Water and climate change are inevitably related. Global warming, deforestation and the increase of extreme meteorological phenomena in the last decades are making water scarcer, more unpredictable and more polluted, affecting and threatening biodiversity and sustainable development all around the world.
As every year, on World Water Day, the We Are Water Foundation wishes to emphasize the importance of water for life through the slogan proposed by United Nations, 'Water and climate change', which explores how water and climate change are inextricably linked.
As the world population grows, so does the demand for water, causing natural resources to be depleted and generating irreversible damage to the environment.
The climate crisis is amplifying the existing risks and will create new risks for natural and human systems
Moreover, the climate crisis is amplifying the existing risks and will create new risks for natural and human systems. These risks are unevenly distributed and, in general, are greater for disadvantaged people and communities. The IDMC has confirmed that extreme meteorological phenomena cause in average 90% of forced human displacement.
Due to global warming, the planet's cryosphere has shrunk, with losses in ice sheets and glaciers, and reductions in mountain snow cover. Arctic sea ice and the permafrost layer have also been reduced.
Increased tropical cyclone winds and rain, and intensified extreme heat waves, combined with sea level rise, exacerbate the risks of extreme events and hazards on coasts. All of this generates negative impacts on food, water resources, water quality, and affects the most vulnerable communities.
According to United Nations, some of the solutions include the protection of carbon sinks, such as oceans and wetlands, the implementation of climate-smart agricultural techniques and the increase in the safe reuse of wastewater. Moreover, advances in weather forecasting techniques and knowledge of the social and economic factors that shape human risks in floods are essential to reducing their damage.
On World Water Day 2020, the climate crisis presents us with a management challenge that cannot be postponed and in which we all have a role to play.