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Changes to the hydrological cycle and vulnerability of water resources
Introductory guide to water resources and climate change
Water from tap
M. Ostergaard / Panos Pictures
The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) highlights how water is an essential crosscutting theme when addressing climate change. It provides new scientific evidence and a major advance about the likelihood of “a detectable human influence on the global water cycle since 1960”. Ramy Hanna, a doctoral researcher at the Institute of the Development Studies has developed an introductory guide that provides a brief snapshot of three issues relevant to the state of uncertainties around climate change and water resources: complex science, development impacts and the trade-offs between water-energy-food security. Ramy has also selected key research readings on each of the above issues.

Latest Documents

High and Dry: Climate change, water and the economy
World Bank Publications 2016
This World Bank reports finds that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could hinder economic growth, spur migration, and spark conflict. However, most countries can neutralize the adverse impacts of water scarcity by taking...
Sustainable development and the water–energy–food nexus: A perspective on livelihoods
E.M. Biggs; E. Bruce; B. Boruff / Science Direct 2015
The water–energy–food nexus is being promoted as a conceptual tool for achieving sustainable development. Frameworks for implementing nexus thinking, however, have failed to explicitly or adequately incorporate sustainable&n...
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: A new approach in support of food security and sustainable agriculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2014
This FAO note gives a brief introduction to the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus conceptual framework as a useful way to describe and address the complex and interrelated nature of our global resource systems. It puts forward WEF as a co...
Climate change and water: An overview from the World Water Development Report 3: Water in a changing world
United Nations World Water Assessment Programme 2009
This World Water Assessment Programme Special Report brings together messages on water and climate change from the World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World. Water in a Changing World shows that changes in our water ...
Water and Climate Blue Book
World Water Council 2016
Llaunched by the Morroccan government at COP22 in Marrakech, the blue book aims to raise international awareness on the vulnerability of water in the context of climate change and the urgency of action. It also speaks in favor of merg...
Increasing resilience to droughts in Viet Nam: the role of forests, agroforestry, and climate smart agriculture
Climate Change Agriculture Food Security 2016
The 2015-16 drought is the most severe that Viet Nam has experienced in at least 90 years. In the Central Highlands, South Central Coast, and Mekong Delta regions, 18 provinces have declared a state of emergency and 22 provinc...
Water, Megacities and global change: portraits of 15 emblematic cities of the world
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 2016
Numerous studies have explored urban growth and the emergence of the megapolitan phenomenon through increasing growth in the number of cities with over 10 million inhabitants. Similarly, the processes of climate change are also the su...
Impacts of climate change on the cryosphere, hydrological regimes and glacial lakes of the Hindu Kush Himalayas: a review of current knowledge
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, (ICIMOD), Nepal 2016
The climate and cryosphere of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region have changed in the past and are very likely to change in the future. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. The atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases ...
(Un)natural disasters: communicating linkages between extreme events and climate change
World Meteorological Organization 2016
Issue of the World Meteorological Organization Bulletin.  The science of attributing extreme weather and climate events has progressed in recent years to enable an analysis of the role of human causes while an event is still in t...
South Africa’s drought preparedness in the water sector: too little too late?
R. Meissner; I. Jacobs-Mata / South African Institute of International Affairs 2016
South Africa experiences droughts on a regular basis, often associated with significant negative impacts on society and the economy. Droughts can be forecast, and South African climate scientists have been developing computer-generate...
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More on water


carrying water buckets


This key issues guide provides a snapshot of: the implications for adaptation to changes in water availability and access; the challenge of interpreting and using climate data at different scales to plan the development of water resources more effectively; and the larger institutional issue of how global water and climate communities can more meaningfully be brought together. Read more here.