Global Water Systems Project: Water in the Anthropocene Conference

WLE and partners have a strong presence at: "Water in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance. Indicators, Thresholds and Uncertainties of the Global Water System". The conference takes place in Bonn, Germany from May 21-24, 2013

For WLE, the conference provides an opportunity to showcase some of its work on water-food-energy linkages as well as its work on water variability and water storage. Both of these issues are high on the global agenda and will feature prominently at the conference.

WLE takes a basin wide approach as there is a need to see how water is used on a wider level. Water is essential for virtually all energy development; and the energy sector is becoming more water intensive with changing energy mixes. On the other hand, energy is essential to use water (lifting, pumping, desalination); and food production is both increasingly water- and energy-intensive. Tensions over water, energy and food uses are already severe in rapidly growing Asia and are growing in Africa south of the Sahara and Latin America. WLE is exploring how to use different models in assessing the trade-offs and opportunities related to water-energy-food linkages.

Likewise, fears over water scarcity are now being tempered by a more nuanced understanding of how water variability and access to water affect scarcity of water and its use. In order to address the range of problems around water resources variability, the principal hypothesis is that by explicitly incorporating natural ‘storage infrastructure’ into water resource planning and management, the ecosystem services that this storage embeds can be used to improve water-based rural livelihoods, particularly agricultural production and reduce the adverse impacts from extreme events.

WLE will report throughout the conference through its blog and other social media channels. This space will be updated with fresh stories and tweets through the week!

To learn more about these activities download WLE flyers related to these activities:

  1. Variability through Innovative Storage Solutions
  2. Increasing Synergies and Reducing Tradeoffs along the Water—Energy—Food Nexus (WE4FOOD)
  3. Underground water storage
  4. Reconstructing weltands

The Conference statement can be found here. There is still time to sign up for it as well

What is the Water in the Anthropocene and what are the challenges? Watch this video

The film is part of the first website on the concept of humans as a geological force, anthropocene.info

 

Blog Posts

The "Ganges Water Machine": A sexy title or the concept of global relevance? by Vladimir Smakhtin
The "Ganges Water Machine" concept explored underground water storage to help develop the river's full irrigation potential. But if, the "Ganges Water Machine" is so good, why is it not working or why is the concept not being consistently pursued? 

Desalination using renewable energy - is it the answer to water scarcity? by Aditya Sood
The famous quote, "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink," may become a quote of the past, at least for coastal cities, if desalination by renewable energy takes off.  Desalination technology is becoming increasingly popular as water scarcity pressure in urban areas increases. 

Is hydropower for or against irrigation? by Claudia Ringler, Ethan Yang and Maksud Bekchanov
Many large river basins support both energy production from hydropower and withdrawals for irrigated food production.  Reservoirs constructed for hydropower production could easily serve irrigation systems as water can be available 'on demand' through releases from the dam. 

Using the water energy nexus to minimize tradeoffs in the Syr Darya by Jeremy Cherfas
The water energy food nexus sounds less complicated than it is.  At its heart is the interdependence of each on the others. The five countries of Central Asia may be linked by the rivers that flow through them, but at present the governments and water management policies could scarcely be more different.  

Water Powered Trade-offs in the Indus River Basin by Jeremy Cherfas
While other countries often have mixed priorities for their water, Pakistan has always been clear.  The Indus is for irrigation.  Hydropower is a secondary concern.  And yet, Pakistan could also use more energy... 

Climate change is no joke for Ghana by Jeremy Cherfas
Can the Volta sustain energy demands and agricultural production in Ghana? A study presented by Matthew McCartney at the GWSP Water in the Anthropocene Conference finds that with increasing rainfall variability, hydropower production may decline alongside water for irrigation.

This year's model by Jeremy Cherfas
Communicating scientific models to decision makers can be tricky business. Scientists at the Water in the Anthropocene conference seem to have the answers to future water scarcity problems.  But will these models and predictions spark action?

 

List of presenters

Special sessions chaired by WLE and its partners

  1. The Energy-Water Nexus in River Basins across the Developing World (Thursday, May 23, 15.30-17.00)— hosted by WLE
  2. Adapting to Change at Different Levels: Adaptive Water Governance in Large Basins (Thursday May 23, 09.00-10.30)”
  3. Responses to the Anthropocene: Storing and Diverting Water (Wednesday May 22, Time: 09:00 - 10:30)
  4. Towards an Integrated Approach to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Wednesday, May 22, 15:30-17:00)

Presentations by WLE researchers

V. Smakhtin, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Hydrological modeling in large basins: how much is enough?
Session: Working with Uncertainties: Models and Data II

P. Karimi, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Water Accounting Plus (WA+): A tool for basin-wide water accounting using remote sensing data
Session: Working with Uncertainties: Models and Data II

L. Bharati, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Current and Future Variability in the Hydrological Regime of the Koshi Basin, Nepal
Session: Coping with Uncertainties and Risks: Climate Change and Variability II
Wednesday, May 22, 11:00 - 12:30

V. Smakhtin, International Water Management Institute
Managing variability of water resources in river basins for enhanced food and livelihoods security
Session: Rivers and the Nexus: Water, Energy and Food Security in Large Basins
May 22, Time: 11:00 - 12:30

D. Suhardiman, International Water Management Institute (IWMI),
» Legal Plurality: An Analysis of Power Interplay in Mekong Hydropower
Session: Water-Energy Tradeoffs across Scales
Tuesday May 21, 15:30-17:00

A. Karimov, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Reducing Water and Energy Tradeoffs by increasing Water and Energy Productivity:
Session: Water-Energy Tradeoffs across Scales
Tuesday May 21, 15:30-17:00

A. Sood, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Can Large Scale Desalination coupled with Renewable Energy resolve increasing Water Scarcity
Session: Water-Energy Tradeoffs across Scales
Tuesday May 21, 15:30-17:00

G. Pitois, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
» Bioenergy versus Hydropower?Implications for Water Resources
Session: Water-Energy Tradeoffs across Scales
Tuesday May 21, 15:30-17:00

M. McCartney, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
» Implications of Climate Change on Existing and Planned Water Resource Development in the Volta Basin
Session: The Energy-Water Nexus in River Basins across the Developing World
Thursday, May 23, 15:30-17:00

C. Ringler, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
» Modeling the water-energy-food nexus in the Indus River of Pakistan
Session: The Energy-Water Nexus in River Basins across the Developing World
Thursday, May 23, 15.30-17.00

S. Robinson, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
» Modeling Economywide Impacts of Water Policies in Pakistan
Session: The Energy-Water Nexus in River Basins across the Developing World

D. Suhardiman, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Between interests and world views: The narrow path of the Mekong River Commission

 

 

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