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Introductory guide to water resources and climate change

water landscape big 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”. The author, Ramy Hanna, a doctoral researcher at the Institute of the Development Studies provides a brief snapshot of three key 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. A selection of research readings have also been highlighted for each of the above issues.

Latest Documents

The interlinked nature of water security challenges requires comprehensive solutions coordinated among diverse stakeholders
D. Waughray (ed) / World Economic Forum 2011
Water security links together food, energy, climate, economic growth and human security threats. This publication sets out the challenge the world faces if nothing is done to improve water management in the next two decades. In nine c...
Highlighting areas of progress in climate modelling since the IPCC Third Assessment Report
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007
Climate models are based on well-established physical principles and have been demonstrated to reproduce observed features of recent climate and past climate changes. There is considerable confidence that Atmosphere-Ocean General Circ...
Extensive summary of climate change impacts illustrating the urgent need to mainstream adaptation into new and existing development programmes
UNFCCC National Adaptation Programme of Action 2007
The result of regional workshops held in Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as one expert meeting held in small island developing states, this United Nations Convention on Climate Change text outlines the impact from climate chan...
Key messages to COP15 advising on the central issue of water and climate change
Global Public Policy Network on Water Management 2009
With not a single mention of water in the outcome documents of COP13 or COP14, it is of vital importance that water issues be addressed in a manner that befits its importance. This is the reasoning behind the Global Public Policy Netw...
Overview of water-related climate change risks, examining water supply and demand adaptive strategies
A. Nicol; N. Kaur / Overseas Development Institute 2009
This background note, published by the Overseas Development Institute, provides an overview of the potential risks and vulnerabilities that face the water sector due to climate change. It also summarises of some of the adaptive strate...
Tools that provide critical insights for those engaged in transforming a national water agenda
McKinsey and Company 2009
The world is increasingly turning its attention to the issue of water scarcity as many countries face water shortages as a fundamental challenge to their economic and social development. This study focuses on how, by 2030, competing d...
Outlining threats to water security by climate change in arid and semi-arid regions, and recommendations for adaptive strategies
This perspective document, part of the 16-paper series on water and climate change adaptation, focuses on the impacts and adaptive strategies in arid and semi-arid regions. The series reflect the central topic of the 5th World Water F...
Integrating the previously independent areas of climate change and development studies, and the challenges therein
S. Huq; H. Reid; L.A. Murray / Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Programme, IIED 2006
Part of the Gatekeeper Series produced by the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Programme at IIED, this paper charts the evolution of climate change and development study and shows why the two fields have, until recently, ...
IPCC technical paper: global climate change impacts on freshwater resources
B.C. Bates (ed); Z.W. Kundzewicz (ed); S. Wu (ed) / Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2008
This IPCC technical paper extensively and thoroughly examines the potential consequences of climate change on the world’s freshwater resources and the communities that depend on them. Its objective is to improve understanding of...
Reviewing current knowledge about the relationships between climate change, water and food security in Africa
E. Ludi (ed) / Overseas Development Institute [ES] 2009
Agriculture constitutes the backbone of most African economies. Climate change is, however, posing the greatest threat to agriculture and food security in the 21st century, particularly in many of the poor, agriculture-based countries...
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Check out our Key Issues Guides on hot and emerging climate change issues, developed in collaboration with global experts.