Regional workshop on climate services for water and hydropower sectors in South Asia

   TwitCount

Background

Water is a crucial resource for South Asian communities, and rainfall is a key source in the region. The South Asian monsoon is one of the most anticipated, tracked and closely studied weather phenomena in the region because of its effect on agriculture, river flow, water levels in reservoirs, the environment, and climate. Water availability in the region is also heavily influenced by tropical storms and Western Disturbance precipitation. Snow and glacier melt, mostly originated from the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, also provide water throughout the year. Under climate change, river flows and monsoon patterns may alter significantly. 

The Asia Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARRCC) programme, which commenced in September 2018, is a four-year programme aiming to strengthen the provision and uptake of weather and climate services across South Asia. Although regional in nature, ARRCC will also focus on the most vulnerable countries in the region, primarily Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. The programme focuses across all meteorological timescales (weather, season, climate), aiming to build climate and environmental resilience by improving the application of and access to weather and climate services at regional to national levels. The programme will also support the development of new technologies and innovative approaches to help vulnerable communities use weather warnings and forecasts to better prepare for climate-related shocks.

The ARRCC programme is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and is a partnership with the Met Office and the World Bank.During the ARRCC/Climate Analysis for Risk Information and Services in South Asia (CARISSA) workshop hosted by ICIMOD in Kathmandui  in early 2019, participants highlighted the importance of climate information for the water sector and identified climate services for water and hydropower as one of the topics for further research and discussion in a subsequent workshop. While priorities in these sectors are different across the four focus countries, this topic is very relevant across the region because of the dependence on water as a resource and the issues that arise around the seasonal and inter-annual variability of water availability. Large parts of the ARRCC focus regions are drought-prone, and it is important to understand whether and how these areas will be affected by the future climate variability and consequent risks. 

Against this backdrop, as part of an ongoing series of activities in South Asia under ARRCC, the Met Office (the UK’s national meteorological service) and ICIMOD will accordingly hold a regional workshop to assess the current use of climate change information and generate buy-in to collaborate on providing improved services. Researchers, service providers, boundary organizations, and users of future climate information will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the use and uptake of climate services for the water and hydropower sector in South Asia. These deliberations are aimed at aiding decision making around climate action.

Workshop objectives

  • Identify the needs and gaps in climate information available for the water and hydropower sector and pinpoint how downscaled regional climate models can help decision-making in the sector

  • Present initial work on a pilot climate information service for the water and hydropower sectors

  • Demonstrate the value (and issues) of bringing multiple sources of information together (including multi-model, multi-method climate projections) for a sector and demonstrate how this is done

Participation

Participants will include representatives from the following: 

  • Those involved in the production of national or regional climate projections – especially relevant to the water and hydropower sectors – from South Asian national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS)s, regional centres, and research organizations

  • Those involved at a national or regional level in the use and/or translation of climate projections. This should include end-users from the water and hydropower sectors, who make direct use of climate projections, and intermediary organizations.

  • International experts involved in the production of downscaled projections and their usage in South Asia 

  • Policy makers from departments concerned with the water and hydropower sectors

  • Sectoral users from the water and hydropower sectors

  • Private-sector representatives will be invited to a specifically tailored half-day event at the end of the main workshop.

Participation in this workshop is by invitation only. 

Expected outcomes 

A detailed workshop report will be produced and shared with all participants. Outputs from the workshop will be shared further via regional and international newsletters and case studies.

The workshop organizers will collect detailed and structured feedback (including further requirements) on the pilot climate information service developed by the Met Office and evaluate the feasibility of implementation after the workshop.

The workshop will also help chart suitable activities for the remainder of the ARRCC programme.

 Met Office and ICIMOD (2019). Regional workshop on future climate projections and their applications in South Asia. ARRCC Programme. Workshop Report 1029/6. Kathmandu: ICIMOD