A RICCAR presentation entitled "Integrated vulnerability assessment on water availability in the Arab region" was delivered at the 14th European Geosciences Union General Assembly, which was held in Vienna, Austria from 8-13 April 2018. The poster was presented by Dr. Marlene Tomaszkiewicz of ESCWA as part of a session entitled "Resilience and vulnerability assessments in natural hazards and risk analysis", which included case studies and applications, conceptual ideas and new methods on the analysis of vulnerability to natural hazards. The presentation was based on an abstract jointly submitted by Dr. Marlene Tomaszkiewicz of ESCWA and Dr. Ihab Jnad of ACSAD, which highlighted projected increases in water scarcity throughout the region stemming from climate change, natural and physical environmental factors, and the need for increased adaptive capacity.
The results reveal nearly equal areas of moderate and high vulnerability, relative to the Arab region. Areas with high vulnerability include the upper Nile Valley, the south-western Arabian Peninsula, and the northern Horn of Africa, partly due to low adaptive capacity. These areas of least developed countries (LDCs) largely adversely impact water availability for pastoralists and livestock. Conversely, areas with relatively low vulnerability include the Tigris-Euphrates basin and the lower Nile Valley, areas of high population density. Trend analysis indicates the largest increases in vulnerability from mid- to end-century are located near coastal areas, including the Red Hamada basin and the eastern Murzuk basin, partly due to a surge in maximum length of dry spell.
The topic was well received, particularly because of the regional analysis and its application across the Arab region.
The conference included over 17,000 oral and poster presentations, as well as 666 unique scientific sessions together with 68 short courses and 294 side events. Attendees included 15,075 scientists from 106 countries, of which 53% were under the age of 35 years.