< International Workshop on the Development of near-term climate scenarios for vulnerable watersheds
08.08.2014 20:46 Age: 5 yrs
Category: Courses

Reduce the vulnerability of water supply: regional workshop on techniques for projecting drought

Will there be sufficient water? With what frequency will droughts occur? How will we deal with the extreme events of water scarcity? Those questions and the challenge to create decadal projections, reliable at a regional and local level, were the major themes discussed during the international workshop of experts organized by UNESCO in La Serena (Chile), begin august 2014


The International Workshop ' Development of near-term climate scenarios (2020-2035) for vulnerable watersheds to climatic variability at the interanual, decadal and climate change time scales' brought together professionals working in those areas; experts from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru. During the workshop conducted between 3rd and 8th of August 2014, the experts developed short term probabilistic scenarios concerning the climatic conditions and the vulnerable watersheds of Latin America. Those projections were based on historical analysis of the climate variability. The current and the projected situation considering climate change were also taken into account. These data, in combination with models of decision support for water management, report on the future vulnerability of water supply in an environment presenting water stress, a situation that is present in the four countries participating in the present workshop. The cooperation between countries encountering similar hydrological problem is vital, even more when those problems are present in environment sharing the same climatic properties. Through cooperation and sharing of information the different countries will be able to react in time and learn from each other. Koen Verbist, expert in charge of the program “Sección Sistemas Hidrológicos y Cambio Global” of Unesco, underlined the importance of having the knowledge necessary to anticipate these situations: “several countries in the region have faced similar condition of water scarcity. In some of those countries, an even more reduced water supply is expected, as a result of climate change. In this context, tools are required to identify the potential impacts of this increased climatic variability on the water resources of the region. This should enable the countries to anticipate and increase the resilience of the watersheds in view of an increase of extreme events due to climate change.” The workshop was attended by participants of the University Nacional Mayor San Marco (Peru), the University Mayor de San Andrés (Bolivia), the University Santo Tomás (Colombia), the University Católica (Chile) and the  Junta de Vigilancia Del Río Huasco (Chile). Also, the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología  e Hidrología de Perú (SENAMHI) and the Dirección General de Aguas de Chile on behalf of their National Comisison for the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. Thanks to this meeting, stakeholders began a Project of several months to generate future projections for the pilot watersheds, enabling them to evaluate the impact of climatic events and human activity on the water resources of the selected basins. *** The workshop and the project are coordinated by UNESCO and the “Centro Regional del Agua para las Zonas Áridas y Semiáridas de América Latina y el Caribe” (CAZALAC), supporter by the “International Research Institute for Climate and Society” (IRI) and the “Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria” (INTA) and is funded under the “Proyecto Manejo de recursos hídricos en zonas áridas de América Latina y el Caribe” (MWAR-LAC), and the project RALCEA: “Red Latinoamericana de Centros de Conocimiento en gestión de Recursos Hídricos” of the European Union. More information:

  • Web page of the Workshop
  • Sistemas hidrológicos y cambio global (UNESCO)
  • Centro Regional del Agua para las Zonas Áridas y Semiáridas de América Latina y el Caribe (CAZALAC)  La Serena, Chile.
  • Centros y cátedras sobre el agua en América Latina y Caribe
  • Programa Hidrológico Internacional de la UNESCO
  • Agua y Desarrollo para Zonas Áridas: una red Global (G-WADI)

MWAR LAC - Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Latin America and the Caribbean