Financing Water Supply and Sanitation in a Changing Climate

Financing Water Supply and Sanitation in a Changing Climate

Major findings of this assessment include:

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 5.29.48 PM.png

• Water supply and sanitation (WSS) systems contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from sanitation systems and from the energy used to power these systems.

• Rising temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns, and more frequent and intense floods and droughts are the key climate threats to the successful design, construction, and operation of WSS systems. • The impacts of climate change on WSS systems may undermine progress toward achievement of SDG 6 by pushing communities “down” the ladder from safely managed to basic or even limited service and increasing the financial gap to meet SDG 6.

• Poorer and marginalized populations are especially vulnerable to climate impacts because of reliance on more vulnerable WSS systems, weaker institutional protections, and limited access to funding.

• Smart choices can benefit the climate and those living in poverty by adopting water and energy efficiency improvements that are affordable and resilient to changing climatic conditions.

• For water supply, changes in management strategies, such as protecting and diversifying sources and improving governance institutions, will often be more important than technology in improving climate resilience.

• For sanitation systems, the opposite is true: key vulnerabilities can be reduced by understanding the details of local climate risks — especially shortage and flooding risks — and choosing technologies less sensitive to these risks.

• Efforts to identify and mobilize new funding are critical to developing climate resilient WSS programs. Innovative new financing approaches are available, especially new forms of bonds (including “green” and “catastrophe” bonds), microfinance and microinsurance, and favorable taxing strategies.


see full report attached