Changes in the hydrological cycle due to climate change can lead to diverse impacts and risks, and they are conditioned by and interact with non-climatic drivers of change and water management responses (Figure 3-1). Water is the agent that delivers many of the impacts of climate change to society, for example, to the energy, agriculture, and transport sectors. Even though water moves through the hydrological cycle, it is a locally variable resource, and vulnerabilities to water-related hazards such as floods and droughts differ between regions. Anthropogenic climate change is one of many stressors of water resources. Nonclimatic drivers such as population increase, economic development, urbanization, and land use or natural geomorphic changes also challenge the sustainability of resources by decreasing water supply or increasing demand. In this context, adaptation to climate change in the water sector can contribute to improving the availability of water.
Jiménez Cisneros, B.E., T. Oki, N.W. Arnell, G. Benito, J.G. Cogley, P. Döll, T. Jiang, and S.S. Mwakalila, 2014: Freshwater resources. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 229-269.