What it's about:
A paper released by the Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme, shows how climate information can be used effectively to inform decisions related to climate-resilient water management (CRWM).
The paper provides practical recommendations on how best to use and integrate climate information into decision making processes, coupled with case studies showing what this looks like in a variety of different contexts.
The paper argues that while using the best available climate information can help decision makers to go beyond business-as-usual practices in water management, good decisions can be made even in the absence of good climate information and data.
The paper draws on ACT’s experience supporting governments to apply CRWM principles in five South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Since 2014 the Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme has been actively working in five South Asian countries to help national and sub-national governments mainstream adaptation to climate change into development planning and delivery systems.
As part of that work, the programme is introducing Climate Resilient Water Resources Management (CRWM) into the water resources management and agriculture sectors. As presented in an earlier learning paper “Climate-Resilient Water Management: An operational framework from South Asia”, one major factor to take CRWM beyond business-as-usual approaches is using the best available climate information and data.
CRWM needs to be informed by reliable information about physical exposure and social vulnerability to climate shocks and stresses in order to create a comprehensive narrative of the impact that climate extremes, uncertainty, and variability can have on water resources management. This requires combining different types of climate information.
ACT’s paper seeks to inform government agencies and individual officials, practitioners and donors, researchers and wider civil society on how to understand the role of climate information in producing analysis including a typology of different types of climate information; and how to best use climate information to inform and guide the policy-making processes.
Based on experience and learning from ACT projects, the paper presents 10 key recommendations for integrating climate information into water resources management.
This is targeted at those seeking to design and implement CRWM programmes and initiatives, to help overcome some of the critical challenges to accessing and using climate information.
Why it's noteworthy:
Climate change is already impacting the water cycle. In particular, climate change is thought to be making the monsoon more erratic and unpredictable, and decreasing the number of rainfall days while, at the same time, increasing their intensity.
Additionally, climate change is projected to increase the frequency and severity of both floods and droughts. At the same time, in South Asia, as in much of the world, water demand is increasing and accelerating in response to population growth, urbanisation, increased industrial demand, and the relatively high dependence on agriculture for livelihoods. The latter is especially problematic as rising temperatures and less rainfall decrease soil moisture, forcing farmers to water their crops more.
Changes in the hydrologic cycle coupled with increased water demand will have manifold impacts on food and livelihood security, agriculture and urbanisation, industrialisation and, hence, the economy at large. As a result, there is need for the South Asian water resources sector to plan for climate change.
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