Cities and climate change
Cities and Climate Change are posing greater challenges to development practitioners, as the linkages between urbanization and climate change, being two of the greatest challenges currently facing humanity in the 21st Century, and whose effects are converging in dangerous ways. The significant contributions of urban areas to climate change have potentially devastating effects of climate change on urban populations. Now the policy responses, strategies and practices that are emerging in urban areas to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as their potential achievements and constraints. The Urban areas have a pivotal role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation and have to identify strategies and approaches for strengthening this role.
Water in a changing world.
The amount of freshwater on Earth is finite, but its distribution has varied considerably, driven mainly by natural cycles of freezing and thawing and fluctuations in precipitation, water runoff patterns and evapotranspiration levels. That situation has changed, however. Alongside natural causes are new and continuing human activities that have become primary ‘drivers’ of the pressures affecting our planet’s water systems. These pressures are most often related to human development and economic growth.
History shows a strong link between economic development and water re-sources development.
There are abundant examples of how water has contributed to economic development and how development has demanded increased harnessing of water. Such benefits came at a cost and in some places led to increasing pressure on the environment and increasing competition among users. Our requirements for water to meet our fundamental needs and our collective pursuit of higher living standards, coupled with the need for water to sustain our planet’s fragile ecosystems, make water unique among our planet’s natural resources.
Important decisions affecting water management are made outside the water sector and are driven by external, largely unpredictable drivers – demography, climate change, the global economy, changing societal values and norms, technological innovation, laws and customs, and financial markets. Many of these external drivers are dynamic and changing at a faster pace.
Developments outside the water domain influence water management strategies and policies.
Decisions in other sectors and those related to development, growth and livelihoods need to incorporate water as an integral component, including responses to climate change, food and energy challenges and disaster management.
The analysis of these issues leads to a set of responses and recommendations for action that incorporate the contribution of water to sustainable development.
Human perceptions and attitudes about the environment, including water resources, in turn influencing the pressures people exert on water through water demands and uses.
Changes in lifestyles represent one of the principal drivers of change. They reflect human needs, desires and attitudes (as illustrated in consumption and production patterns), which are
influenced by such social drivers as culture and education and by economic drivers and technological innovation; the rapid global rise in living standards combined with population growth presents the major threat to the sustainability of water resources and the environment.
Climate change and possible futures
The external drivers of change, strongly connected, create complex challenges and opportunities for water managers and decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society.
Climate change and variability, while seldom the main stressors on sustainable development, can impede or even reverse development gains.
There is evidence that the global climate is changing and that some of the change is humaninduced. The main impacts of climate change on humans and the environment occur through water.
Climate change is a fundamental driver of changes in water resources and an additional stressor through its effects on external drivers. Policies and practices for mitigating climate change or adapting to it can have impacts on water resources, and the way we manage water can affect the climate
It is important that the WSP team has adequate experience and expertise to understand water abstraction, treatment and distribution and the hazards that can affect safety through the supply system. For small utilities, additional external expertise may be helpful. The team is vital to getting the WSP approach understood and accepted by everyone connected with water safety in the utility and those outside.
A WSP cannot be done solely as a desk study it must involve site visits to confirm the knowledge, information and schematics available to the utility. Site visits need to include input from those who work at the sites or within catchments and have detailed local knowledge that may not have been captured within the utility’s records. Assessment, updating, compiling or rewriting standard operating procedures is an integral part of the WSP strategy. Ideally, all procedures should be labeled as part of the WSP strategy or way of working which helps to gain recognition and acceptance across the utility.
The water utility will take the lead in the WSP approach but it should not do this in isolation it is a prime purpose of the WSP approach to identify that others have responsibilities towards ensuring the safety of water and for them to work with the water utility on risk reduction.
Examples are agriculture and forestry workers, landowners, industry, transport, other utilities, local government and consumers. It is probably not necessary for representatives of all organizations to be included in the WSP team but they should be part of a communication network and aware of the impact of their contributions to the WSP effort. It is important that the
WSP is subject to regular external independent audit. This will retain the confidence of all stakeholders.
There can be a tendency for the identification of hazards to be limited to thinking about those direct inputs to the water supply system impacting microbial and chemical parameters, as these are important in terms of compliance with water quality standards. However, the approach to ensure safe water must go much wider, with consideration of aspects such as potential for flood damage, sufficiency of source water and alternative
supplies, availability and reliability of power supplies, the quality of treatment chemicals and materials, training programmes, the availability of trained staff, service reservoir cleaning, knowledge of the distribution system, security, emergency procedures, reliability of communication systems and availability of laboratory facilities all requiring risk assessment.
Law for water management.
In recent decades, increased population and economic development have put a strain on the world's supply of freshwater. More people require water for more uses, while the amount and quality of existing freshwater resources have declined due to desertification, pollution and other effects of human activity. To this end, well-constructed water legislation can be a powerful tool to alleviate problems related to water scarcity. There is need to improve the dialogue between legal and technical experts in the area of water resource management. The ultimate objective is more effective and practical legislation that enables a greater number of people to meet their basic health and sanitation needs in a sustainable manner while protecting ecosystems and maintaining a healthy environment.
Water for food and life.
Maximizing a limited water supply or resources, would therefore, means better water management , and this will be crucial if we are to meet many of the key challenges of this century - feeding the world's growing population and reducing poverty, meeting water and sanitation needs, protecting vital ecosystems, all while adapting to climate change.
Integrated water management.
Managing water resources remains one of the most pressing challenges of our times fundamental to how we feed 2 billion more people in coming decades, eliminate poverty, and reverse ecosystem degradation. Poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition have become critical urban problems. Meeting this challenge, in many cities around the world, women play a crucial role in household food production, growing vegetables in the gardens and vacant urban spaces, raising animals, and trading in fresh and cooked foods. They boost household nutrition as well as generating income and building social inclusion among the urban poor. Women’s vital contribution, however, has largely been neglected by city officials, economic planners and development practitioners, who have tended to concentrate on the industrialization of food production.
To ensure more equitable and effective use the key water-food-environment trends that influence our lives today need to be underlies and use of scenarios to explore the consequences of a range of potential investments. This is aimed at informing investors and policymakers about water and
food choices in light of such crucial influences as poverty, ecosystems, governance, and productivity.
In our project, the Lira water system takes its water from the mouth of Kachung on Lake Kyoga, the third largest inland water body in Uganda. The catchment of the Inner Kachung includes
Dokolo Town, Lira and receives contaminated water from the flood water drainage system from the environment, and because of low sanitation coverage; there is also significant faecal material, like back wash from Lira city and others. The original extensive wetlands that fed into Kachung and which provided some removal of contaminants are becoming rapidly degraded.
The wastewater treatment works at Agwata discharges into the Kachung and there is growing industrial and commercial development in Lira with associated discharges. The catchment also includes agricultural land and local fishing.
The Lira system has two treatment works at Kachung that utilize conventional treatment processes. The average combined capacity of the works is over/about 60,000m 3/day, which is then, distributed to 3 major service reservoirs in Agwata, Adwila and then to Ireda tanks. There are two distinct pressure zones (high and low) in the supply. Both service reservoirs are for transmission main located in the Town Centre at Ireda. The system serves mainly the center of the town.
The entire network covers more than 100 kilometres of pipeline with over 7,000 household connections. Based on previous assessments of numbers of people served with household connections of water source use by the same, without a household connection, it is estimated that the network serves only 40,000 people, leaving out close to 60,000 people to live on other water sources, like wells, hand pumps and rainwater harvesting during rainy seasons.
Hence, our plans will cater for the remaining groups in the urban slums..
While some areas are to be connected by pipe lines/tap waters and pumps; where appropriate, water lifting devices can also be used.in some areas, where deep wells available. Water-lifting technologies will be appropriate for smallholdings. The costs are low and general suitability of the different technologies is to enable farmers and policy makers to make informed choices.
More than one billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water, and almost two billion people suffer from diseases arising from contaminated water due to poor sanitation.
Irrigation is essential for the basic food requirements of billions of people. The growing world population and global climate change make the challenges of providing adequate clean water, sanitation, and food for ever more pressing needs.
Water harvesting on other hand is a practical solution to water supply, particularly in droughtprone areas. Many of the technologies used are traditional, but some have been neglected and there is need to be reviewed if the Millennium Development Goals on water conservation and harvesting are to be achieved