World Leaders Asked to put Water and Climate Change at the Top of their Agendas

The head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and nine other international organizations urged on Friday that countries must take urgent action to address the water-related effects of climate change. 

They urged governments to emphasize integrated water and climate action for the benefit of people and the planet, in order to achieve universal access to water and sanitation, as well as sustainable management. 

Droughts and floods are becoming increasingly harsh and frequent as a result of climate change, and natural water storage in ice and snow is disappearing. Water quality in surface and groundwater is also affected by rising temperatures and fluctuation in flow patterns of water bodies. 

Agriculture, food systems, and livelihoods, as well as ecosystems and biodiversity, are already being impacted by changing precipitation patterns. Rising sea levels, on the other hand, pose a hazard to communities, infrastructure, coastal habitats, and aquifers. 

Over a third of the world’s children, or 920 million boys and girls, are currently living in areas where there is a serious lack of water. 

Water serves as a “climate connector,” allowing stronger coordination on the majority of global climate response, sustainable development, and catastrophe risk reduction goals. 

The heads of WMO, UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the Global Water Partnership signed the letter urging world leaders (GWP). 

They listed a number of important goals, including integrating water and climate through national and regional adaptation and resilience planning, as well as supporting and funding global water monitoring systems that give timely information on present and future water availability. 

Supporting technical, political, and scientific cooperation, as well as promoting “a proactive approach” to flood and drought management centered on the pillars of monitoring, forecasting, and early warning; vulnerability and impact assessment; and preparedness, mitigation, and response, are among the other recommendations.