Water-related Disasters

Water-related hazards or hydro-hazards are the results of complex interactions in the ocean atmosphere-land process cascade. Floods and droughts are expected to increase due to global warming. Increased hydro-hazard impacts and costs are attributable to such factors as increased event frequency and magnitude, unplanned urbanization, degradation of ecosystem services, vulnerable livelihoods, and inaccurate public perception of risk. The challenge is to identify
appropriate and timely adaptation measures in a continuously changing environment.

Major research gaps remain including an incomplete understanding of hydrological processes and links with atmosphere/biosphere/human society; appropriate techniques for data integration and/or assimilation; scaling and heterogeneity issues; capabilities to predict hydrological processes and their interactions and feedbacks with socio-ecological systems; uncertainty estimation, communication, and incorporation into adaptive resource management decision-making. Knowledge needs to be transferred more actively to policy makers to ensure that decisions take into account the best available information. Objectives include furthering research and developing early warning systems, supporting cooperation to advance vulnerability studies and adaptation actions related to climate change, and promoting innovative approaches to education and capacity building. These gaps in research and capacity building are addressed through five focal areas within the theme.

Focal Areas

For more information on each focal area and the implementation plan, please follow the links below: