‘Improve climate data’ to tackle water security

Aug 23 2021

Water availability and quality will increasingly be impacted by climate change, putting vulnerable communities at risk, unless steps are taken now to build resilience, researchers warn.

Improving access to local climate information and measuring the impact of weather on water supply is essential for advancing water security as global temperatures rise, according to The Water Security for Climate Resilience Report, released this month by the University of Oxford-led REACH research programme.

It says that while the effect of climate on droughts and floods is well-known, the impacts on lives and livelihoods at community level are often bypassed.

“The impact of climate change on water systems will continue to increase, threatening people’s lives and their quality of life, threatening the economic productivity of countries.”

Katrina Charles, co-director, University of Oxford REACH programme

Lead report author, Katrina Charles, a professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford and co-director of REACH, tells SciDev.Net, that the researchers worked on understanding “how we can improve water security for everyone, including the most vulnerable people”.

“Improving water security will help to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” she said, adding: “Without it, people will be very vulnerable to water scarcity, to changes in water quality, to flooding.

“[The research] has helped us to understand […] not just the impacts of major events like floods and droughts, but the much more complex impacts of the changes in weather on people’s lives.”

Source: Science Dev