Climate change and development: a consultation on key researchable issues. Section 2.2: Water resources.
Climate change is expected to impact global water resources with present regional changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events already being attributed to the changing climate. Moreover, evidence suggests that those countries already facing water stress (rather than just water scarcity), especially in Africa, will be particularly hard hit by changes in the hydrological cycle. Despite advances in regional modelling, predicting climate change impacts on water resources is exceedingly difficult, in part because water resources are not only shaped by the hydrological cycle but changes in population, technology, and the social, economic and political landscape. Rising population, urbanisation, pollution, changing agricultural sectors, and institutional and legislative conditions are only some of the diverse factors that ultimately determine future water demands. However, one fact remains – that is for sure is that climate change will add further uncertainty to water resources management. This section briefly describes some of the predicted climate change impacts on water resources and the need for climate change to be included in water resource planning. It also explores how climate change adaptation can be included in water management, in particular, through Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
London, UK: IIED, 18 pp.