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Climate action pathway: Water - Executive Summary

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Vision statement

By 2050 the water sector will be largely decarbonized through the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and combined heat and power cogeneration, as well as through aggressive conservation, reuse and efficiency efforts. Water infrastructure will be designed and built to be both robust and flexible across a range of possible climate futures, providing reliable service and improved performance over time. Water resources management will be integrated into climate planning at all levels (including transboundary), and across sectors to ensure that water is available in adequate quantity and quality at the time it is needed for both people and ecosystems. This will be accomplished by instituting climate-resilient water governance, institutions, basin organizations, and regulatory and legal frameworks that ensure full inclusion of all stakeholders, especially disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, such as ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. The private sector contributes by analyzing and sharing water-related risks, measuring and reporting water use data, funding innovation, and taking steps to reduce impacts on water in operations and throughout the value chain.

Water resources will be used to contribute to the recovery and maintenance of terrestrial and marine carbon sinks including wetlands, peatlands, and mangrove forests. In turn these ecosystems will improve the resilience of communities around them by providing habitat for inland and coastal fisheries, buffers from extreme weather, water filtration, storage in times of water scarcity and additional absorptive capacity during floods. Society is thriving due to improved access to water and sanitation, which leads to lower rates of water-borne illness, forced migration and resource conflict, higher rates of school attendance, reduced poverty, and improved economic productivity.