Building resilience to climate-related and geophysical hazards is a vital step in the fight against poverty. Screening for risks from such hazards improves the likelihood and longevity of a project’s success. It enables project teams:
- To assess whether climate and disaster risks can have an impact on the water sector.
- To assess how these risks could affect development.
- To assess how the development context could modulate risks.
- To design climate- and disaster-resilient projects.
To assess whether climate and disaster risks can have an impact on the water sector.
Local and regional climates are changing and affecting temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. These changes may lead to:
- Changes in seasonal precipitation that affect the quantity of water available
- Sea level rise, which can inundate key coastal assets
- More frequent or severe extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and storm surges, that can damage water and waste water plants, dams and other physical infrastructure and
- Rises in average temperatures that increase the loss of water through evapotranspiration as well as increased demand for clean water.
There are also geophysical hazards unrelated to climate, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides. This tool screens for risk from both climate hazards and these geophysical hazards.
To assess how these risks could affect development.
The impacts of climate-related and other natural disasters make development more challenging. Many of the world’s poorest may have to face additional hurdles, such as unreliable access to clean water due to degradation or drying up of existing sources.
To assess how the development context could modulate risks.
In addition, the development context can influence the level of impacts caused by climate-related and other natural disasters. Social, political and economic factors such as access to finance and social safety nets are important to consider in evaluating the relationship between development plans and risks.
To design climate- and disaster-resilient projects.
Impacts from climate change and disasters can undermine the benefits of development. Addressing these risks during project design can therefore help protect project investments. For example,
- Water storage can be increased to cope with longer or more frequent drought periods.
- Integrated water resource management can be planned in a way that is well prepared for future water quantity and quality conditions.
- Hydrological monitoring can be expanded or enhanced to measure climate impacts on water resources.
- Wastewater and sanitation infrastructure can be strengthened against the impacts of flooding and other extreme weather events.
- Riverine flood protection measures, such as levees and zoning policies, can be designed based on future flood projections to ensure their continued effectiveness.