World Water Day 2020 – 23 March 2020
This 90-minute webinar focused on World Water Day 2020 – “Water & Climate Change”, bringing together representatives from international organisations and institutions looking into the multiple and complex interlinks between water science and policy with climate change. It also highlighted the important role of hand-washing and proper sanitation provided the public health emergency affecting all the world.
The panel shared firstly, viewpoints thinking “outside-the-box” by showcasing the use and need for unconventional water resources, including undersea aquifers and the importance of managing these sustainably. Moving forward, insights were also shared on how to look at research around water resources and climate change in a different perspective. This is, in part by learning from past research ideas but also being introspective about what has worked before and will work well together today. Moreover, UNESCO’s new World Water Development Report on “Water and Climate Change“ was presented pointing out that adaptation and mitigation strategies should not be considered separately but to be used in conjunction to address the increasing use of the world’s water resources nowadays and in the near future.
Other panellists addressed regional impacts of climate change on water resources. These included the impacts on major mountain regions, namely the Himalayas, where these effects are much more rapid than in other parts of the world, or on indigenous people and how to engage better in public participation and manage water resources in this context. The case of China was discussed too, concentrating on climate change impacts this country from a historical and social point of view, which frame national level plans for water resources and focus on broader ecosystems restoration that can be used to improve and increase these resources.
During the poll conducted, over 40% of the audience felt that a lack of home-based water connections was the largest issue holding back proper hand-washing, while more than 30% related this to adequate public education.
With over 340 registered attendees, the World Water Day 2020 webinar was IWRA’s single most successful webinar ever!
IWRA again thanks its panellists for their participation and active engagement. The distinguished panellists included Bruce Currie-Alder, International Development Research Center; Géraldine Gené, Human Right 2 Water; Engin Koncagul, UNESCO-WWAP; Renée Martin-Nagle, A Ripple Effect; Arun B Shrestha, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development; and, Lili Yu, General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design of China. This event was moderated by Scott McKenzie, IWRA Webinars Officer.