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IWRA Webinar "Water and Climate Change" Marks World Water Day

Washington DC, United States

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) held a webinar 23 March to mark World Water Day 2020 focusing on “Water and Climate Change”.

The full video can be found HERE.

Panellists included:

  • Bruce Currie-Alder, Program Leader - Climate Change, International Development Research Center
  • Geraldine Gene, Legal Consultant - Latin America, WaterLex
  • Renee Martin-Nagle, Treasurer, International Water Resources Association
  • Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
  • Lili Yu, Senior Engineer, General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design of China
  • Moderator: Scott McKenzie, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia

Topics included:

  • Tapping unconventional water resources during climate change
  • Catalysing climate research for development: capacity and collaboration
  • Water and the dry corridor in Central America
  • State and fate of Himalayan water resources
  • China's water resources management facing climate change
  • Regarding the current health pandemic the world is facing, the panel also discussed the importance of handwashing and access to clean, safe water.

Highlights:

Geraldine Gene:

  • On El Corredor Seco, a strip of land that extends from Mexico to Panama, the vulnerability of the region and requirement for building resilience
  • The impact water challenges and climate change have on the livelihood on the local population, extreme poverty and food scarcity
  • The human right to water and how this right is threatened as people don’t have access to hygienic and safe water.

Renee Martin-Nagle:

  • Higher human populations and more demand, together with less suitable water will bring a greater need for unconventional water resources.
  • Different types of unconventional water resources such as fossil aquifers, atmospheric water, wastewater recycling, desalination, bulk water transfers, icebergs and ballast water
  • “Climate change will have impacts on water as we know, there will be more powerful storms leading to more runoff, more pollution and lower quality of water".

Bruce Currie-Alder:

  • How we can conduct water research differently, capacity and collaboration in the water community.
  • Gender research and how climate change impacts people differently depending on gender
  • “Building on over 25 cases of really looking at changes to climate change its manifestation through water is affecting gender roles and amplified by that”.

Arun Shrestha:

  • The state and fate of Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) water resources
  • HKH will warm more compared to the global mean as well as more rapidly, which will impact glaciers
  • The challenge of a disconnect to mountainous regions and the impact climate change will have there
  • “Today we are talking about having access to water and it becomes actually important in the context of corona virus pandemic, with the important of frequent hand washing. But then in South East Asia the situation is that a lot of people don’t even have minimum access to water”.

Lili Yu:

  • Water management in China and how this is changing with the added pressure of climate change
  • Particular climate change and water challenges in China such as increased frequency of droughts, and economic development
  • Strategies in China such as implementing water saving across multiple sectors; agricultural, urban, commercial and industrial
  • Restoring and protecting aquatic ecosystems in China
  • “The ecosystems have been distraught, there is not enough water in the rivers and groundwater. This has severely influenced our ability to combat climate change”.
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