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Adaptation to climate change in water, sanitation and hygiene

Hero image description: Mary Muntari collects water from a stream in Kachia, in Kaduna State Nigeria Image credit:Kate Holt/IRIN Image license:ODI given rights

This project will analyse the risks to delivery of DFID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) results posed by climate change and provide an economic analysis setting out the costs and benefits of adaptation options.  

This analysis will build upon earlier work commissioned by DFID and WHO and published as Vision 2030. This provided a strategic overview of the importance of taking climate change into account in designing and delivering WASH programmes.  It includes key recommendations based around data gaps and needs, research and development requirements, assessment and management tools and the need to take water resources management (WRM) into account in WASH delivery

Drinking water supply accounts for up to 15% of water use worldwide.  Ensuring a sufficient quantity of water for household purposes is dependent upon effective management of water resources which are subject to competition for different uses.

Effective water resources management is therefore a key part of assuring WASH results in many contexts.

DFID investments in the WASH sector are increasing.  It has committed to provide 60 million poor people with access to clean water, sanitation and improved hygiene by 2015.   The purpose of this study will be to determine the level of risk posed by climate change to delivery of these WASH commitments and economic analysis to determine the most appropriate approach to tackling adaptation in the different country contexts of WASH delivery.

This analysis will help a range of programmes being developed by DFID to deliver these results to ensure that climate resiliencies adequately addressed.   It will also feed into a Research and Evaluation Department programme on Water Security currently under design.


Richard Carter, Ian Ross, Julian Doczi, Naomi Oates

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