Currently, Pakistan’s energy mix consists of 58.8% thermal, 25.8% hydel, 8.6% nuclear, and 6.8% alternative sources, reflecting efforts to diversify from fossil fuels. Pakistan’s installed electricity generation capacity reached 41,557 MW by 2022, with significant growth in transmission line length over the past 5 years. However, the T&D system has not kept pace with the nearly 15,000 MW capacity added during 2017-2021 (ADB, 2024). Despite investments, transmission and distribution losses averaged about 18% over the last 5 years, exceeding the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) 15.3% target. In 2020, 23.7% of generated energy was lost during transmission, distribution, and delivery (ADB, 2024). Notably, transmission and distribution losses exceed 25%, far higher than in comparable countries (GoP, 2017). Therefore, there is an urgent need to upgrade the existing distribution infrastructure to fulfill the energy demands and ensure steady socioeconomic development in the country. ADB will provide financing for four underperforming DISCOs, selected in consultation with the Ministry of Energy: Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), the Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), and the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) to:

  1. to upgrade the critical infrastructure of these DISCOs to reduce technical losses.
  2. to implement revenue protection measures to improve collections. Additionally, the project design includes embedded climate resilience and reform measures to enhance institutional capacity and financial sustainability.

These rehabilitation efforts will also take into account and address the growing impacts of climate change in four DISCOs. FutureWater will make use of state-of-the-art downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) ensembles, and other relevant hazards and local information to develop this CRA. Insights from the CRA will be used to devise adaptation strategies. Additionally, FutureWater will be reviewing the existing meteorological monitoring network and recommending additional potential monitoring sites for improved surveillance in the country. To further assist the Government of Pakistan, in actualizing its second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) agenda which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of GDP by 50% (compared to the level in 2016), by the year 2030, FutureWater will also develop a GHG account and prepare a Paris Agreement alignment assessment.

Most recent research has focused on identifying historical megadroughts based on paleo-records and understanding their climatic causes, or on the study of “modern” events and their impacts, generally in lowland and plain regions. However, high-mountain regions and snow-dependent catchments have been little studied, and little is known about the impact of megadroughts on the state and dynamics of the cryosphere in mountain water towers.  

In general, catchments dependent on high mountain systems have an intrinsic capacity to buffer the lack of precipitation and excess evapotranspiration that depends on the water reserves stored in the cryosphere (snow, glaciers and permafrost). It is presumed that the this buffer capacity is limited until a tipping point is reached from which the impacts of water shortages and temperature extremes may be amplified and jeopardize the functioning of ecosystems and water resource systems. 

MegaWat has a two-fold objective: 1) to address the knowledge gaps around the hydro-climatic causes of extreme droughts and their impact on the water balance of Europe’s mountain water towers, with special emphasis on the concurrence of compound events and cascading and multi-scale effects, and 2) to develop and propose new adaptation strategies to cope with the duration, extent and severity of future megadroughts and their potential impacts on environmental and socio-economic assets.  

For its implementation, MegaWat focuses on Europe’s high mountain regions and their dependent-catchments. MegaWat aims to develop three products:  

  • Product 1. A methodological framework for the identification and characterization of historical megadroughts during the instrumental period, and the assessment of the role of the cryosphere in supporting the landscape development of downstream areas, or in buffering climate change impacts. Product 1 relies on a combination of climate regionalization, surface energy balance modelling, hydrological simulation, and water evaluation and allocation analysis at the catchment level (Figure 1).  
  • Product 2. A high-resolution, open-access regionalized climate database.  
  • Product 3. A list of potential adaptation strategies useful for the prevention and mitigation of drought impacts, and the enhancement of the water security and resilience of high mountain regions and dependent catchments. These scenarios will be agreed with regional and local actors and stakeholders, and their effectiveness will be evaluated under extreme drought scenarios in three pilot regions in Europe. These pilot regions will be previously selected following criteria of representativeness, strategic importance and vulnerability to droughts.  

FutureWater plays an important role in MegaWat by coordinating the Work Package which aims to develop and test simulation tools that help to adapt to megadroughts and support the decision making process. Two specific objectives are pursued in this Work Package: a) the development of a methodological prototype for quantifying impacts and identifying tipping points for water security in snow-dependent downstream catchments, and b) the generation and the integration of snow drought indicators in the FW’s Drought Early Warning System called InfoSequia (Figure 2). 

Schematic representation of a high mountain basin, including the main components, processes and impacts related to droughts. 
Workflow of the InfoSequia Early Warning System developed by FutureWater and adapted for the detection of tipping-points of water scarcity in snow-dependent catchments. More information about InfoSequia.

One-pager can be downloaded here.

Aknowledgements  

This project has received funding from the Water4All programme with co-funding from CDTI (Spanish Office for Science and Technology) and the EU’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation”. 

The project prepares robust climate mitigation and adaptation pipelines aligned with the Paris Agreement and responsive to DMCs climate change priorities. The TA will support interventions on departmental, sectoral and country levels with key activities including development of a regional strategy, upstream climate assessments, climate pipeline development, government dialogues and capacity building. As part of this project, FutureWater conducts a regional climate risk assessment for ten countries. This includes an assessment of baseline and future climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability and addressing sectoral impacts and adaptation options for a wide range of sectors. In addition country profiles summarizing climate risks for the ten countries are generated. The reginal climate risk assessment feeds into the climate strategy.

Urban flood management in Laos is typically based on a limited, hard infrastructure approach. With the aim to shift this paradigm towards an integrated approach that enhances climate resilience, the project “Building resilience of urban populations with ecosystem-based solutions in Lao PDR” was approved by the Green Climate Fund Board in November 2019 with a GCF grant of US$10 million. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) serves as the Accredited Entity for the project. Activities are executed by the State of Lao PDR through the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) as well as UNEP. The project is implemented across five years (2020-2025) covering four provincial capitals in the country: Vientiane, Paksan, Savannakhet, and Pakse.

One component of the project involves technical and institutional capacity building to plan, design, implement and maintain integrated urban Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions for the reduction of climate change induced flooding. As a part of Integrated Climate-resilient Flood Management Strategy (ICFMS) development, the project conducts hydrological, hydraulic and climate risk assessments to inform climate change adaptation solutions for risk reduction in Vientiane, Paksan, Savannakhet and Pakse.

A consortium of FutureWater, Mekong Modelling Associates (MMA) and Lao Consulting Group (LCG) was contracted by MONRE to implement the related activities. FutureWater leads and coordinates this assignment and contributes remote sensing analyses with state-of-the-art innovative tools, climate risk assessments, and training activities. To ensure sustainability and effective technology transfer, the modelling and mapping infrastructure and trained staff will be hosted within MONRE and a knowledge hub that is established within the National University of Laos.

 

Analysis of the historical climate data and future model projections indicates significant shifts in rainfall patterns. These shifts could influence water availability within the upstream river basins, which are vital for irrigation practices and ecological balance. Furthermore, the study explores variations in temperature -including average, minimum, and maximum values- and evaluates their potential consequences on water demand due to increased evaporation rates and altered crop water needs.

Additionally, this scoping research touches upon the effects of these climatic factors on olive crop phenology and productivity. The study also considers the likelihood of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and droughts, and their potential to disrupt traditional farming cycles and water resource management strategies.

The outcomes of this analysis are aimed at providing an olive producing firm with insights and strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on olive production in these targeted regions of Andalucia. By foreseeing potential challenges and preparing for them, a decision can be made on whether to invest or not in order to maintain a leading olive producer on the global stage.

As part of the FAO’s Asia-Pacific Water Scarcity Programme (WSP), FutureWater conducts a scoping study to identify opportunities to improve sustainable water resources management in the country. Following this scoping assessment, FutureWater develops bankable investment concept notes for activities to strengthen national capacities to implement policy actions that prepare Mongolia for a water scarce future. As part of the project, a high level stakeholder consultation forum with key government stakeholders and development partners is organized to validate the findings of the assessment and prioritize the investment concepts.

Mongolia has a strong commitment to IWRM, as defined in the 2012 Water Law, and good progress has been made. This includes the establishment of river basin organizations (RBOs) to manage the 29 river basins in the country. Currently, there are 21 operational RBOs. However, these bodies lack the experience needed for implementation of their tasks. Training and professional development of employees of the water basin authorities are of the utmost importance, to enable them to implement the assigned tasks and be better positioned for advancing implementation of Target 6.5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

To achieve the objectives the project has a technical component and stakeholder engagement component. On the technical side, hydrological models will be updated and validated. Climate change scenarios will be used as inputs for the testing of adaptation strategies within the Limpopo Basin. The adaptation include traditional grey infrastructure and additionally nature based solutions. The benefits analysis of the adaptation measure will cover macro and micro socio-economical benefits.

The results of this study will then be used to inform the development of a first-generation Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Limpopo River Basin (LRB). Through this, the individual basin countries will agree on a set of transboundary development priorities for the basin, which will guide both transboundary and national investments in the future, through a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and National Action Plans (NAPs).

The objective is to support the delineation and launching of a a Watershed Investment Program to improve multi-stakeholder collaboration and sustainable funding mechanisms to protect and restore riparian buffer zones and to implement runoff attenuation features to reduce eroded sediments entering the river.

To support the science streams, FutureWater is applying open source tools such as INVEST and RIOS Tool, together with Remote Sensing analysis to elaborate on a NbS opportunity mapping analysis. Besides, we aim to provide quantitative results on NbS benefits to reduce sediment loads entering the river system.

FutureWater supports Fiera Comox in its due diligence process for the acquisition of a vertically integrated tree-fruit operation in North Spain. Particularly, FutureWater addresses an overall assessment of the most important water-related factors of risk that may control the current and medium-term feasibility of the fruit orchard farming system of interest. The application of FutureWater’s approach applies a multicriteria analysis and allows to qualify the levels of risk for each key factor analyzed.

FutureWater’s approach rests on: 1) the collection and analysis of data retrieved from documents, large datasets, and in-situ field inspections and stakeholder interviews, and 2) the scoring of the risks previously identified based on a final expert judgment.

Key sources of information for this risk screening included:

  • Existing documentation, reports, plans, and local legislation that may affect the access to water for irrigation
  • Existing and publicly accessible spatial and GIS data, including satellite imagery and thematic datasets available through national and regional agencies and platforms (Ebro River Basin Authority, National Infrastructure of Geospatial Data, Spanish Information System of Water)
  • Meteorological data (rainfall and temperature) from nearby weather stations
  • Groundwater level from the Spanish National Ministry of Environment.
  • Private data and documents generated by clients and stakeholders through personal and follow-up communications with farmer

Key variables analyzed and evaluated at the district and regional scales, to the extent relevant to the farm, included:

  • Water availability of surface and groundwater resources. For groundwater, a trend analysis of water levels, and first-order assessment of quality constraints and risks is included.
  • Impacts of climate change on water resources availability based on rainfall and temperature trends and projections for the region.
  • Water quality for irrigation purposes.
  • Potential conflicts due to competition for water in agriculture and other sectors of activity.

Legislative and policy-related factors that may affect the overall performance were also analyzed risk-by-risk.

Four factors of risk were analyzed: water availability, climate change, water quality, and water conflict. Each factor of risk was scored according to a risk matrix in which levels of probability of occurrence and impact severity were qualified based on data and expert judgement. For each factor, a risk matrix with three levels of overall risk were adopted: Low Risk (L), Moderate Risk (M), and High Risk (H)

Figure 1. Overall risk levels when probability of occurrence and impact severity are qualified.
Figure 2. Overview of risk assessment by factor.

In this particular project, the approach was implemented in four different settings located in the area.

The development of the WEAP model for the Thika Chania catchment has come to a stage that it is sufficiently mature for being used over the next year to assess different management scenarios for the Water Allocation Plan. These management options can now be evaluated considering climate change impacts on water resources for different horizons, namely 2030 and 2050.

With this updated model, and the provided trainings, the Water Resources Authority of Kenya is now able to extract Climate Change data for different regions, set-up different WEAP models for different basins, and interpret the results for different time horizons.