The programme includes the IDRC Davos 2016 agenda of sessions, plenary sessions, special panels and workshops. Click on the session title for more details.

Please send minor changes and corrections (in affiliations, presentation order, or spelling) to



Session 25: Water in Risk and Disaster Management
Wednesday, 31/Aug/2016:
8:15am - 9:45am

Session Chair: Mmantsae DIALE, University of Pretoria
Session Chair: James GLOVER, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos
Room: Schwarzhorn

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'

Climate Change and Risk to Water Resource Planning: Proactive Management Needs

Anita MUKHERJEE, Somnath SEN, Saikat Kumar PAUL

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India, India

The phenomenon, climate change, spreads its impact over various aspects of environment and human habitat. Irregular monsoon, a direct impact of climate change enhances uncertainty to Indian agricultural economy either by sudden over-rain or drought or shifting pattern of rainfall. As rainfall, the basic input to water resource is subjected to high irregularity, a successful water resource planning even for five years is challenging. This study identified the components of water resource planning for agricultural sector, ascertains the components vulnerable to climate change, especially the erratic nature of monsoons and proposes some proactive risk management strategies. Data and information from Indian agriculture was used to analyze the impact of climate change on the components of water resource planning.

Working with the Towns, Cities and Provinces of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – the Most Climate Vulnerable Areas in the World


ICLEI Resilient Cities, Germany

Highly overlooked by the international community because of their size and locations on the map, the towns, cities and provinces of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are the most climate-change vulnerable urban centers in the world and the driving force of sustainability for the entire region. Although these areas contribute only marginally to global greenhouse gas emissions, they are the primary recipients of climate change consequences, such as floods and deadly tropical cyclones, which makes their climate change adaptation and resilience efforts all the more crucial.

To support these efforts, ICLEI has launched a special Community for Towns, Cities and Provinces of SIDS and conducted pilot workshops with Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Port Vila (Vanuatu). The urgent need for adjusting the international resilience “language” and tools (including the Sendai Framework tools) to fit the diverse context of SIDS was a key governance lesson. In addition, connecting urban centers that face similar risks and imminent changes through a network proved to be of great value to the local leaders who usually only meet when invited by national governments to participate at international framework processes (e.g. COP21). Through networks, local leaders exchange on appropriate solutions, best practices, strategies and tools in the fight to reduce losses and damages from climate-related impacts.

Although a nascent debate at the international level, Loss and Damage (L&D) is already a tangible threat for several communities in the SIDS. For this purpose, it is crucial to incorporate local knowledge into new strategies and invest in research and science-policy relationships. Most importantly, cities and regions need to co-design climate risk management strategies with civil society, the private sector, and the research community to achieve substantial outcomes.

Integrative Risk Assessment and Management for Recycled Water Schemes: an Australian Study

Camilla Ann WEST1, Maureen HASSALL2, Steven KENWAY3, Zhiguo YUAN4

1Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland; CRC for Water Sensitive Cities; 2School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland; 3School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland; CRC for Water Sensitive Cities; 4Integrative risk assessment and management for recycled water schemes: an Australian study

A drive to diversify water supply sources and promote sustainable and resilient urban development has led to the implementation of recycled water schemes in residential developments of Australia. While a portion of these schemes have been successfully implemented, a significant number have been delayed in commissioning or decommissioned well before the end of their design life. Research suggests that risk assessments have primarily focused on the environmental and public health risks associated with recycled water, with few stakeholders conducting an integrative and comprehensive assessment of risk factors that could adversely impact the viability and sustainability of these schemes. Through in-depth interviews with water industry practitioners, six limiting factors of current risk assessment and management practices were identified comprising poorly defined project objectives; a focus on hard, quantifiable risks with less consideration to soft, qualitative risks; independent assessment of risk factors; a siloed approach to risk assessment and management; minimal consideration to the time frame and context of recycled water schemes and the need to diversify management measures from that traditionally adopted. A framework to address the limitations in risk assessment and management practices for recycled water schemes, and potentially for a broad array of sustainable and resilient urban initiatives, is presented in this paper.

The Fight of the Wayuu Ethnic Community against the Drought in Guajira, Colombia


1UNIGIS Latin America, University of Salzburg, Austria; 2Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; 3Press, Grupo Planeta Colombia, Colombia

Wayuu community in Colombia constitutes about half of the population of department of La Guajira, located in the northeast of the country. According to the National Department of Statistics in Colombia (DANE), between 2008 and 2013, about 4,151 children have died in La Guajira. Among these, 278 deaths were due to undernourishment. The shortage of food is a consequence of bad water management policies and loss of crops due to the prolonged drought that started in 2012. In year 2006, the upper course of river Rancheria was altered while building the El Cercado dam. This further reduced the access to water for these communities located in the middle and lower course of the river. The effects of climate change had deteriorated their conditions. The severity of the current situation and the corruption involved in handling this issue has attracted unparalleled criticism from within the country and internationally. Some institutions even equate it to genocide and demanding more immediate action from the government to protect this community. Our investigation has shown that there is no awareness in the scientific community about this situation. This has motivated us to investigate further and present the basic status quo that will be helpful to build the capacity in addressing this problem methodologically. To build such a capacity, we use spatial analysis to develop spatial indices for each settlement like the proportion of population that benefits from the current water sources and to identify the populations that lack access to water. We expect to determine, with participation from the Wayuu community, adaptation measures for both short and long-term access to water.

Resilient Cities Require Resilient Water Resource Management. Water is our Nemesis



Fast growing cities need a sustainable supply of usable water. However with global water resources remaining constant but its quality and its management deteriorating, water is mankind's nemesis. Put into context, it is established that 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water of which less than 1% (approximately 0.007% of all water on earth) is accessible for direct human uses. Agriculture across Asia extracts 80% of its accessible fresh water for irrigation. Industry continues to dump, disproportionately polluting vast potential water resources, necessary to sustain our growing cities. We must listen to the warnings.

"By the year 2030 the World Economic Forum calculates that there will be a 40% deficit in the available of fresh water " UNHABITAT has stated that within the next 30 years, the present urban footprint will double.

The purpose of our presentation is to highlight adverse trends, demonstrating that our present course of political, economic and educational strategy for use of water is wrong; where country states ban the use of rain water in favor of utility companies’ commercial rights; millions of people within cities are presently denied access to free water, enabling the emergence of water mafias; while new cities continue being built with no long term water sustainability.

Our goal is to recommend that in order to avoid water conflict, water mafias and water monopolies holding communities to ransom, we must review global and national short and long term strategies towards water recourse management if we are to curtail human disaster, the consequences being far beyond the wildest nightmares of present administrations.

We must consider 'water resource management' independently within DRR, as a imminent natural global catastrophe, thus requesting the UN to consider the creation of a bespoke Water Secretariat, for the purpose of saving mankind.

Tehran Flood Risk Reduction Master Plan


Tehran disaster mitigation and management organization, Iran, Islamic Republic of

Tehran metropolis with an area of about 700 square kilometers is one of the world's major metropolises with unique features and specifications such as large variation in height and special climatic and geologic conditions. Numerous rivers crossing in Tehran and manipulations occurred in recent years resulting from rapid and inappropriate development of urban areas without considering natural limits has increased flooding potential constantly. Besides demolition of existing channels and reduction in their capacity due to waste or construction has remarked the importance of mitigation and risk reduction programs for flood management in this fast developing metropolis.

In Tehran flood risk reduction master plan, integrated solutions and strategies have been obtained in order to convergence different distributed actions and plans which are ongoing by all the organizations and stakeholders involved in flood management in Tehran. In first step, current situation was stated using SWOT matrix method -Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Thereafter the desirable situation was manifested in cooperating with responsible organizations and holding seminars with stakeholders or their representatives. According to surveys done and suggestions received from organizations concerned about the prospect of the master plan, the ultimate vision is concluded as follows:

"Tehran, A resilient metropolis against flood with integrated flood management"

In final stage, to improve the current status and achievement of intended vision, strategies and operative programs have been prepared and presented based on assessment results of internal and external factors effecting urban flood management in Tehran. Among the most important programs, designing and implementation of flood warning system, identification of critical and vulnerable areas and river restoration programs can be noted. It is expected that preparedness to deal with potential crises will be obtained by implementation of measures recognized in the plan.

Contact and Legal Notice · Contact Address:
Conference: IDRC Davos 2016
Conference Software - ConfTool Pro 2.6.100+TC
© 2001 - 2017 by H. Weinreich, Hamburg, Germany