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Resource Management
Water Demand
 Water Demand Management
 WDM at the Basin Level
 Policies and Strategies
Climate Change and Adaptation
 Availability of Water
 Water Use & Allocation
 Registration & Allocation
 Environmental Flows
 Climate Change & Impact
 Conservation and Re-use
Water Infrastructure
The Value of Water
Resource Monitoring
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Climate Change and Adaptation  

Water Demand Management (WDM) has long been acknowledged as a critical tool to cope with the pressures of growing populations and their demand for water resources. Today, the growing evidence of climate change makes development and implementation of WDM policies even more important for national institutions responsible for managing water. Intensifying water scarcity, problems of deteriorating water quality, and the effects of more severe and more frequent extreme climatic events (storms, floods and droughts) will almost certainly increase the need for improved Water Demand Management measures.

Managing Climate Change

In theory, the effects of climate change can be slowed down in many ways, including:

  1. Increasing sinks of greenhouse gases
  2. Decreasing sources of greenhouse gases

A sink is a process that removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. For example, growing a tree where one did not previously exist provides a sink for carbon dioxide, because the tree extracts carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. A source is a place or activity from which greenhouse gases are emitted such as coal burning.

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is a legal instrument that is separate from, but related to, the UN Climate Change Convention. Countries which abide by the Protocol have the following obligations:

  1. Developed countries are obliged to ensure that their greenhouse gas emissions do not exceed the amounts assigned to them.
  2. Climate change policies must be implemented.
  3. Energy efficiency must be enhanced.
  4. Emissions in the waste and transport sectors must be limited or reduced.
  5. Sinks for greenhouse gases must be protected.
  6. Market instruments that are counterproductive to the aims of the Protocol should be phased out.
  7. Sustainable forms of agriculture and relevant research must be promoted.

All these activities must be undertaken in such a way that adverse effects on developing countries are minimised.

The future of climate change issues is for the moment mainly in the government's hands. If governments decide to sign the Kyoto Protocol, it will involve changes in all the economic sectors - something we should accept and adhere to.

Source: Weather SA 2009
Kunene River at Serra Cafema.
Source: © Ostby 2007
( click to enlarge )




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