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Abstract

Across the American West, water managers and communities are hungry for solutions and perhaps more for inspiration. As the climate warms and weather extremes become undeniable, having a secure supply of clean and abundant water — for our communities, our economy, our environment and our farms — is becoming a huge challenge. This report spotlights successful, sustainable and economically sensible steps ten communities are taking to make sure they will have water in the decades to come.

Location

United States
14° 46' 29.5788" S, 70° 55' 39.8424" W
Author Name(s): 
Diana Sietz, Sabino Edgar Mamani Choque, Matthias K.B. Lüdeke

Project Summary/Overview

Smallholder livelihoods in the Peruvian Altiplano (central Andes) are frequently threatened by weather extremes, including droughts, frosts and heavy rainfall. A project was undertaken to investigate characteristics of smallholder households that explain the link between climate vulnerability and food security. This study revealed distinct groups of smallholders with regard to their ability to meet food requirements. Taking up the basic concept of pattern analysis, vulnerability was assessed based on similarities at the household level. The pattern approach was extended in testing the validity of the identified patterns using outcomes of a specific exposure and reported mechanisms from independent information sources. Such a validated and manageable categorization of the heterogeneous characteristics of smallholder households provides a solid basis for advancing regional development initiatives.

Publication: Sietz, D., Mamani Choque, SE. and Lüdeke, MKB. (2012) Typical patterns of smallholder vulnerability to weather extremes with regard to food security in the Peruvian Altiplano. Regional Environmental Change 12(3): 489-505.

Location

United States
51° 11' 31.9092" N, 73° 7' 30" W

Project Summary/Overview

Quebec has been engaged in developing measures to address climate change since the 1990s. These activities include creating climate-specific institutions, action plans, and, most recently, a formal provincial adaptation strategy.

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge plays an important role in the way communities interact with their climate in many countries, particularly in Bolivia. It contributes to weather forecasting at the community level, and to the preservation of vital ecosystem functions that help to buffer communities against climate change impacts. However, the increasing incidence of extreme weather events and disasters is taking a toll.

Location

United States
40° 51' 17.3412" N, 77° 41' 43.1268" W

Project Summary/Overview

Pennsylvania has taken a number of steps to address the effects of climate change on the state’s natural and built environments. In addition to the creation of an advisory committee to guide climate change action, Pennsylvania has conducted a statewide impacts assessment and completed a climate action plan. These activities have formed the basis for adaptation strategies to be developed and implemented to varying degrees of success thus far.

Location

United States
46° 43' 18.3828" N, 92° 27' 40.2588" W

Project Summary/Overview

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is taking both mitigation and adaptation measures to prepare for climate change. In addition to reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency on the reservation, the tribe is also incorporating climate change into its water resources monitoring program.

Abstract

Cartagena’s fortunes and perils have long been tied to the sea. With the release of its adaptation guidelines, the Colombian coastal city is preparing to manage sea level rises, extreme weather, flooding, health and disease resulting from a changing climate. This report’s vulnerability assessment, summarised in ‘Guidelines for Adaptation to Climate Change in Cartagena de Indias’, is the most comprehensive of its kind yet developed in Colombia, with adaptation actions paired to emerging challenges.

Location

United States
43° 4' 37.0668" N, 86° 11' 49.1892" W

Project Summary/Overview

Over the past few decades, stormwater has increased pollutant loads in Spring Lake, Michigan. In 2007, a collaborative team of researchers began working with the community of Spring Lake to develop an integrated assessment of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce local stormwater impacts. The integrated assessment process involved a detailed assessment of natural, economic, and social issues, future population growth scenarios, and an analysis of potential BMPs. The final report, Rein in the Runoff, was released in 2009 and decision-makers are using it to help guide the development and implementation of local ordinances and structural improvements to reduce stormwater impacts.

Location

United States
42° 59' 13.02" N, 81° 14' 35.4372" W

Project Summary/Overview

The City of London, Ontario, is surrounded by dikes and dams. Changing precipitation patterns, including the duration and frequency of events, may occur in a changing climate and compromise the infrastructure that supports the City of London. To better prepare for the adverse impacts of climate change, the city collaborated with the University of Western Ontario’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to assess future precipitation patterns and resulting effects on the city’s infrastructure.

Abstract

Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States, one of a series of regional reports prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment, is a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage.

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