Scientific achievements

In 2015, the Water (WAT) Program further enhanced its futures initiative, Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS), helping the program develop new approaches while using local case studies to test policy options with the input of stakeholders.

Adapted from: © Vítek Prchal | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © Vítek Prchal | Dreamstime

The initial WFaS Fast-Track scenario analysis was completed in December 2015. This constitutes the first comprehensive, multi-model assessment of water availability and demand, with full consistency of climate, energy, and land-use scenarios. A set of scenarios with water projections consistent with global scenarios in other sectors are used to identify the challenges of securing water, food, and energy security. This analysis is based on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and the Representative Concentration Pathways and climate projections that were developed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report.

WAT’s activities have also spanned a number of case studies including India, China, Peru, Nepal, and the US-Mexico border region of the Rio Grande basin. The program has performed regional scenario analyses for these and developed approaches for ensuring cross‐scale consistency. This allows assessment of policy options and investigation of synergies and trade-offs of these options. Finally, the program has also built tools for communicating the results of these analyses to stakeholders.

Water Futures and Solutions fast-track analysis

The successful completion of the fast-track analysis under the global Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative, is a major achievement of the Water (WAT) Program. The analysis has yielded the first set of multi-model, quantified scenarios of water demand with a focus on the domestic, industrial, and energy sectors. More

Global Agro-ecological Zones data portal version 4

The fourth version of the Global Agro-ecological Zones data portal (GAEZ v4) was released in 2015. This work is the result of a continued collaboration of the Water (WAT) Program with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to update key input data, extend model components, and complete a number of computer-intensive model simulations. More

Water-food-energy integrated assessment nexus in Asia and the Pacific

Under the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) Water Financing Program, the Water (WAT) Program produced consistent and comprehensive projections for water futures in Asia, via the Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative. More

Calculating land footprint

The Water (WAT) Program helped develop a new method for calculating land footprints. This combines the IIASA LANDFLOW model—which traces land embodied in trade and consumption—with environmental economic-accounting. Land footprints were also further analyzed by the program in terms of land quality, resource use, and environmental impacts. More

Enhancing water-system resilience

The Water (WAT) Program has extended work begun by the Global Water Systems Project, which focuses on human and ecosystem water security and assessing the investments required to enhance the resilience of the global water system over a 100-year time period. More

Enhancing community flood resilience

In collaboration with the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program the Water (WAT) Program has continued to contribute to methods to enhance flood resilience. To this end, WAT has led development of the Flood Resilience System Framework (FLORES) to integrate disaster risk management and development perspectives. More

Environmental governance of transboundary water resources

The Water (WAT) Program has developed comparative approaches for improving environmental governance of transboundary water resources along the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin and the Colorado River Basin, along the border between the US and Mexico. More

Improving rural livelihoods in India

Three leading institutes in India have collaborated with the Water (WAT) Program to compile harmonized databases and build a common framework for jointly assessing the impact of climate, land use, soil nutrients, and water management on local livelihoods. More

Land-use efficiency in China

In 2015 the Water (WAT) Program carried out analysis for the project: Integrated Analysis and Modelling of Land Use Efficiency and Security under Rapid Agricultural Transformation in China. Land-cover changes associated with the rapid exodus of the rural population were investigated, along with rural-urban divisions and the reasons behind cropland abandonment. More

Aiding modeling and assessment projects

One of the goals of the Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative is to establish a knowledge hub for systems analytic approaches to water challenges. To facilitate this, the program has been working closely with the Intersectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) to help develop climate-impact models that fully incorporate water issues. More

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Last edited: 03 March 2016


Bill Cosgrove

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