The Red Agua Pública (RAP) claims the need to assume the climate emergency and the determination to advance in the fight against climate change. The RAP reaffirms the demand to implement public, democratic, transparent and sustainable management models for the integral urban water cycle.
Every year, on 22 March, at the initiative of the United Nations, World Water Day is commemorated with the aim of drawing attention to problem of water through relevant issues. In 2020, the World Water Day has been focused on the relationship between climate change and water, and the impacts and the policies for adapting to climate change affect and are related to water directly.
There is a broad social and scientific consensus that the impacts of climate change on water resources will lead to substantial changes in the availability, quality and quantity of water for aquatic ecosystems and basic human needs. It can threat the effective enjoyment of the human rights to water and sanitation. Food sovereignty, human health, urban and rural settlements, energy production, industrial and economic development, employment and ecosystems are all dependent on water and therefore vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
This scenario is clearly specified in Spain. It is evident from the studies carried out by specialised public institutions, which conclude that future scenarios will show significant increases in average temperature, a recessive trend in rainfall, especially in the Mediterranean area, and reduction availability of river flows, whose average flow will fall by 20% to the end of the century. Also, significant alteration in the temporal and spatial patterns of rainfall will lead to the intensification of erosion and sedimentation processes and a substantial increase in the risks of drought, which will be more frequent, longer and more intense, and of flooding, which will be more frequent and with higher maximum flows.
Hydrological changes induced by climate change suppose challenges to the sustainable management of water resources, which are already under severe pressure, in many regions of the world: 52 per cent of the world's population will live in water-scarce regions by 2050. According to OXFAM, each year 20 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to climate-induced disasters. The environmental migration will increase in intensity with the advance of climate change.
But the impacts of climate change are unequally, they affect especially the most vulnerable and impoverished regions and social sectors. It is a problem in terms of the fight against poverty, equity and the defense of human rights. An approach that overcomes the current mitigation policies based on market criteria which no question the production, energy, mobility and consumption models that are at the heart of the origin of climate change.
The future scenarios defined in the scientific studies are ALREADY HAPPENING, so it is necessary to ACT NOW, within the framework of the assumption of a climate emergency situation; in this sense the Public Water Network (RAP) already pronounced itself on the occasion of the COP25 that took place in Madrid in December 2019. It is necessary that short-term decision-making takes into account :
- Declare the climate emergency and act accordingly
- Elaborate with citizen participation and process immediately the law of climate change and energy transition
- Review and update participatory climate change mitigation and adaptation planning with targets consistent with the current climate emergency
- Assume a rights-based approach in climate change policies, which will especially affect basic services that have the consideration of human rights such as education, food, health and water and sanitation, ensuring universal access and non-profit management, public, transparent, with citizen participation and accountability. The coronavirus health crisis has highlighted both the importance of tap water and the human rights to water and sanitation, as well as the negative effects of privatization policies and the need to maintain robust public institutions
- To give a strong impetus to water-related climate change adaptation measures, which must be undertaken with the assumption of the rights of the population.
The Public Water Network (RAP) claims the need to assume the climate emergency and the determination to advance in the fight against climate change.
The RAP reaffirms the demand to implement public, democratic, transparent and sustainable management models for the integral urban water cycle.
22 March 2020