Adaptation in an age of uncertainty: tools for climate-resilient water management approaches
Over the last decade, climate change is accelerating and disrupting national economies and affecting livelihoods, particularly through the impact on water and water-related hazards. Adequate planning for water resources management has been integrated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Paris Agreement highlights the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage. It also requests the UN agencies to support their Member States in order to enhance action on adaptation, highlighting adequate planning for policy making, as well as the identification of adaptation strategies.
In this context, UNESCO and various other organizations have developed a set of complementary resilient water management tools and approaches addressing climate risk and other uncertainties through innovative adaptation strategies. As highlighted in the 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report, these “bottom-up approaches” constitute a new generation of methodologies that embrace a participatory approach to identify water security hazards and pursue locally embedded solutions. As such, they facilitate robust, context-specific and flexible decision-making in water resources management, differing from the dominant paradigm guiding water management for the past half-century — namely the assumption that we can use past hydrological and climatic data to confidently predict (and plan for) the future.
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), together with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), is hosting a series of webinars introducing the technical and practical components of bottom-up approaches, spanning a range of topics and underscored by examples of real-world applications.
Webinars take place on a monthly basis in the lead up to a global conference on Climate-Resilient Water Management Approaches being organized by the same institutions and tentatively set for November 2020. They are intended for technical water management professionals as well as individuals working in climate / water policy and planning.