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Climate change is shaping our living conditions on Earth. Our success in adapting to and coping with the climate challenges has a lot to do with how we manage and secure water for human needs and for a healthy environment under increasing climate uncertainty and variability. By managing water resources as part of a unit, the ‘Whole of the Water Cycle’, significant advantages can be achieved in terms of water reliability and security at multiple scales. Integrated and conjunctive uses of a spectrum of water resources becomes imperative to address variability and risks in availability and quality.

Being proactive and thinking intelligently and innovatively about various water storage solutions, across traditional surface water storage and more novel managed aquifer recharge solutions will prove key in water-scarce areas. These areas, despite becoming more water-scarce, will nevertheless face more infrequent but potentially extreme rainfall and flooding events. These circumstances will have to be turned around to manageable fruitful scenarios rather than disasters. Proactiveness, collaboration and partnerships, and integrated solutions, like combined green and grey infrastructure are key.

This Focus Area supports work to understand how climate change impacts water resources in both quantity and quality terms, and how we can better adapt to the foreseen, but not well-defined climatic changes, and identifying no-regret solutions in the short term and the climate-smart longer-term integrated and conjunctive solutions.

Expertise and experience in Water and Climate Change

WCI has substantial expertise in assessing potential climate change impacts on groundwater resources and taking this into account in management solutions, enhancing the benefits from this resource and making it a conscious component of climate change adaptation. WCI and partners have worked extensively on managed aquifer recharge as part of the conjunctive portfolio for climate resilience.