Adapting to Climate Change in Transboundary Water Management

This paper addresses adaptation to climate change in transboundary water resources management. It discusses the theoretical background of transboundary water management and describes the UNECE Guidance on Water and Climate Adaptation as an important tool to guide countries in putting water adaptation to climate change into practice.


The paper states that transboundary water management depends upon circumstances at the national level. Weak social and institutional capacity, poor legal and policy frameworks, and bad management practices bear great consequences in the transboundary context where they are even more amplified by differences between riparian countries.


The paper recommends strengthening collaborative governance in water management, exploring non-structural adaptation measures, adopting a long-term lens vis a vis adaptation to climate change and other drivers of change such as energy and food prices, demographic trends, migration flows, and changing production and consumption patterns, and a paradigm shift from water supply management, where the water resources are managed in a manner designed to supply the needs for water, to water demand management, wherein the use of water is adapted to the availability of water.

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