Water & Economy

Climate Change and Water Management

Although forecasts are insufficiently accurate, the industry is well advised to initiate the relevant adjustments now. Read about the steps currently taken in Austria and Southeast Asia

Climate change is a globally debated and meanwhile undisputed fact. Yet a great deal of uncertainty remains. It is, for example, still unclear how much of this phenomenon can be ascribed to human influence, because the climate system also shows a natural variability.

The buffering effect of the oceans in terms of carbon uptake has also been little investigated to date, although there is no doubt that it causes delayed and regionally different impacts. It is also evident that Arctic sea ice will further melt and cause a rise in sea levels.

Quantifiable forecasts are difficult to draw up, especially for small and heavily structured regions and individual indus - tries, such as water management in the Alps. Hans Peter Nachtnebel from the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), who also heads the work group on climate change and water management at the Austrian Water and Waste Management Association (ÖWAV), warns that the UN’s IPCC reports can only serve as a framework. They are not detailed enough, based on different climate models and emission scenarios, and need to be adjusted to make them comprehensible for many stakeholders.

(Source: aqua press Int. 3/2010, Mag. Christof Hahn)

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