Declan Conway

Declan Conway
The London School of Economics and Political Science | LSE · Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (GRI)

About

158
Publications
68,292
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
14,167
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - September 2013
University of East Anglia
Position
  • Co-founder

Publications

Publications (158)
Article
Full-text available
Between 1981–2000 and 1999–2018, growing season average temperatures (GST) in the main UK viticulture regions have warmed ~1.0 °C and are now more reliably >14.0 °C GST. This warming has underpinned the rapid expansion of the UK viticulture sector and its current focus on growing grape varieties for sparkling wine. Near-term (2021–2040) climate cha...
Article
Full-text available
Water resource system planning is complicated by uncertainty on the magnitude and direction of climate change. Therefore, developments such as new infrastructure or changed management rules that would work acceptably well under a diverse set of future conditions (i.e., robust solutions) are preferred. Robust multi-objective optimisation can help id...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of businesses to adapt effectively to climate change is highly influenced by the external business enabling environment. Constraints to adaptive capacity are experienced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across sub‐Saharan Africa, regardless of the gender of the business owner. However, gender is a critical social cleavage through...
Article
Full-text available
The need for achieving efficient and sustainable use of water resources is pressing, however, this often requires better understanding of the potential of water conservation, taking into account the impact on return flows, and the costs in relation to sectoral benefits. Using modelling and limited observational data we explore the costs and potenti...
Article
Full-text available
Malawi depends on Lake Malawi outflows into the Shire River for its water, energy and food (WEF) security. We explore future WEF security risks under the combined impacts of climate change and ambitious development pathways for water use expansion. We drive a bespoke water resources model developed with stakeholder inputs, with 29 bias-corrected cl...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we advance a novel approach to integrated assessment of the ways in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are likely to manifest and interact within a given development context, using Q-Methodology and the conceptual framing of imaginaries. We apply this to development corridors and identify three qualitatively distinct imagi...
Article
Full-text available
West Africa exhibits decadal patterns in the behaviour of droughts and floods, creating challenges for effective water resources management. Proposed drivers of prolonged shifts in hydrological extremes include the impacts of land-cover change and climate variability in the region. However, while future land-degradation or land-use are highly unpre...
Article
Full-text available
Amidst increasing interest in multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in climate discourse, this paper identifies four rationales for why MSPs may be particularly suited to supporting adaptation from existing literatures. With a focus on MSPs that seek to support adaptation among micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya, we then investigat...
Data
Despite awareness of climate impacts on development, climate variability and future change have received limited attention in investment decisions. We examined past and future climate variability with the aim to understand the main source of climate risk to development plans across the water-energy-food sectors in south Eastern Africa, a relatively...
Article
Full-text available
Global water use for food production needs to be reduced to remain within planetary boundaries, yet the financial feasibility of crucial measures to reduce water use is poorly quantified. Here, we introduce a novel method to compare the costs of water conservation measures with the added value that reallocation of water savings might generate if us...
Article
Full-text available
The need to assess major infrastructure performance under a changing climate is widely recognized yet rarely practiced, particularly in rapidly growing African economies. Here, we consider high-stakes investments across the water, energy, and food sectors for two major river basins in a climate transition zone in Africa. We integrate detailed inter...
Article
Full-text available
The need to assess major infrastructure performance under a changing climate is widely recognised yet rarely practised, particularly in rapidly growing African economies. Here we consider high stakes investments across the water-energy-food sectors for two major river basins in a climate transition zone in Africa. We integrate detailed interpretati...
Article
Uncertainty in long-term projections of future climate can be substantial and presents a major challenge to climate change adaptation planning. This is especially so for projections of future precipitation in most tropical regions, at the spatial scale of many adaptation decisions in water-related sectors. Attempts have been made to constrain the u...
Chapter
Full-text available
Adaptations and strategies to build resilience are needed to manage current impacts and will be increasingly vital as the world continues to warm. But making adaptation decisions can be complex, requiring careful consideration of multiple factors and perspectives, and balancing different priorities over different timescales. Society is embarking on...
Chapter
Full-text available
The need to stress test designs and decisions about major infrastructure under climate change conditions is increasingly being recognised. This chapter explores new ways to understand and—if possible—reduce the uncertainty in climate information to enable its use in assessing decisions that have consequences across the water, energy, food and envir...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book contributes to previous and ongoing action to initiate and inform conversations about climate risk and the need for adaptation and resilience building. This involves blending insights from climate science about what the future climate will look like with experiences of the social science of response through adaptation, based on practical...
Book
This open access book highlights the complexities around making adaptation decisions and building resilience in the face of climate risk. It is based on experiences in sub-Saharan Africa through the Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) applied research programme. It begins by dealing with underlying principles and structures designed to facilitate effe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research provides a critical analysis of development corridors as a mechanism for delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using Q-Methodology, we identify three qualitatively distinct imaginaries of development corridors that exist among development actors, across five development corridors in East Africa. These imaginaries art...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we use an inductive approach and longitudinal analysis to explore political influences on the emergence and evolution of climate change adaptation policy and planning at national level, as well as the institutions within which it is embedded, for three countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia). Data collection inv...
Article
Full-text available
This focus collection on resilience to climate shocks in the tropics draws together 16 papers that predominantly examine the impacts of, and responses to, the 2015/2016 El Niño-Southern Oscillation event, in a range of contexts. This introductory synthesis contextualises the collection of papers by reviewing important concepts and highlighting some...
Article
Full-text available
We quantify the heavily oil-dominated WEF nexus in three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) across spatial scales and over time, using available empirical data at the national level, and explore the exposure to nexus stresses (groundwater depletion) in other countries through virtual water trade. At the domest...
Preprint
A number of water conservation measures in agriculture have been proposed to produce more food with less water. However, the extent to which the benefits compensate the costs of these measures is poorly quantified. A complicating factor is that losses from inefficient use of water upstream are often reused downstream so that benefits of water conse...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Many river basins in the Global South are undergoing rapid development with major implications for the interdependent water‐energy‐food‐environmental (WEFE) “nexus” sectors. A range of views on the extent to which such natural‐human systems should be developed typically exists. The perceived best investments in river basins depend on how o...
Article
Full-text available
Making climate-resilient planning and adaptation decisions is, in part, contingent on the use of climate information. Growing attention has been paid to the “usability gap” and the need to make information both useful and useable to decision-makers. Less attention has, however, been paid to the factors that determine whether, once created, useful a...
Article
Full-text available
This perspective explores how climate services may potentially incorporate information emerging from the new science of interannual-to-decadal (I2D) climate prediction. The geographic focus is the Sahel region of West Africa, which has demonstrated prediction advances for rainfall on the I2D timescale, and vulnerability to climate hazards. The pers...
Article
Over 90% of Malawi’s electricity generation and irrigation depend on Lake Malawi outflows into the Shire River. Recent lake level declines have raised concerns over future climate change impacts, including the risk of no outflows if the Lake Malawi Outflow Threshold (LMOT) is passed. Addressing calls for model co-production, we iteratively engage s...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, semi-arid lands (SALs) are home to approximately one billion people, including some of the poorest and least food secure. These regions will be among the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change. This article urges governments and their development partners to put SAL inhabitants and their activities at the heart of efforts to support...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of climate change at specific intervals of future warming have primarily been addressed through top-down approaches using climate projections and modelled impacts. In contrast, bottom-up approaches focus on the recent past and present vulnerability. Here, we examine climate signals at different increments of warming and consider the need to...
Article
In economically marginal rural areas, choice in livelihood strategy such as decisions to move location mediates levels of individual and household resilience under conditions of environmental change. It is widely recognised that endowments associated with mobility and the entitlement to mobility are unevenly distributed across populations. This pap...
Article
Full-text available
Government ministries are increasingly mainstreaming climate change adaptation within policies and plans. However, government staff in key implementing ministries need to be empowered to ensure effective delivery of policy goals. Motivation to act on climate change, combined with the capacity to make decisions and apply resources to programmes, is...
Article
Full-text available
Study region: The Rufiji basin, East Africa. Study focus: Rapid advances in global hydrological model (GHM) resolution, model features, and in situ and remotely sensed datasets are driving progress towards local relevance and application. Despite their increasing use, however, evaluation of local hydrological performance of GHMs is rare. In this pa...
Article
Full-text available
Non-technical summary The El Niño event in 2015/2016 was one of the strongest since at least 1950. Through surveys and interviews with key informants, we found businesses in the capital cities of Zambia, Botswana and Kenya experienced major disruption to their activities from El Niño related hydroelectric load shedding, water supply disruption and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Headline Issues: • Eastern and southern Africa are planning an extra 31 GW of hydropower capacity by 2030 to overcome electricity shortages. • Most plants will be subject to similar rainfall patterns and thus will be exposed to similar potential climate-related disruptions. • This could exacerbate other factors, such as governance challenges, tha...
Article
Full-text available
Mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions has many measurable co-benefits for public health and remains a priority (Haines et al., 2009). However, recognition that climate change is already underway has led to an increasing focus on adaptation. Studies projecting the impacts of future climate change on health date back to the l...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge about regional and local climate change can inform climate risk assessments and adaptation decisions. However, estimates of future precipitation change at the regional and local level are deeply uncertain for many parts of the world. A novel methodology was developed that uses climate processes and expert elicitation to build narratives o...
Article
Full-text available
Key messages: • Supporting private adaptation and climate-resilient development in semi-arid lands is fundamental to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pledge to ‘leave no one behind’. • Developing country governments, supported by development partners, have a key role to play in enabling sustainable and inclusive private adaptat...
Article
Systemic climate risks, which result from the potential for cascading impacts through inter-related systems, pose particular challenges to risk assessment, especially when risks are transmitted across sectors and international boundaries. Most impacts of climate variability and change affect regions and jurisdictions in complex ways, and techniques...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the agricultural groundwater management system of Mogwadi (Dendron), Limpopo, South Africa – an area associated with intensive use of hard rock aquifers for irrigation – and the potential contribution of seasonal forecasts. These relatively shallow aquifers are often perceived as ‘self-regulating’, yet climate variability and in...
Article
Full-text available
Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU) approaches have been less utilised in developing countries than developed countries for water resources contexts. High climate vulnerability and rapid socio-economic change often characterize developing country contexts, making DMUU approaches relevant. We develop an iterative multi-method DMUU approach, inc...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation research has changed significantly in recent years as funders and researchers seek to encourage greater impact, ensure value for money and promote interdisciplinarity across the natural and social sciences. While these developments are inherently positive, they also bring fresh challenges. With this in mind, this paper presents an agenda...
Article
Full-text available
The 2015/2016 El Niño has been classified as one of the three most severe on record. El Niño teleconnections are commonly associated with droughts in southern Africa and high precipitation in eastern Africa. Despite their relatively frequent occurrence, evidence for their hydrological effects and impacts beyond agriculture is limited. We examine th...
Article
Full-text available
The threat of climate change is emerging at a time of rapid growth for many economies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Dominant narratives comprising ambitious development plans are common and often based around sectors with strong inter-dependencies that are highly exposed to climate variability. Using document analysis and key informant interviews, t...
Article
Full-text available
Hydropower comprises a significant and rapidly expanding proportion of electricity production in eastern and southern Africa. In both regions, hydropower is exposed to high levels of climate variability and regional climate linkages are strong, yet an understanding of spatial interdependences is lacking. Here we consider river basin configuration a...
Article
Subjective approaches to resilience measurement are gaining traction as a complementary approach to the standard frameworks that typically contain objective measures. Proponents suggest that subjective approaches may add value to existing measures in three areas: by improving our understanding of the drivers of resilience, reducing the questionnair...
Article
Climate change is projected to increase annual Nile river flow; importantly, year-to-year variability is also expected to increase markedly. More variable flows could present a challenge for consistent water resource provision in this region.
Article
The Paris Agreement long term global temperature goal refers to two global warming levels: well below 2°C and 1.5°C above preindustrial. Regional climate signals at specific global warming levels, and especially the differences between 1.5°C and 2°C, are not well constrained, however. In particular, methodological challenges related to the assessme...
Article
Transboundary water resources management in the Equatorial Nile Basin (EQNB) is a politically contested issue. There is a growing body of literature examining water-related discourses which identifies the ability of powerful actors and institutions to influence policy. Concern about the effects of future climate change has featured strongly in rese...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change adaptation is unavoidable, particularly in developing countries where the adaptation deficit is often larger than in developed countries. Robust Decision Making (RDM) approaches are considered useful for supporting adaptation decision making, yet case study applications in developing countries are rare. This review paper examines the...
Article
Full-text available
There are strong interdependencies between water use in agriculture and energy consumption as water saving technologies can require increased pumping and pressurizing. The Chinese Government includes water efficiency improvement and carbon intensity reduction targets in the 12th Five-Year Plan (5YP. 2011–2015), yet the links between energy use and...
Article
Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce crop water use1. However, there is high uncertainty about the global implications of these effects for future crop production and agricultural water requirements under climate change. Here we combine results from networks of field experiments1, 2 and glo...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal and spatial variability of precipitation in southern Africa is particularly high. The associated drought and flood risks, combined with a largely rain-fed agriculture, pose a challenge for water and food security in the region. As regional collaboration strengthens through the Southern Africa Development Community and trade with other regi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper identifies over 50,000 patents filed worldwide in various water-related technologies between 1990 and 2010, distinguishing between those related to availability (supply) and conservation (demand) technologies. Patenting activity is analyzed — including inventive activity by country and technology, international diffusion of such water-re...
Article
Full-text available
In southern Africa, the connections between climate and the water–energy–food nexus are strong. Physical and socioeconomic exposure to climate is high in many areas and in crucial economic sectors. Spatial interdependence is also high, driven, for example, by the regional extent of many climate anomalies and river basins and aquifers that span nati...
Article
The ‘nexus’ between water, energy and food (WEF) has gained increasing attention globally in research, business and policy spheres. We review the premise of recent initiatives framed around the nexus, examine the challenge of achieving the type of disciplinary boundary crossing promoted by the nexus agenda and consider how to operationalise what ha...
Article
Water management is a central responsibility of civil society. Major questions persist regarding practice, policy, and the underlying evidence and methods to inform both. Over the next 3 weeks, Science presents essays invited to debate key issues in freshwater research and management. This week: local versus global. When, and to what extent, should...
Article
Asia's mega-deltas are densely populated and face multiple stressors including upstream development and sea-level rise. Adapting to these challenges requires difficult choices between hard and soft responses set within a strongly political context.
Article
The impacts of climate change will have far reaching consequences for transboundary water resources, particularly through the effects of changing frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as floods and their impacts on river channel systems. Watercourses have been used as boundaries throughout history for a variety of reasons, and as both a n...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the state of knowledge on social vulnerability to climate change in three hot spots (deltas, semi-arid regions and snowpack- or glacier-fed river basins) in Africa, Central Asia and South Asia, using elements of systematic review methods. Social vulnerability is defined as a dynamic state of societies comprising exposure, sensiti...
Article
The international community's support for adaptation in developing countries has proliferated through numerous complementary funding mechanisms. A range of serious practical issues are emerging, however, as adaptation moves from theory and international negotiation to implementation. We identify three areas deserving greater scrutiny: in-country pr...