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CONNECTTHEDOTS: WATER,CLIMATE AND DEVELOPMENTDR ANIA GROBICKI, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE GLOBAL WATER PARTNERSHIP (GWP)ater is central to development. Findingsolutions to global challenges will nothappen without investments in watermanagement. Whether it is foodproduction, industry, tourism, trade, transport, orhealth -water is key. The last decade saw the highest increase in globalaverage temperatures and the highest food prices inhistory. As temperatures rise due to increasedconcentration of greenhouse gases, world leadersexpress consternation when they see the destructionand economic loss that results from floods, droughts,typhoons, and hurricanes. Government officials watch GDP rise and fall with therains and, with it, the ability of their communities torespond to the challenges. These water related hazardsoften lead to higher food prices which in some placeslead to riots, social unrest, political instability, and longlines of destitute families seeking humanitarian relief. CLIMATE CHANGE IS WATER CHANGEClimate change will be felt largely through its impacton water resources. Rising temperatures bringincreased risks of both floods and droughts,threatening lives and national development. Whenwater is in short supply or its availability unpredictable,development is disrupted. Conversely, water isdestructive when it comes in sudden flash floods thatwater infrastructure cannot cope with. Huge economiclosses follow with catastrophic impacts on livelihoods.In many countries in the developing world, GDPfluctuates with annual water availability. The WorldBank estimates the flood damage to be about US$10billion in Pakistan, while in Australia the estimated costof rebuilding Queensland State alone stood atAUS$9.8 billion. Floods in Mozambique in early 2000slowed GDP growth to 2.1 per cent.The bad news is that extreme events are projected toincrease with climate change. While the averagenumber of natural disasters such as earthquakes havebeen fairly constant since 1900, the number ofextreme events such as floods, drought, fires, insectinfestation, and landslides have increased.Sustainable solutions are possible. Countries that havewell developed water management systems withadequate water infrastructure and robust watergovernance institutions are better able to cope withextreme events. Investments in better watermanagement and infrastructure build resilience toclimate change hazards and impacts. BUT WATER IS NEGLECTED IN UNFCCCNEGOTIATIONSDespite overwhelming evidence of the link betweenwater, climate and development, negotiations in the UNFCCC have side-lined water management.Improved water resources management should be seenas part of the solution for both adaptation andmitigation. While water is recognised in Article 4.1 (e) of the Convention, the international discourseon climate change has not provided dedicated space fordiscussions on integrated water resources managementas a solution to the impacts of climate change. The UNFCCC's response to climate change is to dealwith the causes (mitigation) and impacts (adaptation).Unfortunately, this approach has resulted in a divide032WATERWPhoto: Global Water Partnership (GWP)Above:Dr Ania Grobicki