Why Is Uncertainty a Game Changer for Water Policy and Practice?
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Climate change and its uncertain impacts on water systems has raised awareness of the limitations of current planning and management practices in the water sector. Global climate modeling and regional impact assessment are plagued with severe uncertainties stemming from natural variability, uncertain assumptions about future emissions, differences in how global models are structured, and what climate processes they include and exclude. The same model with slightly different initial conditions can give quite different results. Therefore, it is difficult to use them to predict future climate at local and regional scales. This chapter articulates the problem of climatic uncertainty, identifies other relevant uncertainties associated with demand and regulation, and discusses the challenges they present for water planning and decision-making.
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