Japan has built the resilience of its water supply and sanitation services through an adaptive approach based
on lessons learned from past natural disasters.
This experience offers key insights for low- and middleincome countries seeking to reduce their vulnerabilities in essential service provision.
Sustainability of essential WSS services at risk
Natural disasters have increasingly damaged water supply and sanitation (WSS) facilities and infrastructure, leaving entire communities without safe and reliable drinking water and the safe disposal of wastewater. These emergency events could arise from inundation of facilities, loss of electricity, and exposure and disruption of infrastructures. Lesssevere impacts can arise from increased siltation of reservoirs and slow-onset events such as droughts,
thus having longer-term effects on the resilience and reliability of services. Although more investment is
urgently needed to improve basic WSS access in lowand middle-income countries, building the resilience of new and existing infrastructure is also critical for sustainable development.
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