Cities, climate and water

What are the challenges already confronting the water sector in rapidly urbanizing watersheds in developing countries? How do urbanization and climate change impact availability, quality and distribution of water for different users? How do communities adapt? The Adaptation to Climate Change in Urbanizing Watersheds (ACCUWa) project addresses these questions in river sub-basins around Bengaluru and Coimbatore.

The ACCUWa project is structured on the premise that stressors like demographic change, land use and climate variability will affect marginalized groups more than others. It hypothesizes that by tracing the processes that aggravate already existing vulnerabilities, it would be possible to arrive at an understanding of the effects of urbanization and climate change. So the project will look at quality and quantity of water accessible to different stakeholders, particularly weaker sections; the household and governance factors that shape vulnerability; short-term coping mechanisms and adaptation strategies. You can read more on the ACCUWa project here.

The project compares two sub-basins: the Arkavathy sub-basin in Karnataka which flows through peri-urban Bengaluru and the Noyyal sub-basin in Tamil Nadu, which includes Coimbatore and Tiruppur. A preliminary analysis of the water situation in the Arkavathy and Noyyal catchment has been published as an Environment and Development Discussion paper:

The ACCUWa project is part of the Land, Water and Livelihoods programme of the Centre for Environment and Development, ATREE. It is being supported by IDRC Canada, and works in tandem with two other research projects on impacts of urbanization on water quality and water quality in piped supply networks.

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