News

Preliminary Findings of World Bank Study on Water and Climate Change Released

A World Bank study looks at the impact of climate change on water systems. 18 August 2008: In an interview, Vahid Alavian, World Bank

water adviser, who is attending the Stockholm World Water Week that focuses on

sanitation and will conclude on 23 August 2008, reports on progress and

preliminary findings of a two-year World Bank study on water and climate

change.

He explains that the study addresses the impact of climate change on

water systems and ways to reduce vulnerability. He details the objectives of

the study, underlining that it focuses on: the impacts of climate variability

and change on water systems; adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability of

water systems; and decision-making regarding water investments adaptation

options. He outlines some preliminary findings, including that future trends in

climate variability and climate-related hazards pose an increasing challenge to

national water management. To respond to these riskier conditions, he describes

two sets of measures, those that carry “no regrets” and those that are “climate

justified.” Alavian lists other factors that can affect water availability and

provides an overview of the impact of water and climate change on food

production and prices. He concludes by explaining how climate change affects

sanitation, highlighting that less water avilability affects hygiene and

increased precipitation and moisture may lead to higher risk of vector-borne

diseases. [World Bank press release, 18 August 2008]