Thursday, 25 February 2016 01:00

Climate Change toolkit for coastal and small island utilities

A tool for coastal and small island state water utilities to assess and manage climate change risk.

Climate change manifests itself through variable precipitation, saline ingress, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. The tool offers two approaches to assessing climate vulnerability and risk by proposing two distinct but compatible approaches.

The Top-down approach incorporates a scientific outlook to identifying and assessing climate change impacts that will enable the design of a credible adaptation program. This approach is highly technical in nature and requires significant financial and time inputs, lasting for more than a year. The Bottom-up approach offers a more intuitive but evidence-based path to understanding climate change scenarios, impacts on operations, and options for mitigation. It is less technical, requires fewer resources and needs less time to resolve.

The 12 exercises under Top-down approach in the tool will allow you to produce the following outputs:

  • Range and scale of exposure and sensitivity of your assets including water and wastewater facilities, machines and equipment, to extreme weather events such as storms, floods and droughts;
  • Indicative trends and likely amounts of water lost (or gained) due to variability in precipitation, both current and projected, from surface and ground water resources;
  • Indicative trends in concentration of salinity in your existing ground water resources, both current and projected;
  • Range of adaptation options and technologies that you can deploy;
  • A communications strategy that will enable you to pursue a continuous dialogue with your principal stakeholders; and
  • A final implementation plan that you will need to action.

The Bottom-up approach endeavors to elicit similar outcomes through the outputs below:

  • Critical climate variables and the water utility’s sensitivity to these;
  • Water system responses to a range of potential climate changes;
  • Vulnerability of the water utility to climate change impacts;
  • System performance according to the uncertainty associated with climate change factors driving the water utility’s vulnerability; and
  • Overall system risk analysis and areas in need of further analysis.

Access the Climate Change Toolkit here.

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