The AGWA report sets out principles and recommendations for integrating water in countries’ climate action strategies and commitments.
In its key messages, the report makes six recommendations for resilient water management.
Under the Paris Agreement, 2020 will be the first year in which signatories communicate their Long-Term Strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) is urging countries to incorporate “water-aware” climate policies in their Long-Term Strategies (LTS), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In a 16-page report, AGWA sets out principles and recommendations for integrating water in these climate action strategies and commitments. Under the Paris Agreement, 2020 will be the first year in which signatories communicate their LTS for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Countries are required to report every five years.
The report, titled ‘Watering the NDCs: National Climate Planning for 2020 and beyond – How water-aware climate policies can strengthen climate change mitigation and adaptation goals,’ was developed based on the crowdsourcing of ideas from public, private and civil society partners in more than 100 countries. Examples of actions for robust and resilient water management strategies are provided for Egypt, Mexico, the Solomon Islands, and Uganda. The publication argues that national climate change planning is strengthened when climate action considers resilient water management. Conversely, countries are likely to fail in meeting their Paris Agreement commitments if they do not factor in water issues.
In its key messages, AGWA makes six recommendations for resilient water management: analyzing current water consumption, allocation and tradeoffs; investing in water-smart design and management systems, and moving away from water-intensive energy infrastructure; taking into account basin-wide conditions when planning water supply and allocation, and working through transboundary organizations, where appropriate; planning for unpredictability in water availability, for example through greater efficiency of water use, demand-reduction strategies, and increased storage capacity; undertaking ecosystem-based adaptation approaches to maintain freshwater ecosystems in good condition; and promoting cooperation on water allocation across sectors and borders.
AGWA is a membership organization comprising development banks, public and private-sector actors, NGOs, and academia. The report is one of four AGWA policy reports released on the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain.