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Scenarios and Modeling: Contributions to solutions in water management?

Mar 21st, 2012 |

Brussels, 21 March 2012. On behalf of the EWP and the European Dialogue Platform on Climate Change and Adaptation, Mr. Murray Biedler, EWP consultant and coordinator of the European Dialogue Platform on Climate Change and Adaptation, contributed to the discussion on current examples of scenarios and modeling by joining the multistakeholder session “Scenarios and Modeling: Contributions to solutions in water management?” on the 13th of March at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France.

In the scientific community and in the media the usefulness for water management of climate scenarios and models is hotly debated. Some seem to prefer ‘flipping a coin’ rather than making use of climate scenario’s. Others consider planning without making use of scenarios and models as blinkered or even blindfolded driving.

The high-level multistakeholder session debated the contribution of scenarios and models for water management. The debaters were between scenario and model scientists with water managers working on planning, design and operations as well as representatives from different interests including among others business, gender and youth.

From consultation within the Dialogue Platform, initiated by the EWP in 2011, there are no examples of its stakeholders actively involved in developing scenarios or models. Some organizations are preparing for adaptation measures, but the general observations are that there is insufficient data available and its collection, along with modeling, is too expensive to carry out. “Modeling would perhaps be more relevant and affordable if it was applied on a smaller scale such as a river basin or other geographic feature such as valleys. In terms of applying scenarios, the approach is often to develop a future scenario based on the present reality, which limits the power of the scenario to being more of an extension of today’s perspective. Scenarios should also have the potential to be seen and developed as an alternative and quite different future, and not just a form of extension to the present reality“, Mr. Biedler said.

For more information, please contact directly Mr. Biedler:

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