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

Date post: 16-Jul-2015
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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
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Cover slide option 1 Title

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

Jeremy BirdInternational Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Photo: Hamish John Appleby / IWMI

Managing variability is already a fact of life e.g., the Mekong

Source: MRC

Flow regime at Chiang Saen, Lao-China border, 1993-2010

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

malnutritionPhoto: Neil Palmer/IWMI

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

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

RatnapuraSensitivity index

Exposure index

Adaptive capacity index

Some solutions for climate resilience

Photo: Hamish Appleby/IWMI

A continuum - not just big dams. Requires an integrated approach.

1. Water storage in all its forms

Source: McCartney and Smakhtin 2010

2. Improved groundwater management

Challenge: Over-exploitation of groundwater is already a reality

Climate change is likely to adversely affect natural recharge

Adaptation options: Managed Aquifer Recharge

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

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

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

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

Low operational costs pose a sustainability threat to groundwater by over-extraction of aquifer resources

The risk

Photo: Sajjad Ali Qureshi/IWMI

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

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: IWMIIn 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

5. Big Data approaches

Satellite data

Meteorological data

Biophysical data

Computer analysis and modelling

2. Model development

3. Map generationDrought Severity Index

4. Online Visualization

Platform

Regional- to basin-level applications and decision support

products

South AsiaBasinlevel

Country level

Water managers

IrrigationdistrictsFederal

& State agencies

Internationalagencies Scientific

community

Disaster relieforganizations

The role of big data: Assessing risks and hazards –Drought monitor

Assessing climate change risks and hazards: The role of big dataHistoric flood analysis at high resolution and frequency

Linking knowledge to action in climate-smart villages: Key on-farm interventions for managing risks

www.iwmi.org wle.cgiar.org ccafs.cgiar.org

Photo: Hamish John Appleby / IWMI


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