Video of the "Water Solutions For Our Changing Climate" event is HERE recorded Monday 1 November.
Water touches every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat and the energy we use to the ecosystems that surround us. Water resources, already under threat from the way humanity has developed and managed the resource to meet ever-growing and changing needs, are also being heavily impacted by climate change. Precipitation patterns have been altered, snow and ice melt faster, river flow patterns have shifted, and the hazards from floods and droughts appear almost daily in the press. To adapt to a change climate and mitigate global warming, water, the blue thread that binds so many aspects of our daily lives, urgently needs to be a central focus in climate change discussions in order to solve a range of inter-connected issues, including livelihoods, energy, food, and ecosystem preservation.
In conjunction with COP26 and jointly organized by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), the University of Strathclyde, the University of Dundee, and OOSKAnews, a seminar entitled Water Solutions for Our Changing Climate will be held on 1 November at the Technology and Innovation Centre of the University of Strathclyde. With a goal of raising the profile of water in the climate discussions, the seminar will feature a series of discussions addressing solutions to water challenges that recognize the cross sectoral nature of water and the compounding threats of climate change.
The first session of the seminar will present case studies on nature-based solutions, one of the key themes of COP26 in Glasgow. Now more than ever, humanity must look to nature for solutions that both recognize the many values of nature and provide for human needs. Dr. Christopher Spray of the University of Dundee will describe the re-meandering of a river and the creation of new wetlands in Eddleston. Mihretab Gebretsadik of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo will give examples of the effect of afforestation on water management as a key contributor to climate adaptation and mitigation. Thaddeus Pawlowski of Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes will relate urban, water-focused efforts to build cities that are resilient to the stresses and shocks of climate change. David Duncan, Editor-in-Chief of OOSKAnews, will moderate the session.
The second session, moderated by David Molden of the International Water Resources Association, will be forward-looking, highlighting the need to anticipate impacts of climate change and to develop new and innovative solutions for the future. Barry Grieg, Senior Policy Advisor / Hydro Nation Manager at Scottish Government Water Industry Team, will present details on Scotland’s plan to achieve net zero emissions and the involvement of and impact on water resources in achieving that goal.
Both scientists and policymakers are considering employment of different geo-engineering technologies to reduce global warming, such as atmospheric dimming and carbon removal, which are likely to impact water resources in ways that are difficult to anticipate. Singapore has long been a leader in providing water security through successful management of its scarce water, and Cecilia Tortajada of the University of Glasgow will summarize some of the water-focused technological innovation in Singapore. In addition, with water scarcity looming, securing water through access to untraditional sources has become increasingly attractive. Dr. Renée Martin-Nagle of A Ripple Effect will describe various types of unconventional water resources and possible governance regimes.
Finally, Netra Chhetri of Arizona State University will describe the potential effects on the hydrological cycle of geo-engineering designed to mitigate climate change.
Gabriel Eckstein, President of the International Water Resources Association, will provide opening remarks and, along with Raya Stephan, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Water International and Water Law Consultant, will close the seminar with summaries, comparisons and insights. Participants who are present at the event will be invited on a field trip to Eddleston to witness sustainable management of wetlands.