IWC and AWP co-authored policy brief on climate risk and water security in the Indo-Pacific released

policy brief co-authored by International WaterCentre’s Bronwyn Powell and the Australian Water Partnership was released this month following on from the AWP supported event at the COP26 Water Pavilion. The brief draws from a forthcoming AWP publication titled ‘Climate Risk and Water Security in the Indo-Pacific: Risks, Responses, and a Framework for Action’ by Dr Hemant Ojha and Prof Nicholas Schofield.

According to Bronwyn, water security will be central to understanding future risks to lives, economies and livelihoods – and none more so than in the Asia-Pacific region where ecosystems and livelihoods are already being impacted by various and accelerating climate extremes.

“The Indo-Pacific region is home to many of the fastest growing economies in the world but also has the largest number of poor and disadvantaged people on the planet. These people will be left to deal with temperature extremes, a pronounced increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall events and rising sea levels,” Bronwyn says.

“How we use water, manage water, and plan for water extremes must be central to the solutions we devise to reduce climate change risks.”

Water security means more than just the availability of water; it incorporates the broader issues of quantity and quality of water to sustain livelihoods, human well-being and socio-economic development. At its core, water security means that populations need the capacity to safeguard sustainable access, cutting across both water resources management and water, sanitation and hygiene.

The Policy Brief addresses climate risks using a socioecological zone approach to build contextually differentiated but regionally connected climate and water knowledge. Examples of socioecological zones are mountain towns, dry zones, delta zones, Pacific Island countries and large coastal cities, each carrying its own risks and vulnerabilities.

The forthcoming report reviews hundreds of studies of both predicted climate impacts and responses at multiple levels of governance, to distil a framework for climate action for water security.

The policy brief can be accessed here.