At this very moment immense changes are happening at all scales, from global to local. Climatic, economic, demographic, and land-use shifts are fundamentally altering the ways in which we interact with and manage the planet’s resources — freshwater being chief among them. The stressors on water resources management will continue to increase as population and urban areas grow, and they pose a real risk to economic, social, and environmental security in many parts of the world.
In practice, much of our management of water occurs through the medium of long-lived infrastructure. That infrastructure can easily endure for a century or more — even outlasting the Ainancing and governance mechanisms that created it. Decisions made today about their design, allocation, governance, and operations may have impacts decades away.
For well over a decade, water managers, decision makers, investors, and scientists have been looking for better ways to address risks. The challenge has been to build upon existing decision making processes in order to work with, rather than against uncertainty.
Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis, or CRIDA, is a new “bottom-up” stepwise methodology designed for engineering-oriented water decision makers interested in incorporating resilience into planning and operational decisions with stakeholders. The CRIDA methodology begins with the early stages of project planning when stakeholders are engaged and vulnerabilities and future water demands are assessed. The goal is to mainstream robust and Alexible approaches to water management by institutionalizing these methods into consistent, replicable, and accessible outcomes — especially in data-poor regions.
The CRIDA methodology has been written as a book-length document being copublished by the United Nations Educational, ScientiAic, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as the US Army Corps of Engineers International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM). Following a launch event at UNESCO’S Paris headquarters today, the CRIDA book is now available to view or download. It is an Open Access document available at no charge.
CRIDA is the synthesis of years of work by institutions such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Deltares, the Netherlands Environment and Infrastructure Ministry, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), and the World Bank, among many others. The CRIDA publication is only the beginning of a global community of practice around bottom-up approaches to assessing and addressing risks. Visit AGWAGuide.org to become part of the community around resilient water management.