International Activities


Task Group 3. In 2007, PIANC recognized an urgent need to assess climate impacts to global navigation, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures that could help the navigation industry to "avoid the unmanageable" and "manage the unavoidable." The PIANC Environmental Commission established Task Group 3(TG3) to assess climate impacts to navigation. TG3 concluded that climate change will result in number of general impacts on navigation and harbor operations as well as on related infrastructure. These are summarized in Table 3.1 of their 2008 report "Waterborne transport, ports and waterways: A review of climate change drivers, impacts, responses and mitigation. (pdf, 3.08 MB)
Table 3.1 identified detrimental impacts to infrastructure and activities designed for present day climate that will require climate change adaptation. Some opportunities were also identified, including potential for climate change mitigation and changing ice conditions that could increase navigable regions. The USACE representative to TG3 was Dr. Kate White.

Permanent Task Group on Climate Change. Based on the work of TG3, PIANC has now established a Permanent Task Group on Climate Change (PTGCC) beginning in 2009. The international working group is to inform PIANC on how navigation may be affected by climate change and where and how adaptation and mitigation actions have to be taken to find the necessary actions and investments in a proactive way. The group has held two meetings (October 2009 and May 2010) and are now setting priorities for future work. The PTGCC is chaired by Dr. Kate White of the US Army Corps of Engineers, who was a member of TG3.

ICIWaRM - International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management

The International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) is a UNESCO category 2 water center serving as a focal point for increasing U.S. contributions to the International Hydrological Programme (IHP).  ICIWaRM facilitates technology transfer, integrating new ideas, science and technology for IWRM to achieve the objectives associated with the 7th phase of the IHP program (2008-2013), the UN Millennium Development Goals, and the USACE Campaign Plan Goals. The 7th phase of the IHP program includes global change and water resources.  Specific projects include:

  • Peru : ICIWaRM is addressing implications of climate change through IWRM planning with stakeholders using shared vision planning principals and collaborative modeling with stakeholders.  Specifically, ICIWaRM is helping government institutions and stakeholders develop participatory IWRM plans to address reduced glacial storage that is resulting from climate change.  These IWRM plans will be developed collaboratively to identify adaptive management measures through changes in management and operation of infrastructure (72 % of electrical energy is hydropower and most of this is diversion generation that depends on glacial storage), and to identify investments in the medium and long term.  In general, climate change scenarios will be examined by starting from stakeholders to determine trends and tipping points in livelihoods, production and environment, and then use best science to evaluate likelihood of tipping points. POC: Dr. Guillermo Mendoza).

  • South and Central America : The Institute for Water Resources (IWR), as part of ICIWaRM and a partner of CAZALAC, has been involved in the development of a drought atlas, which is essentially a set of precipitation frequency maps, over South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.  Members of IWR have been responsible for organizing workshops in Chile where participants from different countries are taught the method for developing the drought atlas.  IWR has also helped provide the software needed to carry out the required calculations.  The final product will allow maps to be drawn that show the magnitude of precipitation events of varying frequency.  Regions of high and low rainfall will be able to be identified, which will help identify regions that are more susceptible to changing precipitation patterns due to climate change.  In addition, a slight alteration to the process used to create the drought atlas can be easily performed that will cause more extreme events to become more probable.

    Alternative drought atlas maps under these "climate change" conditions will then be produced. 

    IWR is also looking at taking the drought atlas project a step further by including the creation of precipitation maps in the process.  Such maps would use the precipitation measurements that exist in a country or region and produce a high-resolution map of precipitation throughout the entire region.

    The purpose is to be able to estimate precipitation between measurement locations and to allow identification of local sub-regions where precipitation patterns are similar.  These maps will then be used in creating the drought atlas and should increase its accuracy due to their high resolution.  All of the steps mentioned above will in the end be combined into one product that can be shared freely with countries/regions that are interested in producing a drought atlas. (POC: Dr. Jason Giovannettone).

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