Indicators

The generic methodology applied here allows for quantifying food and environmentally related impacts under climate change. Based on these impacts, stakeholders are able to develop and evaluate different adaptation strategies to alleviate negative impacts of climate change (OECD, 1994; Aerts et al., 2003). In the iterative approach, climate change scenarios are used as input to simulation models in order to quantify the impacts of climate change on the water resources system of a river basin and, consequently, the closely related implications for industry, the environment, food production and security.

For this, it is important to define a representative set of indicators, which reflect the value over time of the water resources system for preserving food security and environmental quality. Hence, impacts are here defined as the change in the values of indicators (Table 10.2).

A set of four indicators for the Walawe Basin has been defined. Preserving food security is best represented by two indicators: yield (t/ha) and food production (t/year). Furthermore, since environmental quality is mainly related to a lack of water availability for nature (such as wetlands) and to fresh water supply for coastal ecosystems, it has been decided to use two environmental indicators: outflow to the sea in 106 m3/year and years with low flow in %/30 years.

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