Water-Climate-Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities in Mountainous Regions


Mountainous regions across the world play a vital role in the supply of freshwater to a large proportion of the world’s population. Compared to other ecosystems, mountain ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change. This will strongly affect the often already poor and marginalized communities living there, as well as downstream populations, that rely on the mountains as a water source. Climate change effects, such as melting glaciers, changes in the volume and timing of water supply and an increased risk of landslides, could affect hydropower production and agricultural productivity, whilst increasing water scarcity conflicts through unequal water allocation.

In this session, we will explore climate change effects, adaptation, and mitigation options for mountainous regions and the communities living in and around them, with a specific focus on water. We invite contributions presenting challenges, but also opportunities resulting from climate-induced changes in water-related issues. This includes, but is not limited to, studies on the effect of climate change on water provisioning and livelihoods, the application of novel monitoring strategies (e.g. citizen science, wireless sensor networks, remote sensing) and modeling to support water management and the development of early warning systems for natural hazards, and recommendations for good governance of mountain ecosystems.


This session aims to compare and contrast key opportunities and challenges in the water-climate-nexus in different mountainous regions across the world to share experiences and identify joint challenges that require urgent action.


Mountain ecosystems, Climate change, Water supply and monitoring, Natural hazards, Adaptation and mitigation


  • Introduction by session organizers (5 min)
  • Expert presentations (4 x 12 min + 3 min discussion): Presentations on the water-climate-nexus in different mountainous regions
  • Virtual panel discussion (30 min): experts in the field of mountain research, water and climate will share their expertise related to the issues identified in the presentations, followed by a discussion
  • Session summary (15 min): lessons learned and future challenges

Oral Presentations

  • Malik, Anup; Sharma, Santosh V; Nagar, Shailesh; Sharma, Animesh; Udayabhanu, Nikhil O: Exploring the inter-section of water scarcity and socio-economic and livelihood factors in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand
  • Drenkhan, Fabian; Martínez, Erika; Zogheib, Charles; Ochoa-Tocachi, Boris F.; Buytaert, Wouter: Emerging hydrological risks in Andean glacier-fed river basins
  • Lizarazo, Ivan; Grosse-Stoltenberg, André: Mapping and monitoring mountain wetlands in Colombian Paramos
  • Maldonado, Jorge; Barrero, Yady: Water use and differential adaptation to climatic risk: Experimental evidence with farming producers in Colombian Andes
  • Orellana-Alvear, Johanna; Célleri, Rolando; Rollenbeck, Rütger; Muñoz, Paul; Contreras, Pablo; Bendix, Jörg: Active remote sensing in the high Andes: New alternatives of exploiting radar rainfall data for water management applications by using a machine learning approach 
  • Correa, Alicia; Weeser, Björn: Towards the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus adaptation to climate change: the Pacific – Andean-Amazon transects

Hosted by

Suzanne Jacobs

Research assistant

Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU),
Justus Liebig University Giessen

Björn Weeser

Project Manager SDGnexus Network

SDGnexus Network,
Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU),
Justus Liebig University Giessen