Review of water safety planning processes and options for improved climate resilient infrastructure in Vanuatu

IWA Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Water Practice and Technology
Full metadata record
Abstract Vanuatu is a small island state ranked the most at-risk for natural hazards globally. Access to safe and secure water is limited, particularly for poor and rural residents. It is projected that climate change will increase temperatures, sea level, cyclone intensity, and extreme rainfall events in Vanuatu. As the impacts of climate change become clearer, it is becoming easier to predict the consequences of those changes on water infrastructure. The Government of Vanuatu, Department of Water Resources (DoWR) wants to support communities to enhance the resilience of community water supply infrastructure, despite the additional challenge of climate change. Since 2013, DoWR has adapted Water Safety Plans to the local context with Drinking Water Safety and Security Plans (DWSSPs). An analysis of actions taken after 199 DWSSPs, site visits and interviews, revealed an opportunity to integrate climate change more into existing community risk planning processes. The analysis also identified many potential problems with existing water infrastructure that increase their exposure to climate risks as well as possible improvements to decrease those risks. As a result, adjustments were made to the current water safety planning approach, so that communities review hazards associated with climate change and identify resilient infrastructure improvements.
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