Whether sea-level rise, extended or sudden occurrence of droughts or floods, the vulnerable and poor are more likely to suffer the most from climate change.

Is the water, sanitation and hygiene sector ready to face a range of impacts as a result of climate change? Or are there new opportunities thanks to increased global attention?

Everyone is talking about climate change. It is clear that climate change will affect the medium of water most of all: arid areas will face more droughts and humid areas more rain (and therefore flooding); receding glaciers and snowpack will likely diminish water supplies; and higher global temperatures will affect water quality (e.g. pollution).

Particularly relevant to climate change and water is the fact that past hydrological experiences are no longer a guide for future conditions. Thus, governance of water resources will be critical in managing adaptation to the new environments in which humans live.

Such governance must research and prepare for the probable impacts of climate change, reviewing the resilience of the technologies and systems in place, and how they can be strengthened. The need for early adaptation and improved governance is particularly critical for those vulnerable people who are at the centre of WSSCC's work.

To enhance cooperation of sector actors on this issue, WSSCC has initiated a Working Group on Climate Change and WASH together with other key sector actors, such as IRC, WIN, Tearfund, and WaterAid. Hosted by WSSCC, the group shares experiences and explores climate change adaptation measures that serve to reduce the vulnerability of affected communities in relation to access to WASH services and their broader water management activities.

The working group aims to:

  • act as a platform for knowledge sharing on climate change in the WASH sector
  • develop advocacy messages for effective adaptation approaches to climate change
  • provide information and knowledge services on the issue, both at the practical and strategic level.

Interested organizations and individuals are welcome to join the group's mailinglist washclimatechange@googlegroups.com

Last updated: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 11:01