Briefing Note :Climate change and water services: adapting to the consequences

Briefing Note Climate change and water services: adapting to the consequences 

Climate change will directly and significantly affect water service providers in most parts of Europe, resulting in more frequent or intense periods of drought, heat waves or rain storms, and in more places.  
We will all need to be more proactive to prepare for the growing scale of the fallout. This was evident with the intense drought during the spring and summer of 2018 when it became clear that the water sector must get involved in local/regional/national crisis management.  
Our sectors’ response to climate change should encompass both mitigation (reducing the impact of water services) and adaptation (become resilient to its effects) measures.  
This briefing note focuses on how climate change will impact on our sector, and the ways and means to adapt to these changes based on our current knowledge.  
Climate change will have many direct and indirect effects on the quality and quantity of available water and will therefore impact on water services. It is critical that water operators analyse their individual situation comprehensively to identify suitable adaptation measures and integrate the findings into their planning and decisionmaking processes.  
Water service providers are not the only ones who should be reacting. Policy makers need to be made aware of and support favourable framework conditions, for example: putting in place clear governance structures, prioritising drinking water supply before all other uses, granting priority to public water supply in the case of uncertain power supply and developing holistic strategies to prevent floods and prevent Combined Sewer Overflows.  

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