Displaying 1-12 of 12 key documents
Source: SustainUS | June 2012
This guide provides an overview of water-related topics up for discussion at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). It aims to introduce the Rio+20 process and facilitate relevant stakeholder participation.
It gives an overview of global water commitments, emerging issues related to water resources such as sound management and sustainable urban development, and an outline of where water features in the draft document prepared for the summit. It concludes with policy recommendations which include national strategies that recognise the human right to water, and the establishment of gender indicators that strengthen women's participation in governance. The authors say that a strong unified front from the water community is required to ensure a positive result from the agreements made at Rio+20.
Source: ICRISAT | January 2012
This paper looks at how climate change could affect the rate of phenological development — biological events related to climate, such as flowering — and rainfall patterns during the growing season. The authors suggest that these changes may result in mismatch between water demand by crops and water availability from rainfall.
The paper describes a project that combines a new analysis of meteorological data with previously published data on climatic changes to assess the expected consequences of this mismatch for food security.
The authors illustrate how understanding how key crops might be affected by climate change in the Asia-Pacific region can help farmers, community workers and policymakers to prepare and adapt. Strategies include timing of planting, managing rainwater resources, use of new varieties, alternate crops and shifts in geographic distribution of crops.
Source: UN University | April 2012
This online book aims to offer insight into development issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples that can be useful in policymaking. It provides an overview of more than 400 relevant projects, case studies and research activities.
Different sections cover climate and environmental changes, including local observations, and the impact of these changes on indigenous communities. The book also outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies — based on traditional knowledge and survival skills — that are being implemented by them.
The authors highlight that climate change effects reported by indigenous people include loss of livelihoods; land degradation; impacts on food security; health issues; and water shortages that can affect agriculture, infrastructure, forestry and energy amongst others areas.
Source: EDF and the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) | May 2012
This publication presents case studies that illustrate the strong links and inter-dependencies between water, food and energy, from the perspective of a range of organisations worldwide. It was produced to inform discussions of the High-Level Panel on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus, held during the 6th World Water Forum 2012. The forum highlighted the need to integrate strategies on water, food and energy and increase resource productivity, as well as improve grassroots participation for sustainable development.
Case studies presented in the report addressed policy processes for ensuring water, food and energy security in African countries, issues associate with management of the Machángara River Basin in South America, drip irrigation in India, dam building in South-East Asia, and irrigation and hydropower in Asia.
Each case study outlines the background and how the case relates to the nexus between water, food and energy; objectives and a summary of actions taken; and results including lessons learnt.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | September 2011
This report presents two case-studies that illustrate problems arising from subsidising fertiliser and electricity for groundwater irrigation in India — a policy put in place in the 1960s to boost food production and food security. It aims to analyse why subsequent reforms of these policies have done little to resolve economic and environmental problems; identify reforms that could prove successful; and outline political processes that could help achieve them.
Using India's experience, it highlights political challenges of using subsidy policies that could also be relevant to other countries.
This analysis is based on a literature review and interviews with stakeholders. The report also presents the conceptual framework, and gives an overview of fertiliser policy in India: how it has evolved, the stakeholders involved in the political process, and the policy implications of subsidy reform. Case-studies of electricity supply in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab are used to demonstrate policy reform feasibility.
The report concludes that for both electricity supply and fertiliser policies, various reforms could be adopted that are unlikely to face significant political obstacles. It argues that experimental and research-based knowledge could be used more effectively.
Source: Society for Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA) | November 2010
This report gives background information on current applications of nanotechnology for providing clean drinking water. It includes both technologies still being developed in the laboratory and those that have reached the market.
New water filters and purification systems are now being designed with nanomaterials including carbon nanofiltration membranes, and nanocatalysts such as iron and silver. Such technologies could help countries in the developing world cope with the pressures of a growing population and stressed water services.
The review features research into water nanotechnologies from around the world, with special attention to those developed and marketed in India's water sector. It points to key challenges that may hinder their impact in providing clean drinking water to the poor, and identifies technologies that could be further researched and developed.
Source: UN Environment Programme | March 2010
This report synthesises data and published studies into water quality problems and potential solutions, highlighting successful attempts to prevent pollution, treat contaminated water, and protect ecosystems.
It gives an overview of major water contaminants, such as nutrients and trace metals, and describes human activities that affect water quality, including agriculture, industry and population growth. Additional sections outline the environmental, health and economic impacts of poor water quality.
Case studies from Europe, Latin America and South Asia are used to discuss ways of improving water quality. These are followed up by key recommendations for the international community, governments, communities and households.
They include using technologies for pollution prevention and wastewater treatment; strengthening legal guidelines for pollution prevention; ensuring that good data are available and monitoring is ongoing; and building capacity for effective interventions.
Source: Pacific Institute and Ceres
This report, commissioned from the Pacific Institute by nongovernmental organisation Ceres, identifies and discusses the water-related risks in water intensive industries such as energy, mining, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. The authors discuss what companies can do to better evaluate and manage water risk and provide advice for potential investors.
This document, published by nongovernmental organisation WaterAid, highlights some of the key predicted impacts of climate change on water resources. The authors specifically address likely impacts in Africa and Asia, highlight the inequitable burden that climate change places on poor and developing countries, and suggest suitable adaptation strategies.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change | 2003
The third IPCC assessment report, Climate Change 2001, includes this section on the links between climate change and health. It offers a detailed look at how variations in climate, such as temperature or rainfall, could affect vector-borne disease. In particular, it evaluates computer models that predict climate impact on dengue fever and malaria. The assessment also looks at specific diseases such as leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis, explaining how the disease is spread and how changes in the environment might alter that spread.
The authors take a holistic look at the various factors involved. For example, in assessing schistosomiasis, they also consider the irrigation systems that will likely be needed to cope with expected water shortages resulting from climate change. The schistosomiasis parasite uses water snails as an intermediate host, so irrigation systems will need to be designed in such a way that they do not cause snail populations to multiply.
An update to the research on climate and vector-borne disease is also included in the fourth IPCC assessment report[796kB] although not in as much detail.
Source: Meridian Institute | 2006
This report, written for the Meridian Institute by a team of scientists from South Africa and Sri Lanka, describes the general issues facing projects aimed at improving access to clean water in the developing world, as well as the specific challenges facing nano-based projects.
The authors describe a number of water treatment devices that incorporate nanotechnology, including nanofiltration membranes, attapulgite clays and zeolites, nanocatalysts, magnetic nanoparticles and nanosensors. More importantly, they outline potential opportunities associated with these technologies, and possible risks.
The paper includes two case studies of projects designed to improve access to clean water — one in Bangladesh based on a conventional approach using sari cloth to remove cholera from water, and one in South Africa that incorporates a nanofiltration membrane.
This feature article from Nanowerk, written in collaboration with scientists, provides a short introduction to the role nanotechnology could play in resolving water shortage and quality issues.
The authors describe how nanotechnologies are being used in water filtration, especially nanotechnology membranes incorporating carbon nanotubes and dendrimers. They also examine how nanotechnologies and materials such as zeolites, carbon nanotubes and biopolymers can be used to remove, reduce or neutralise heavy metals and other contaminants that pose a threat to human health. And they briefly discuss the issue of using nanotechnology to develop water disinfectants.