Water and Climate Change

Climate change has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longer just one of the many environmental and regulatory concerns. It is the major, overriding environmental challenge of this time facing decision makers, planners and regulators. 

Climate change is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production and other dimensions. In the midst of climate change is water which play a central role. Water is the primary medium through which climate impacts are felt.

Climate change manifests itself largely through its impact on water resources i.e. floods and droughts which are increasingly apparent in many parts of the world. Floods and droughts undermine farm yields and national harvests reducing household and national food availability, and agricultural income derived from crop sales. Their impacts on other sectors of a nation’s economy can also be devastating.

  • Risks of both floods and droughts threatening lives and national development: The challenges climate change pose inform of floods and drought make the need for effective adaptation through water extremely urgent.
  • Harnessing water’s productive potential and limiting its destructive potential: Reducing the risk of water-related shocks and damages, increasing the reliability of water services for production and reducing other negative impacts.
  • Understanding the dynamics of current variability and future climate change as they affect water supply and demand across all water-using sectors. It also requires development of robust institutions that can enhance the capacities of countries to respond to these dynamics through better water resources management.

All in all, adaptation to increase resilience to climate change is vital in order to reduce its impacts that are happening now and in the future. Actions need to be taken to help communities and ecosystems to cope with the changing rainfall patterns and other extreme weather events. Improved water resources management is definitely a critical part of the solution to climate change.