Australia

Sustainable Fire Engineering – 2016 End Of Year Report !

2016-12-28:  Happy New Year to One and All !

SUSTAINABLE FIRE ENGINEERING

‘ The creative, person-centred and ethical Fire Engineering response, in resilient built form and smart systems, to the concept of Sustainable Human and Social Development – the many aspects of which must receive balanced and synchronous consideration.’

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Organized by FireOx International (Ireland, Italy & Turkey), in joint collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Engineering & Built Environment (Scotland) … and having a widely multi-disciplinary attendance from the U.S.A., Hong Kong SAR (China), Spain, Finland, Scotland, Norway, Germany, England, The Netherlands and Ireland … SFE 2016 DUBLIN was a unique, and very successful, two-day gathering within the International Fire Engineering and Fire Service Communities.

The organizers are very grateful to our Supporters: CIB, FIDIC, iiSBE, and the UNEP’s Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative … and our Sponsor: Rockwool International.

SUSTAINABLE FIRE ENGINEERING fulfils a Critical Role in the realization of a Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment 4 ALL !

SUSTAINABLE FIRE ENGINEERING facilitates Positive Progress in implementing the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which incorporates 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 Performance Targets !

SUSTAINABLE FIRE ENGINEERING fast-tracks Proper Compliance with the 7 Basic Performance Requirements – functional, fully integrated and indivisible – in Annex I of European Union Construction Products Regulation 305/2011 !

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A NECESSARY & LONG OVERDUE TRANSFORMATION !

A Building is a permanent construction, complying with basic performance requirements and capable of being easily adapted … comprising structure, essential electronic, information and communication technologies (EICT’s), and fabric (non-structure) … having a minimum life cycle of 100 years … and providing habitable, functional and flexible interior spaces for people to use.

Building Users have a wide and varied range of abilities and behaviours … some having discernible health conditions and/or physical, mental, cognitive, psychological impairments … while others, e.g. young children, women in the later stages of pregnancy and frail older people, are also particularly vulnerable in user-hostile, inaccessible environments.  Not everyone will self-identify as having an activity limitation because of the high level of social stigma associated with ‘disability’.  Building designers and fire engineers must accept that building users have rights and responsible needs ;  the real individual and group fire safety requirements of vulnerable building users must be given proper consideration by both design disciplines, working collaboratively together.

Real Building Users have a wide and varied range of abilities … and during a Fire Evacuation, they will NOT behave like ‘marbles or liquid in a computer model’ !  People with Disabilities, on their own, account for approximately 20% of populations in developed countries … more in developing and the least developed countries.

NOBODY LEFT BEHIND !

‘Fire Safety for ALL’ in Buildings – Not Just for SOME – A Priority Theme of Sustainable Fire Engineering

Current Revision of International Standard ISO 21542 (2011): ‘Building Construction – Accessibility & Usability of the Built Environment’

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Following the savage 2008 Mumbai Hive Attack in India, and the more recent 2015 and 2016 Attacks in Europe, i.e. Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and Berlin … it is entirely wrong to assume that the main and/or only targets will be specific high-risk buildings types, i.e. Tall/High-Rise, Iconic, Innovative and Critical Function Buildings (refer to 2005 & 2008 NIST WTC 9-11 Recommendations).  All buildings and adjoining/adjacent public spaces must be carefully assessed for the risk of direct or collateral involvement in an Extreme Man-Made Event.

It is a fundamental principle of reliable and resilient structural engineering that horizontal and vertical structural members/elements of construction are robustly connected together.  All buildings must, therefore, be capable of resisting Disproportionate Damage.  The restriction of this requirement, within some jurisdictions, to buildings of more than five storeys in height is purely arbitrary, cannot be substantiated technically … and ethically, must be disregarded.

Fire-Induced Progressive Damage is distinguished from Disproportionate Damage – a related but different structural concept – by the mode of damage initiation, not the final condition of building failure.  This phenomenon is poorly understood.  But, unless it is impeded, or resisted, by building design … Fire-Induced Progressive Damage will result in Disproportionate Damage … and may lead to a Collapse Level Event (CLE), which is entirely unacceptable to the general population of any community or society.  All buildings must, therefore, be capable of resisting Fire-Induced Progressive Damage.

All buildings must also be carefully assessed for the risk of involvement in a Severe Natural Event, e.g. earthquakes, floods, landslides, typhoons and tsunamis.

In all of the above Risk Assessments … the minimum Return Period (also known as Recurrence Interval or Repeat Interval) must never be less than 100 years.

Reacting to surging energy, environmental and planetary capacity pressures … with accelerating climate change … Sustainable Buildings are now presenting society with an innovative and exciting re-interpretation of how a building is designed, constructed and functions … an approach which is leaving the International Fire Engineering and Fire Service Communities far behind in its wake, struggling to keep up.

Colour ‘infographic’ showing the design features of 1 Bligh Street, Sydney CBD, Australia … ‘tall’/skyscraper commercial office building, completed in 2011 … designed by Ingenhoven Architects (Germany) and Architectus (Australia).  Can Fire Engineers understand this new design approach … and then collaborate, actively and creatively, within the Project Design Team ?

Black and white plan drawing of 1 Bligh Street (Level 26), Sydney CBD, Australia … a ‘sustainable’ office building … BUT … Effective ‘Fire Safety for All’ in this building ?  Has Firefighter Safety been considered ??  Property Protection ???  Business Continuity ????  The very harmful Environmental Impacts of Fire ?????

Passive and Active Fire Protection Measures, together with Building Management Systems (whether human and/or intelligent), are never 100% reliable.  Society must depend, therefore, on firefighters to fill this reliability ‘gap’ … and to enter buildings on fire in order to search for remaining or trapped building users.  This is in addition to their regular firefighting function.  Therefore, there is a strong ethical obligation on building designers, including fire engineers, to properly consider Firefighter Safety … should a fire incident occur at any time during the life cycle of a building.

Structural Serviceability, Fire Resistance Performance and ‘Fire Safety for All’ in a building must, therefore, be related directly to the local Fire Service Support Infrastructure … particularly in developing and the least developed countries.  AND … Fire Codes and Standards must always be adapted to a local context !

Colour photograph showing knotted sheets hanging from high-level windows which were used for ‘escape’ by guests … clearly indicating a catastrophic failure of fire protection measures and management within the building. Fire and smoke spread quickly throughout the multi-storey hotel, resulting in 12 dead, and over 100 injured (approximately 1/3 critically).

Colour photograph showing a guest rescue by ladder.  Notice the condition of the ladder and firefighter protection.  Fire safety in a building must be related directly to local Fire Service Support Infrastructure … particularly in developing and the least developed countries.

The fire safety objectives of current Fire Codes and Standards are limited, usually flawed … and will rarely satisfy the real needs of clients/client organizations, or properly protect society.  Fire code compliance, in isolation from other aspects of building performance, will involve a consideration of only a fraction of the issues discussed above.  There is once again, therefore, a strong ethical obligation on building designers, including fire engineers, to clearly differentiate between the limited fire safety objectives in Fire Codes and Standards … and Project-Specific Fire Engineering Design Objectives … and to explain these differences to a Client/Client Organization.  Facility Managers must also explain these differences directly to an Organization’s Senior Management … and directly inform the Organization’s Board of Directors … as appropriate.SFE Mission:  To ensure that there is an effective level of Fire Safety for ALL – not just for SOME – in the Built Environment … to dramatically reduce all direct and indirect fire losses in the Human Environment … and to protect the Natural Environment.

4 Key SFE Concepts:  Reality – Reliability – Redundancy – Resilience !

SFE Design Solutions:  Are …

  • Adapted to Local Context & Heritage ;
  • Reliability-Based ;
  • Person-Centred ;   and
  • Resilient.

SFE SUBSIDIARY OBJECTIVES

  1. To transform Conventional Fire Engineering, as practiced today, into an ethical and fully professional Sustainable Design Discipline which is fit for purpose in the 21st Century … meaning … that fire engineers can participate actively and collaboratively in the sustainable design process, and can respond creatively with sustainable fire engineering design solutions which result in Effective Fire Safety for All in a Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment.
  2. To bring together today’s disparate sectors within the International Fire Engineering (and Science) Community … to encourage better communication between each, and trans-disciplinary collaboration between all.
  3. To initiate discussion and foster mutual understanding between the International Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Urban Resilience Communities … and the International Fire Engineering and Fire Service Communities.

SFE DELIVERABLES

1.  2016 Dublin Code of Ethics: Design, Engineering, Construction & Operation of a Safe, Resilient & Sustainable Built Environment for All.  Download from: http://www.sustainable-firengineering.ie/sfe2016dublin/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2016_Dublin-Code-of-Ethics.pdf

The realization of a Safe, Inclusive, Resilient & Sustainable Built Environment demands a concerted, collaborative, very creative and widely trans-disciplinary effort at national, local, regional and international levels across the whole planet – Our Common Home.  The informed operation of appropriate legislation, administrative procedures, performance monitoring and targeting, and incentives/disincentives, at all of these levels, will facilitate initial progress towards this objective … but not the quantity, quality or speed of progress necessary.  Our time is running out !

This Code of Ethics applies … for those who subscribe to its values … to policy and decision makers, and the many different individuals and organizations directly and indirectly involved in the design, engineering, construction, and operation (management and maintenance) of a Safe, Resilient & Sustainable Built Environment for All.

The Purpose of this Code of Ethics is to guide the work of competent individuals and organizations in a context where incomplete or inadequate legislation, administrative procedures and incentives/disincentives exist … but, more importantly, where they do not exist at all … and, amid much confusion and obfuscation of the terms, to ensure that implementation is authentically ‘sustainable’, and reliably ‘safe’ and ‘resilient’ for every person in the receiving community, society or culture … before it is too late !

2.  Sustainable Fire Engineering Network … Join the LinkedIn SFE Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8390667.  Interested Individuals and Organizations are all very welcome.

And … Like the Facebook SFE Page at https://www.facebook.com/sfe2016/

3.  New CIB W14: ‘Fire Safety’ Research Working Group VI Reflection Document: ‘Sustainable Fire Engineering Design, Construction & Operation’, which will establish a framework for the future development of Sustainable Fire Engineering.

Preparation of this Document will soon begin, and the following issues will be explored:

  • Conceptual Framework for Sustainable Fire Engineering (SFE), with a necessary accompanying Generic SFE Terminology ;
  • Strategy for Future SFE Development ;
  • Implementation of 2005 & 2008 NIST WTC 9-11 Recommendations ;
  • Fresh, New SFE Research Agenda ;
  • Resilient Implementation of SFE Research Agenda.

4.  SFE Websitehttp://www.sfe-fire.eu

5.  SFE Twitter Accounts … @sfe2016dublin … and … @firesafety4all

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Wonderful Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney, Australia

2016-12-21:  Just as President-Elect Humpty Trumpy is turning up the pressure on China … (and IF there is a serious incident between these two countries, the USA will automatically assume that it will have the unconditional and unquestioning support of a select little band of ‘groupie’ allies, each claiming to have a special and unique relationship with it !) … let me to bring to your attention the wonderful Chinese Garden of Friendship, located near Darling Harbour, in the city of Sydney … a symbol of friendship between the people of Guangzhou, capital city of the province of Guangdong in south-eastern China (Peoples’ Republic of China), and the people of Sydney, in New South Wales – two sister cities of sister states.

Colour photograph showing an architectural feature in the Garden. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

Colour photograph showing a water feature in the Garden. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

Colour photograph showing a landscaping detail in the Garden. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

The Garden was officially opened in 1988.

Colour photograph showing the view up, towards the Rinsing Jade Pavilion. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

Colour photograph showing the view down, over the Twin Pavilion and the Lake of Brightness. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

Colour photograph showing a sculptural feature in the Garden. Click to enlarge. Photograph taken by CJ Walsh. 2016-11-10.

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Colour Layout Drawing of the Garden, with Key. Click to enlarge.

Lasting Peace & Effective International Law are Essential Prerequisites for Sustainable Human & Social Development !

During the 12 Days of Christmas … Relax, Enjoy and Be Merry !!

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2012 Doha Shopping Mall Fire – 5 Jail Sentences for Negligence !

2013-07-19:  Once upon a time, back in 1979, when I was flying to Sydney, Australia … one of the scheduled stops on the route was Bahrain and the New International Airport Terminal there.  In spite of the flashy and expensive building, I noticed how obsolete looking (and functioning) were the fittings in the toilet area.  Could it possibly be, I wondered, that the Arab Gulf Region was being supplied with shoddy, second rate construction products from you-know-where ??

Fast forward to a few years ago … in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia … and I encountered one building – the same building – where one half had a 110 Volt electrical supply, and the other half had a 220 Volt supply.  Amazing !?!   Two different consultants, or contractors, or whatever … one from North America, and the other from Europe … with the Saudis in the middle, having to tolerate this nonsense !!

'Villaggio' Shopping Mall Fire (Doha City in Qatar) - 28 May 2012

Photograph taken by Brian Candy. 2012-05-28. Click to enlarge.

DOHA City Fire – Monday, 28 May 2012 …

I distinctly remember that some Irish people who had actually witnessed the Fatal Fire Incident at the ‘Villaggio’ Shopping Mall (www.villaggioqatar.com), in Doha (capital city of Qatar) … were afterwards talking to Mr. Joe Duffy, on the lunchtime ‘Liveline’ Programme (Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 Station).

19 People were killed on that Monday morning in Doha … 13 Children, 4 Teachers, and 2 Firefighters.  Many more were injured from inhaling toxic smoke.

According to various news reports … an electrical fire, caused by a light fitting (which was not ‘fit for its intended use’) in a Nike Shop, engulfed a section of the shopping centre … spreading to the Gympanzee Drop-and-Shop Childcare Centre on the first floor.

The staircase leading to the Childcare Centre collapsed … trapping victims inside.  One of their fire exits led directly to the seat of the fire, while the other fire exit was locked from the outside.

In addition, the ‘Villaggio’ – a luxury mock-Italian shopping centre (one of the most popular in the country !) where customers could ride around Venetian-style Canals, in Venetian-style Gondolas – was later found to be in breach of legislation because Essential Fire Safety Measures were either inadequate or missing, at the time of the fire: the fire sprinkler system was not working properly; inflammable paint and decorative mouldings were used in the construction; the building did not have effective fire evacuation procedures in place; the building was not equipped with proper fire-fighting equipment; and the fire alarm wasn’t loud enough.

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A Qatari Court – Thursday, 20 June 2013 …

The recent outcome from this Qatari Court Case has been nagging at me ever since I saw the news on Al Jazeera (English) … www.aljazeera.com

Only Some of the People having Control / Responsibility were convicted for the Negligence which resulted in the 19 Deaths, and many injuries, at the 2012 ‘Villaggio’ Fatal Fire Incident.

Four people received six-year jail terms, while the fifth received a five-year term.  All five are currently out on appeal, and will remain out of custody until the appeals process is completed.

Those convicted include Two Co-Owners of the Childcare Centre, and Members of the Mall’s Management Team.  Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, one of the co-owners, is also currently Qatar’s Ambassador to Belgium … while Iman Al-Kuwari, the other co-owner, is the daughter of Qatar’s Culture Minister.

Two other defendants, including the Mall’s Assistant Manager and Head of Security, were cleared of all charges.

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Other People having Control / Responsibility were also Careless, Incompetent, and Negligent …

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Fantasy Climate Change Policies, Landfill Gases & Water ?!?

2011-07-15:  The recent failure by European Union Environment Ministers to increase, unconditionally, the EU 2020 GHG Emission Reduction Target from 20% below 1990 levels to 30% … and the even more recent vote in the European Parliament against such an unconditional increase … leaves a stench in the nostrils.  Something stinks … and it’s the EU’s Climate Change Policy.  Too many alterations to the European Lifestyle … too many sacrifices … are required to effectively implement a ‘real’ climate change policy !

Taken as a whole … this is also a reliable indicator with regard to what is not happening in a strongly related policy area … the implementation of EU Sustainability Policy.

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The next BIG United Nations International Climate Change Conference in 2011COP 17 – will take place from 28 November to 9 December, 2011 … in Durban, South Africa.  Let’s not get our hopes up for the long-awaited, very necessary and urgent Global, Legally Binding Consensus Agreement on Climate Change Mitigation to be finalized there … but let’s not be too negative either !

And how are the UNFCCC Annex I Countries doing so far ?   For an answer, please follow the link below to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) WebSite …

Official UNFCCC Map – All Annex I Countries

I wrote ‘an answer’ … as this is not ‘the answer’ … because the Climate Change Numbers produced by each country are not yet sufficiently accurate, precise and reliable.  In fact, there is so much massaging of numbers that it might be better just to imagine this whole process as the Climate Change Red Light District !

BUT … we do know enough to be able to identify the worst offenders:

  • 34 – IRELAND !
  • 35 – Iceland
  • 36 – Greece
  • 37 – Portugal
  • 38 – New Zealand
  • 39 – Spain
  • 40 – Canada
  • 41 – Australia
  • 42 – Malta
  • 43 – Turkey

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Looking back to when the Climate Change ‘Train’ began to come off the rails … the 2009 Copenhagen Accord was a political agreement between a small number of Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and Heads of Delegation from Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) and the USA … who attended the UNFCCC Climate Change Summit in December 2009.  Many countries have made voluntary submissions, i.e. not legally binding, to Appendices I and II of the Accord.

A general overview of the submissions made by the Developed Economies, however, reveals the following about the emissions targets being undertaken …

     –   they are highly conditional on the performance of other countries ;

     –   they are very disappointing … being far below what is required to cap the planetary temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius ;   and

     –   there is no consistent emission base year … varying, for example, from 1990, 1992, 2000 to 2005.

This is very far from being a signal of serious intent from these countries … and is not … in any way, shape or manner … an acceptance of historical responsibilities.  It would be reasonable, therefore, to surmise that the process of achieving a global, legally binding, consensus agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets will be long and difficult.  The Climate Change Mitigation Agenda is fraught with difficulty … and is going absolutely nowhere at present !

Some Conclusions about Copenhagen and Since:

  1. The Danish Organizers were entirely responsible for the 2009 Climate Change Train Wreck !   And … this incompetent bungling continues to contaminate events since then.
  2. All Sectors of Europe’s Social Environment must now take seriously, i.e. pro-actively engage with, the Climate Change Adaptation Agenda … and prepare for a planetary temperature rise of at least 3-4 degrees Celsius before the end of this century !!

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Meanwhile, at national level in Ireland … and further to my post, dated 23 February 2011 … the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the following Press Release on 4 July 2011 …

‘ Kerdiffstown Landfill Remediation Project – Community Update Number No. 4

Gas flares at the Kerdiffstown Landfill are now installed and fully operational.  The flares burn off odorous gas that is collected by gas wells in two areas at the site – the lined landfill cell, and the North-West corner.

The lined landfill cell has now been fully covered with a heavy plastic membrane that will prevent gas escaping into the air.  This membrane will also stop rainwater getting into the waste and creating ‘leachate’ – the residual liquid that seeps through waste after rainfall.

These temporary gas control measures should result in a reduction in odour coming from the site.  Odour will continue to be encountered on occasion until the full remediation is completed and, in particular, there is a risk of odour during work phases where wastes will be disturbed.

The next major remedial works to occur on site will be the demolition of a number of unsafe buildings. The buildings are scheduled to be demolished in August, and the EPA will communicate the specific dates before the works commence.

On Friday, 1 July 2011, the EPA welcomed a number of TDs, councillors, council officials and members of the local community to the site for a briefing, and tour of the site works done to date.  The EPA would like to thank deputies Emmet Stagg, Anthony Lawlor, and Catherine Murphy, and Councillors Anne Breen, Emer McDaid, and Ger Dunne, for attending.

The EPA then met with members of the Local Community for the first Community Liaison Group meeting.  This group was formed to ensure that those people affected by the site can communicate directly with the people who will clean the site.  The Liaison Group includes EPA staff, Kildare County Council officials, members of CAN (Clean Air Naas), a representative from Kerdiffstown House, and local residents and business people.  The group took a tour of the site to review ongoing remedial works.

The EPA will continue to issue Community Updates as remedial works on the site take place.  For information about works at the site, go to … www.kerdiffstowncleanup.ie .’

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Please read, again, that first paragraph of the Press Release above … and pinch yourself !

Ireland’s EPA has an onerous legal responsibility with regard to the development and implementation of this country’s National Climate Change Policy.  Furthermore … the EPA, on its own WebSite ( http://www.epa.ie/ ) states the following …

‘ The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to be a leader in the climate change debate in Ireland, and to be the first port of call for information on climate change.  We hope that the information we provide on these WebPages will keep you informed on the latest news, research and events in the climate change area, not only in Ireland but internationally.’

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I ask: “Why are those Landfill Gases at Kerdiffstown being burned off ???”

Because Ireland’s National Climate Change Policy is a ‘paper’ policy … an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ policy … a policy not intended for ‘real’ implementation.  Surely we have a right to expect that, within the same national organization … somebody, somewhere … is able to think laterally ?

Climate Change Time is running out … and there is an immediate and desperate need for simple, direct and honest talk, consultation, awareness raising, training and education … across all sectors of our Social Environment !

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At European level … an example, to follow below, of the continuing weak and feeble Climate Change Language still being used by EU Institutions and Official Organizations … where individual employees, of all ranks, are more fearful of offending national and/or EU politicians than they are in doing their jobs properly and protecting EU Citizens and the Environment …

A recently published European Environment Agency (EEA) Technical Report 7: ‘Safe Water & Healthy Water Services in a Changing Environment’ … summarises existing knowledge of Climate Change Impacts on water services and health; the nature and effectiveness of the policy responses; and the coverage and gaps in existing assessments of these themes.

To download the Full Technical Report, go to the EEA’s WebSite … http://www.eea.europa.eu/ .

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‘ Climate Change, Water & Health

Millennium Development Goal 7 (MDG7) is to halve the proportion of the global population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.  A World Health Organization (WHO) assessment in 2010 finds that access to improved water sources, sanitation and wastewater treatment has increased over the past two decades.  In many countries in the Eastern European Region, however, progress is slow.  More than 50% of the rural population in ten countries have no access to improved water, giving rise to important health inequalities.

• It is important to understand how Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events will affect the achievement of MDG7.  Drinking water supplies and sanitation systems will have to be made resilient to Climate Change, and drinking water and sanitation must be fully incorporated into integrated water resource management.

Climate Change is projected to cause major changes in yearly and seasonal precipitation and water flow, flooding and coastal erosion risks, water quality, and the distribution of species and ecosystems.

Climate Change will impact all areas of water services – the quality and availability of water sources, infrastructure, and the type of treatment needed to meet quality standards.  We will also see more frequent and severe droughts, flooding and weather events.

• Countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia face the greatest threats to safe water.  The infrastructure in many towns and rural areas is in poor condition, and water provision is erratic and of unsatisfactory quality.

• Heavy rainfall events may also lead to flooding, especially in urban areas, and this can have serious impacts on the performance and efficiency of water supply and wastewater treatment systems, which may potentially lead to health risks.  Waterborne diseases arise predominantly from contamination of water supplies after heavy rainfall and flooding.

• Low river flows and increased temperatures during droughts reduce dilution of wastewater effluent, and drinking water quality could be compromised, increasing the need for extra treatment of both effluent and water supplies.

Water Management Policies & Extreme Weather Events

• Water management policies at European and EU Levels are being made increasingly adaptable to Climate Change, which should help safeguard public health and ecosystem services in the future.

• There are numerous guidelines for the design of water and human health policies across Europe (e.g. WHO Guidelines on drinking water quality, Protocol on Water and Health, and draft guidance on water supply and sanitation in extreme weather).  Recently, such Guidance has focused on how policy design and implementation might be affected by and adapted to Climate Change Events.

The WHO Vision 2030 Study assesses how and where Climate Change will affect drinking water and sanitation in the medium term, and what can be done to maximise the resilience of drinking water and sanitation systems.

• Several existing EU Policies address water management issues (the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, the Water Framework Directive, Floods Directive and the EU Water Scarcity and Droughts Strategy) and others deal more directly with potential water-related impacts on human health (e.g. the Drinking Water Directive, and Bathing Water Directive).

• There is a clear recognition that Climate Change creates a need for coherent, sustainable, cross-sectoral policy and regulation; sharing of available tools; facilitating mechanisms for partnerships and financing; and readiness to optimise across sectors during implementation.

• The water utility sector faces a unique set of challenges.  A primary challenge will be enhancing its capacity to cope with Climate Change Impacts and Other Human Pressures on water systems, while fostering greater resiliency to extreme hydrological events.

• With more frequent higher-intensity storms projected, utilities face the need to update infrastructure design practices.  This necessitates investments – not necessarily only in larger structures but also smarter (using better process control technologies) or local measures on storm water run-off.

Assessment Knowledge Base

• At international, national and local levels … much information is produced for assessments of the state of water and related health impacts.  Overall, both the current international and national water and health assessments have limited focus on extreme weather events and their effects on water services.

• In national assessments and programmes, countries appear to be aware of the adverse consequences of Climate Change on water and health.  However, sometimes assessments appear to be based on ‘expert knowledge’, largely qualitative in scope, and not going further than identifying likely scenarios.  The evidence‑base is lacking to make reliable estimates of the health effects of Climate Change resulting from impacts on water resources.

• Much effort is now focused on the impact of Climate Change on water and the environment, including health-related impacts.  Many international and European organisations have mapped out future Climate Change Impacts on water-related issues, identifying vulnerable groups and vulnerable sub-regions.

• The vast majority of the assessments of drought and water scarcity have focused on the impact of water scarcity, water use by sectors and strategies for meeting demand.  Very little consideration has been given to the health effects or consequences of future extreme weather events.

• The health effects of flooding do not feature significantly in national assessments.  The main focus is identifying regions most at risk of flooding and preparing plans for responding and mitigating the main consequences.

• Sufficient public health competences exist to cope with the health effects of Climate Change.  However, no (comprehensive) assessment has been undertaken to predict the severity or extent of future health risks related to the impact of Climate Change on water services.

• Irrespective of an assessment of the disease burden, actions being taken on the wider scale to respond to water scarcity, drought and flooding will help to reduce the health effects associated with Climate Change and water.’

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If you were a Key Decision-Maker … would this language spur you into action … or make you yawn, and put you to sleep ???

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