Global Climate Challenges Take Center Stageat 18th World Water Congress in Beijing

Climate change has recently become a common topic of discussion. In addition to its impacts on rising temperatures, climate change also has a global impact on hydrological cycles.

World Weather Attribution (WMA) reported that since late 2020, countries in the Horn of Africa, specifically Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan, have been grappling with the most severe drought they have experienced in the past 40 years.

Conversely, UN Water disclosed a staggering 134 percent surge in flood disasters between 2000 and 2020. Nations such as China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan regularly bear the brunt of these floods, resulting in a significant loss of life and economic damage.

Furthermore, Europe and the United States are now anticipating the global water crisis. Advanced technologies held by developed countries are proving insufficient in addressing water-related crises. Consequently, addressing climate change through innovation and collaboration stands as the most imperative today.

Flood Risks and Climate Change

The effects of climate change, particularly on flood risks, have taken center stage in discussions at the 18th World Water congress in Beijing, China, held from September 11th to 15th, 2023.

Li Yuanyuan, the President of the International water Resources Association, underscored the ongoing challenges of water resources management faced by nearly every country across the globe.

Recent episodes of heavy rainfall and flooding have devastated the Haihe River Basin in China. The region experienced an average daily rainfall of 155.3 millimeters, while Beijing received only 331 mm of rain over the course of 83 hours.

"Extreme weather event in China have become increasingly frequent and severe, with certain regions experiencing rainfall that surpasses historical records. These frequent and severe floods, impacting entire river basins, pose substantial risks and lead to significant disasters," she asserted.

XVIII World Water Congress

The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources disclosed that approximately 1,300 participants from diverse countries took part in the 18th World Water Congress in Beijing. This triennial congress marks the first time it has been held in China since its inception in 1973.

The 18th World Water Congress revolves around the theme "Water for All: Harmony between humans and Nature" and encompasses six subthemes, including 'Building Resilience for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation" and "Innovation for Water Governance and Management."

Approximately 600 foreign stakeholders, encompassing government institutions, researchers, academics, and affiliated organizations, participated in this international water congress. Participants can share their experiences in dealing with floods and learn from other countries.

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