This policy brief reviews determinants of vulnerability to climate-induced water stress in CAREC and proposes recommendations to mitigate adverse effects.
It argues that many parts of CAREC exhibit much higher rates of temperature rise and substantial changes in precipitation patterns compared with global averages. It is projected that climate change will exacerbate the water supply-demand imbalance which already prevails across large parts of the region due to high water withdrawals. Increasing water scarcity will particularly affect the water-dependent sectors, such as the irrigated agriculture. High dependence of the economies on water resources and excessive water withdrawals explain high sensitivity of several CAREC countries to climate-induced alterations of future water supply. In addition, low levels of economic development and insufficient government effectiveness contribute to low capacity to adapt to rising water scarcity. The mismatch between the scale of expected climate impacts and the capacity to cope with them predisposes the high vulnerability of the region to climate-induced water stress.