Water Services and Climate Change

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Sector Resources Technical topics Water Services and Climate Change


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Danilenko, Dickson, Jacobsen

Climate Change and Urban Water Utilities: Challenges & Opportunities

The impact of climate change is increasingly important to the design of infrastructure investment programs. Growing evidence indicates that the water sector will not only be affected by climate change, but that it will deliver many of its impacts through floods, droughts, or extreme rainfall events. Water resources will change in both quantity and quality, and water, storm water and wastewater facilities’ infrastructure will face greater risk of damage caused by storms, floods and droughts. The effect of the climate change will manifest from difficulties in operations to disrupted services and increased cost of the water and wastewater services. Governments, urban planners, and water managers are therefore re-examining development processes for municipal water and wastewater services and are adapting strategies to incorporate climate change into infrastructure design, capital investment projects, service provision planning, and operation and maintenance.

This report is structured as follows: Chapter 1 provides an overview of the role that climate change will have on urban water utilities and highlights the often competing priorities that water managers are faced with in developing countries; Chapter 2 describes the relationship between climate change and water resources as they influence water service provision; Chapter 3 presents a framework for analysis of vulnerability and adaptive capacity of water providers; Chapters 4 presents a framework for adaptation actions. Annexes contain detailed graphs and statistics taken from the international workshop held in Madrid, Spain in January of 2009 and utility specific case studies which are highlighted throughout the report.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 03 September 2015

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