Abstract The climate change adversely impacting on all the three pillars of sustainability

Abstract

The climate change adversely impacting on all the three pillars of sustainability (economic, social and environmental). Arguably the most impacted natural resource of climate change and through which its impacts are strongly felt is water (in form of water insecurity). In the developing world, urbanization and climate change result in increased uncertainties, complexities, stress, and potential for conflicts in water management. New forms of governance are required to adapt the challenges such as increasing freshwater demands, alteration in freshwater supply due to uncertainties and to manage water security risks. Previous academic research shows that improving water governance is key to improve water security in developing countries. This chapter argues that that most of the challenges faced by water sectors are governance issues rather than technical or another kind of problems. Also, discuss the concept of water security in the context of climate change and adaptive water governance system as possible solutions. The study will dive into a discussion of the inadequacy of governance structures in India, in providing adequate responses to water security threats and assess whether and how adaptive water governance systems can be presented as a better alternative to public water governance systems in achieving water securities.

Keywords: Adaptive Water Governance, Disaster Risk Reduction,

Introduction

The climate change adversely impacting the economic development, social development and environmental protection, all the three pillars of sustainability and posing a threat to overall sustainable development. Arguably, the most impacted natural resource of climate change and through which its impacts are strongly felt is water (in form of water insecurity) (IPCC, 2014). Even, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its fifth assessment report analyses that more than 90% of climate change impacts will be felt on water sector (IPCC, 2014). In the developing economies the factors such as urbanization, climate change, growing population, economic development, unsustainable lifestyle, pollution, and others, resulted in increased uncertainties, complexities, stress, the potential for conflicts in water management and water insecurity.

In the year 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the Resolution 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (Agenda 2030). 2030 Agenda represents the today’s most relevant globally negotiated normative framework on sustainability and involves 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets (UN, 2015; OWG, 2014; UN 2014). Implementing the Agenda in developing countries is a challenge, particularly regarding water issues. Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all (SDG 6) by 2030 requires a huge investment in water infrastructure and sanitation facilities. Achievements regarding SDG 6 are also highly relevant for other SDGs such as making cities and communities safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11) and ensuring a healthy life and promote well-being for all (SDG 3), as there are multiple synergies and trade-offs between the SDGs. To mitigate the water scarcity, it is essential to encourage water efficiency ; support treatment technologies with strong water governance in the developing countries such as India.

By 2025, almost 2 billion people in the world will be living in high water stress conditions and the business-as-usual scenario will lead to almost 50% of world’s population living in water-stressed conditions by 2030 (AWDO, 2016). On our planet, more than 97.5% of water is saltwater, which amounts to 1,400,000,000 km3 (cubic kilometer) is stored in oceans and only 2.5%, i.e., 35,000,000 km3 of freshwater is available. Out of which 68.9% is stored in form of glaciers and permanent snow covers, groundwater makes up to 30.8% of the available freshwater and only 0.3% of which is stored in form of rivers and lakes (Gleick, 2000; Tanvir, 2008). Out of available surface water, less than 90% is stored in lakes and rivers and rest is in the swamp (Anon, 2006). To understand it in more details, a conceptual model takes account of the fluxes of available water and categorized it in form of ‘blue’ and ‘green’ water (Falkenmark and Rockstrom, 2004). it is important to note that the authors presented this concept to simplify the discussion for non-technical policy planners in spatial planning and help to focus attention on often neglected areas such as landscape management for water. They described the available water as the ‘blue water’, associated with aquatic ecosystems and flow in surface water bodies and aquifers. They described the ‘green water’ as the supply of water to terrestrial ecosystem and crops from soil moisture. It is the water which evaporates from plants and water surface as water vapor.

Water is a basic necessity for the ecosystem and regarded as the foundation of life, which is gradually transforming into a crisis due to ever growing water demands, urban growth, pollution, bad governance, landscape changes, lack of awareness, excessive water withdrawal and available water depletion, mainly due to the anthropogenic activities. Also, the changes or destruction of the natural ecosystem have a serious impact on water, as each type of landscape changes directly or indirectly impact the water resources. Magnitude of situation is dependent on local condition but changes such as urbanization (changes in runoff patterns, pollution, and infiltrations), deforestation (retaining and recharging of water), wetlands reduction and others have substantial impacts on water resources (Falkenmark and Rockström, 2004; Figueras et al., 2003; Bergkamp et al., 2003).

At present, more than 1 billion people have inadequate access to clean drinking water and more than 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation (Pink, 2016; Connor, 2015; Jain, 2012). Across the globe, water resources are not evenly distributed as result few countries have surplus water and many others are water scarce. Water scarcity is becoming a threat to our societies as the annual increase in global freshwater demand is continuously growing by 64 billion m3 (cubic meter) per year and in just last 50 years, the global water use is tripled (Chellaney, 2011). The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in ‘Asian water development outlook’ report indicated that global water demand will increase by 55% by 2050 (Chellaney, 2011). The reason is the current population growth rate of 1.09% per year globally, which is around 83 million people every year, increasing economic conditions, water inefficient lifestyle changes, and increasing energy demands and others, exacerbates the current rate of water use. By 2040 the major parts of USA, Australia, Africa and western part of South America will face the water stress situation (high ratio of freshwater withdrawal to supply of 40%-80%) (WRI, 2015) and the major parts of Asia are will be in range of extremely high water stress (greater than 80%). The water stress is increasing rapidly in the developing part of the world, it is intensifying in countries in sub-Saharan Central Africa, Western South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, and China. The Asian continent is regarded as a most water-stressed continent because it has 47% of the global average of fresh water per person to serve 65% of world’s total population. Availability of freshwater in any country or region plays an important role but same time, it is dependent on water use per capita of the region.

In contrast to developed countries, developing countries water consumption are more into agriculture sector, such as India, more than 85%-87% of available water used for agricultural use, 8-10% for industrial use and rest for domestic purposes. Developed countries water use is more concentrated for industrial and domestic purposes. With this, we can argue that developing countries are not very efficient with the water use in agricultural and industrial developments comparative to the developed world. In such regions, the sustainable use of water is approaching or exceeding the limits (Mishra et al., 2017; Hatt et al., 2007; Mitchell et al., 2003) and the competition for water in agriculture and industry is intensifying as cities expand in size and political influence (Mishra et al., 2017; Bahri et al., 2012). As explained by Bahri, 2012, that the unplanned urbanization is highlighted by the current ecosystem related evident problems and a degraded environment in the urban areas and due to this changes in the hydrology of catchments and quality of runoff occurring and leading to the modified riparian ecosystems (Bahri et al., 2012). With factors of growing economy and its impact on lifestyle changes, increasing population, urbanization and climate change, the usage of water will continue to increase in near future and will lead to uncertainties.

According to Indian government data, between 2001-2011 the average annual per capita available water fell 15% and it will keep falling by another 13% and 15% by 2025 and 2050 respectively. This means that in the next 30-35 years which the currently available water per capita consumption will increase to around 170 liters per day. In that case, India will be the most water scarce and highest water demanding country. Water scarcity leads to the unsustainable ecosystem, affect flora and fauna, deteriorates health conditions, destroying livelihoods and inflict unnecessary suffering for poor (Saraswat and Kumar, 2016; Connor, 2015; Hanjra and Qureshi, 2010). Overcoming water crisis is, therefore, one of the biggest challenges our generation is facing (IPCC, 2014) and developing clean potable water, managing wastewater efficiently and providing basic sanitation facilities are basic foundations of the water sustainability and human progress (Conca, 2006; UNEP, 2012; Tremblay, 2010).

In this chapter, the climate change impacts on global water resources explored followed by the challenges of water management, India is facing. In India, the pressures from high economic growth and continuously growing population along with the climate change and the hydrological variability of water distribution making the sustainable development of Indian water resource a challenge. The study discusses that whether the current water governance system in India can provide adequate responses to water security challenges and how adaptive water governance if effective in enhancing the adaptive capacity and resilience of water management in India. The key features, the effectiveness of types and the role of adaptive water governance in Indian water sector is also evaluated in order to deal with the disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation and natural resource protection (water in this case). The chapter aims to contribute to the policy discourse of the adaptive governance impact on water security in general, in support of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Threats of Climate Change on Water Resource

The climate change is responsible for increasing the global warming which in returns have strong impact on altering the patterns of weather and water around the globe, causing water scarcity, droughts, floods and extreme weather events (WWF, nd.). Many scientist proved the fact that climate change is caused by increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (CHG) in atmosphere, which is direct result of anthropogenic activities (Pongon et al., 2016, Bishaw et al., 2013). Many studies quantified that more than 50% of CHG causing global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2). Which in results causing climate change, which has been described as significant changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns and several others (Saraswat et al., 2017; USEPA, 2015). The IPCC fifth assessment report mentioned that the most challenging issue world is facing is climate change, due to which the water resources and particularly water management will have major impacts around the world (IPCC 2014, IPCC, 2007, Zhu and Ringler 2010, Moors et al., 2011). To understand the impact of climate change on water resources, many studies investigates impact of alteration of rainfall patterns and regional trends (Dore 2005; Kleinn et al. 2005; Abbs et al. 2007; Trenberth 2008).

These studies suggested varying regional trends (increasing or decreasing) in the future due to climate change. In particular, precipitation increases in wet areas, decreases in arid areas (Neelin et al. 2006; Miranda et al. 2010; Wang et al. 2010). Most of the studies indicated that heavy precipitation events (frequency and intensity) will increase in future but same time it will bring prolonged droughts and excessive rains as well (Bates et al. 2008, Karl et al. 2008). This will present great risk of flooding along with prolonged droughts as well. IPCC also recognizes that the water-related issues such as flooding and water scarcity will be prominent issues of the 21st century (Adusumalli & Arora, 2015). It is expected that by the year 2025 more than 2 billion people may face water shortages and ecosystems around the world will suffer even more due to increasing trend of climate change and rapid urbanization (UNDESA, 2016). Flood risks and water scarcity are serious and growing challenges to sustainable development caused by deteriorated regulation function of ecosystem services by urbanization and climate change. These challenges impact hugely on the resilience ability against disaster resilience and climate change exacerbate the disaster’s intensities as well.

To assess the likely changes in future the climate change projections are used widely such as Global climate models (GCM). Currently it is one of most reliable tools to simulate the future conditions and provide results of future scenarios based on climatic variables. There are several GCM projections are available based on multiple factors but to reflect the uncertainties multiple GCM and scenarios were used.

In the climate modeling community, projections are available in terms of four emission scenarios: one mitigation scenario (RCP2.6), two medium stabilization scenarios (RCP4.5/RCP6) and one very high baseline emission scenario (RCP8.5). The baseline scenarios, are scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emission leads to pathway ranging between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5. The aim of keeping the global temperature increase under 2 degrees by 2100 is represented by RCP2.6. There are other scenarios of RCP, based on land use also used for future projection. Others such as Wu et al. (2015) analyzed the impact of climate change on floods in the Beijiang River Basin, China using CMIP5 GCM data. Dahm et al. (2016) used HadGEM2-ES and MIROC-ESM, GFDL-CM3 of the CMIP5 for the Brahmani-Baitarani River Basin in India and focused on changes in the four selected indices for precipitation extremes.

Due to great amount of uncertainty associated with the scenarios and projections, use of multiple GCM are recommended to provide the range of recommendations for addressing various climate change impacts. There are several downscaling techniques available to transform GCM outputs to local scale for reliable impact assessment (Shavalova et al. 2003; Coulibaly and Dibike 2004; Hansen et al. 2007). Dynamical downscaling technique converts GCM outputs into local climate data by enhancing atmospheric circulations and climate variables to finer spatial scales using regional climate models. Statistical downscaling techniques use models of correspondence between GCM contemporary climate scenarios data and real world data. A number of studies are found on bias-correction techniques (Kirono et al. 2011; Portoghese et al. 2011; Acharya et al. 2013).

Due to climate change, the water resources will be affected in both quantity and quality, and hence the current water management practices will face a uncertain future (Saraswat et al., 2016; Yan et al., 2015). It is already altering the rainfall pattern which impacts the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts and contributing to more extreme weather events and wildfires globally.For example, In 2018, summers Europe suffered devasted wildfires and strong heatwaves, where as capetown in South Africa, faced serious drought condition in years. Japan faced exterme record-breaking heatwaves and some high intensity typhoon, such as typhoon Jebi, where India struggled with flood situation in multiple states.On 24th July, 2018, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said that an increase in abnormal weather conditions correspods with long term trend of climate change/global warming.

Availability of renewable surface and groundwater resources is likely to decrease significantly in most arid and semi-arid subtropical regions, exacerbating competition for water between agriculture, ecosystems, industry and settlements (IPCC, 2014). Climate change is projected to lower raw and drinking water quality, due to interacting factors including increased sediment and pollutant loads due to heavy rainfall and breakdown of water treatment infrastructure during floods and extreme weather events, with flood hazards projected to increase across half the globe (IPCC, 2014).

These condition are thought to increase in accordance with climate change because the phonomenon can be explained as extreme water circulations. Usually water from land and sea evaporates into atmosphere and rain. However, when climate change advances the water evaporation increase dramatically and raise the risk of drought, fires on dried land and on other hand an even greater amount of water evaoprates from sea in tropical zones raising the likelihood of formation of typhoon and other storms. It is well evident that the area with plenty of water will be hit by more serious rainfall-related disasters while water scarcity worsen the dry area around the world.

The IPCC warns that if the global warming continous to rise and conditions are worsen, more people may die from seious weather induced disasters. This could halt the infrastructure from functioning, raising risk of food and water shortages. In particular, the developing countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change impacting water resource due to the limited capacity to cope up with disasters, limited ability to recover, high water risk in the countries. In such countries, the rapid urbanization, growing population, economic development and unplanned development eaxcerbated the impacts of climate change, which can derails the sustainable development.

SDG Relevance

To achieve the sustainable development the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, adopted the Resolution 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (Agenda 2030). The success of SDG 2030, can act as a catalyst for progress in water security, public health, energy security, climate resilience, poverty reduction and accelerate the pace of achieving the sustainability in general. In SDG6, ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all required new approaches toward water security, this involves looking water management from non-traditional views. To achieve that water security concept need to shift its focus from only supply and demand of water towards perceiving water as an economic resource, shared between countries (Connor, 2015) and emphasize on the concept of water governance, which is the capacity of governments to manage water equitably and efficiently including across borders (Conca, 2006; Gareau and Crow, 2006). Building strong/sustainable water governance is tool to achieve water security, ensuring the reliable access of the enough safe water to every person at an affordable price to lead a healthy and productive life and maintaining the water related ecological systems for future (Cook and Karen, 2012). Sustainable water governance embrace the concept that investing in the strong and robust water management as the longer term payback for increased growth and reduction in poverty. Also, to mitigate the water scarcity, it is essential to encourage water efficiency ; support treatment technologies with strong water governance in the developing countries such as India.