Under Pressure: Effects, Impacts, and Adaptation to Climate change in Latin American and Caribbean Water Operators

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Sep 2023
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face as a society today. Since the beginning of the 20th century, global temperatures have been steadily rising, and the increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events now pose a growing threat to cities. Climate change affects infrastructure services, and, in particular, it has a significant impact on water and sanitation services due to its close relationship with the water cycle. The daily activities of water operators are seriously affected by rising air and water temperatures, droughts, heavy rainfall, glacial melting, and rising sea levels, among other factors.

This monograph provides an overview of the various impacts of climate change on the provision of water and sanitation services, as well as the adaptation options available to water operators. Using data from the DesInventar database, the document analyzes which events are most prevalent in the sub-regions of Latin America and the Caribbean and which events particularly affect water and sanitation systems. Finally, it presents the results of a survey conducted with 61 water operators in 11 countries in the region. The aim of the survey is to understand the climate change impacts that affect them the most and the measures they are adopting to address climate change and ensure resilience in the services they provide.