Honored as a “Signature Initiative,” Alliance for Global Water Adaptation Receives Special Recognition from U.S. Water Partnership

3/25/2013

Freshwater alliance co-chaired by Conservation International and The World Bank takes important step forward to help societies adapt to impacts of climate change

Arlington, VA - Marking World Water Day (March 22) and the first anniversary of the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP), a public-private network established by former Secretary of State Clinton,  Conservation International (CI) is pleased to report that a tool being developed by the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) has been recognized by the Partnership as one of two new “Signature Initiatives”. This prestigious classification will increase recognition and response to climate change adaptation imperatives for freshwater management.

 
Founded in 2010 to help experts, decision makers, and institutions in the water community work more effectively, AGWA’s Decision Support System (DSS) was nominated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for “Signature Initiative” status by the USWP. Last week, during an award ceremony at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences hosted by the U.S. Department of State, AGWA earned the prestigious recognition as a priority for water management and development efforts by the United States across the globe. 

 
The AGWA DSS is a dynamic online tool being developed for use by planners and water managers to inform and support decision making on water projects, with a specific emphasis on the developing world.  Later this year, the DSS will be publicly available on the  AGWA website.  The interactive platform will blend the best of the existing information, approaches, and tools on resilient water management by focusing on four themes:  hydrology and climate change; economics and finance; engineering and ecology; and systems of governance.

 
Conservation International’s freshwater adaptation specialist and the Director for Freshwater Climate Change, Dr. John Matthews, who co-founded the Alliance in 2010, expressed CI’s and AGWA’s appreciation for this honor: 

 
“We are delighted that the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation’s Decision Support System was invited to join the outstanding group of Signature Initiatives. It provides an important recognition of the need to integrate climate adaptation into water management globally, as well as the expertise that this System and AGWA’s membership will offer to the US Water Partnership. We know that AGWA’s international scope of work and global membership are critical to our success.” 

 
Dr. Matthews added, “The work of AGWA focuses on sustainable development. Water is critical to the resilience of ecosystems and economies, and in the developing world investments around water are occurring at an unprecedented rate. Dams don’t last forever, but they do last many last decades, even centuries. Nature and developing economies can’t afford bad dams.  

 
“The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation represents a coalition of groups to mobilize expertise to manage water resources across political, institutional, and climate boundaries. Our work is intended to help water managers implement effective, more resilient solutions to help economies, ecosystems, and communities adjust to shifting conditions. CI is honored to work with such leaders in water management as the World Bank and the US Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources.” 

 
AGWA is comprised of regional and global development banks, bilateral development agencies, governments, private sector leaders, and a diverse set of non-governmental organizations which collaborate to manage water resources in way that is sustainable even as climate change alters the global hydrological cycle. The Alliance, co-chaired by CI and The World Bank, focuses on fresh water as a cross-cutting theme for coherent strategies on climate change adaptation and mitigation, integrating consideration for energy, water, food production and agriculture, and ecosystems and the environment. 

 
Remarking on the significance of the new status, CI Senior Vice President Dr. Fred Boltz said, “Our hope is that Signature Initiative status will help to bring climate adaptation into mainstream freshwater management and development investments.  Given the pace and magnitude of human development of freshwater infrastructure, growing demand for food, water and energy, and climate change risks, these long-lasting decisions are enormously consequential.  They  must be informed by our best science.  This is a human development imperative.”

 
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Notes for Editors: 

 
For AWGA inquiries, please contact: 
Dr. John Matthews:  jmatthews@conservation.org  
Colleen Vollberg:  cvollberg@conservation.org 

 
Media inquiries, please contact: 
Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui:  pmalentaqui@conservation.org 

 
Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987 and marking its 25th anniversary in 2012, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs 900 staff in nearly 30 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

 
Founded in September 2010, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) is a group of regional and global development banks, aid agencies and governments, and a diverse set of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on how to manage water resources in way that is sustainable even as climate change alters the global hydrological cycle. Co-chaired by Conservation International and The World Bank, the Alliance believes that water is a cross-cutting theme that provides coherence to climate change adaptation and mitigation, integrating energy, water, food production and agriculture, and ecosystems and the environment.  Learn more at: http://www.alliance4water.org/ 

 
The U.S. Water Partnership unites and mobilizes “best of the U.S.” expertise, resources, and ingenuity to address global water challenges with a special focus where needs are greatest.  A joint effort of both the public and private sectors in the U.S., the Partnership is supported by more than 60 members including U.S. government agencies, academic organizations, NGOs, water coalitions and the private sector. For more information on the USWP, please visit www.uswaterpartnership.org

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