By assessing available evidence and mapping the landscape of existing knowledge and policy approaches in South Asia, while keeping in mind key socio-economic and institutional contexts, this summary report informs public debate on climate change and water resources management in South Asia and provide valuable inputs to effective decision making.
The hope is that the guidance and recommendations offered by the wider project will enable South Asian governments and societies to enhance their capacities for building resilience to further climate change and ensure a more sustainable and secure future for the whole region. View document [ext. Enter an existing tag to add this content to one or more of your current collections. To start a new collection, enter a new tag below.
Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Water Resources and Water Use Sectors
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About our blog, InAsia
Almost two-thirds of global population growth is occurring in Asia, where the population is expected to increase by nearly million people within the next 10 years. Climate change is expected to worsen the situation significantly.
Experts agree that reduced access to freshwater will lead to a cascading set of consequences, including impaired food production, the loss of livelihood security, large-scale migration within and across borders, and increased economic and geopolitical tensions and instabilities. Over time, these effects will have a profound impact on security throughout the region. As such, they are solvable through more effective governance and better management practices.
Our goal is to build on the far-ranging findings presented in the Outlook by considering the security dimensions associated with decreased access to a safe, stable water supply in Asia. The nexus between an essential resource such as water and security encompasses individual physical safety, livelihoods, health and human welfare, as well as a realization of the cooperative potential between nation-states and subnational jurisdictions. The report highlights the significance of water as a source of livelihoods, a vector of pathogens, a potent force behind extreme events and natural disasters, and also a mechanism for cooperation among governments and communities.
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The scope and scale of these problems demonstrate in stark relief that no matter how we approach water resources—whether it is on the basis of quality and quantity, or as the most potent manifestation of extreme climatic events—hydropolitics is likely to be a growing force in Asian security that will require a broader understanding of and strengthened institutional capacities for water governance. Indeed, the problems highlighted in this report cannot be addressed by traditional tools of national defense.
However, the current approach, which views water scarcity and quality issues through a predominantly environmental lens, is not sufficient either. The U.
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The emerging picture underscores an urgent need to reframe the debate and to begin looking at these issues in a more comprehensive way that takes into account the complex national security and development challenges that countries and communities will face as water scarcity intensifies. Solutions are well within reach, but they will require high-level political will and a sufficient amount of investment. Governments need to develop coherent national responses and policies to simultaneously address multiple problems, with the aim of reducing security risks and vulnerabilities and providing economic benefits, such as investments in infrastructure for water conservation and management.
Countries should forge a regional approach in which governments and other key stakeholders, including nongovernmental organizations, civil society groups, and businesses, work together to clarify responsibilities and coordination mechanisms to address water security concerns. Raise the profile of water security on the political and developmental agendas of national governments in Asia. There is an immediate need for governments in Asia to strengthen their capacities to engage in preventive diplomacy focused on water and to start setting policies and making investments in support of infrastructure for water conservation and management.
A substantial package of financial support, including public and private funds, should be established, and greater coordination between relevant government ministries should be pursued. Include water in security policy planning. Governments in Asia should ensure that water management organizations have direct communication with defense agencies and develop integrated water management and conflict prevention capacities where needed. Conflict avoidance and resolution mechanisms to address intra- and transboundary water issues should be developed.
Disaster-warning systems and international coordination in response to water-related disasters should be strengthened.
Climate Change and Water Resources in South Asia - CRC Press Book
Encourage investment in and increased collaboration on water management technologies. Emphasis should be placed on spurring greater investment in the infrastructure and knowledge systems needed to manage complex water systems for the benefit of all. Incentives are needed to increase developing-country adoption of, and private-sector investment in, technologies that advance water security, such as improved methods to desalinate water, low-cost drip irrigation, and new crop varieties that can tolerate low water levels and drought.
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Generate better policies through dialogue. Policy makers at every level, as well as nongovernmental organizations, civil society groups, and private enterprises, must be stakeholders in the responsible management of water resources.
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