RS-06 Water Security in a Changing World: Climate Change

Topic: 3. Water security in a changing world
Date: 2017-05-31
Time from: 15:30:00
Time to: 17:00:00
Room: Cozumel 3
Chairman: Bruce CURRIE ALDER (curriealder@gmail.com)

Abstracts

Theme:
3. Water security in a changing world
Abstract ID:
500
Submit by:
Saswati Roy
Author(s):
Saswati Roy | Malay Mukhopadhyay |  
Country:
INDIA
Keyword(s):
Mythical flood, Deglaciation, Climate change adaptation, Environmental dynamism
Files: 

Abstract

Introduction

The present day science is capable enough to answer the reasons behind all sorts of natural events that are experienced for ages. A group of scientists are engaged in bringing out the realities behind age old myths that has been encrypted within the holy pages of the pious texts. In most of the cases there are latent scientific facts within the exaggerated myths.

Problem

Similarly, a mythical flood have been the research area of the present researchers in regards to the Noah’s deluge which is recognized to be a global deluge in the Old Testament of the holy Bible. As according to the myth, this global deluge was responsible in wiping out mankind of the Earth.

Methodology

The author after outlining the flood affected region in Turkey studied the coastal areas all along the Black Sea, surveyed along the Bosporus strait of Turkey and came up with several geomorphological clues.  These were summoned as clues as the author found out a latent relationship between the mythical verses and the present truth. This relation helped in drawing out a newer dimension as the causal factor of this Deluge in the present day science - due to successive climatic changes.

Result

The Black sea is connected with the Mediterranean Sea by the narrow Bosporus strait running for some 32 km. Earlier the Black sea (then known as the Euxine Lake) was a sweet water lake as it received the waters from the European rivers, which were drained along this Bosporus River into the Mediterranean Sea. During the succeeding glacial periods the connection along this Bosporus River got dried into a valley due to several tectonic activities and was further initiated by filling up with unconsolidated sediments.  During a significant deglaciation phase, there was a reversal in the flow pattern that ultimately resulted in the flood along the Black Sea coast, hence creating the present geographic situation.

Implications of the study

Thus, the relation from the study of past mythical activities helped in relating that it was a local flood rather than a global deluge. It is now becoming a newer vista of research in geography to turn into the pages of history to enrich our knowledge in understanding the environmental dynamism. Similarly, the author thinks that if these palaeo-myths are considered in the same way, then roads may open up for many unknown avenues.

Theme:
3. Water security in a changing world
Abstract ID:
425
Submit by:
Yangwen Jia
Author(s):
Yangwen Jia | Cunwen Niu | Yaqin Qiu | Chunfeng Hao |  
Country:
CHINA
Keyword(s):
water resources, Yellow River Basin, changing environment, hydrological model, water management
Files: 

Abstract

Purpose. This study aims to quantify the water resources change, identify the main challenges and provide management suggestions in the water-stressed Yellow River Basin under the changing environment.

Key issues. Under the impacts of climate change and strong human activities, the water resources situation in the Yellow River Basin (795000 km2) has greatly changed. The existing main issues include: 1) the annual average runoff at the Tongguan gauge station since 2010 has decreased by 34% compared with that from 1919 to 1959, and the sediment has decreased by 94%; 2) the continuously-increased socio-economic water use has caused insufficient environment flow in rivers and groundwater overexploitation; 3) the urbanization progress since 1980s has led to urban inundation and water quality deterioration problems. It is highly desired to quantify and attribute the water resources decrease and to study the adaptive strategies of water resources management.

Methodology. The distributed hydrology model WEP with combinations of statistical analysis of hydro-meteorological data and remote-sensing data are adopted to address the above-mentioned issues. Both natural hydrological processes and water utilization processes are depicted in the model, and the observed flow series at main gauge stations are used to validate the model.

Results. The study results show that climate variation, soil conservation and water use facilities are main reasons for the water resources decrease in the basin, and six rules of water resources evolution are summarized, including surface water and groundwater change, and blue water (runoff of surface water and groundwater) and green water (utilized by ecosystem) etc. An interesting finding is the groundwater resources unrepeated with the surface water resources has obviously increased contrasting to the obvious decrease of surface water resources. Adaptive strategies for ensuring water resources security in the basin are suggested from the aspects of comprehensive water-saving, ecological sponge watershed construction, optimal water resources allocation, and legislation-institution arrangements including updating water rights allocation, water pricing, environmental flow guarantee mechanism etc.

Results implications. The study is believed to be of a referential value for policy-making in the water management in the Yellow River basin under the changing environment.

Theme:
4. Water policy and governance
Abstract ID:
393
Submit by:
Alvar Escriva-Bou
Author(s):
Alvar Escriva-Bou | Henry McCann | Ellen Hanak | Brian Gray | Jay Lund |  
Country:
UNITED STATES
Keyword(s):
water accounting, water policy, water management, comparative review
Files: 

Abstract

The prospect of increasing water scarcity, as a result of continued population growth and a changing climate, makes improvements in the way societies account for water an imperative. Water accounting—the measurement, processing, and communication of information on water availability and use—is essential for effective and sustainable water resource management. It facilitates transparent, flexible, and efficient water allocation decisions for the benefit of the economy and environment, and reduces conflicts among users. This is especially crucial in dry regions such as the western United States, where water demands often outstrip available supplies.

Using a web-based review of water accounting practices, supplemented with interviews of more than 35 experts, in this paper we comparatively analyze how 12 western states and 2 countries—Australia and Spain—gather, process, and share information to manage water resources. We focus on how water availability is assessed; how varying institutional and legal frameworks define different water claims; how water use is measured or estimated; how water allocation decisions are made based on regulatory and physical constraints and available information; and finally how the information is shared to improve stakeholders’ decision making.

To conclude, and drawing on the comparative review, we select management practices for strengthening water accounting. Although these lessons are based on places that share resource-management challenges common to advanced economies, they can be useful for implementing new policies in developing regions to avoid common conflicts such as managing groundwater sustainability, dedicating adequate water to support the natural environment, or allocating surface water during periods of scarcity.

Theme:
3. Water security in a changing world
Abstract ID:
321
Submit by:
Céline Dubreuil
Author(s):
Céline Dubreuil | Juliette Balavoine | Nicolas Dutreix | Pierre Bégat | Rabab Yassine |  
Country:
FRANCE
Keyword(s):
Mediterranean, wetlands, economic valuation, ecosystem services, ecosystem-based approach, adaptation, mitigation, climate change, Burullus, Lonjsko Polje, Vic, Yeniçaga
Files: 

Abstract

As shown by IPCC reports, the Mediterranean region is one of the most vulnerable region to climate change and is already experiencing some impacts such as an increase of extreme events (floods, storms, heat waves, droughts...), with significant effect on water resources. Adaptation and mitigation of climate change are therefore major challenges in this region.

The Med-ESCWET project on "the economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by wetlands in terms of adaptation to climate change in the Mediterranean" seeks to promote the adaptation based on wetland ecosystems and to facilitate its integration in national climate change adaptation policies. This three years period project was initiated in 2013 by Plan Bleu, in partnership with Tour du Valat, and is co-financed by the MAVA and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundations.

Through four Mediterranean case studies, this project seeks to economically assess some regulating ecosystem services to raise the awareness of policy makers on wetlands importance in adaptation to climate change. As most of the existing studies deals with the impact of these changes on ecosystems, the role of ecosystem in mitigating climate change impacts is still largely to develop, particularly outside of the EU, to be considered in decision-making process.

Mediterranean wetlands are rich and vulnerable ecosystem, increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activities. When preserved, they can deliver a wide range of ecosystem services contributing to human well-being. Therefore, the project first provides a global picture of the ecosystem services panel provided by each pilot site. This inventory was then completed by an economic assessment focused on one service of adaptation to climate change. Using revealed preferences methods, this approach highlights deeply context dependent results, which are not aimed to be compared due to the specificity of each approach carried out:

  • The flood control service provided by the natural retention basins of the Lonjsko polje floodplain in Croatia is estimated to a water retention capacity of more than one Billion of m3. Using the replacement costs method, the valuation concludes that the building and maintenance of an equivalent artificial infrastructure (such as several dams) should cost 68,055 €/ha, based over a 100 year time period;
  • The coastal protection against storms provided by Vic coastal lagoon in France reduces the impact of an hundred years return period storm to a two years period storm impacts (without any service of protection). This service was valuated through avoided costs method, to a moderate cost of 1197 €/ha, traducing the efficient management of this successfully preserved site;
  • The carbon sequestration service was respectively estimated to 1116 and 1734 €/ha/year for Burullus Lake in Egypt and Yeniçaga peatlands inTurkey, using marginal abatement costs or social cost of carbon. The provision of this service is widely influenced by human activities, management history and temporal scale considered.

Except from the methodological lessons learnt, this original exploratory approach in the Mediterranean region is a first step to better consider regulating services as low cost and environmental friendly solutions to mitigate climate change impacts, compared to technological solutions. Integrated in cost benefits analysis, these results could locally inform decision making process in the future, by considering not only the ecosystem services usually traded on commercial markets, but the ecosystem value as a whole.

Theme:
3. Water security in a changing world
Abstract ID:
219
Submit by:
PEDRO ANTONIO GUIDO-ALDANA
Author(s):
PEDRO ANTONIO GUIDO-ALDANA | ADRIANA MARÍA RAMÍREZ-CAMPEROS |  
Country:
MEXICO
Keyword(s):
Climate change, adaptation measure design, public policy, sustainability, adaptation measure classification
Files: 

Abstract

Worldwide, Mexico is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change according to the National Commission for Knowledge and Biodiversity Use (CONABIO).  Its geographical location, climatic, orographic and hydrological conditions, contributes greatly to this situation. Fifteen million Mexicans are at risk to suffer directly flood effects and, at the other extreme, desertification could affect up to 40 percent of arable national area. Recently, vulnerability studies show that coastal populations are the most vulnerable because higher sea levels as well as the frequency and magnitude of hydrometeorological phenomena are expected. The devastating effects of these events have highlighted the necessity to propose, select, design, and inclusive assessment adaptation measures that enable people to adapt to new climatic conditions, which vary in different time scales and present own characteristics in each region and country. 

To develop efficient adaptation measures to climate change, it is a priority to consider various factors such as vulnerability itself, the ability to change our habits, the change dimension in climatic conditions, public policy issues, among others. It is also necessary to have knowledge about the impacts chain, the effect on the productive sectors (agriculture, water, energy, health, coastal, food production) and the so-called cascading effects through which it is possible to understand, for example, such as an environmental situation can trigger a social. Within this context, the design of the adaptation measure should at least consider: a) The definition of the problem; b) The identification of its causes; c) The identification and articulation of policy response; d) The identification of the main barriers of the measure, which are different for each region or locality; e) The formulation of expected results and the design of responses - projects to overcome key barriers; f) The revision of the above steps in order to ensure access to funds (e.g. Adaptation Fund, United Nations) and/or existing supports. These activities represent the minimum set in order to define a measure adaptation project with a logical structure, being crucial the experts consulting during the different stages and confirming the local context.

It is well known that the effects of climate change will affect all nations, in complex ways. In North America and particularly in Mexico, the vulnerability to climate change will depend on the effectiveness of the proposed measures, the adaptation time and the implementation of new policy schemes. Within this context, Mexico should work on the design of adaptation measures considering the ecosystem-based adaptation concept and also based on multiparty initiatives, to perform more ecological government solutions, in which communities and other public and private stakeholders should work together to achieve adequate adaptation and sustainable development.