Sponsored feature

Climate variability and its impact on water resources

Climate change has potentially devastating implications for the availability of one of humankind’s most precious resources

14th September 2016
Sponsored feature

Climate variability and its impact on water resources

Climate change has potentially devastating implications for the availability of one of humankind’s most precious resources

By ANEAS
(Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Agua y Saneamiento de México)

Climate studies – and projections – show that water resources are vulnerable and can be severely affected by climate change, creating negative impacts on societies and ecosystems.

Climate, freshwater, biophysical and socio-economic systems are interconnected: a change in any one of these can impact any other. Climate change will exacerbate the impacts on the sustainable use and management of drinking water, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others, as well as excessive pollution.

Changes in water volume and quality, caused by climate variability, will affect food availability and accessibility. It will also impact on water management practices and the role and use of water infrastructure, such as structural flood protections, and drainage and irrigation systems.

One measure that can help countries address these issues is to establish sound institutions for implementing proper water resources management. The potential ramifications of successful water resources management spread far and wide across societies, impacting on areas such as energy, health, food safety and nature conservation, and involving the participation of multiple sectors.

The role of water has become more important since the creation of the High-Level Panel on Water in early 2016, chaired by the presidents of Mexico and Mauritius. The panel’s aims are to: mobilise and build alliances between governments, the private sector and civil society around water; encourage decision-making in global institutions specialised in the field; and, for the first time, establish a regulatory framework for water as a fundamental axis where resilience leads a new approach to disaster management worldwide. The overall goal is to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6: “Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

Although the effects of climate variability are not reversible in the short to medium term, they are predictable. This is why we must work together – governments and society – to design adaptation and mitigation strategies, both at the local and global level.

For further information, visit: www.aneas.com.mx