The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA in the News

From time to time AGWA appears in various news outlets and across the web. On this page we try to feature the most recent articles that focus on or mention AGWA projects, initiatives, interviews, and news.

Climate Change Threatens Migratory Birds In Great Basin
March 22, 2019 - The Jefferson Exchange
AGWA's Executive Director was interviewed in an episode of The Jefferson Exchange on Jefferson Public Radio. The segment centered on new research examining the profound effects of climate change on wetlands across the American West — affecting birds that use these wetlands for breeding, migration and wintering. The Jefferson Exchange is an interactive program devoted to current events and newsmakers from around the southern Oregon and beyond.
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OOSKAnews Talks
January 16, 2016 - David Duncan, OOSKAnews
AGWA's Coordinator is featured in the latest installment of the OOSKAnews Talks video series. Topics for the discussion include water's emerging role at UNFCCC COPs, the evolution of adaptation finance, and much more. The conversation follows up an OOSKAnews Voices column from December also focusing on water's role at COP24.

Climate Classroom @ COP24 Spreads the Message on Key Climate Change Topics
December 22, 2018 - UN CC:Learn
The Climate Classroom at COP24 in Katowice, Poland provided an opportunity to participants to get up to speed on key climate change topics. AGWA representatives presented information on the CRIDA methodology to national climate leads and others interested in mainstreaming resilient water management practices.
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Climate and Water at COP24: Will We Catch the Current or Be Trapped in the Eddies?
December 11, 2018 - John H. Matthews, OOSKAnews
In this article, AGWA's coordinator reflects on this month's 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the evolving recognition and presence of "water" as a voice in the UNFCCC. Though water is becoming more prevalent in climate discussions, there are still mounting challenges to address. Adaptation finance and a number of underlying risks in investment frameworks need additional consideration if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to effectively transition into action.

Watering the Paris Agreement at COP24
December 5, 2018 - Maggie White, IPS News Agency
In providing updates on COP24, IPS News Agency has published an opinion article by Maggie White, Senior Manager of International Policies at SIWI and AGWA's co-chair. The article outlines the importance of water's role in tackling climate change. As COP24 works towards implementing the decisions laid out in the Paris Agreement, water can be used as a unifying theme between sectors as countries work on the mitigation and adaptation targets set out in their NDCs.
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Mastering disaster in a changing climate: Reducing disaster risk through resilient water management
December 2, 2018 - John H. Matthews, Ingrid Timboe, Abou Amani, Anik Bhaduri, James Dalton, Kathleen Dominique, Mark Fletcher, Danielle Gaillard-Picher, Torgny Holmgren, Xavier Leflaive, Kenneth McClune, Anil Mishra, Sonja Koeppel, Martin Kerres, Daniela Krahl, Robert Kranefeld, Tom Panella, Diego Rodriguez, Amit Singh, Susanna Tol, Maggie White, Cees van de Guchte, Frank van Weert, Niels Vlaanderen, Taeko Yokota
This article was written by a group of AGWA members to help facilitate constructive dialogue at COP24 around the importance of water in disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and actions. They argue that resilient water resources management serves as the connector between the climate change and DRR communities. The article supports an update of policy, practice, and financing norms in order to better address and adapt to risks facing communities and ecosystems.

UNESCO Launches Guide to Climate-resilient Water Infrastructure Development
November 27, 2018 - Delia Paul, IISD
IISD news service publishes articles through its SDG Knowledge Hub that relate to implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This article highlights the recent launch of the Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) publication as a new tool towards resilient water infrastructure development. The CRIDA guidance book launched globally on 23 October as a co-publication between UNESCO and ICIWaRM. Deltares, AGWA, the Netherlands Environment and Infrastructure Ministry, the World Bank, and many others have led the development of CRIDA over the years.
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Work of the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention
October 2018 - UNFCCC Consultative Group of Experts
AGWA was brought on by the UNFCCC Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) to contribute to three regional workshops for roughly 130 national governments on how to help countries and communities adjust to climate impacts expressed through freshwater. Workshops for Africa, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC), and Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific took place between July and October. The CGE acknowledged AGWA’s contributions in their workshop report as well as the annual progress report to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation.

The Long View On Long-Term Climate Impacts: Building Cathedrals Of Resilience
October 8, 2018 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This article from AGWA's Coordinator proposes that cities are the landscape where most climate adaptation occurs, and that water is at the heart of these plans of action. Dr. Matthews takes the long view on resilience, comparing the lengthy but necessary courses of actions taken by cities to improve resilience to the historic processes of cathedral building. Both are "messy affairs, achieving perfection and persistence through adaptive management, patience, and clear vision." Specific attention is given to two parallel initiatives taking place in and around Mexico City to increase resilience.
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An Accidental Survey: The State of Climate Adaptation Today
September 27, 2018 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This article focuses on the politics of adaptation decisions as well as the regional nature of climate adaptation policy and practice. It draws upon Dr. Matthews' recent experience leading a series of regional UFCCC adaptation workshops for national focal points.

Sustaining the Danube Across Climate Frontiers
August 2018 - John Matthews, Diego Rodriguez, & Maggie White, Danube Watch
Our two Co-Chairs and Coordinator have written an article about the challenge of water resilience for the latest issue of IDPR's Danube Watch Magazine. "Sustaining the Danube Across Climate Frontiers" explores new approaches to bottom-up risk assessment that offer potential for expanding resilience in the Danube region.
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New tools to measure climate change risk
July 2018 - Bill Hinchberger, Stockholm WaterFront
The latest issue of SIWI's Stockholm WaterFront magazine focuses around the connections between humans and nature. The magazine includes an in-depth look at new tools that help infrastructure planners calculate climate risks. AGWA and its forthcoming CRIDA methodology are featured here, including interviews with AGWA's Coordinator and other project members.

Global Water Annual Review 2017-2018
May 24, 2018 - Arup
The Global Water Team at Arup has released its most recent annual review, outlining projects, themes, and outcomes relevant to its recent and ongoing work. A major theme in the report is "Urban Water Resilience." It features a write-up of the City Water Resilience Framework (CWRF), which includes collaboration with AGWA and SIWI. The project is designed to help cities better prepare for and respond to shocks and stresses to their water systems.
Arup Global Water Annual Review cover
Global Finance Magazine logo

Investment Standards Get Water Bonds Flowing
May 1, 2018 - Bill Hinchberger, Global Finance
Water bonds are an increasingly popular funding mechanism to finance environmental stewardship related to water use. The Water Infrastructure Criteria of CBI's Climate Bonds Standard has played a pivotal role in establishing scientifically robust metrics to identify bonds and projects with proven environmental and adaptation impacts. This article features an interview with AGWA's coordinator and covers the ongoing City Water Resilience Framework project as well as the newly released Water Infrastructure Criteria for climate bonds.

Water We Doing About Water?
May 5, 2018 - Ingrid Timboe & Susanna Tol, Climate Action Network ECO Newsletter
Throughout the UNFCCC Bonn Intercessional (SB48) meetings, the Climate Action Network publishes a daily newsletter distributed to conference participants. AGWA Associate Ingrid Timboe and Wetland International's Susann Tol wrote a cover article on the importance of water in UNFCCC policies as well as the integral role of nature-based solutions in achieving NDCs.
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China’s Green Bonds Finance Climate Resilience
March 22, 2018 - Lily Dai & John Matthews, New Security Beat
As political and social pressures for more effective and resilient water infrastructure grows, the funding gap becomes more glaring. The investment in infrastructure required by China’s urbanization and economic growth is estimated to be $6.74 trillion between 2014 and 2020. In this article, the authors look to the potential of certified green bonds and the Climate Bonds Standard (CBS) Water Criteria as a means for addressing the funding gap. AGWA has played a leading role in the development of the Water Criteria described in this article.

2018 UN World Water Development Report, Nature-based Solutions for Water
March 19, 2018 - UN World Water Assessment Program / UN-Water
The 2018 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2018) seeks to inform policy and decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, about the potential of nature-based solutions (NBS) to address contemporary water management challenges across all sectors, and particularly regarding water for agriculture, sustainable cities, disaster risk reduction and water quality. AGWA and SIWI are featured in Ch. 6, "Enabling Accelerated Uptake of NBS" with a specific emphasis on our work in the green and climate bonds market.
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Water is "The Connector" in the Climate Change Challenge
February 19, 2018 - OOSKAnews
OOSKAnews recently conducted a video interview with AGWA's Coordinator, John Matthews, as a follow-up to an OOSKAnews Voices column by Dr. Matthews on COP23. This video interview explores these matters further, with focus on the past and future roadmaps for increasing recognition of the importance of adaptation in global climate considerations, and the place of water as a "connector" across climate change discourse.

Financing natural resilience: a new wave
January - March, 2018 - John Matthews, Lily Dai, and Anna Creed, UNESCO Courier
The issuance of water bonds is a relatively new phenomenon in this field, attracting private investment towards a sustainable future for natural resources, especially water. A new set of global scoring criteria for these bonds could help transform the financial markets and boost investment in nature-based solutions. This article in the UNESCO Courier online magazine focuses on innovative finance for natural resilience projects.
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Parched Cape Town, flood-prone Miami help cities confront water risks
January 31, 2018 - Megan Rowling, Reuters
The global engineering firm Arup is leading a new project to develop a set of practical tools to help urban areas deal with too little or too much water. This Reuters article describes the City Water Resilience Framework (CWRF). Five cities will initially be studied to better understand and measure the resilience of their water systems. Eventually these efforts will be made available for others around the world to use. AGWA, the World Bank, UMass Amherst, and others are contributing to this project.

"Too Much, Too Quickly": UNFCCC COP23 and the Sharpening Mind
January 25, 2018 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This article focuses on the time-sensitive need to scale up adaptation efforts globally. Dr. Matthews provides reflections on COP23, highlighting its flaws and merits while outlining the urgent need for both practical and policy advancements.
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AGWA Proposes Water Resilience Framework for Meeting SDG, Climate Targets
December 7, 2017 - Delia Paul, IISD
In light of the recent policy pieces published by AGWA members in Global Water Forum, IISD is drawing attention to AGWA's call for coordinated action on water resource resilience. Working under the UNFCCC and the SDGs will enable more effective policies to advance "water-centered urban resilience." It's a great piece highlighting the work of AGWA and its members in global policy.

COP 23 Water Action Day Estimates US$295 Billion Needed, Calls for Nature-Based Solutions
November 17, 2017 - Delia Paul, IISD
IISD provided coverage throughout COP23. Outcomes from Water Action Day are the main focus of this article. It covers all of the official side events and sessions as well as the #BlueLineBonn. AGWA, SIWI, and the #ClimateIsWater Initiative are highlighted, including the two position papers released by the AGWA Policy Group ahead of COP23.
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A thirst for food resilience: Integrating UNFCCC and SDG policies for food and agriculture
November 16, 2017 - John H. Matthews, Maggie White, Safaa Bahije, Theodore Grantham, Guillaume Gruère, Torgny Holmgren, Martin Kerres, Daniela Krahl, Nisreem Lahham, Jan Lundqvist, Franz-Birger Marré, Stefano Marta, Diego J. Rodriguez, Maarit Thiem, Jos Timmerman, Olcay Unver, Cees van de Guchte, Niels Vlaanderen, Louise Whiting
Another article prepared by AGWA members to support COP23 dialogue, this piece focuses on the ways that freshwater can serve as a unifying theme to bridge policy frameworks promoting food security, sustainable agriculture, and climate change resilience.

COP23 - Water, Agriculture and Energy Sectors Join Forces to Address Climate Change Issues
November 15, 2017 - Modern Ghana
This article provides an in-depth look into the second UNFCCC Water Action Day at COP23, which took place on 10 November, 2017. AGWA and SIWI were two of the co-organizers of this Global Climate Action thematic day. Key messaging centered around the inextricable link between water, energy, and food. In this article you will find excerpts from AGWA's Co-Chair, SIWI's Director, AGWA's Coordinator, and other AGWA members.
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Sustaining Waters, Sustainable Cities: Urban climate change and SDG policy solutions (Part 3)
November 13, 2017 - John H. Matthews, Maggie White, Aziza Akhmouch, Safaa Bahije, Frederick Boltz, Alexa Bruce, Paul Fleming, Mark Fletcher, Torgny Holmgren, Martin Kerres, Daniela Krahl, Franz-Birger Marré, Diego J. Rodriguez, Cees van de Guchte, Marion van Schaik, Niels Vlaanderen
This article is the third in a three-part series looking at how the objectives of the SDGs and UNFCCC can be synergized to develop effective climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability strategies. In Part III the authors further analyze how resilient water management could be a unifying focus for aligning policy and action for urban resilience. Examples are provided to illustrate how this alignment can begin to become a reality, with a view to providing inspiration for other states, organisations, and individual actors to drive similar change.

Sustaining Waters, Sustainable Cities: Urban climate change and SDG policy solutions (Part 2)
November 8, 2017 - John H. Matthews, Maggie White, Aziza Akhmouch, Safaa Bahije, Frederick Boltz, Alexa Bruce, Paul Fleming, Mark Fletcher, Torgny Holmgren, Martin Kerres, Daniela Krahl, Franz-Birger Marré, Diego J. Rodriguez, Cees van de Guchte, Marion van Schaik, Niels Vlaanderen
This article is the second in a three-part series looking at how the objectives of the SDGs and UNFCCC can be synergized to develop effective climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability strategies. In Part II the authors try to show both how finance mechanisms can serve as a powerful tool for engaging cities to include effective resilience, as well as how global policy itself — both the 2030 Agenda and the UNFCCC — can foster a more integrative enabling environment.
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COP23 Underway, Syria Signs Up, Fiji Presidency, Water Action Day, Calls for Investment in Climate Adaptation, COPs and Robbers, More...
November 7, 2017 - OOSKAnews
OOSKAnews has released an article highlighting a number of stories related to COP23. This includes a strong emphasis on Water Action Day coverage (10 November). Summarizing the day's goals and priorities, the article promotes AGWA's contributions to the events as well as our #BlueLineBonn page. The article covers several other related stories -- including Syria's signing of the Paris Agreement to leave the US alone in its position -- and is definitely worth checking out.

Sustaining Waters, Sustainable Cities: Urban climate change and SDG policy solutions (Part 1)
November 6, 2017 - John H. Matthews, Maggie White, Aziza Akhmouch, Safaa Bahije, Frederick Boltz, Alexa Bruce, Paul Fleming, Mark Fletcher, Torgny Holmgren, Martin Kerres, Daniela Krahl, Franz-Birger Marré, Diego J. Rodriguez, Cees van de Guchte, Marion van Schaik, Niels Vlaanderen
This piece is the first in a series of articles by AGWA members on how to use water to connect the UNFCCC and SDGs for cities and agriculture. The four-part series will be released throughout COP23 in Bonn. Part I provides background and context on urban climate change issues, while outlining the need for building resilient cities through effective, water-aware sustainable development and climate policies.
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Position Papers for COP23
November 6, 2017 - AGWA Policy Group Members
The following background papers, prepared by AGWA and its members, are a contribution to the discussions and activities at the Conference of Parties 23 (CoP). This year, the CoP will also focus on SDG 2 (Agriculture and Food security) and SDG 11 (Cities) in order to identify key areas of collaboration and interlinkages between the 2030 SDG Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. The documents aim to climate with this year's focal SDGs -- 2 (Food) and 11 (Cities) -- through the medium of water.

BMZ Wasserstrategie (Water Strategy)
July 2017 - BMZ
Germany’s Bun­desministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) has released its Water Strategy document on Keys to Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Climate Agreement. BMZ mentions its support of international networks and platforms in four key areas, listing AGWA as an expert network in the area of water scarcity and water in the climatic context. You can find the full Water Strategy document online. Currently it is only available in German.
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Watering Down the Paris Agreement: Global Climate Policy and Revenge of the Cities
June 28, 2017 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This article focuses on the implications of the United States' decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the decision's effects on UNFCCC processes, and the potential role of this withdrawal as a rallying cry for cities and other signatories.

Water and climate professionals: united by necessity
June 6, 2017 - John Matthews, AGWA
The latest issue of IWA's The Source features a cover story written by AGWA's Coordinator on the important and increasingly intertwining relationship between climate and water professionals. After COP22 the UNFCCC posted a very important Outcome Document on freshwater and its connection to global climate policy. This document is helping to redefine water's role in international climate policy. As national climate goals shift towards implementation, now is a critical time for water professionals to engage.
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Water & climate change policy: A brief history for future progress | Part 3
February 20, 2017 - John Matthews (AGWA), Karin Lexén and Sofia Widforss (SIWI), Diego J. Rodriguez (World Bank Group), and Maggie White (AGWA)
The final piece in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has been released by Global Water Forum. The series will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part three explores the period from the most recent global climate policy conference to the present day, with speculation about where we may see water and climate policy headed into the future.

Water & climate change policy: A brief history for future progress | Part 2
February 13, 2017 - John Matthews (AGWA), Karin Lexén and Sofia Widforss (SIWI), Diego J. Rodriguez (World Bank Group), and Maggie White (AGWA)
The second in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has been released by Global Water Forum. The series will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part two examines the development of the relationship between the water and climate change communities between 2010-2016 with a view to exploring COP22 and the future vision in Part three.
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We’ll Always Have Paris (and Marrakesh): Implementing a Water and Climate Action Agenda
February 6, 2017 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This piece focuses on the importance of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries' NDCs, and Morocco's COP22.

Water & climate change policy: A brief history for future progress | Part 1
February 6, 2017 - John Matthews (AGWA), Karin Lexén and Sofia Widforss (SIWI), Diego J. Rodriguez (World Bank Group), and Maggie White (AGWA)
The first in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released by Global Water Forum. The series will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part one focuses on policy landscapes through 2010.
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Together with our partners we are engaging with governments and implementing agencies to mainstream resilience in water management in order to climate-proof the work that they are doing...
Karin Lexén

Interview Series of the Nairobi Work Programme
January 19, 2017 - Nairobi Work Programme
The Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) has produced a video series on SDG 13, "Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts." Episode 3 features views from partner organizations. Sven Harmeling (CARE International), Karin Lexén (SIWI & AGWA), and Colin McQuistan (Practical Action) discuss why action on climate change is urgently needed, introduce their organizations’ engagement in taking stronger climate action, and highlight priority areas of intervention.

UN Climate Change Conference - Water Focus
January 16, 2017 - David Duncan, OOSKAnews
In November, OOSKAnews attended and reported on the COP22 in Morocco. OOSKAnews met with a number of "water community" participants and attendees in the context of efforts to promote the water agenda in the global climate discussion. The resulting podcasts series includes interviews with two of AGWA's own: Karin Lexén of SIWI and AGWA's Coordinator John Matthews.
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OOSKAnews Coverage of COP22
November 7-18, 2016 - OOSKAnews Correspondents
The news service OOSKAnews provided comprehensive coverage of AGWA and #ClimateIsWater activities at COP22 in Marrakech. Correspondents covered numerous events throughout the COP as well as coverage of outcomes following the COP's conclusion. Here are a few of the articles featuring AGWA, SIWI, and #ClimateIsWater:

Meanwhile on the West Coast
December 7, 2016 - Sean Kidney, Climate Bonds Initiative
AGWA played a key role in developing the Water Criteria of CBI's Climate Bonds Standard. The Water Standard, which was launched in October, is already playing a large role in infrastructure financing. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) have just announced their second Climate Bonds Certified water issuance, with a USD 256m offering as part of their USD 4.8bn Water System Improvement Program (WSIP (link is external)). This is one of the largest water infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the US.
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How does a policy framework that lacks any mention of water affect water management? The answer shows the gap between the climate policy world and the water world...

Rain in the Desert - Merging Climate and Water Policies at Morocco’s COP22
October 19, 2016 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This piece focuses on the importance of COP22 as it relates to water policies, climate adaptation, and implementation.

Data, Insight, Action: Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation for
Water Management

October 2016 - Climate Services Partnership
AGWA featured a prominent role in the Climate Services Partnership's quarterly newsletter. CSP interviewed AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator, John Matthews, about mainstreaming climate adaptation into water management practices. The article focuses on three distinct bottom-up approaches to addressing uncertainty: the World Bank's Decision Tree Framework, Eco-Engineering Decision Scaling (EEDS), and Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA).
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The market is growing rapidly, albeit from a nascent low base. About $100 billion of green bonds are expected to be issued this year, up from $40-odd billion last year...I am optimistic that this market will continue to evolve quickly.
Monika Freyman, Director of Investor Initiative, Water Program, Ceres

Ceres Q&A With Monika Freyman: 'This Market Will Continue To Evolve Quickly'
October 14, 2016 - Mindy Lubber, Forbes
Ceres is launching a new Q&A series as part of its Clean Trillion campaign aimed at elevating clean energy investments globally by an additional $1 trillion a year in order to minimize damaging climate change impacts. The series will focus on investment thought leaders who are paving the way in this fast-growing space. This interview is with Monika Freyman, director of Investor Initiatives, Ceres’ Water Program about the launch of a new ‘green’ standard for water bonds. AGWA has played an important role as a Consortium member and leader of the Technical Working Group that developed this Standard.

How to plug the gap in water investments
June 9, 2016 - Nick Michell, Development Finance
Global spending on water infrastructure already at staggering levels and is increasing each year. With more investments needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals related to water and sanitation, this article explores the potential role of water climate bonds to "plug the gap" in water investments. The article covers some of the work done by AGWA with CBI's Climate Bonds Standards and includes an interview with AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator.
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A focus on resilience means that many development and humanitarian professionals may need to reevaluate some of their basic assumptions
Global Resilience Partnership's Executive Director Luca Alinovi

Innovative visions: A look through the #WaterWindow
May 24, 2016 - Bill Hinchberger, Devex
As part of its investment in a global flood resilience program, the GRP’s Water Window challenge — backed by $10 million in funding from the Z Zurich Foundation — is currently assessing applications from teams of social entrepreneurs, community-based organizations, researchers, academic institutions, and international nonprofit and private sector organizations. In a series of exclusive interviews, Devex asked some of the world’s leading experts on resilience and development (including AGWA) what kind of innovation is needed to help build resilience to flooding and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought Sabotages Critical Hydroelectric Dams
April 28, 2016 - John Hockenberry, The Takeaway (National Public Radio)
Venezuela's energy crisis is rippling through its economy. Dropping oil prices have cut into state funds, and a drought has critically diminished water levels at the massive Guri Dam, which is home to Venezuela's largest hydroelectric power station. In the face of droughts and changing weather patterns, can these expensive and prestigious projects still be viable? The Takeaway spoke with John Matthews, AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator, about what a sustainable dam could look like.
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This is our moment for ground-breaking transformational change on water, climate change and sustainability. Let us not fail to deliver.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Water: the bridge between SDGs and climate implementation
April 21, 2016 - Rowena Barber, SIWI
“Building a Resilient Future through Water -- Connecting the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement,” was hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Permanent Mission of Sweden, in partnership with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), WaterAid and the Rockefeller Foundation. The event was held on the eve of the UNGA High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the SDGs and signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York, and aimed to bring attention to the importance of water as a connector between these global agendas. The panelists and keynote speaker discussed the ways in which the Paris Agreement and the SDGs can be implemented in a coordinated way with water as a useful connector. Read the full article using the link below.
The adaptation skeptics may in fact be crippling the lost generation, creating bigger hurdles for those of interested in sustaining water resources over many decades and centuries.
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The Lost Climate Generation and the Adaptation Skeptics
March 30, 2016 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
The columns in OOSKAnews Voices provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. This piece focuses on the philosophical gap between an older generation of professionals skeptical of new approaches related to climate adaptation and a younger generation unsure of how to address what they consider to be one of the most pressing issues of their time.
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AGWA Presents Two New Initiatives at White House Water Summit
March 23, 2016 - OOSKAnews
The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), a network hosted and chaired by the Stockholm International Water Institute, presented two new initiatives -- the new water climate bonds standard, and the Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) methodology -- during the White House Water Summit, held on World Water Day (March 22nd).
Perhaps more than any other water-related topic, hydropower represents some of the most extreme risks and opportunities associated with climate change policy and practice.
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Feeling the Power of Climate Change: What Is Green Hydropower in a Shifting Climate?
March 3, 2016 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
OOSKAnews Voices is a new series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece John H. Matthews, co-founder and secretariat coordinator for AGWA, takes a look at the controversy over how "green" hydrolectric power really is.
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Fighting the Language of Resilience: Godzilla vs The Blob
February 3, 2016 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
Much of the work of addressing climate impacts from water threats is difficult to communicate. It is no easy feat to come up with a clear and consistent definition for "resilience," even though it is one of the more often-used terms in the field. In this article by AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator, John Matthews, resilience takes on some interesting forms - Godzilla vs The Blob.
Knowledge of the water-climate connection will deepen and spread to new areas in 2016. Above all, the financial sector, aware of water’s role but often only superficially, will be handed a new tool for evaluating the climate risk of water projects.
Brett Walton
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2016 Preview: Investors Will See Tighter Connection Between Water and Climate
January 8, 2016 - Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
In this article is an overview of the new climate water bond standard, which is currently open for public consultation. The Standard is a certification process that will help investors better understand the benefits and the hazards of investing in an array of developments: wastewater treatment plants, reservoirs, irrigation schemes, canals, or watershed restoration. The author also takes a look into the consortium developing the Standard, the certification process itself, and the increasing interest in "green growth." As a member of the consortium, AGWA is mentioned several times throughout the article.
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Warming Climate, Rising Waters at the Paris COP: Green Bonds, #ClimateIsWater, and Marrakesh
December 21, 2015 - John Matthews, OOSKAnews Voices
OOSKAnews Voices is a new series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece, John H. Matthews, co-founder and secretariat coordinator for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) reflects on his experiences at the recently concluded COP21 talks in Paris.

Heading Off Negative Impacts of Dam Projects
December 8, 2015 - Erica Gies, NY Times
In a Special Report on Energy for Tomorrow, this article explains how the newly created eco-engineering decision scaling (EEDS) methodology can drastically influence the way that water managers build and operate dams going forward. Using the example of the Mekong River and its tributaries, Ms. Gies outlines the role of this novel methodology as a way of adapting to climate change in rivers worldwide. It features interviews with several AGWA members, including the paper's co-authors, Dr. LeRoy Poff and Dr. Casey Brown.
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Water binds sustainable development to a global climate agreement. Our future requires solidarity in Paris between practice and policy, expressed through climate and water.
John Matthews

OOSKAnews Voices: Climate Is Water: Solidarité Between Practice and Policy in Paris
November 20, 2015 - OOSKAnews
This article, written by AGWA Secretariat Coordinator John Matthews, highlights the need to connect water management decisions and climate policy in the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris. Drawing from experiences at previous COPs, Dr. Matthews focuses on the possible risks of omitting water in the policy dialogue while illuminating the role of water as a connecting force in any meaningful climate agreements.

OOSKAnews Voices: Decisions in the Dark: Finding the Context for Climate
October 26, 2015 - OOSKAnews
In this article Dr. John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator for AGWA, discusses the difficulty in bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and practical decision-making when it comes to climate change and water resource management. The article is an installment of the OOSKAnews Voices series of guest opinion columns on water written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community.
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Without careful thought, we risk tensions between our ability to cope with impacts now - even as we are trying to define commitments to slow future climate change.
Karin Lexén

A blueprint for climate policy
October 2015 - Government Gazette
With so many important milestones and decisions related to water and climate change ahead later this year, it is critical to capitalize on the opportunities to forge a sustainable path forward. In the latest issue of Government Gazette out of the UK, Karin Lexén of SIWI and the AGWA policy team takes time to examine water's potential to act as a connector between mitigation and adaptation policy areas, economic sectors, and nations with shared water resources. The article is available online here or can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF here. It can be found on page 42 of this issue.

Global drought: why is no one discussing fresh water at Cop21?
September 16, 2015 - The Guardian
This article from The Guardian examines the necessity of including water in the upcoming Paris CoP agenda. Members of The Guardian and SIWI began this conversation at a panel discussion during World Water Week. Co-authors of this article, including Karin Lexén of AGWA's policy group, discuss the importance of making water an official part of COP discussions later this year. Then prevailing sentiment was the need for a stronger alliance within the water and climate adaptation communities in order to provide a unified message regarding the importance of water in COP21 outcomes.
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EEDS holds promise as a powerful framework for operationalizing freshwater sustainability under future hydrological uncertainty...
Poff & Brown et al.

Sustainable water management under future uncertainty with eco-engineering decision scaling
Sept. 14, 2015 - Nature Climate Change
AGWA has a new article in Nature Climate Change. Building on a series of workshops sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and University of Maryland through the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), AGWA has published a paper led by LeRoy Poff and Casey Brown on a new approach to co-managing environmental and water infrastructure under uncertainty. Co-authors come from organizations such as Deltares, OECD, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and SESYNC itself.

Building Water Security Through Green Infrastructure
August 7, 2015 - Science
Science magazine is publishing a series of six Policy Forum essays on water to coincide with leading annual water conference, World Water Week. The 3-part series of paired essays contrasts perspectives on water governance (local vs global), monitoring water (satellite vs on the ground), and green infrastructure (feasibility for emerging economies). An essay advocating for the wider deployment of green infrastructure was co-authored by John Matthews and others from AGWA. Dr. Margaret Palmer, head of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), served as lead author for the essay. You can see the article online via the Science website or directly download it here. The counterpoint to this essay on green infrastructure is also available to download here.

AGWA’s involvement is a continuation of its work with SESYNC following a series of workshops hosted at its facilities over the past two years. The overall theme of the workshops was the bringing together of ecological and engineering perspectives with particular attention to water infrastructure projects. Participants in the SESYNC workshops developed a new risk assessment methodology known as Eco-Engineering Decision Scaling, or EEDS. Later in 2015 this emerging methodology will be featured in an article in Nature Climate Change.
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Climate Change: Water as a Bridge to Adaptation & Mitigation
June 11, 2015 - Baker Institute for Public Policy
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy recently invited John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator for AGWA, to give a presentation on how to link climate mitigation and climate adaptation, using water as a bridge. The presentation was followed by an audience Q&A. A full video of the event can be found online by following the link below.

Challenges Ahead for California Ag Water Users
May 13, 2015 - Lisa Palmer, Yale Climate Connections
This article from Yale Climate Connections examines the future of California’s agriculture – with a specific emphasis on fruit and nut production. These types of products require a minimum amount of water year in and year out, yet flexibility in agriculture is just what the state needs in a future characterized by a warming climate. Experts (including some from AGWA) spend time explaining the challenges facing California’s agricultural future.
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And if we add the extra uncertainty brought on by climate change, we can be certain that securing water will not be properly managed unless we find ways to stay a step ahead.
Diego Rodriguez

Water Security: Can we be a step ahead of the challenge?
April 30, 2015 - Diego Juan Rodriguez, Water Partnership Program
Water security is a major challenge for many countries, especially developing ones. The numbers tell a story of water resources under stress while competition for their use is increasing – by 2025, about 1.8 billion people will be living in regions or countries with absolute water scarcity. Clean water and adequate sanitation is still far from reach for many of the world’s poorest. At the same time, more water is needed to produce food and energy to satisfy the rising needs of the earth’s growing population.

Water Partnership Program Annual Report 2013/14
April 2015 - WPP
The report showcases how the WPP enables the Bank’s Water Global Practice to become a knowledge incubator and achieve results across regions in areas calling for immediate action, such as climate change, energy and food security, and urban water management. It also demonstrates how programmatic approaches implemented through global initiatives can help countries to anticipate the future and better prepare for it. The report makes references to climate adaptation decision trees and AGWA's Beyond Downscaling publication. The WPP report also discusses the World Bank's AGWA-supported efforts to mainstream climate adaptation into their investments by leveraging finance and expertise.
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The Strategic Framework will support the two countries in their joint action to manage climate change risks at the basin level and to enhance transboundary cooperation in general.

Republic of Moldova and Ukraine endorse Strategic Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change for the Dniester Basin
April 23, 2015 - UNECE
Serhiy Kurykin, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, and Lazar Chirica, Deputy Minister of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, met today in Kyiv to launch the Strategic Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change for the Dniester Basin. AGWA has played an important role in the project - particularly in the preliminary stages. A preliminary Dniester reservoir model was developed jointly with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and discussed with relevant stakeholders at two modelling workshops in October 2014 in the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. This model helped stakeholders from relevant sectors (hydropower, water supply (including agriculture), flood mitigation and conservation) to ensure integrated management of the reservoirs for real-time operations and planning purposes.

Water’s Major Role in Disasters Not Matched in New Framework to Reduce Risk
March 26, 2015 - Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
International negotiators in Japan last week signed a new agreement to protect communities from natural disasters like floods, droughts, cyclones, and tsunamis. The Sendai agreement aims to reduce mortality and economic losses from disasters and guides actions by governments, aid organizations, and researchers to prevent and respond to disasters over the next 15 years. In the article you will find comments from both AGWA and SIWI on the importance of bridging the gap between the disaster risk reduction community and the climate adaptation community and the economic benefits of well-coordinated water management.
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To date, we have seen little transparency, consistency, or efficacy in how we manage water in a way that can anticipate ongoing climate impacts. San Paolo's problems are a clear sign that we need to hold decision makers accountable for how they sustain water resources.
John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator, AGWA

The Current Drought in Brazil Illustrates Why Water Projects Will Increasingly Need Climate Adaptation Components: The Climate Bonds Water Standard Will Provide Definitions for Such Green Water Investments
March 17, 2015 - Climate Bonds Initiative

Water scarcity represents the most significant risk imaginable — to businesses, whole economies, and the ecosystems that provide the natural capital for those economies.

Let’s take Brazil for example. Just last month, the country - with a population of 200 million people - experienced severe blackouts after a large hydroelectric power plant in the state of Rio de Janeiro switched off when water levels dropped below the operational limits – a worrying sign when 70% of the country’s power supply is produced by dams. ‘How does a country that produces an estimated 12% of the world's fresh water end up with a chronic shortage of this most essential resource?’

2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Water and Sustainable Development: From Vision to Action. 15-17 January 2015: Interviewing John Matthews, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
January 15, 2015 - UN-Water
Interview with John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator of AGWA, about the recent Zaragoza Conference on SDGs as they relate to water and challenges facing sustainable water management.
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2014 & Older
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If you don’t appreciate and recognize the role of water, then our firm belief is that you will not be able to sustain climate action.
Karin Lexén, Director of World Water Week and Prizes, SIWI

Water Left Out of Lima Climate Negotiations
Dec. 19, 2014 - Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
Exactly one month after the United States and China signed a landmark climate change agreement that focused on water supply and water quality in two of its six major provisions, negotiators at the international climate conference in Lima, Peru were silent on the subject.

UN Secretary General Hails COP20 Outcome Agreement
Dec. 12, 2014 - OOSKAnews Correspondent, OOSKAnews
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the outcome agreement of UN-backed COP20 climate talks, which concluded on December 12th in the Peruvian capital, saying it had laid the groundwork for a final agreement, to enter into force by 2020. That agreement is expected to be signed in Paris next December.
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Water should be the “glue” the holds together climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, but is not getting the attention it deserves in climate discussions
John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator, AGWA

Water Should Connect Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation Efforts: AGWA
Dec. 12, 2014 - OOSKAnews Correspondent, OOSKAnews
Following COP20 in Lima, OOSKAnews examined the need for adaptation and mitigation efforts moving forward and how this relates back to the UNFCCC. “In AGWA, we believe that the success of both climate mitigation and climate adaptation demands ‘coherence,’ which we define as the recognition that resilient, robust water resources management across sectors (energy, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, cities and agriculture) is essential. And it is also quite lacking in the current UNFCCC institutions, programs and policies.”

While this has been long understood by those in the water community, those outside the water sector are not as aware, he said.

Why Should Water and Climate Policy Mix
Dec. 5, 2014 - Euro-Mediterranean Information System
The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) has just released a brief new video about why global water and climate policy should be working together - for mitigation and adaptation, for communities and ecosystems, for nations and livelihoods.
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Currently, climate relevance is not clear for water projects; some of them may actually perpetuate high water consumption or poor water management with high energy usage. This makes the need for guidelines even more urgent – investors will want to be sure that investments don’t make matters worse.
Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative

New Climate Bonds Water Infrastructure Expert Committee
Nov. 7, 2014 - Ceres
A new Climate Bonds Expert Working Group, made up of key water sector and industry experts from around the world will be meeting for the first time today to develop criteria for water investments that can be used to back green and climate bonds certified under the Climate Bond Standard – an easy-to-use tool for investors and governments that allows them to assess the environmental integrity of bonds with confidence.

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation: New Guide on Water and Climate Adaptation
Nov. 11, 2014 - Finnish Water Forum
The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) in collaboration with the World Bank's Water Partnership Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UMass Amherst, and Conservation International, is proud to release a new publication entitled Beyond Downscaling: A Bottom-Up Approach to Climate Adaptation for Water Resources Management.
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By incorporating ecological principles into the building of water infrastructure and dams, Matthews says that both natural capital and ecosystem services can be preserved while also providing sources of energy and water security where they are most needed.
Lisa Palmer

The Next Water Cycle
Oct. 29, 2014 - Lisa Palmer, Nature Climate Change
The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation is featured in this article from Nature Climate Change. Adaptation of water resources management will help communities adjust to changes in the water cycle expected with climate change, but it can't be fixed by innovations alone.

Water’s Flexible Future
Sept. 8, 2014 - Yale Climate Connections
In this edition of Yale Climate Connections, John Matthews of AGWA was interviewed to discuss the need to start re-thinking the way we manage our scarce water resources in the era of climate change.
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All in all, whether you are watching the waves crashing onto the beach, or watching the snow as it begins to melt, it was—and is—a great time to take a minute and appreciate the incredible role that water plays in all of our lives.
RP Siegel

An Important Headline

#Toast to Water Gives You a Chance to Join in the Celebration
March 20, 2014 - RP Siegel, Justmeans Blog
Last week marked the 21st anniversary of World Water Day. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 1993, to celebrate and raise awareness of issues surrounding water. This year’s celebration took place in Tokyo, focusing on the theme of “Water and Energy.” The two-day event featured numerous workshop and talks by experts from all over the world.