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Experts at UN Press Conference Discuss Climate Change’s Effects on Water

Unlogo6 November 2009: Speaking at a UN Headquarters press conference, in New York, US, on 6 November 2009, Colin Chartres, Director General of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CIGAR) at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), warned that although some countries might get more rainfall as a result of climate change, those depending on snowmelt could expect water levels to drop by up to 30%.

 He underscored the need for investments amounting to US$270 billion in drinking and irrigation infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa and India

Aaron Wolf, Programme Director in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University, noted the lack of data on the way climate change would affect the many important rivers originating from the Himalayas and that support 1.3 billion people, and on whether existing river-basin organizations would survive the test of climate change.

Nikhil Chandavarkar, Secretary of UN-Water, and Chief of the Communication and Outreach Branch in the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), underlined that the climate talks did not focus enough on water, noting that it was the medium through which climate change would affect most people. [UN Press Release]