The USAID Resilient Waters Program’s goal is “to build more resilient and water secure Southern African communities and ecosystems through improved management of trans-boundary natural resources and increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation services.” Recently the program discovered that UNESCO G-WADI’s Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) approach to water management can help strengthen the ability their partner institutions to respond to climate change. CRIDA provides bottom-up, stepwise planning guidance for water resources planners, managers, and engineers to incorporate resilience into their planning and operational decisions.
USAID, UNESCO’s Regional Office for Southern Africa, UNESCO G-WADI, the Flanders-UNESCO Fund for Science (FUST) and the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) co-sponsored a CRIDA training course in Cape Town, South Africa on 27 – 31 May 2019. The course addressed issues of particular relevance to the Cape Town drought and the Limpopo and Okavango river basins. A researcher and development manager with the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) was one of the attendees, and encouraged the South African National Parks (SANParks), which manages all 19 national parks in South Africa, to engage as well.
CRIDA-related projects are now ongoing at Kruger National Park, and with the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA), which manages the transboundary water system for the Sabie River. Both G-WADI and the USAID Resilient Waters Program aim to strengthen the ability of communities and key institutions to adapt to change, particularly to the impacts of climate change.
More information on CRIDA can be found at https://en.unesco.org/crida. More information on Resilient Waters is at https://www.globalwaters.org/HowWeWork/Activities/resilient-waters-southern-africa.