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Decision support tool to incorporate climate change into water resource planning, operations and design

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Led by the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), our model is an evidence-based approach that incorporates the best insights from across the key technical specialties relevant to the water community and addresses the interconnections between the science, finance and operational components of the water community.  The final product is presumed at this stage to be an online document, but there have already been expressions of interest from AGWA partners to take these products and to use integrate them within software tools. And “final” is also presumed to be a “first edition,” to be explored, refined, and developed by the community of specialists and practitioners over time.

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Integrating hard and soft infrastructure

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The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) with member organizations like Deltares and Conservation International, propose building explicit approaches for including ecosystems as natural infrastructure into infrastructure planning and design. The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) is a new organization designed to bring together diverse bodies of expertise and types of institutions to develop the next generation of water resource management and support its operationalization.This approach seeks to avoid degrading our freshwater ecosystems that provide us with multiple services, and avoid building expensive water infrastructure projects. These goals are designed to explore and refine potential approaches and to help other members test them on the ground to determine the extent to which they can reduce maintenance costs, restore ecosystems, and sustain community livelihoods while also creating naturally climate-adaptive water management systems.

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Good governance of groundwater evaluation, with particular focus on collective-choice level

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The solution we are exploring is whether collective management of groundwater is a model that can meet good governance criteria, evaluating its process and its performance. In this study, following a Social Ecological Systems Approach and Institutional Analysis framework, we first identify the contextual and system characteristics, to then evaluate the resource governance according to a criteria. The objective is not only the governance analysis, but to test and create an adaptive criteria for a desired analysis.

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Flood Risk Perception Survey, risk education and outreach

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Under the US National Flood Insurance Program, lands behind levees certified to protect against the 100‐year flood are considered outside of the officially‐recognized “floodplain.” However, such lands are still vulnerable to flooding that exceeds the design capacity of the levees—known as residual risk. In the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta of California,  lands below sea level are considered not “floodplain” and are open to residential and commercial development because they are “protected” by levees. Residents are not informed that they are at risk because officially they are not in the floodplain. We surveyed residents of a recently constructed subdivision in Stockton, California to assess their awareness of their risk of flooding.

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Community Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP)

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The Strategic Pilot on Adaptation to Climate Change or SPACC organizes the farmers residing within a Hydrological Unit (natural drainage basin) as a group and provides the necessary scientific information and builds the adaptive capacity of the farmer to face the consequences of the drought, collectively. Being part of the Hydrological Unit makes the inhabitants dependent on each other, sharing the common resources.The ultimate goal of SPACC is to evolve “Community Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP)”, at the HU level. Building the adaptive capacity of the communities in a HU is the over-arching strategy adopted to evolve the CCAP.

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A framework for building water and climate resilience – Action on adaptation in the world’s vulnerability hot spots

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Climate change is real and underway, with anticipated impacts that are now unavoidable. Managing these makes adaptation to climate change imperative. Impacts of climate change will mean that addressing global social, economic, and security priorities will become more difficult as time advances. Without effective adaptation, food, energy and water security will weaken, with economic growth disrupted more often and more deeply. At the centre of climate change impacts is water. Fears over climate change focus on projected increases in the severity and frequency of droughts, floods and storms, accelerated melting of glaciers and rising sea-levels. Climate change adaptation starts with managing water-related risks.

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Adopting an Environmental Water Ethics

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River basins around the world are facing unprecedented stress due to a combination of population increase, economic growth, and climate change, on top of the cumulative effects of historical alterations and water pollution.  Where river restoration has been undertaken seriously, e.g., the Rhine and Danube basins, an environmental water ethic is taking shape as by-product of restoration efforts.  Local stakeholders see that their river is healthier than previously, and that there are numerous interrelated benefits.  But while a new ethic of cooperation with nature is making some progress, it needs to be clearly articulated and incorporated into planning and management functions.

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Mapping Vulnerability – A global initiative to measure, map and meet the needs of individuals and communities vulnerable to select water-related diseases in the face of environmental change

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This research project will undertake to map global vulnerability (current and projected) to selected water-related diseases within a Geographical Information System (GIS) incorporating environmental factors, current burden of illness, socio-economic vulnerabilities and expected impacts of global environmental change.  Factors to be incorporated into the analyses include, but are not limited to: demographics (population growth, density, migration, urbanization); environmental (temperature, precipitation, land use patterns); pathogen etiology and life cycle; access to (safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, public health system); and socio-economic variables (poverty, literacy rates, education levels, community support systems).

 

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Increasing the resilience of communities to climate change impacts

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South Asia is the home to about 25% of the global population. There is a large proportion of poor people in the region, who are highly dependent on water related livelihoods such as agriculture. Climate change poses many challenges to maintain such livelihoods due to resulting disasters such as floods and droughts. As such, the investment in poverty alleviation would not reap the anticipated benefits, unless a proper adaptation process is in place. 

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