Long-term planning for an adequate and secure supply of drinking water must be placed in the context of growing external uncertainties resulting from changes in climate and the environment. The Water Safety Plan (PSE) process provides a systematic framework for managing these risks taking into account the implications of climate variability and change.
This document is intended to help water providers and WSP teams who are already committed to using the WSP approach and who are developing and implementing WSPs to better understand climate change and how it can be addressed and processed in the WSP process. This document will also be useful to other stakeholders, in particular the health and environment agencies that support the implementation of the WSP. It explains how to consider the broader issues of climate change, regional climate vulnerability assessments, disaster risk reduction and integrated water resources management in the WSP process. The details of how this is done for any particular WSP will depend on local circumstances.
The document identifies opportunities to improve the WSP process and outcomes by considering the provision of sufficient potable water in changed future conditions and extreme weather events that may become more frequent and severe as the climate changes. .
These guidelines are aligned with the WSP modules as described in the World Health Organization / International Water Association Water Safety Plan manual. Therefore, this document is intended to be used in conjunction with the Water Safety Plan Manual to ensure that climate change is considered as part of the entire assessment, management and review process. continuous improvement of WSP risks.
The document presents the current state of knowledge on the impacts of climate change on the water cycle, drawing on information from the scientific literature, in particular the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on l climate change.
The document describes the modules of the Water Security Plan Manual where climate variability and change must be explicitly considered to ensure effective management of these risks through the WSP process. These modules are 1 (“Assemble the WSP team”), 2 (“Describe the water supply system”), 3–5 (“Identify hazards and hazardous events and assess risks”, “Determine and validate control measures, reassess and prioritize risks ”, and“ Develop, implement and maintain an improvement / upgrade plan ”), 8 (“ Prepare management procedures ”) and 9 (“ Develop programs Support “). The main activities to be undertaken to support the inclusion of climate change risks are described below.
The WSP team should consider past climate events that have negatively affected the water supply system and learn about climate projections that could impact the dangers and risks to the water supply system in the area. ‘to come up. As described in Modules 1 and 2 (Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of this document), WSP teams may need to draw on the expertise and information of other parties, such as hydrology and marine specialists. climatology, to understand the potential impacts of climate change in the context of their water supply.
When identifying hazards, assessing risks and planning improvements, as described in Modules 3 to 5 (Sections 5.3 and 5.4 of this document), WSP teams should have an overview of the potential risks. Climate change fuels changes in environmental and social systems, which can impact the nature of hazards and exposures commonly considered and introduce new hazards. Both the probability and the severity of consequences arising from the hazard or hazardous event are likely to change due to climate variability and change.
Modules 8 and 9 (section 5.6 of this document) of the Water Safety Plan Manual cover the development of management procedures and support programs. At a general level, these modules include the development of programs to strengthen the institutional and individual capacity of water providers to manage the risks associated with water scarcity and reliability in addition to risks related to water quality. some water. These programs include management procedures, for example emergency response plans (such as flood or drought management plans). The programs can be used to bring together stakeholders from different disciplines to support a more holistic, watershed-based approach to water resources management, for a more resilient water supply.
When considering climate change and seeking to adapt to change and improve resilience to increased climate variability, the WSP team can identify opportunities and practices to work in partnership with others and influence their plans and programs when these relate to the scope and implementation of the WSP.
Additional sources of information, detailed case studies and examples are provided throughout the document and in the appendix at the end.