Human-caused climate change is real and accelerating, creating new challenges for all aspects of freshwater management, including meeting basic human needs for water and sanitation. Important gaps in our understanding of these challenges include both the complications climate change poses for planning, implementing, and sustaining water supply and sanitation systems, especially for the poor; and the links between these systems and the emissions of greenhouse gases that worsen the overall climate problem.
This report, created in collaboration with Water.org, addresses these gaps. It examines the energy and greenhouse gas implications of expanding access to safely managed water and sanitation, presents the current understanding of the climate impacts affecting water resources and built water systems, and assesses these impacts in the context of specific water supply and sanitation interventions. Additionally, it evaluates opportunities for green finance and microfinance to reduce climate-related risk.