The challenge of closing the climate adaptation gap for water supply utilities

Becher, O., Smilovic, M. ORCID:, Verschuur, J., Pant, R., Tramberend, S. ORCID:, & Hall, J. (2024). The challenge of closing the climate adaptation gap for water supply utilities. Communications Earth & Environment 5 (1) e356. 10.1038/s43247-024-01272-3.

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Many drinking water utilities face immense challenges in supplying sustainable, drought-resilient services to households. Here we propose a quantified framework to perform drought risk analysis on ~5600 potable water supply utilities and evaluate the benefit of adaptation actions. We identify global hotspots of present-day and mid-century drought risk under future scenarios of climate change and demand growth (namely, SSP1-2.6, SSP3-7.0, SSP5-8.5). We estimate the mean rate of unsustainable or disrupted utility supply at 15% (interquartile range, 0–26%) and project a global increase in risk of between 30–45% under future scenarios. Implementing the most cost-effective adaptation action identified per utility would mitigate additional future risk by 75–80%. However, implementing the subset of cost-effective options that generate sufficient tariff revenue to provide a benefit-cost ratio that is greater than 1 would only achieve 5–20% of this benefit. The results underline the challenge of attracting the financing required to close the climate adaptation gap for water supply utilities.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Water Security (WAT)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2024 14:44
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 14:44

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