Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction in RWSSP-WN

 

Climate change is one of the key strategic areas in the Project. The uncertainties related to climate change scenarios make the prediction of long-term climate change effects on the water sector difficult. It can be anticipated that climate change will affect both the quantity, quality and timing of available water. RWSSP-WN prioritizes strengthening the resilience of communities and local economies to climate and disaster risks.


RWSSP-WN focuses more on climate change adaptation rather than mitigation, although certain post-open defecation free (ODF) activities such as improved cooking stoves can be seen as mitigation measures. Low-carbon technologies, such as solar-powered pumps, are promoted where appropriate.


Spring water is the main source of drinking water in the middle hills of Nepal. In areas where springs are in declining condition - either due to climate change or changes in land cover - we promote groundwater recharge activities through the Springshed approach. Groundwater recharge is a process whereby surface water descends into the ground to replenish groundwater supplies. When planning for recharge, it is important to assess the recharge area of the spring and to consider the features and land use/land cover of the area; the methodology for this is explained in the Springshed Approach (2016). Recharge technologies, such as ponds, pits and trenches, are presented in the Recharge Ponds Handbook (2013).

 

The Water Safety Plan (WSP++) is our main tool for identifying and addressing climate change adaption (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) issues at the scheme level. Specific CCA/DRR related considerations are integrated in each step of the WSP++, and measures to address them are included in the final plan. The WSP++ concept extends the notion of safety to incorporate the provision of safe supply (referring to water quantity and functionality of the scheme) as well as safe quality (such as mitigating contamination). The updated WSP++ guidelines give equal weight on identifying environmental and climate-induced hazards from catchment to household level and taking measures to address them, as it gives on addressing water contamination.

 

Village Development Committee (VDC) WASH Plans (VWASH Plans) served as DRR and CCA planning tools as these are so typically water-related. This adds a long-term future dimension into the current work. RWSSP-WN revised V-WASH Plan Guideline to include DRR questions on water supply infrastructure, and tools to assess historical hazard trends and identify potential CCA and DRR measures. The approach utilizes the learnings from the National Framework on Local Adaptation Plan for Action (LAPA) framework.

 

Similarly, RWSSP-WN supported districts to prepare their District Strategic WASH Plans which include relevant climate change and disaster risk reduction related data. The aim is to identify some main measures for CCA and DRR in the district WASH programme and utilize synergies between WASH and other sectoral plans and interventions in the district.