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A Water Resource Management Framework For Climate Change Adaptation

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Hector Malano (Melbourne, Australia), Brian Davidson, Paul Pavlic, - Anshuman, Savita Patwardhan, Nayana Despande, Aswini Kulkarni
University of Melbourne1, International Water Management Institute2, TERI India3, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology4

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 17: Climate change, impacts and adaptation,
AbstractIntroduction Many river basins worldwide are expected to be significantly affected by climate change. In the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia climate change is predicted that the median flow across the basin will decline by between 11 and 13 percent (CSIRO, 2008). Climate change modelling predictions and their impacts on water resources are subject to a great deal of uncertainty. Adaptation of water resources management to cope with climate change adaptation has many dimensions that require an integrated-multidisciplinary approach to the development and selection of adaptation strategies. This paper focuses on the formulation of an integrated science-policy approach and case study application of this strategy on the MUSI catchment of Andhra Pradesh, India. Methods The framework proposed in this paper is designed to encompass the multidimensional nature of climate change adaptation and the 'curse' of climate change uncertainty. There are several sources of uncertainty involved in designing the adaptation process. Malano H (2010) enumerated several such sources. These include cognitive and knowledge imperfection, institutional uncertainty, problem instability and multi-causality and interdependencies. Framework elements: Dealing with Uncertainty The main challenge in formulating climate adaptation policies is the degree of uncertainty under which these policies are designed and implemented. The key challenge in constructing these strategies is that they are robust, sustainable and flexible to facilitate adjustment to the ever changing conditions and challenges. These policies often can include "no-regret" or "win-win" measures that can benefit other aspects of climate change such as water reform policies that will enhance the flexibility to reallocate water between different water use sectors, The main elements of the proposed water resources adaptation framework consists of two key components: * A Science-Policy nexusdesigned to bridge the chasm between Science and Policy, and; * A Scenario Planning methodology to deal with the high degree of uncertainty in climate change. The Science-Policy Nexus: The basic premise of this approach revolves around the principle of minimising uncertainty by better quantifying risks wherever possible. Such a concept requires that the selection and evaluation of alternative policy outcomes must be supported and evaluated by objective science evidence. Khan et al, (2008) proposed a System Harmonisation approach to the development of water resource management strategies for catchments with significant irrigation water use. This same approach can be extended to the development of climate adaptation strategies. They posited that: "System Harmonisation establishes the base physical, economic and social position of the region, identifies the key biophysical, economic, social, environmental or institutional pressure points in the system and the system constraints." Scenario Planning: Royal Dutch Shell originally proposed this planning method in the 1970's to make flexible long-term plans under conditions of uncertainty (Schoemaker, 1995). Van Notten (2006) defines "scenarios" as "consistent and coherent descriptions of alternative hypothetical futures that reflect different perspectives on past, present, and future developments, which can serve as a basis for action". Scenario Planning involves identifying plausible future climate scenarios and concomitant adaptation responses (options) selected through a multi-level comprehensive stakeholder consultation. Scenario development entails constructing an explicit story about how the future may unfold. In the context of this framework alternative climate futures represent future Scenarios. Scenarios have two purposes: (a) To guide the design of strategic responses (options) and (b) to guide the evaluation of the proposed responses. Appropriate response options must be identified in response to the various climate futures if should they eventuate. The 'value' of each option is then determined through the application of a rationalistic and objective process that eliminates all possible subjectivity. This process typically involves a hydro-economic analysis that evaluates the degree of water security associated with each scenario-response option and an economic evaluation of their cost-effectiveness performance. Results and Discussion -- Framework Application The proposed water resources climate adaptation framework was applied to develop the climate change adaptation strategy for the MUSI catchment of Andhra Pradesh, India. This catchment forms part of the Krishna River Basin that straddles over parts of three States: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The combined scenario-response options include 3 climate scenarios - wet, middle and dry - combined with 4 adaptation responses -crop changes, watershed development, groundwater extraction and irrigation efficiency - were considered in the evaluation process. The evaluation of the hydrologic and economic performance of each climate scenario-adaptation strategy in relation to the baseline (BAU) is used to determine the overall performance of each strategy. Conclusion Adaptation of water resource management to cope with climate change poses challenging problems due to the various uncertainties involved. This paper describes a comprehensive framework based on Scenario Planning combined with a Science-Policy interface to support the development of an evidence based adaptation strategy. The proposed framework was applied for the development of a water resource management strategy for climate change adaptation in the Musi Catchment of Andhra Pradesh, India. CSIRO (2008). Water availability in the Murray-Darling Basin. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project. CSIRO, Australia. 67pp. Khan S, H Malano and B Davidson. 2008. System harmonisation: a framework for applied regional irrigation business planning. Irrigation and Drainage. Volume 57, Issue 5, December 2008, Pages: 493–506. Malano H. 2010. Modelling and Decision Making in Water Resource Management. In IAHS Publication 338. Hydrocomplexity: New tools for Solving Wicked Water Problems. S Khan, H Savenije, S Demuth & Pierre Hubert Eds. Pages 111-126. UNESCO, Paris. Schoemaker, Paul J.H. 1995. “Scenario Planning: A Tool for Strategic Thinking,” Sloan Management Review. Winter: 1995, pp. 25-40. Van Notten, P. (2006) Scenario development: a typology of approaches, Chapter 4. In: Think Scenarios, Rethink Education
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