Friday, July 1, 2011

Integrating water with climate change adaptation plans

Environmental Expert: [A] policy brief, published by the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, argues that water resource management should not be overlooked in plans for climate change adaptation in Africa. Africa is vulnerable to climate change impacts which are, in large part, connected by water. Rainfall is uneven and unpredictable across different parts of the continent and varies dramatically by season. These variations can bring about floods and severe droughts that can last for years.

The impacts of these weather events on economic development are serious. Severe floods affect millions of people and damage infrastructure; and too little rain means that farmers are unable to store water, which lowers food production and leads to hunger and financial loss.

Global warming has raised average annual temperatures, and climate models predict that the level and variability of rainfall in Africa will be affected. Even small changes in rainfall can have a large effect on the availability of water resources.

Water resources are the foundation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and must be protected, say the authors. But this requires investment in transboundary water management programmes and commitment to the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which include recognising that water and land management need coordination....

Nalubaale Power Station (formerly Owen Falls Dam) in Jinja, Uganda on the Victoria Nile, shot by Fredrick Onyango, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: