CHANGE Spring 2009 Event Summary
Climate and Hydrology Academic Network for Governance and the Environment)
Nancy Lee, Gregg Garfin and Terry Rolfe
North America’s water supply is vulnerable to climate change and variability. Canada, Mexico and the United States must cooperate to strengthen efficiencies in freshwater management and achieve sustainability across their borders. The resulting insights, cooperative capacity-building and technology transfer will lead to more robust water management, helping North Americans deal with limited supplies and extreme events such as drought. On March 5-6, 2009, researchers and policy analysts from the three nations met to discuss their shared interests and the challenges of climate change, water and governance. The 23 attendees considered continental and national evidence along with regional and sub-regional prospects for improved academic exchange and broader stakeholder engagement.
Discussions moved beyond climate and water management to consider transboundary issues, hydroclimatic monitoring, oceanic influences along with ecological sensitivities, land use impacts, and related energy constraints. Several opportunities were identified to: transcend bi-lateral political trust concerns through broader-based academic, stakeholder and NGO network participation, develop potential for better climate and water data sharing, technology and climate science capacity to strengthen resiliency and disaster preparedness, and reciprocal science to policy exchange to effectively increa se awareness and secure support for accelerated decision-making needs. The workshop was organized by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Arizona, the University of Manitoba, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Funding was provided by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs North American Research Linkages Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the National Integrated Drought Information System, the Drought Research Initiative, Instituto Nacional de Ecologia, the Arizona Water Institute, and Public Works Canada. More details on the workshop can be found on the CHANGE, with ongoing developments updated periodically at: http://www.ispe.arizona.edu/events/change/change.html.