Yesterday (August 24th), we had a successful #WWWeek #AtHome session discussing the ‘Potential of decentralised solutions to address climate change’. The event took place in the form of an online webinar and featured a panel of speakers from Dalberg, SWEs (Safe Water Enterprises) and enablers within the ecosystem.
About the session
The aim of the session was to better understand how SWEs can build resilience to guard themselves against the potential effects of climate change. The data presented in the session were based on a study conducted by Dalberg exploring how climate change increases risks and affects SWEs, what strategies can be implemented to become more resilient and how funders and policy-makers can contribute to resilience. The speakers took turns to address these questions and the event ended with a Q&A session with the audience.
SWEs are a low-cost and viable method of providing safe drinking water for around 2 billion people. The continuity and financial sustainability of SWEs are of significant importance. Climate change is leading to an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts, flooding and storms. This, in turn, has effects on water availability, water quality, and can damage the infrastructure causing more damage especially in high-risk countries. To ensure continuity, SWEs have to choose a resilience measure such as building inventories, resource pooling, technology change, mitigation oriented design, etc. It is still uncertain how SWE’s resilience scores compared with piped utilities. While this was not answered by the Dalberg study, it remains a crucial question for policymakers and investors. The support of funders and policymakers is essential to address this.
As climate change continues to jeopardise the continuity of SWEs, it is important to come up with an emergency plan as well as a long-term adaptation plan. The speakers acknowledged that the collective effort of funders and policymakers is required in order to build resilience and address this global challenge.
If you missed the session, you can access the live recording (only valid until August 31, 2020) and the deck used in the session here: https://www.worldwaterweek.org/event/9065-potential-of-decentralized-solutions-to-address-climate-change