Factors promoting action on climate change adaptation
|hazard:||Drought, Flooding, Precipitation change|
|collated by Kate Lonsdale based on the work of Gareth Walker|
Almost all interviewees were aware of the potential threats of climate change in terms of climate extremes and heightened seasonality as well as global warming. Some believed that there was high awareness of the threats beyond the most frequently-acknowledged problems of global warming in the media and the public, largely due to the debates which have taken place around recent extreme events like drought and flooding.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has developed a novel 'twin track' approach to adaptive water management by proposing the integration of 'traditional' supply-side and more innovative demand-side measures. Proposed measures for domestic water efficiency have, in particular, generated much interest and enthusiasm, facilitated by two government-established groups - the Water Saving Group, concerned with evidence, best practise, education, and policy in water efficiency, and the National Water Conservation Group, a voluntary group established to stimulate and inform debate.
The SEERA has sought to replicate the 'twin track' approach to water in its SE Plan. It proposes supply augmentation by the creation of up to 5 new reservoirs, alongside demand-side measures like increasing the efficiency of water use through leakage control, water efficient designs in new properties, retrofitting of water efficient appliances in existing homes, installation of water meters, and expansion of wastewater treatment facilities. In response to criticisms that it has overlooked water and waste issues in housing planning, and the general debate around development and natural resource usage, the SE Assembly has integrated water companies into its planning processes, and has worked in collaboration with the EA to model the potential impacts of future development scenarios on flooding, water availability and wastewater. The creation of the Water in the South East group, a formal association of regional planners, water companies and the EA, has further helped to bring issues of water and waste into development planning.
The sub-region of Hampshire has succeeded in creating a model of good governance in sub-regional water planning, demonstrating its capability for self-organisation and social learning. Planning has been coordinated through two bodies, the Hampshire Water Project, a multi-agency partnership of key public, private and civil stakeholders aimed at achieving integrated water management, and the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), a voluntary partnership of local authorities set up to address issues specific to SEERA's proposed new homes in South Hampshire. The representation of sub-regional interests on a single front has facilitated effective relationships with other levels of the hierarchy in terms of requests for funding and resources at regional and national level, and improved cooperation and compliance at lower operational levels. Both entities are relatively new, and it is unclear, as yet, whether cooperation will work in the implementation phase, when the costs and benefits of development are unevenly distributed across stakeholders.
© 2009 ADAM, Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European climate policy