Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Climate Change Adaptions for Urban Water Infrastructure in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Climate Change Adaptions for Urban Water Infrastructure in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Article excerpt


Cities play a crucial role in the planning of climate change adaptions. Although these actions are largely guided by global negotiations and national policies their consequences are usually felt by individual cities. Reconfiguring of urban infrastructure is the first step to ensure resilience to extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Many coastal cities are already begun to suffer because of climate change impacts; frequent flooding in Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is an example. This paper attempts to investigate preparedness of urban water infrastructure in Jeddah for future climate change adaptions. It founds that the city has been lagging behind in action such as continuous & consistent reporting of relevant data, capacity building, research, education and awareness building, reconfiguration and expansion of grey & green infrastructure. We propose to formulate a three point policy for climate change adaption at local level with proper attention to grey, green and softinfrastructures.

Keywords: climate change adaption, urban water infrastructure, grey infrastructure, green infrastructure, adaption policies, softinfrastructure, GHG emission, desalination

1. Introduction

1.1 Climate Change and Urban Infrastructure

Climate change is anticipated to accelerate average temperatures as well as to transform strength and occurrence of extreme precipitations (Cubasch et al., 2001) causing either overstress or total failure of urban infrastructures such as water supply and electricity that may transpire into loss of people's health, lives and property. Although body of knowledge on climate change is constantly growing worldwide, yet countries like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-KSA has recently started, repositioning themselves towards climate change management (mitigation and adaption) strategies. This paper investigates resilience of urban water infrastructure towards climate change adaptions in KSA's second largest city Jeddah that is stressed with rapid urbanisation and population growth.

Researchers are already in agreement that larger human interferences are causing disruptions in climate and increasing the risks associated with climate change while constant GHG emissions will continue to produce furthermore warming and enduring changes in all constituents of climate system (UNEP, 2014).Though there are potential means to limit climate change, yet the same are tough to execute because of its complex causal nexus. One of the most visible effects of climate change could be seen in alteration of numerous eco-system services such as failure in accommodating climate calming could produce urban heat island effect (Zhou 2013); another impact of climate change argued to be higher uncertainty in rainfall pattern (Almazroui, 2012). While the Climate Change is triggering alterations in ecosystems two major strategies have been emerged as solution: Adaption and Mitigation; both are persuasive issues of concern the later must be synchronised worldwide, the earlier demands local actions (Sharp, 2011). In fact Integration of anticipated actions at various scales (global to local) creates hardships for climate change management.

Form of a society (from a hunting and gathering to agricultural and industrial) looks diligently connected to its energy uses in term of quality and quantity of energy. Because of development energy demands (for movement, cooling/heating and other consuming activities) in the society is growing in an accelerated way along with interactions (or interference). In fact our built infrastructure could be affected with climate change in a manner the society interacts with these infrastructures (Chappin & Lei, 2014). Infrastructures are deliberated as complex socio-technical systems (Bruijn & Herder, 2009) that manage flow of materials (land, water, air) in a society (Swilling et al., 2012). Furthermore this management of material flow calls for proper knowledge, resources and infrastructures. …

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