Deltares: Dutch Method Prepares Colombia for Climate Change

Dutch Method Prepares Colombia for Climate Change

The ‘tipping point analysis’ approach developed by Deltares is due for introduction in Colombia. The South American country wants to be properly prepared for climate change in the future and for managing the impact on the water system.

Policymakers can use the ‘tipping point analysis’ to decide in good time which investments are needed for the long term. The method also identifies potential developments that may require policy adjustments and therefore prevents excessive, or inadequate, levels of investment.

Due for introduction in Colombia. The South American country wants to be properly prepared for climate change in the future and for managing the impact on the water system. Policymakers can use the ‘tipping point analysis’ to decide in good time which investments are needed for the long term. The method also identifies potential developments that may require policy adjustments and therefore prevents excessive – or inadequate – levels of investment.

Growing interest

Deltares developed the ‘tipping point analysis’ for the Dutch Delta Programme, which has been designed to provide the Netherlands with long-term protection from flooding. The approach is already in use at a number of Dutch water authorities as a support tool for strategic decisions.

The Netherlands leads the world when it comes to climate adaptation in water management and the associated strategies. International interest is on the rise. Tipping point analysis will be used in Colombia for the catchment of the Magdalena and the smaller Combeima, which is situated within the Magdalena catchment.

Far-reaching consequences

Otto de Keizer, a senior specialist with Deltares: ‘In Colombia, expertise relating to climate adaptation and climate adaptation strategies is still in its infancy. By bringing together and integrating different data, in combination with advanced climate and water supply models, we provide a unique, grade-A demonstration of Dutch expertise and skills.

Implementing the right measures in good time means understanding your physical, social and political system. What are the essential features? Which objectives need to be achieved, and what threats (climate-related and otherwise) do you need to face? But answers are also needed to questions like: what is the capacity of the present system and how will it change over time? Our analysis method maps out the conditions in which the critical thresholds of the water system (the tipping points) are reached.’

Perfect timing

The project has been set up at just the right moment: a National Climate Adaptation Strategy is being developed in Colombia this year. The National Development Plan will follow in 2014, setting out the plans and investment strategy for the next four years. The Magdalena Project was launched in May 2013 and it is expected to reach completion in late August 2014. The parties involved hope it will serve as a reference, enabling them to acquire follow-up assignments.

The ‘tipping point analysis’ project is being implemented by a consortium of parties led by Deltares which also includes Future Water, SarVision and Unesco IHE. The project is subsidised by Partners for Water.

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Press Release, June 25, 2013

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