Climate change is inextricably linked to water. It causes the variability of the water cycle to undergo significant change, inducing extreme weather events, reducing the predictability of water availability, affecting water quality, thus increasing fragility and threatening sustainable development and biodiversity worldwide.
Growing demand for water increases the need for energy-intensive water pumping, transportation, and treatment, and has contributed to the degradation of critical water-dependent carbon sinks such as peatlands. Some climate change mitigation measures, such as the expanded use of biofuels, are further exacerbating water scarcity.
Despite the obvious links, water is not always highlighted in the climate change discussions and is not what people usually associate with climate change.
Water needs to have a stronger presence – both in the minds of policy makers and in the minds of the public. Increased water stress and meeting future demands will require increasingly tough decisions about how to allocate water resources between competing water uses. This will have an immediate impact on vulnerable populations who are often the most affected by water related climate change, and citizens who need to be aware and empowered to act.
On 23 March, 2020, the World Water Day and World Meteorological Day will be jointly celebrated at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva.