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Adapting to climate variability in Asia: Already a reality for water managers?

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IWMI’s Director General, Jeremy Bird, outlines the challenges climate change will pose to India’s water users, and offers six possible solutions.

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Adapting to climate variability in Asia: Already a reality for water managers?

  1. 1. Cover slide option 1 Title Adapting to climate variability in Asia: Already a reality for water managers? Jeremy Bird International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka Photo: Hamish John Appleby / IWMI
  2. 2. Managing variability is already a fact of life e.g., the Mekong Source: MRC Flow regime at Chiang Saen, Lao-China border, 1993-2010
  3. 3. Climate change and the Asian food-agriculture system: the challenges Climate change will: • Negatively affect agriculture, water, coastal livelihoods, health and biodiversity • Undermine water security of over 1 billion people globally by 2050s. The poorest are most at risk • Put the stability of food systems at risk, especially in parts of Asia that are vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition Photo: Neil Palmer/IWMI
  4. 4. E.g., Wheat in South Asia will be adversely affected by increasing heat stress • 2025: USD 15-20 billion losses pa (12-16%) • 2050: USD 32-48 billion losses pa (20-30%) • 10% yield potential loss for every °C increase Courtesy Dr. M. Banziger, CIMMYT
  5. 5. Some areas will be more affected than others: Identifying vulnerability hot spots for climate change to design locally relevant adaptation measures Climate change vulnerability index Anuradhapura Nuwara Eliya Ratnapura Sensitivity index Exposure index Adaptive capacity index
  6. 6. Some solutions for climate resilience Photo: Hamish Appleby/IWMI
  7. 7. A continuum - not just big dams. Requires an integrated approach. 1. Water storage in all its forms Source: McCartney and Smakhtin 2010
  8. 8. 2. Improved groundwater management Challenge: Over-exploitation of groundwater is already a reality Climate change is likely to adversely affect natural recharge
  9. 9. Adaptation options: Managed Aquifer Recharge
  10. 10. Managed aquifer recharge strategy for 100 groundwater-stressed districts CGWB’s Groundwater Recharge Master Plan aims to increase recharge by 36 Bm3 - refocused on western and southern India
  11. 11. Ganges Aquifer Management for Ecosystem Services (GAMES) – an IWMI/WLE initiative Strategy • Create subsurface storage by pumping additional groundwater before the monsoon • Fill the subsurface storage using surface water- groundwater interactions during the monsoon • Includes hydrological, social, economic, policy, institutional and transboundary interventions
  12. 12. GAMES – Strategy, outputs, outcomes Outcomes • Buffer intra-annual variability of the flow • Mitigate floods and droughts • Sustainable intensification and improvements in productivity in agriculture, domestic and industrial sectors • Augment dry-season river flows • Enhance sub-surface storage based and riverine ecosystems
  13. 13. The opportunity • India has 130,000 GW of installed pumping capacity in the form of electric and diesel tube wells • Shifting to a solar power source could reduce India’s Greenhouse Gas emissions by up to 6% 3. Solar pumps Prashanth Vishwanathan/IWMI
  14. 14. Low operational costs pose a sustainability threat to groundwater by over-extraction of aquifer resources The risk Photo: Sajjad Ali Qureshi/IWMI
  15. 15. SOLAR FARMER Grid Connected Farmers: • Replace existing pumps with solar • Offer guaranteed buy back of surplus solar power at an attractive price Non grid connected farmers: • Form cooperative • Common feed in-point for “pooled power” • Guarantee buy-back • Reduce utility transaction costs The solution: redesigning the solar mission as a “cash crop” opportunity
  16. 16. Wastewater from Bangalore replenishing Hoskote Lake. Local wells supplying clean water for the first time in two decades Wastewater from Hyderabad replenishing the Musi River, supporting its ecosystem and the livelihoods of 50,000 dependent on irrigation 4. Improved waste management Photo: Philipp Scharnowski Photos: IWMI In both examples, water purification still relies - to a significant degree - on natural treatment processes. Can be steered and supported to actively overcome freshwater shortages Waste has a role to play in climate adaptation options for agriculture and water security: Refashion cities as smart peri-urban irrigation systems for water and nutrient recycling
  17. 17. 5. Big Data approaches
  18. 18. Satellite data Meteorological data Biophysical data Computer analysis and modelling 2. Model development 3. Map generation Drought Severity Index 4. Online Visualization Platform Regional- to basin-level applications and decision support products South Asia Basin level Country level Water managers Irrigation districtsFederal & State agencies International agencies Scientific community Disaster relief organizations The role of big data: Assessing risks and hazards – Drought monitor
  19. 19. Assessing climate change risks and hazards: The role of big data Historic flood analysis at high resolution and frequency
  20. 20. Linking knowledge to action in climate-smart villages: Key on-farm interventions for managing risks
  21. 21. www.iwmi.org wle.cgiar.org ccafs.cgiar.org Photo: Hamish John Appleby / IWMI

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