunct associate professor within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of Columbia University) and Jim Buizer (Professor of Climate Adaptation in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Director of the Climate Adaptation and International Development Program in the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona). Their presentation will focus on their work on the Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience project. Please find their presentation abstract and bios below. Read More...

Fourth AGWA - SESYNC workshop: October 6–8

Eco-Engineering Theme — Workshop 4
PIs: LeRoy Poff and John Matthews
Dates: 6 - 8 October 2014

The fourth of our four workshops spans three distinct days and targets that are intended to both provide thematic closure and connect our efforts to other initiatives and audiences. General overview of the SESYNC theme is located here. The agenda for the three days is located below.

Challenges and Responses to Extreme Climatic Events

Regional Seminar on Challenges and Responses to Extreme Climatic Events
From November 25th - 26th, 2014 at the Asian Institute of Technology

The seminar is an opportunity to develop a network on linking catchments with urban areas to address flood and droughts risk in the region. Read More...

Climate-Informed Decision Support Tools for Sustainable Water Management

Weak institutions, lack of data, poor understanding of ecosystems, and inflexibility of infrastructure are often cited as obstacles to sustainable water management. Lack of generally accepted decision-making methodologies in the face of climate variability and change should be added. There is widespread agreement about the need to manage water in a more comprehensive and sustainable manner, but doing so requires integrating new perspectives, economic and investment tools, policy and regulatory frameworks, and social and environmental performance markers into decision processes that are often opaque, qualitative and poorly structured. Read More...