Climate change has the potential to impact on both the supply and demand sides of WASH delivery systems. Some potential impacts are likely to be direct and very obvious (e.g.) increased incidence of extreme floods that damage WASH infrastructure), whereas others are likely to be indirect, insidious and more uncertain in nature and severity (e.g. sea level rise leading to migration away from coastal areas). These impacts happen often in a context where many other factors of uncertainty and faster and slower changes are underway, such as increased competition between WASH services and agriculture, or demographic changes.
This briefing note is targeted at WASH professionals and practitioners who recognize the need for climate change adaptation but are not sure what to do or how to plan for this and may already be struggling with major challenges of improving or maintaining current WASH services. More specifically this briefing note recommends that WASH practitioners use a range of practical and well proven methods and tools for dealing with uncertainty, which is not necessarily caused by climate change, to identify and prioritise viable adaptation strategies.