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Understanding and Addressing Climate and Water Risks in the Middle East and North Africa

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Presented by IWMI's Director General Claudia Sadoff at Cairo Water Week 2018, on October 15, 2018.

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Understanding and Addressing Climate and Water Risks in the Middle East and North Africa

  1. 1. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Understanding and Addressing Climate and Water Risks in the Middle East and North Africa Dr. Claudia Sadoff Director General International Water Management Institute (IWMI) October 15, 2018 2018 CAIROWATERWEEK
  2. 2. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Overview 2. Climate change impacts 3. Responses to risk 1. Multiple water challenges
  3. 3. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Source:World Bank CHALLENGES: Water Scarcity MENA is the world’s most water-scarce region
  4. 4. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world CHALLENGES: Unsustainable Use World’s greatest depletion rates – especially of groundwater Source: Wada and Bierkens (2014)
  5. 5. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world CHALLENGES: Unsustainable Use Drainage of wetlands
  6. 6. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world 6 Sources: WHO – UN-HABITAT, 2018 * Estimates for domestic wastewater have been made for 79 are from mainly high and high-middle income countries and exclude most of Africa and Asia CHALLENGES: Water Quality Water pollution from untreated domestic wastewater
  7. 7. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Source: Palestinian Water Authority (2011) • Nitrates from agriculture are the most common chemical contaminant in groundwater • Coastal zones, estuaries and inland waters are at risk of eutrophication • Overpumping, irrigation and seawater intrusion lead to widespread freshwater salinization CHALLENGES: Water Quality Pollution from agriculture and salinity Salinity Nitrates
  8. 8. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Source:CarolReeb,StanfordUniversity • Concentration of salt in the Gulf is 45 g/L • Desalination becomes less efficient above 40 g/L • Negative impacts on marine biodiversity CHALLENGES: Water Quality Harmful impacts of desalination
  9. 9. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world • Recurrent hazards • More than 500,000 affected by flash floods in 2000s • Recent droughts have been exceptional relative to natural variability over the last millennium CHALLENGES:Water Related Disasters Floods and droughts threaten economies and societies
  10. 10. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world CHALLENGES: Water Risks Impacts on freshwater biodiversity Source: IUCN (2010) WaterRelatedThreats Number of Species Affected
  11. 11. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Overview 1. Multiple water challenges 3. Responses to risk 2. Climate change impacts
  12. 12. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: Water Stress Increased surface water stress to 2030 – especially in countries affected by conflict and migration Source: World Bank
  13. 13. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Today’s Path -6% -2% -1% +2% +6%+1%0% Source: World Bank CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: Growth Impacts of water scarcity on GDP
  14. 14. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world A Better Path – More Radical Reforms Needed in MENA to combat scarcity -6% -2% -1% +2% +6%+1%0% Source: World Bank CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: Growth Impacts of water scarcity on GDP in 2050 - Reallocating
  15. 15. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Source: Prudhomme et al. PNAS 2014;111:9:3262-3267 Percentage increase in the number of days with drought CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: Drought Droughts could increase by 50% • In a 4oC warmer world, drought events increases by 50% • Maghreb most affected • Southern Arabian peninsula likely to experience higher flood hazards
  16. 16. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: Sea Level Rise Sea level rise threatens low lying areas • Sea level rise of 40 cm by 2100 with “unprecedented” mitigation measures (1.5º) • Sea level rise of 2.5 m by 2200 without mitigation (8º) Brown, S., et al. (2018). Earth's Future, 6, 583–600.
  17. 17. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Overview 2. Climate change impacts 1. Multiple water challenges 3. Responses to risk
  18. 18. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world RESPONSES: Managing Depletion Water measurement underpins valuation & allocation Governance promotes sustainable use
  19. 19. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world • Merge data streams to provide near real-time drought characteristics, impacts and management plans • Enhance technical and managerial capability from national to farm level to plan and cope with droughts RESPONSES: Managing Risks Drought monitoring
  20. 20. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world “Sponge Cities” absorb water during floods and release it during drought: • Working with natural processes • Protecting & expanding wetlands • Giving room to the river • Greening urban infrastructure such as roofs and other impermeable surfaces RESPONSES: Managing Risks Working with nature to reduce flood risks in cities
  21. 21. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Closing the loops: Water loop: reuse of wastewater of different qualities for different purposes Material loop: recovery of nutrients from sludge and waste streams Energy loop: reducing emissions, biogas to energy RESPONSES: Managing Scarcity and Pollution Circular water economy
  22. 22. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Wastewater recycling Remove hazards from the environment Return resources – water, nutrients & energy – to productive uses RESPONSES: Managing Scarcity and Pollution Resource, recovery and reuse • Groundwater recharge • Industrial & landscape water • Salt-water intrusion barrier wells • Fertilizer pellets from sludge • Energy from biogas, fuel pellets
  23. 23. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world A massive opportunity to secure supplies and improve water quality 82% not recycled RESPONSES: Managing Scarcity and Pollution Recycling water Source: World Bank
  24. 24. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Take home messages Climate change compounds existing water and environmental challenges in the region, adding to the urgency to act on water Growth will increase water demands, but climate change will be the primary driver of growing surface water stress in the region Innovations—in governance and technologies—are accelerating to meet the need for action in the region Global experience shows that technology and governance need to evolve together to address water and climate risks
  25. 25. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Thank you

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