Desalination is among the options countries are exploring to meet water needs. Photo: Alan Decker
Global Scientists Call For Action on Water Security
Scripps hosts representatives from China, European Union at Water Summit
Researchers from the European Union, China and the United States met at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29 and came away with agreement that urgent action is needed to confront looming water needs in nearly every area of the world.
The workshop, "Water in a Warming World," was meant to facilitate dialogue among the three world regions concerning climate change in the lead up to United Nations climate talks taking place in Copenhagen in December 2009. Beginning with a look at the increasingly sophisticated science behind the issue of water availability and security, nearly 30 participants discussed the severe challenges faced in guaranteeing water supply.
The workshop produced a document titled the La Jolla Declaration on Water Security as the Climate Changes. The declaration reads as follows:
Human-induced climate change threatens the water security of communities, countries and continents. Droughts, floods and the unreliability of water resources will be exacerbated, impacting our ability to feed the world and sustain its ecosystems.
Over the past few decades evidence has been accumulating that rising temperatures and other consequences of human activity are increasing atmospheric water, altering precipitation patterns - intensity and extremes, reducing snow cover, changing soil moisture and runoff, melting glaciers and ice sheets, and raising sea levels. As global warming and other human influences continue, we expect these changes to accelerate in the coming decades.
Action is required now. Water security should be the centerpiece of mitigation and adaptation efforts, including fast-action strategies to reduce black carbon, HFCs, and other non-CO2 forcers, to complement aggressive cuts in CO2.
Signatories of the declaration included