MedECC booklet publishedA booklet by the MedECC initiative with information on climate change in the Mediterranean region and its impacts on water, food security, ecosystems, human security and health was published in December 2018 …
Vientiane, Laos, February 19 – 21, 2019
An expert group meeting on environmental management, organized by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre (UCC College, Cork), was held in Vientiane, Laos from 19-21 February 2019. Regional experts from the four member countries Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam gathered with experts from the UN Environment GEMS/Water Programme to discuss the 2017 Regional Water Quality Report of the Mekong River. Prof. Deborah Chapman and her colleague Katelyn Grant from the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre, together with Dmytro Lisniak from the GEMS/Water Data Centre of the ICWRGC, elaborated on approaches on water quality monitoring, data management and data analysis. In this process, several topics were identified that will be addressed during specific training workshops in the future.
The World Water Quality Assessment (WWQA) is a project initiated by the UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water Quality, spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its aim is to describe water quality, identify sources of water pollution, point out impacts and specific options for action.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in cooperation with the German Government and the Geneva Water Hub, invited representatives from embassies, scientists and international stakeholders to help advance the water data and peace agenda.
The side event “The role of water in achieving climate neutrality”, organized by UN Water, presented and discussed the significance of freshwater for curbing climate change, its role in ecosystems, and for the livelihood of mankind.
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
Planning for sustainable water futures in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the SDGs
By 2030, average global water requirements are expected to exceed current supply by 40%, necessitating massive investment to fill this ‘gap’. Historically, such investments have focused on often costly and unsustainable ‘grey’ or ‘built’ infrastructure. Hence, interest is rapidly increasing in pathways optimizing the use of ‘natural’ or ‘green’ infrastructure (freshwater ecosystems and the services (FWES) they provide), or on ‘blended’ approaches. The goal of SESYNC’s proposed Pursuit is to aid planning for sustainable water futures in sub-Saharan Africa, built around provision of FWES from healthy freshwater ecosystems, in support of achieving the SDGs.
Toward an Understanding of Synergies and Trade-Offs between Water, Energy, and Food SDG Targets
is the title of a publication by Dr. Marianela Fader, Colleen Cranmer, Richard Lawford and Jill Engel-Cox.
Achieving the SDG targets will require committed efforts by nations and organizations over the coming decade. To determine the best compatible actions within funding, infrastructure development, and implementation of three closely aligned goals, the greatest synergies where investigated as well as conflicting resource needs creating trade-offs possibly threatening SDG success. The SDGs each have several targets that need to be realized to reach the goal. A methodology was designed to analyse each target of SDG 2 (food), 6 (water), and 7 (energy). The targets were compared pairwise and total interaction was calculated to determine different levels of synergies and trade-offs for every pair. It was concluded that achieving the water targets will make it continuously easier to achieve other targets. While the results may require adaptation to a specific locality or country, they provide an improved understanding of the interactions between the targets. The value of the study lies in the quantitative methodology as it can be used as a replicable analysis for any level of work on SDG implementation.
D. Kolesch – Master’s student from the Technical University of Munich
Dominik Kolesch from TUM stayed from 05.03. – 04.09.2018 at the ICWRGC to write his master thesis dealing with “Derivation of a Meta-Indicator for Water Quality by Comparison of Existing Water Quality Indicators and Indices with GEMStat Data”. He successfully completed this thesis in October 2018.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has shown that better protection of freshwater biodiversity and the health of aquatic life is imperative. SDG 6.3.2 demands an index to describe water quality in terms of ecological health. This study uses a new approach to a meta indicator for describing riverine water quality, resulting in 3 parameter sets for water quality measuring. The index has been applied in 2 rivers, Rio Tietê (Brazil) and Ebro (Spain). The chosen CCME Water Quality Index (WQI) was tested against existing applications of WQIs in the researched regions.
Indexing is an efficient tool of displaying complex data in an aggregated form. The goal of the study was to describe water quality in rivers. The real challenge is to tackle the whole river health. In the future, with some improvements based on the present approach, a new subindex for water quality will be developed and add a more precise piece to the puzzle.
If you are interested in reading the entire pdf of the master thesis, you may contact Dominik:
Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean
Recent accelerated climate change has exacerbated existing environmental problems in the Mediterranean Basin due to a combination of changes in land use, increasing pollution and declining biodiversity. For five broad and interconnected impact domains (water, ecosystems, food, health and security), current change and future scenarios point to significant and increasing risks during the coming decades. Policies for the sustainable development of Mediterranean countries need to mitigate these risks and consider adaptation options, but currently lack adequate information. This is especially true of the most vulnerable southern Mediterranean societies, where fewer systematic observations schemes and impact models are based. A dedicated effort to synthesize existing scientific knowledge across disciplines is underway, aiming at providing a better understanding of the combined risks posed.
The article has been published in Nature Climate Change, Vol. 8, November 2018: