Call for Working Groups: IWRA Water & Climate Change Task Force❗

IWRA accepted general applications to join its

Water & Climate Change Task Force

IWRA was pleased to announce the general call for IWRA members to join its Water and Climate Change Task Force, and to join one or more of its Working Groups

While applications to join this Task Force remains open for all IWRA members, we asked all interested members to contact the Task Force before Monday, November 16th 2020, to ensure that you could be part of the development of the following six Working Group topics directly related to water and climate change:

  1. Afforestation
  2. Carbon Dioxide Removal Strategies
  3. Climate Change, Energy and Water
  4. Flood Risk Management
  5. Mountains and Plains
  6. Water Pollution

The Working Groups will decide the outputs of their joint work, including policy briefs, academic papers, webinars, and conference sessions.  The work products of each Working Group will also be used as a basis for presentations at IWRA’s  XVII World Water Congress in South Korea in September 2021.

The IWRA Water & Climate Change Task Force

The IWRA Water & Climate Change Task Force was formed to position the Association in discussions on water and climate change.  The Task Force’s role is to identify topics of interest from the IWRA membership at the interface of science and policy, to work in an interdisciplinary way to better understand the issues and develop solutions, and to offer policy advice at country, regional and international levels. 

The Task Force will form Working Groups drawn from the Task Force membership to produce specific concept notes, academic research, policy briefs or webinars around various sub-themes of interest. 

Call for Working Groups for Action

We are seeking applications by all interested IWRA members to join the Task Force if you just want to find out more on this important topic, or to join one or more of the Working Groups to help produce specific outputs directly related to water and climate change as set out below.

IWRA members are encouraged to get in touch with the Task Force to let us know your areas of interest, or key messages that IWRA should pursue with regards to climate change and water.

Members will be put in contact with working group leads in order to contribute to the development of activities relating to these sub-themes.  More topics will be introduced in future, depending on member interest.  However, for now, the following Working Groups have been proposed:


This is the process of planting new trees and creating new forest lands, thereby increasing carbon sequestration, flood protection and stabilizing soils. These advantages along with shortcomings posed by a lack of biodiversity and reductions in recharge will be explored, along with case studies from Ethiopia and Pakistan.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Strategies

The Paris Agreement and IPCC have called for deployment of various negative carbon emission measures over the next decades. In partnership with the French Water Partnership, an analysis of the benefits and risks of CDR strategies will be explored. Examples include bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and agriculture, forestry and other land-use (AFOLU); a formalized literature search on these strategies will be conducted.

Climate Change, Energy and Water

An important climate mitigation strategy is to change how energy is used in pumping water, either by reducing pumping, changing the supply of energy to “greener” energy, or increasing efficiency of energy use. For example, drinking water and wastewater systems account for about 3 to 4% of energy use in the USA (EPA, Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities). Similarly agriculture is the biggest user of water, and much of that is pumped. UN Water says that one quarter of the energy used globally is expended on food production and supply. The energy, water and climate change working group will explore solutions to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitting energy use in supplying water. The group will look at supply and demand for technologies, their management and policies to support change to less energy demanding practice. The first task will be a review article and to lay out the issues. We will also aim to produce a review paper for water international.

Flood Risk Management

From a global perspective, the last 30 years have been the warmest since accurate records began over 100 years ago. The period has also been remarkable for the frequency and intensity of extremes of weather and climate, including increased rainfall in intensity and amount, increasing the likelihood of flooding. The working group will cover issues of flood risk, urban infrastructure and transportation, policy and regulations, insurance, landslides, early warning systems and climate change.

Mountains and Plains

With climate change, and temperatures rising faster at higher elevations, mountains around the world are experiencing high glacier and snow melt compounded with changing precipitation patterns. The consequences are changing river flow patterns which serve cities, ecosystems and agriculture. Oftentimes the rivers are transboundary in nature. For example, the Hindu Kush-Himalaya In spite of the possibly high economic and environmental consequences, less is known about the impacts and how to manage them. This working group, led by David Molden, will prepare a policy brief and overview paper for Water International.

Water Pollution

In many areas, the water quality of surface water and groundwater is being increasingly degraded due to factors including a lack of human waste management, urbanization, and agricultural practices. The influence of climate change on these developing concerns will be analyzed in the context of existing man-made and naturally-occurring water pollution. Existing and emerging water quality restoration technologies will be presented.

How Can You Join this Task Force and its Working Groups?

  1. Ensure that you have a current up-to-date IWRA membership
  2. Send an email to with “Water and Climate Change Task Force” in the subject line, and in the body of the email please state your namelocation and IWRA membership number (you can find this on your membership profile – but if you can’t find this, we’ll find it for you). 
  3. Finally, don’t forget to tell us what your particular area of interest is related to Water and Climate Change, and if you would be interested in joining any of the six current Working Groups.

We look forward to hearing from you!