|Thema:||Chat: The role of local governments in transitioning to adaptive water management|
|Franziska Mannke:||Dear CLIMATE 2010 live chat participants - on behalf of the CLIMATE 2010, we would like to welcome you to today's expert live chat in cooperation with ICLEI on "The role of local governments in transitioning to adaptive water management".|
|Franziska Mannke:||Today's session will explore the essential role of local governments in the context of the various institutional frameworks for water management that are usually characterized by a complex web of actors coming from both the public and the private sector and each performing its unique set of responsibilities.|
|Alex Nickson:||Morning All. All set and ready to go here in London. Hope my typing speed is up to our discussion.|
|Franziska Mannke:||We would like to welcome Dr Cathy Oke, City Councillor of Melbourne and ICLEI executive member, who will be facilitating the chat. Dr Oke is joined by her ICLEI colleagues John Jacobs,Rotterdam Climate Proof; Alderman Clive Justus, City of Cape Town (which we still expect to join the round) and Alex Nickson,Greater London Authority.|
|Franziska Mannke:||With this, I hand over to Dr Oke who will start with a brief introduction.|
|Cathy Oke:||Thanks Franziska. Welcome all.|
|Cathy Oke:||Hello and welcome to our hour chat about the role of local government in transitioning to adaptive water management. Thank you to our hosts at Climate 2010 for getting our session started.|
I will be your moderator for the hour.
My name is Cathy Oke, and I am a Councillor at the City of Melbourne in Australia. I am the chairman of the Eco City portfolio, which sees adaptive water management come under my areas of management. The State of Victoria in Australia, the state in which City of Melbourne is, as been in drought for over 12 years. This as well as extreme hot weather conditions during summer has meant that our city%u2019s parks and gardens and streen trees have all been under considerable stress. WE have started to adapt our City to Climate Change, with many Water Sensitive Urban Design projects such as wetlands in our major parks collecting stormwater from the nearby roads to use on the sporting grounds.
I am also the Chairman of the ICLEI Oceania Board, and on the Executive Committee of ICLEI Global.
I look forward to our conversation with our four speakers and our participants.
|Cathy Oke:||To start, I will ask each of our experts to introduce themselves - where they are from, and what role they have in transitioning cities to adaptive water management.|
|Alex Nickson:||Good morning world ! My name is Alex Nickson. I am the Climaet Change Adaptation Strategy Manager for the Greater London Authority - the Mayor of London. My role is to develop an adaptation strategy for London and to mainstream adaptation across the key sectors in London and with Londoners.|
|Cathy Oke:||Thanks Alex, John Jacobs could you please introduce yourself|
|John Jacobs:||I am John Jacobs and working at the Rotterdam Climate Proof programme. It´s goal is a fully climate proof Rotterdam in 2025 and while doing this strengthen the city by using all opportunities...|
|Cathy Oke:||Thank you Alex and John. We are waiting for Alderman Clive Justus to join us, however as we only have an hour to discuss this huge topic I will begin by asking the first of our questions to our experts.|
|Cathy Oke:||As per the instructions, I will type the questions that were sent in advance and then I will ask on of our experts to start the answers by name.|
I believe other Particpants can send in their questions and I believe our host Franziska will provide those questions at a good time?
Why is local government engagement necessary for adaptive water management - even where
water utilities are separately governed? I will ask Alex to first answer this question
|Franziska Mannke:||@ Cathy: Yes, we wil collect the questions by the audience and I will post them at an appropriate time.|
|Alex Nickson:||I believe that local government has a unique perspective on water issues that the in teh case of the UK privatised water sector does not. We are also able to work across different spatial boundaries - for example in London we have 4 water companies, 3 regulators and 33 local authorities - somebody needs to bring a London specfiic perspective to water issues.|
|Cathy Oke:||And surely collaboration is important. In Melbourne the water supply, sewerage and drainage systems are separately governed. The water authorities do not own or manage land (except river banks) and only larger drainage infrastructure. Initiatives like sewer mining and stormwater treatment need land to be developed. Local and State government can provide land to undertake such works and access to drainage infrastructure. Collaboration is therefore essential to ensure that these types of initiatives happen.|
|John Jacobs:||Within Rotterdam Climate proof (RCP) we are working on developing and exchanging knowledge, implementing this knowledge in pilot projects and innovations and profiling Rotterdam as a living show case. In this, we work as a katalyst and try to coordinate all initiatives. I do agree with Alex that local government is essential in this.|
|Alex Nickson:||Exactly. I also think that a Mayor has a unique way to engage and raise awareness. water consumers are wary of what their water companies tell them - the Mayor has no financial agenda. Lastly, we can combine a number of issues, for example retrofitting water and energy efficiency in homes, which water companies cannot do alone.|
|Cathy Oke:||What areas of water management is the City of London directly involved in Alex?|
|Alex Nickson:||We are working on balancing supply and dem,and - strictly this is teh role of the water companies, but we think we can help them deliver a more sustainable balance by reducing teh costs of reducing demand through assisting in city wide retrofitting scheme. we are also working on flood risk management - particulalrly surface water flooding. And lastly on using waste water to generate energy.|
|Cathy Oke:||In Melbourne, we manage our parks and gardens and street trees, and also storm water / drain management are important for waterway health / flooding. Water management for our extensive sports grounds is essential, and as mentioned before we are in our 12th year of drought - even with some recent heavy rain.|
|Cathy Oke:||John do you have any other comment on the role of local government engagement, especially in reference to your climate proof Rotterdam 2025 plan?|
|John Jacobs:||As a city, we are also responsible for the spatial planning processes and regulations. And especially in this field the solutions and oppotrunities can be found I think.|
|Cathy Oke:||Yes, I was just about to ask about Planning, do either of you have some examples on how the planning scheme for cities can be used to better manage water?|
|Franziska Mannke:||A question from the audience adds to this - Prof Safia Djebbar, Algeria, would like to ask the expert round: How to get different ministries to work together easily on one hand and to work with university researchers on water on another hand? Is there effective mechanisms other than regulations?|
|Alex Nickson:||We have introduced a planning po9licy where all new housing must be designed to faciliatet a maximum per capita consumption of 105 litres per person per day. We also have planning policies encouraging grey water recylcing and rainwater harvesting.|
|John Jacobs:||I think that the Roterdam 2 Water Plan is an excellent example. It was written togethre with water managers and stakeholders, spatial planners, city architects and ecenomists. And so we came with new ideas for a better water management such as water plazas etc.|
Also the perspectives where implemented in the City Vision of Rotterdam.
|Cathy Oke:||How does that work Alex? the maximum per capita element?|
|Alex Nickson:||The developers must use a ´water calaculator´ to estimate teh demand from their developments inhabitants. It uses a mixture of flow rates and assumed behaviours - eg how many times a toilet will be flushed in a house of say, 4 people.|
|Cathy Oke:||Great... Here in my city - Model Water Sensitive Urban Design Guidelines have been developed by the City of Melbourne in conjunction with the cities of Port Phillip, Stonnington, and Yarra. These are available for the public and development industry to use. This approach means that design development and implementation is standardised across council boundaries. Melbourne Water is encouraging other councils to adopt these guidelines.|
and any new development must incorporate water sensitive design into the plans.
|Cathy Oke:||Our second question will help perhaps answer Prof Safia´s question... John do you want to start first answering our second question:|
Which institutional arrangements and governance structures are necessary to make local governments an effective actor in times of climate change?
|Cathy Oke:||John, in addition, how long did it take to develop Roterdam 2 Water Plan?|
|John Jacobs:||Cathy, good question and pretty hard in practice because of short term politicians have to decide on long term climate change effects.|
Important is to have a department to get it all going but in the end, the way of thinking should be in the minds of the planners, designers etc.
|Franziska Mannke:||Question from Dr. Reinhard Marth, Mexico: I understand that Cities like London and Melbourne have the capacity to play an active role in the adaptation process. What about middle-sized or small municipalities which in developing countries often do not count with water utilities. What are the ICLEI initiatives to foster the capacity in the local governments in these municipalities?|
|Cathy Oke:||John or Alex would you like to answer Dr Marth´s question?|
|Alex Nickson:||I feel that Dr Marth´s question would be better addresses by an ICLEI rep.|
|Cathy Oke:||Where capacity isn´t available in developing cities around the world, the best role that ICLEI or other organisations is playing is in the development of localised water management practices.|
|John Jacobs:||O.k. I think that for local governments it is important to work together and exchange ideas. E.g. ICLEI but also the Connecting Delta Cities network can play an important role.|
In developing countries, it is probably harder to implement measures on water management etc. but on the other hand there is more space for small scale solutions when starting from scratch.
Knowledge and education are important and that´s also where ICLEI can play an important role.
|Franziska Mannke:||Eloise Biggs, UK, would like to know the following:|
You are all from developed, urban water authorities. Do any of you have experience with rural locations in developing countries %u2013 how can local governments play a role in transitioning to adaptive water management there? Often the government has no control over the management of water resources in these regions, and government%u2019s are generally corrupt, lacking the ability to effectively function in often politically unstable zones. In these locations it is international and local NGOs that are often the most effective in promoting sustainable and adaptive water management strategies. Any ideas on how local governance could be more effectively implemented in these regions of the world?
|Franziska Mannke:||And Michael Klingler, gtz, asks in this respect: How can we attract governments to recognize climate change as an urgent issue while other problems seem to be much more dramatic to them? E.g. in the middle east Governments are mostly ranking water and climate issues in a very low position between rank one =very urgent and 10 = not at all urgent.|
|Alex Nickson:||In London, we feel that national governments are dragging their feet and that cities are an ideal mix of scale and authority to make a difference. We seek to lead by example. We have tied water and energy issues together because we believe that the carbon footprint of water is so significant that is makes sense to tackle the two as one. We have initiated a programme to retrofit Londoners homes by installing for free water and ebnergy efficiency measures.|
|Franziska Mannke:||Dear John, dear Alex, could you please answer? Cathy´s has a technical problem.|
|Olaf Gramkow:||It seems that we have high traffic load on the database server. So the updates are sometimes slow.|
|Franziska Mannke:||Dear Alex, do you think that the measures you described could work in developing countries as well?|
|Alex Nickson:||In London we had two successive dry winters and two hot summers that led to a sever drought in 2006. The impact this had on our water security drove politicians to recognise that water was not an endless resource, but one that was limited and had to be managed carefully. Unfortunately it also resulted in us getting a desalination plant ! Since then, we have been working on a water strategy to work towards ´water neutrality´ where we balance the demands of a growing population by improving teh water efficiency of the existing - in this way we grow without abstracting more.|
|Cathy Oke:||Hello I am back online, but I can´t see the conversation, could someone please re-type the last comment?|
|Franziska Mannke:||Welcome back Cathy. Here is the last comment from Alex:|
Alex Nickson: In London we had two successive dry winters and two hot summers that led to a sever drought in 2006. The impact this had on our water security drove politicians to recognise that water was not an endless resource, but one that was limited and had to be managed carefully. Unfortunately it also resulted in us getting a desalination plant ! Since then, we have been working on a water strategy to work towards water neutrality where we balance the demands of a growing population by improving teh water efficiency of the existing - in this way we grow without abstracting more.
|Cathy Oke:||The problem here in Melbourne is that we have had our greatest rain fall in the month of October here for many years and so people think the drought has broken.|
|Cathy Oke:||Welcome back John, and welcome Alderman Clive Justus from Cape Town.|
|John Jacobs:||Some login problems, sorry.|
|Cathy Oke:||Clive, we only have ten minutes remaining of this chat. would you like to introduce yourself and make a comment on the role of local government in climate adaptation...|
|Clive Justus:||Thank you, Cathy. Took some time to log in.|
|Cathy Oke:||John and Alex I think we should use the remaining time to hear more about your climate adaptation strategies, in relation to adaptive water management|
|John Jacobs:||For those interested, here is the RCP website: http://www.rotterdamclimateinitiative.nl/en/100_climate_proof/news/news|
I think that both our strategies are dealing with prevention (water safety), coping capacity and recovery capacity. And how can we implement this all in the existing political climate and institutions.
|Alex Nickson:||In London we are working through a project called Drain London to manage surface water flood risk. Drain London brings toghether all the stakeholders with a responsibility for and info on surface water management into a single group. We are currently mapping surface water flood risk across London and then identifying and prioritising current and future flood risk hotspots. Wewill tehn develop flood risk plans at teh best scale to manage the risks - some of these may need to be catchment scale measures, some community scale. Ideally we want to use green infrastructure mesasures to absorb and retain storm water rather than increase teh capacity of the drains.|
|Cathy Oke:||The City of Melbourne has developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which has several actions to manage the impacts of predicted reduced rainfall for Melbourne.|
Also, With uncertainty over the likely future rainfall patterns governments must be able to adapt strategies when climate science scenarios are updated. The rainfall over the last 10 years has actually been 20% lower then the long term average. Climate change predictions are in the 4 to 10% below long term average range.
|Franziska Mannke:||Dear experts, the chat will end in 5 minutes. Please prepare a brief closing statement - Cathy, would you want your colleagues to raise a particular issue?|
|Cathy Oke:||Alex, with your future flood risk hotspots, I would be interested in hearing how you communicate these messages / the predictions to the community given predictions have a range given the range of scenarios in the science?|
|Clive Justus:||Hi. I´m Clive Justus from City of Cape Town, South Africa.|
|Cathy Oke:||Ok, we have only 4 minutes.|
Alex and John thank you for your time, please provide a final comment, something you didn´t get to mention,
|Cathy Oke:||Clive do you have a final (sorry) statement too, from a South African point of view re: water management a local government approach?|
|Alex Nickson:||I think the critical thing fopr cities to do is to examine the ´´adaptation gap´ that we are facing for all climate impacts. I define this as the gap between what we can manage today and what we will need to manage tomorrow. For example, what is a 1 in 100 year rainstorm today will be a 1 in 30 year event by 2080. If we accept that 1 in 30 years is the most frequently society will accept being affected by flooding, then we need to make the changes to manage the 1 in 100 year rainfall intensity by 2080. You can then compare different responses, such as increasing drains, source control measures or even accepting more flooding, but designing your city (and helping your residents) to become more flood resilient. You can identify teh changes that can be made gradually through redevelopment, versus those that need a step change in response, such as significant drainage upgrades.|
|John Jacobs:||I strongly believe that that dealing with water management under climate change conditions is coping with uncertainties. And as such it is not interesting what the exact predictions of sea level rise etc. in 2100 are. Because things will change anyway and it is important to shift our water management into a flexible and sensitive aproach. Which means multifunctional use of space etc.|
And because of the fact that consequences are felt in the cities, measures have to be taken on the level of local authorities too.
|Franziska Mannke:||Dear Cathy, the last words are yours.|
|Cathy Oke:||Absolutely to both John and Alex. It is unfortunate that I believe we have finished our time available for this chat, the discussion about adaptability in climate adaptation and bringing the community along on this uncertain road is very important. |
Thank you to John Jacobs, Senior Advisor, Rotterdam Climate Proof, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Alderman Clive Justus, Head Utility Services, City of Cape Town, South Africa and Alex Nickson, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Manager, Greater London Authority.