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FEATURE: Risk and adaptation tool to help Caribbean water managers

Also posted in Spanish

The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tool (CCORAL) was launched in July 2013 and provides an online support system for climate-resilient decision-making. Now the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and Global Water Partnership Caribbean (GWP-C), with CDKN support, are making significant progress on a related project that focuses on the water sector.  Pati Leon, CDKN project manager, reports.

CCORAL is a system which helps decision makers to see all kinds of activities through a ‘climate’ or ‘climate change’ lens. It helps them to identify actions that minimise climate related loss, take advantage of opportunities and build climate resilient development in their countries. In the few months since CCORAL was launched, it has already received attention from across the world: with an endorsement from the Chairman of the Inter-government Panel on Climate Change, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, and a major risk management award for its developers.

The objective of the follow-up CCORAL-Water project is to develop and disseminate practical and user friendly tools for climate-resilient decision-making focused on water. These tools will sit beneath the overall umbrella of CCORAL . They’ll provide more focused tools for the specific climate risks and decision making requirements of technical staff working in the water sector in the Caribbean. This project aims to strengthen climate risk management in water planning and management activities, leading – in turn – to improved levels of service for water users in the Caribbean.

The CCORAL-Water project is currently being developed through the engagement of decision-makers and water managers across five countries: Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Suriname. The tools themselves will be applicable and available to all Caribbean countries through the CCORAL system, hosted by the CCCCC.

Principles of the approach

The CCORAL-Water tools will be aimed serving and building on the current decision-making and planning practices in the Caribbean. Tools will be centred on the beneficial services that water provides in the Caribbean and will focus on considering and addressing climate risks which threaten these services. The figure below provides an indicative conceptual framework of the capacities, organisations and activities which the CCORAL-Water tools may support.

Figure: Stakeholder map for CCORAL-Water

The framework is indicative at present and one of the first tasks of the project is to engage with stakeholders to understand where CCORAL-Water tools can deliver the most positive impact. The tools will be developed through stakeholder engagement to ensure they meet the needs of end users.  When the project is completed in March 2014, the partners will launch the CCORAL-Water decision support tools on the CCORAL website and pilot them through the GWP-C Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP).

Stakeholder involvement

The project is engaging stakeholders to answer the following key questions, which will be fundamental to the project’s success:

  • What are the priority water services which would benefit from more climate resilient decision making? (for example; water resources allocation, water supply, agricultural / industrial / commercial / tourism / energy)
  • What water information, planning, operational or legal/regulatory activities would benefit from increased consideration of climate variability and risk? (for example; water supply planning, hydrological modelling, risk assessment, water system regulation, operational procedures)
  • Which organisations and specific capacities would benefit from being involved in the development and application of the CCORAL-Water tools? (for example; strategic water planners in governmental departments, consultants engaged in technical services for water planners, investment planners in water utilities, regulatory agencies for water)

For more information

CCORAL itself is meant to be a ‘live’ tool, and is frequently updated, in response to users’ feedback as it is rolled out across the Caribbean region. Information collected will also feed into the overarching reporting on CARICOM’s Implementation Plan for Climate Resilient Development and periodic reviews. If you have feedback about CCORAL overall, or would like to contribute to the key questions above and the development of CCORAL-Water, please get in touch with the team:

Read more about this project on the CDKN project page.

For a downloadable briefing guide to CCORAL: Knowledge Brief – CCORAL

Image: water supply, Panama, courtesy World Bank

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