GWSP - IIASA Workshops on Future Water Scenarios 2013

On 19 - 20 May, 2013, GWSP hosted the second meeting of the Joint Research Team on Future Scenarios on Water Security Threats at the Centre for Development Research in Bonn, Germany. The project is lead by GWSP co-chair Charles Vörösmarty (City University of New York) and is a component of a larger International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) - UNESCO World Water Scenarios Initiative.

The focus of the project is on human water security, with the aim of improving the current understanding of the geography of water-related ecosystem services, accounting for both biophysical and economic controls on services, and assessing how new management strategies can enhance the resiliency of the global water system over a 100-year time horizon. Addressing this hypothesis forces a substantial advancement in current capabilities, namely to extend analysis into the 21st century through scenarios, develop explicit links to freshwater ecosystem services, assess how the condition of ecosystem services influences the world economy through individual sectors (e.g. food, energy, domestic water supply, fisheries), and global trade, identify critical thresholds, constraints, and feedbacks, and consider tradeoffs that could reduce emerging water resource constraints, preserve ecosystem services, and yield economic benefits in the future economy.

A series of future scenario projections of the stressors producing human water security threats and prompting engineering, economic response and/or governance interventions will be formulated. Analysis will include sensitivity tests to identify which variables, parameters, and regions are most sensitive to the state of freshwater resources, which produce the greatest feedbacks and exhibit the most sensitive thresholds. Scenarios will include existing scenarios (e.g. Millennium Assessment, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report 5 (IPCC AR5)),as well as those generated by the Joint Working Team.

The next meeting of the GWSP-IIASA Joint Research Team will be hosted by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, 3 - 4 October, 2013. The joint research team is formed by Charles Vörösmarty (City University of New York), Anik Bhaduri (GWSP Executive Officer), Ben Stewart-Koster (Griffith University), Bill Cosgrove (IIASA), Martina Flörke (University of Kassel), Michellevan Vliet (Alterra Wageningen UR), Pamela Green (The City College of New York City University (CCNY /CUNY )), and Balazs Fekete (CCNY /CUNY ).