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On-going research in support of science-policy interfacing - WG Climate Change & WFD Looking into the future of water in a changing climate (without a.

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Presentation on theme: "On-going research in support of science-policy interfacing - WG Climate Change & WFD Looking into the future of water in a changing climate (without a."— Presentation transcript:

1 On-going research in support of science-policy interfacing - WG Climate Change & WFD Looking into the future of water in a changing climate (without a crystal ball) Ana Iglesias, UPM, Spain, Strategic Coordination Group, EC, Brussels, 8 November 2011

2 2 Source> Highnoon project

3  Investments aimed at improving adaptation to climate change of water resources inevitably favour some policies, sectors and regions over others.  Adaptation is a key factor that will shape the future severity of climate change impacts on food production and water. 3

4  Reasons for concern  Financial crisis, terror, inequality, degradation of the environment, …  Common element: global issues, what happens in one place has an influence on what happens in another place 4

5 Water Directors Strategic co-ordination group CIS-SPI Art. 21 Com- mittee WG A Ecological status JRC, DE, UK WG E Chemical aspects EC, JRC, IT, FR, SE WG D Reporting EC, EEA, FR WG C Groundwater EC, AT WG F Floods EC, IE WFD and Agriculture FR, UK Climate change and WFD DE, EC Water scarcity and drought IT, FR, ES Stakeholders, NGO’s, Researchers, Experts, etc. Established working groups Temporary working groups

6 6 climate and CO2 changes water availability land productivity technology development population trade, prices uncertaintydiscount rate A view of the problem from the academic side

7 Research questions about the future Knowledge needed Support to policy Models, Impacts, forecasting Adaptive capacity Adaptation and policy 7 How can water deal with an uncertain future? How does vulnerability and disparities respond to this uncertain future? How do we prioritise adaptation to overcome the resulting risks? Global projections of water availability (EU, Med) Regional adaptive capacity index values and drivers of inequality Assessment and strategy planning process, RBMP

8 Research questions about the future Knowledge needed Support to policy Models, Impacts, forecasting Adaptive capacity Adaptation and policy 8 How can water deal with an uncertain future? How does vulnerability and disparities respond to this uncertain future? How do we prioritise adaptation to overcome the resulting risks? 12 projects provide policy support WASSERMed HIGHNOON enviroGRIDS

9 Question 1. How can water management deal with an uncertain future?  Although relatively inexpensive changes, such as modifying water management may moderate negative impacts, the biggest benefits will likely result from more costly measures including the development of new technology and switching water rights.  Possible answers: 1.EU policies such as the Water Framework Directive and the CAP provide suitable tools to face future challenges. 2.Technology or biotechnology offer a tool for ensuring water availability in the future. 3.Technology ensures access to clean water and sanitation for all European people. 4.Greenhouse gas mitigation should be the main strategy to face the future. 9

10 Question 2. How do local vulnerabilities and global disparities respond to this uncertain future?  Rationale: Adaptations will require investments by industry, governments, scientists, and development organisations, all of whom face many other demands on their resources. 1.There is a need to reconsider sustainability of water infrastructure in vulnerable areas. 2.Understanding and reducing vulnerability does not demand accurate predictions about the future. 3.Research in climate change adaptation will contribute to the sustainability of the solutions. 10

11 Question 3. How do we prioritise adaptation to best address the risks resulting from climate change?  Rationale: Prioritisations of investment needs, such as though the identification of “risk hot spots”, is therefore a critical issue but has received limited attention to date. 1.Investments are prioritised based on economic returns. 2.Water for food is a priority. 3.Land and water to maintain healthy ecosystem is a priority. 4.Policies that ensure social development and education are priorities. 11

12 12 Agreement on the problem … limited policy assessment

13 13 …. and the world

14 14

15 “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Goethe ( ) 15 1 issue: how?

16 natural water resources regulation infrastructure water availability non-conventional resources Policy naturenon-nature uses water recycling Policy essential productive Policy 16 A: Demand manag B: Supply manag: regulation C: Supply manag: additional resources (i.e., water re-use) D: Demand manag: efficiency manag, communication and education B, D B A A, C, D

17 Type of policyQuantify the results of policy Supply management policies Water allocation for environmental and consumptive uses Reuse of urban water Reduction of water allocation Increase water supply Increase supply efficiency Demand management policies Reduction of per-capita or per-hectare water use Water rights exchange programs Increase resource efficiency

18 Change (A2-control) in mean annual runoff Change (A2-control) in water availability guarantying unrestricted urban demand Effect of policy measures on supply management on water availability (A2 scenario) Effect of policy measures on demand management on water availability (A2 scenario)

19 Irrigation water demand change (% of baseline) to adapt food production to climate change A1B_av E1_av

20 Adaptive capacity Impacts Very negative (more than -30%) Very positive (more than +30%) None (AC = 0) Very high (AC = 1) no risk low very high high medium

21 potential risk (a synthesis) lowmediumhigh or very high

22 1 key issue can climate change science provide insights about the future of water availability? 3 assertions –Understanding uncertainty is useful for facing water availability challenges –Understanding and reducing vulnerability does not demand accurate predictions of the impacts of climate change –It is politically difficult to justify vulnerability reduction on economic grounds 22

23 thank you Presentation made at the: CIS-SPI Brainstorming meeting, Brussels, 7 November


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