Manual or guideline

WASH Services and Climate Change: Impacts and Responses 

Author: Colette Géneveaux

Year: 2018

Publisher: pS-Eau

With a growing number of countries being affected by rising sea levels, more
frequent cyclones or longer droughts, climate change is now recognised as
the major challenge of this century for humanity. The impacts of the rise in
global temperatures on the large water cycle are both well known and well
documented. Since the 1990s, these impacts have been scientifically sub-
stantiated in the reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC): warming of the oceans, glacier melt, rising sea levels,
extreme weather events leading to successive droughts and floods, and so on.
The impacts on water resources also have repercussions for the availability
and continuity of water and sanitation services. The effects of climate change,
together with population growth and urbanisation, have major health, social
and economic impacts. These impacts can be seen across the world but par-
ticularly affect the most vulnerable communities, thereby exacerbating ine-
qualities. In sub-Saharan Africa, access to drinking water and sanitation is
already being significantly affected by droughts and water scarcity.
Adapting to climate change is crucial for basic services, which are especially
vulnerable to climate-related hazards. Efforts to mitigate global warming can
and should also be introduced. However, decision-makers and field practition-
ers struggle to fully adopt these approaches, which involve conducting fore-
casting exercises made difficult by uncertainties over future climate change
scenarios and the unpredictability of climate-related hazards. It is therefore
necessary for all stakeholders to build a better understanding of these risks
and to take steps to change and adapt their practices in the field.

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