Climate Change and Adaptation

Water Demand Management has long been acknowledged as a critical tool to cope with the pressures of growing populations and their demand for natural resources. Today, the growing evidence of climate change makes development and implementation of Water Demand Management policies even more important for national institutions responsible for managing water. Intensifying water scarcity, problems with deteriorating water quality, and the effects of more severe and frequent extreme climatic events (storms, floods and droughts) will almost certainly increase the need for Water Demand Management measures.

Managing Climate Change

In theory, the effects of climate change can be slowed down in many ways, including:

  1. Increasing sinks of greenhouse gases
  2. Decreasing sources of greenhouse gases

A sink is a process that removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. For example, growing a tree where one did not previously exist provides a sink for carbon dioxide, because the tree extracts carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. A source is a place or activity from which greenhouse gases are emitted such as coal burning.

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is a legal instrument that is separate from, but related to, the UN Climate Change Convention. Countries which abide by the Protocol have the following obligations:

  1. Developed countries are obliged to ensure that their greenhouse gas emissions do not exceed the amounts assigned to them.
  2. Climate change policies must be implemented.
  3. Energy efficiency must be enhanced.
  4. Emissions in the waste and transport sectors must be limited or reduced.
  5. Sinks for greenhouse gases must be protected.
  6. Market instruments that are counterproductive to the aims of the Protocol should be phased out.
  7. Sustainable forms of agriculture and relevant research must be promoted.

All these activities must be undertaken in such a way that adverse effects on developing countries are minimised.

The future of climate change issues in South Africa is for the moment mainly in the government's hands. If they decide to sign the Kyoto Protocol, it will involve changes in all the economic sectors - something we should accept and adhere to.

Source: Weather SA 2009

Increased severity and frequency of tropical storms is one of the predicted impacts of climate change. Source: ARA-Sul 2000


Current ongoing initiatives.

LIMCOM's current ongoing interventions being undertaken