Climate Change and Water Productivity

Document Type : Original Article


World Meteorological Organization, UNESCO, Switzerland



Over the last three decades, climate change has emerged as one of the most crucial issues for humankind, with serious implications for sustainable development. In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Climate change increases variability in the water cycle, inducing extreme weather events such as droughts and more erratic storms, reducing the predictability of water availability, affecting water quality and threatening sustainable development and biodiversity worldwide. Agriculture is the sector most vulnerable to climate change due to its high dependence on climate and weather. It is important to determine the impacts of climate change on water resources in order to develop possible adaptation strategies to improve water productivity. The strategies to improve water productivity include the following: implementation of improved policies; emphasis on sustainability; focus on priority areas; improving water resources management; use of appropriate models; enhancing livestock productivity; and focus on fisheries and aquaculture.