Theme 1:Green water for restoring freshwater ecosystems and adapting to changing climates
Green water constitutes the majority of water use in rain-fed agriculture. It is the largest freshwater resource stored in soil that plants can utilize directly. Farmers, foresters and pasture/rangeland users can manage such a vital resource; hence, proper utilization is necessary. Theme 1 focuses on addressing adequate mitigation and adaptation strategies, technologies, and scientific approaches for the protection and restoration of that vulnerable resource, taking into account the impacts of the changing climate. Theme 1 welcomes submissions dealing with green water policy and research, management/mismanagement and efficient/inefficient usage, green water accounting, accounting indicators methodologies/utilization/development, optimization techniques, nature-based solutions, and others, as well as green water quality/security/stress data-driven indices. Submissions are also encouraged on direct and indirect feedback impact mechanisms on population in urban/rural/poor communities, agroclimatic smart systems, effective earth observation and modeling techniques, efforts on capacity building, trainings, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, roundtables, and outreach activities at local, national, and institutional levels.
Theme 2: Cooperative analysis of River basin scale adaptation and mitigation options.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight water resource management as a collective action that we must all work on together, as a global community, in order to overcome the challenges ahead of us. River basins are interconnected and transboundary governed by different natural processes and affected by man-made unilateral actions on a global scale. Theme 2 focuses on effective cooperation, integrated basin efforts promoting low-emission water and energy production, transitional adaptation solutions, effective governance systems, commitment to the rules of international law and shared science-driven facts to support the implementation of mutually agreed “no-harm” driven policies. Theme 2 welcomes submissions dealing with integrated data sciences/machine learning/time series and signal processing river basin analyses, identifying gaps in policies/data/knowledge, physical processes deriving drought/flooding phenomena, pilots of vulnerable transboundary river basins, common and aligned policies, and geo-(governance/economics/politics/collaboration). Submissions are also encouraged on the co-design of climate adaptation and mitigation approaches, uptake and data sharing/exchange, visualization/dissemination efforts, co-developing of virtual water usage/agreements/management for river basins, efforts on capacity building, trainings, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, roundtables, and outreach activities at local, national, and institutional levels.
Theme 3: Support co-benefits of water management adaptation actions and economic growth.
Energy consumption is the most challenging factor hindering economic growth. The challenge is exacerbated when it is associated with the operational costs of drinking, sanitation and wastewater plants. With the climate crisis, humanity is facing greenhouse gas emissions from these plants and wastewater adds an additional stress factor. Theme 3 focuses on supporting the achieved environmental and economic co-benefits via proper water management to support a growing economy. Ongoing efforts to solve these issues can be encouraged and supported by a Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) nexus approach. Theme 3 welcome submissions addressing water management challenges, hybrid energy systems with renewable energy sources for water treatment plants, geothermal and hydropower energy technologies, low-cost, low-emission approaches for constant drinking water supply, wastewater management/treatment, Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) nexus, and sanitation provision. Submissions are also encouraged on measures of decoupling economic growth from fresh water usage, governing policies/partnerships/championship/research and innovation, smart climate funding schemes and mobilization, efforts on capacity building, trainings, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, roundtables, and outreach activities at local, national, and institutional levels.
Theme 4: Improving early warning systems for severe weather events and prolonged droughts.
Data is not enough; information at the spatial and temporal scales that concern decision-makers must be accurate, available, and helpful in order for communities to be resilient and make informed decisions. With the changing climate, developed/developing/underdeveloped countries witnessed an increase in the frequency and magnitude of water-related hazards, including droughts, floods, mudslides, storms, related ocean storm surges, heat waves, cold spells, waterborne diseases and others. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) requires substantial data and knowledge, but data is often not enough. Theme 4 focuses on providing solutions to reduce the drastic impacts of disasters on people and socioeconomic development. This can be achieved by supporting operators/decision makers for better and more robust resource management through early warning systems (EWS) with integrated decision support systems to further enhance the system’s efficiency and communities’ resilience. Theme 4 welcomes submissions addressing innovative innovative technologies and integrated decision support systems, infrastructure enhancement of observations/monitoring/forecasting, early warnings of diurnal/daily/seasonal/annual changes in rainfall/runoff/green water/water flows in different River Basins, extreme weather events, heat waves/cold spills, and physical drivers for prolonged droughts/floods. Submissions are also encouraged on topics related to ocean currents/circulations/upwelling/downwelling, indices development, probabilistic/deterministic modeling approaches, EWS driven mitigation and adaptation measures, global initiatives, collaborative efforts/investment mechanisms, efforts on capacity building, trainings, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, roundtables, and outreach activities at local, national, and institutional levels.
Theme 5: Integration of water resources policies with the national sustainable development vision.
Existing conventional policies for water resources management currently lacks the capability of providing water managers with reliable tools to properly manage under the challenging changing climate scenarios. This is quite evident and is clearly, positively and/or negatively, manifested in different variables comprising the hydrological cycle. Although water is a problem, it is an important factor in the solution and is at the heart of global climate action and international, regional, and local development plans. Theme 5 focuses on how policies can address the impacts of changing frequencies/intensities of water-related climate hazards, including water-stress/scarcity, desertification, floods, droughts, and population exposure to risks, unsafe drinking water, water quality deterioration, and populations’ displacement/immigration. Theme 5 welcomes submissions addressing policies for the freshwater sources including rising demand, overexploitation of resources, food security, safe/sufficient/clean/healthy aquatic ecosystems, ending poverty practices/approaches/roadmaps, climate-resilient development, and integrated views of water resources. Topics, addressing biosphere/hydrosphere integration with other environmental ecosystems, robust/adaptive/flexible integrated sustainable water/food/energy economic systems, and initiatives streamlining water into global climate action, are welcomed. Submissions are also encouraged on synergies between sustainable water management and climate action, water adaptation policies, roadmaps to integrated/sustainable/participatory/conflict-sensitive management of water resources, institutional coherence and multi-stakeholder partnerships, policies on flood management and rainwater harvesting, and efforts on capacity building, trainings, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, roundtables, and outreach activities at local, national, and institutional levels.