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Water infrastructure risks under climate variability and change: role of data analysis, operating approaches, hydro-meteorological and multi-sectoral forecasts (co-organized)
Convener: Xun Sun  | Co-Conveners: Michelle Ho , Stefano Galelli , Bruno Merz , Francesco Cioffi , Upmanu Lall , Paul Block , Daniela Anghileri 
 / Mon, 24 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Mon, 24 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Water infrastructures, such as dams, reservoirs and coastal defense structures, play a critical role in establishing and sustaining economic and societal activities, including water storage and supply, flood protection, and energy production. However, most existing water infrastructures were designed with neither knowledge of devastating floods and prolonged droughts detected in multi-centennial paleoclimate records, consideration of projected climate change, sea level rise, nor consideration of optimal operation across large-scale regions. This suggests that existing water infrastructures and current operational procedures may be at risk of failure under both natural and anthropogenic climate variability. For instance, failure may include inability to adequately control floods, storm surges and subsequent damage to infrastructure or insufficient water storage during prolonged droughts. Identifying key information contained in hydro-meteorological time series, developing new operating procedures and improving multi-sectoral forecasts (e.g., water availability and demand, energy and crop prices) may assist in fostering more efficient and robust decisions and support policy for sustaining economic and societal activities. This session aims at discussing the risks in the operation and design of water infrastructures, as well as the role of diverse forecasts to support decision-making. The topics of interest include:
- Water infrastructure vulnerability informed by paleoclimate records
- Dam/reservoir operation strategy for water supply, flood protection, energy production under climate variability and change
- Large-scale climate influences on water infrastructure management
- Approaches for incorporating forecasts within decision-making frameworks
- Real world examples of successful integration of forecast into decision making practice
- Water risk management and decision making strategies for national and global water stress