[FDMT] Incorporating climate information into Water Safety Planning [Experience Note]
Flood and drought events are becoming increasingly common, more severe and less predictable due to the impacts of climate change. Stakeholders from catchment to tap have a role to play in strengthening climate resilience. Water utilities, in particular, must ensure water supply and quality for a growing number of customers, and water safety planning (WSP) provides a risk management approach to achieve this. The Flood & Drought Management Tools (FDMTs) project is using WSPs as an entry point to prompt utilities to consider climate information and the risks of floods and droughts in their planning procedures. The FDMT partner utilities across the project’s 3 pilot basins have differing capacities to respond to and awareness of climate hazards; differing access to climate information and thus are integrating climate information to varying degrees into operational and management procedures and plans. There has been an understanding as the project has progressed that there is a need for greater awareness and understanding around the applicability of climate information in assuring drinking water quality. As other projects take up the tools, more work will also need to be done to ensure the institutionalisation of climate risk management. This is critical as knowledge gained does not necessarily lead to changes in planning and implementation. The FDMT project experience can inform the refinement of similar projects that seek to support utilities to develop climate-resilient water safety plans.
18 Dec 2018