Aditi Mukherji

Principal Researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), India

Short Bio

Dr. Aditi Mukherji is a Principal Researcher at the International Water Management Institute.
Earlier, she led the Water and Air Theme at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal. Aditi was a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of the Water Chapter in the Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in February 2022, and is a member, Core Writing Team of the IPCC’s AR6 Synthesis Report which will be published in March 2023.

Her areas of specialization are groundwater governance, energy-irrigation nexus, climate change adaptation and community management of water resources.
She has worked in South Asia including the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, Nile basin and in Central Asia. She has published over 60 peer reviewed research papers, including four edited books. In 2012, she was awarded the Inaugural Norman Borlaug Field Award, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, and given by the World Food Prize Foundation, USA. Aditi is a human geographer by training and has a PhD from Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

Keynote Session

Theme: Robustifying climate change adaptation strategies

Role of water in climate change negotiations: Reflections from the recent IPCC Assessments

The recently concluded Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprehensively assessed the impacts of climate change on the hydrological cycle and the effects of those changes on the various sectors of the economy and society (Douville, Krishnan and Renwick et al. 2021; Caretta and Mukherji et al. 2022).

These assessments show that climate-induced hydrological changes are happening in the global, regional, and local climate systems and that water is an important part of the adaptation and mitigation decisions. Yet, water is rarely mentioned explicitly in international climate agreements and remains outside the radar of most formal climate negotiations. In this keynote address, I will argue that there are at least five reasons why water needs to become a visible element of climate change negotiations if we want to see any appreciable progress in climate action.

First, every aspect of the water cycle has been affected by climate change. Some of the most oft-seen impacts are increases in heavy precipitation events since the 1950s in almost all regions, leading to increased flood intensities and losses in some regions depending on levels of exposure and vulnerability.