Preparing to Adapt: The Untold Story of Water in Climate Change Adaptation Processes
Emerging insights from GWP’s analysis of 80 NDCs from a water perspective, in conjunction with the UN’s 2018 progress report on implementing the Sustainable Development Goal on Water (SDG 6)
1 Actions to adapt to climate change urgently need more attention:
What can countries do – better, faster, with broader ownership, and longer-lasting impact – to build real resilience?
We invite the climate community to look to the water community for inspiration. This report presents emerging insights from an in-depth analysis that the Global Water Partnership undertook of the adaptation components of 80 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
We sought to understand country priorities in terms of water-related adaptation – and compared these priorities with insights and advice from the United Nations 2018 progress report on implementing the Sustainable Development Goal on Water (SDG 6). We looked at alignments with national development planning processes and coordination across governments.
Importantly for water, we investigated whether countries intended to invest not only in infrastructure but also in getting the necessary management and governance structures in place to manage water under the increased variability, reduced predictability, more frequent and intense extreme events, and new hydrological regimes associated with a changing climate. We also looked at countries seeking to take water-related climate actions via an approach of integrated water resources management – the approach recommended globally and through SDG 6.5.1 for ensuring efficient, sustainable, and inclusive water outcomes.
While more analysis is needed to better understand the drivers behind individual countries’ decisions, the emerging insights presented here indicate that there are significant benefits in ‘marrying’ climate change coordination with good practice established for water management in terms of inclusion and multi-stakeholder consultation. We also point to the urgent need – for countries and their development partners – to bring together institutional strengthening and water governance with more detailed design for projects and programmes and a major drive towards infrastructure investment in the years to come.