Water and CLimate

Water and Climate: Nature | Humanity | Rejuvenation


The overlapping global socio-ecological crisis of climate change and the COVID-19 crisis and the interconnections have exposed the (i) Extraordinary limits of nature exploitation and the repercussions of the same and (ii) Systemic and structural inequalities across the world. Both starkly remind us that pursuing limitless growth in a finite system (nature) does not bode well for people or the planet. Both have added new layers of complexity to an already unequal world, putting the shared future of people and the planet at risk.    

One of the significant challenges facing the planet is climate change due to global warming, which has led to:

  • Grievous impact on water resources;
  • Destruction of biodiversity; 
  • The emergence of new diseases and increased health burden;
  • Distress migration: The emergence of ‘climate refugees’;
  • Increase in natural disasters;
  • Uncertainty in access to drinking water, food security, and energy;
  • Widening gender, social and economic inequalities; and,
  • Increasing inter-and intra-country tensions, conflict, and threat to overall peace and security. 

The Paris climate agreement signed in COP 21 in 2015, for the first time, made the enhancement of adaptive capacities and strengthening of climate change resilience a global goal. Clearly, it was an acknowledgment that the business usual approach to development was not sustainable and that disruptive changes needed to be made.

Unfortunately, climate and water policy largely disregards the direct impact of climate change on water, even when this natural resource is vital for adaptation and resilience.

Why is water essential? 

Water underpins survival, fulfillment of human rights, natural regeneration, economic growth, food security, and overall peace and security. Its absence leads to poor health, poverty, food and livelihood insecurity, distress migration, conflict, and unrest.

Climate change is changing the monsoon pattern and leading to an unprecedented increase in natural disasters such as cyclones, tropical storms, floods (including flash floods), and drought; accelerated glacier melting; and, rise in sea levels salinity ingress in coastal areas. All these have a direct connection to water security. The unprecedented challenges around availability, access, and quality of water resources are now globally compounded because of climate change.

For the second year in a row, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021 placed environmental degradation as the number one long-term risk. It classifies climate change as a catastrophic risk and stresses that the shift to a green economy cannot be delayed till the COVID-19 pandemic resides.  

Water conservation is vital for building up climate resilience and for a green economy. Evidence from India and elsewhere inform how ecologically sound and community-based water conservation rejuvenate nature and economies and provide local food and livelihood security. Even the Global Economic Frum acknowledges the role of nature in

Resetting the growth agenda

Ecologists, scientists, grass root workers, health experts, nature activists, UN bodies, and others are warning that there is an urgent need for (i) Understanding the relationship between ‘water and climate and climate and water (ii) the importance of nature for sustainable development, given the scenarios that are presenting themselves due to climate change (iii)  Spreading literacy around the linkages of water and climate and (iv) Identifying, proposing solutions to explore sustainable development for all.

Fortunately, we are better positioned in terms of knowledge and practice, both from research institutions and grassroots models. This knowledge needs to have greater outreach for wider deliberation and inclusion in policy and practice.

With the above in mind, IMPRI and Tarun Bharat Sangh are collaborating to organize a set of interactive web policy dialogues that bring together thought leaders and practitioners from across the world, across various streams/ sectors, to share their thoughts and work. The purpose of these dialogues is to expand outreach for making informed policy and practice decisions that heal, restore and rejuvenate both nature and humanity.


In this series of #WebPolicyTalk, we will conduct 30-minute Q and A sessions with thematic experts, policymakers, and practitioners to learn about their work and their relevance in addressing water-related challenges, rejuvenation of nature, and sustainable and equitable development. These sessions will be available on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Each policy talk will be followed by a brief report capturing the highlights for widespread dissemination. Subsequently, the inputs received from these web policy talks will be compiled in a publication shred before the COP 26 is scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Thematic areas to be covered

The themes include water, forests, gender, biodiversity, agriculture, health, food and nutrition security, climate change resilience, awareness, existing models and experiments, etc.

Speakers will be invited from institutions across the world to share their work and their thoughts.

The #WebPolicyTalks are conducted via Zoom webinars and streamed live on Facebook. The event video is available on the IMPRI YouTube Channel, thereafter. A recording of the session is also available on the #WebPolicyTalk: Live at IMPRI podcast, on Spotify and Google Podcasts. An event report is published based on the deliberations and wider dissemination takes place through media coverage.

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Water and Climate- Events

Anjal Prakash Water and Climate Change Challenges for India

Water and Climate Change: Challenges for India
27 April, 2021 | 4 PM
Speaaker: Anjal Prakash
Panelists: Indira Khurana
Details: Event Page | Event Report
Watch: YouTube | Facebook Live
Listen: Spotify | Google Podcasts
Media Coverage: Youth Ki Awaaz

Climate Change, Water and Food Security and Human Health
7 May, 2021 | 4 PM
Speaker: M Dinesh Kumar
Panelists: Indira Khurana
Details: Event Page | Event Report
Watch: YouTube | Facebook Live
Listen: Spotify | Google Podcasts
Media Coverage: Youth Ki Awaaz

M Dinesh Kumar Climate Change Water and Food Security and Human Health

Climate Change Mitigation: An agenda for WASH sector organizations
4 June, 2021 | 4 PM
Speaker: V R Raman | Amulya Miriyala
Panelists: Indira Khurana
Details: Event Page | Event Report
Watch: YouTube | Facebook Live
Listen: Spotify | Google Podcasts
Media Coverage:

V R Raman 1
Ranjan Panda 1

Sea Rise Induced Displacement in the Bay of Bengal: The Need for Suitable Rehabilitation Policy
11 June, 2021 | 11:30 PM
Speaker: Ranjan Panda
Panelists: Indira Khurana
Details: Event Page | Event Report
Watch: YouTube | Facebook Live
Listen: Spotify | Google Podcasts
Media Coverage:


Indira Khurana
Dr Indira Khurana, Senior Expert, Water Sector


The series is being organized by Center for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CECCSD) at IMPRI, Tarun Bharat Sangh, India Water Portal and Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan

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Also see our other discussion series

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