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Guidance on water and adaptation to climate change

image of Guidance on water and adaptation to climate change
Climate change will result in significant impacts on our water resources and some of the effects are already visible now. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water. The Guidance aims to spur climate change adaptation that takes into account the transboundary dimension of water management. It is a novel and innovative product which focuses on the transboundary setting and illustrates the steps needed to develop an adaptation strategy.

English French, Russian

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Key messages

The world needs to adapt to climate change in water management without delay. Hydrometeorological records and climate projections provide abundant evidence that water resources are vulnerable and can be strongly affected by climate change, with wide-ranging consequences for human societies and ecosystems. Although climate change can also have positive consequences for some countries, such as a prolonged growing season, overall nearly all UNECE countries are expected to be negatively affected. The impacts will vary greatly from region to region. They include an increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, worse water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, reduction in glacier and snow cover, sea level rise, salinization, soil degradation, and damage to water quality, ecosystems and human health. Many countries are already experiencing some impacts and are paying the economic and social price. Attempts to mitigate climate change have begun, but they will take too long to show results any time soon. So it is both urgent and cost-effective to start adapting now.

English French, Russian

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