Press release: New Policy Brief on Intelligent Water Strategies for adapting to Climate Change

Posted: 2007-10-29

Stockholm, Sunday August 12, 2007: 09.00 Folkets Hus, Room 307

Contact: Mike Muller, c/o GWP Secretariat: Tel: 070-5945263

A Policy Brief, Climate Change Adaptation and Integrated Water Resources Management, released today by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) suggests that the best approach to manage the impact of climate change on water is one guided by the philosophy and methodology of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). And it suggests that water will have to be placed at the centre of adaptation efforts.

“Better water management will be essential if communities are to adapt successfully to climate change,” says primary author Mike Muller, former Director-General, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa and Global Water Partnership Technical Committee member. The IWRM methodology seeks to identify, and then to achieve tradeoffs between different water management objectives including environmental sustainability, economic efficiency and social equity. This approach encourages the structured engagement of communities and sectors impacted upon by water into its management, both to seek and promote ‘win-win’ solutions but also to ensure that a better understanding of water constraints and challenges is developed and diffused into the society. “The ‘IWRM’ approach,” adds Muller, “involves both ‘hard’ infrastructural and ‘soft’ institutional strategies.” It is through the use of soft tools that complement infrastructure and help ensure that infrastructural investments work that offers countries the best chance of coping successfully with climate variability and change. “The systematic approach offered by IWRM,” Muller concludes, “has already proved to be a useful first step. But if it is to make a difference, more work and more resources are needed.”

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