India Education bureau: With the aim to develop a state level strategy in addressing the issues related to water and sanitation in the context of climate change in Karnataka, TERI in partnership with UNICEF and RDPR today organized a workshop on the ‘Implications of Climate Change on Water and Sanitation’.
Speaking at the workshop, Honorable RD’PR Minister, Government of Karnataka, Shri H. K. Patil congratulated the organizers for extending his co-operation towards this initiative. He said, “Good quality drinking water is necessary for all. In the wake of climate change the state must work towards adaptation measures in the area of drinking water supply and sanitation. We need to develop plans to improve the quality of life of one and all and this includes the poor and those in the remote areas.”
The workshop is designed to sensitize state level government officials from departments related to water, sanitation, health and rural development on the implications of climate change for these sectors; to highlight climate change aspects that need to be incorporated into government planning, design and implementation of programmes; to identify research gaps that require attention of researchers and decision makers, and to develop a road map in planning and implementation of a state-level strategy for addressing Climate Change issues related to water and sanitation.
The workshop was conducted in two different theme-based sessions to cater to the upcoming needs of the state. The themes included: Impact of climate change on Karnataka’s water resources and sanitation; and, focus on implementation.
Ms. Ruth Leano, Chief, UNICEF Office for AP and Karnataka, UNICEF said, “Children feel the full force of climate change. Children’s rights to food and shelter are often compromised. She told that while developing a road map for addressing the issues related to water and sanitation the plan must include drinking water and sanitation as a special chapter of the state climate change action plan and Innovative solutions for local solutions.” She further said that the most important issue is to be able to assess the climate change effects on us and future generation.
Climate Change impact assessments carried out by Bangalore Climate Change Initiative – Karnataka (2011) highlighted the direct impact of climate change on the runoff rates. The study demonstrates
increased moisture stress in Krishna Basin especially in the north-eastern districts, and marginal impact on Cauvery basin. The water yield analysis indicates an increase in average water yield in the Krishna basin, while depicting a decrease in average water yield in the Cauvery basin. The precipitation analysis have also indicated decreased annual precipitation in the both the river basins.
Some districts such as Bangalore Rural, Bidar, Koppal and Chitradurga have a high dependence on groundwater. Climate change impacts are predicted to add pressure on the already overexploited groundwater resources thereby causing a fall in the water table.
The targeted beneficiaries of the workshop included government officials, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil societies. Students from selected schools participated in brainstorming and deliberation for identification of key priorities for action related to WASH.
The workshop expected enhanced capacity of stakeholders on the implications of climate change on water and sanitation; enhanced level of preparedness of stakeholders to incorporate climate change aspects in planning design and implementation of programmes related to water and sanitation; and a clear and concise strategy to mainstream climate change into strategic planning processes related to the water sector.
Mr. P. R. Dasgupta, Distinguished Fellow and Director, TERI-SRC while delivering the vote of thanks said that government with the support of NGO, research institutes &others have a big challenge ahead to integrate climate change policies in the water and sanitation sector.
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