CPWC improves the capacity in water resources management to cope with the impacts of increasing variability of the world's climate by building bridges between different scientific disciplines and stakeholders. CPWC sets in motion social and political processes that will eventually lead to the adoption of coping strategies for climate change.
It becomes more and more widely accepted that climate change will lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle and will have a major impact on regional water resources. It also becomes apparent that, in many parts of the world, variability in climate conditions, next to many socio-economic and environmental developments, already has major impacts and that such variability is increasing.
Both present variability and long-term climate change impacts are most severe in the developing world, and particularly affect the poor in these regions.
Knowledge of variations in climatic patterns at different time scales and the human and ecological impacts is essential to the sustainable management of the World's fresh water resources. Part of the problem for water managers is that there has been little interchange with the climate community.
In 2001 it was decided during a meeting of sector professionals to prepare for adaptation in the water sector by linking climate science with water sector planning.
In the light of the above the Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC) was initiated by severals Dutch knowledge institutes (e.g. UNESCO-IHE, WUR, KNMI) and obtained funding from DGIS. From 2004 onwards, the DWC has transformed itself into the Co-operative Programme on Water and Climate (CPWC).
In 2005 the Partners for Water programme of the EVD took over the funding of CPWC and in the same year the Netherlands Foundation on Water and Climate was established to govern CPWC.
The CPWC aims to stimulate co-operation between the climate and water community from the local up to the glocal level. Both communities consist of numerous stakeholders including policy makers, scientists, practitioners such as farmers and water managers, and the public. Bringing these communities together requires building bridges between the stakeholders to raise legitimacy at the policy level, credibility at the knowledge level and public support for action at the practitioners level.
So far CPWC has, amongst others, successfully:
Facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogues at the local, national, basin and regional level in e.g. Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia;
Conducted trainings and developed training materials on Climate Change in Integrated Water Management;
Contributed to at international leading policy forums and conferences, such as the World Water Forum;
Published peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals;
Produced movies on climate change and published brochures to raise awareness of a broader audience.
Activities and Outputs
The objective of the CPWC is to bring the water resources management community and the climate science community closer together on different levels by facilitating knowledge exchange and joint research activities.
Through increasing awareness of the issues and of potential solutions, the CPWC also seeks to set in motion social and political processes that will lead to the eventual adoption of coping strategies and 'best practices'.
Activities include facilitation of dialogues between different stakeholders, conducting trainings, carrying out research focused on adoption strategies and best practices and disseminate research results for different audiences.
CPWC has created momentum in the current debate on climate change and has attracted funding from several sources to extent its activities.
For more information on the current progress, please see the CPWC website: www.cpwc.nl