Climate change is water change.

Already in cities, the poorest residents struggle to get enough clean water for their daily needs.

And climate change is making the situation worse – exacerbating inequalities, and impacting on residents’ health and prosperity.

Increased drought, more extreme flooding and rising sea levels are all affecting water supply. Higher temperatures mean that people need to drink more water just to get through the day. Climate change is also forcing people to migrate from rural areas to makeshift urban neighbourhoods, increasing the demand on fragile services.

We need to act now to help cities improve their resilience to climate change, through strengthened water and sanitation systems.


The summer is getting warmer each year and the demand for drinking water is increasing.

Mohsin Howlader
Mohsin Howlader, Community leaderDhaka

Climate recovery in Beira

In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, WSUP has been delivering sustainable, long-term water and sanitation solutions to help mitigate the effects of climate change for thousands of residents in Beira.

WSUP has been focusing on creating more resilient services to ensure that, as climate change makes extreme weather like cyclones more common, vulnerable residents in Beira have sustainable access to clean water and safe sanitation.

Blog: September 2020 – Climate recovery in Beira: sustainable water and sanitation access for a more resilient city

Building resilience to climate change

As the effects of man-made climate change become more pronounced, water shortages are becoming more common throughout Africa, with Southern Africa identified as a particular climate change hotspot.

This report examines the challenges faced by Southern Water & Sanitation Company Limited (SWSC) in Southern Zambia, as climate change has reduced its available water supply in recent years.

Report: August 2020 – Building resilience to climate change: experiences from Southern Zambia

Peri-urban community Livingstone

Building climate resilient services in Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and water is scarce in the peri-urban communities around the capital, Antananarivo.

Learn how a lack of clean water affected Rasoa’s life, and how things have changed now that a new water kiosk has been installed near her house by JIRAMA, the national water utility.

Video: March 2020 – Bright water, bright future

Rasoa, resident in Antananarivo

From the front line of climate change

Ahead of this year’s World Water Day, WSUP has been finding out how climate change affects the water and sanitation needs of city residents. These stories from Bangladesh, Mozambique and Zambia give a snapshot of the climate challenges faced around the world.

Blog: March 2020 – From the front line of climate change: residents tell their stories

Henriqueta and her children access water

Using data to tackle impacts of flooding

Increasingly heavy rains can cause weak sanitation infrastructure to flood, leading to contamination of groundwater. In Lusaka, WSUP is using data to help authorities understand when pit latrines need to be emptied, so that communities can act to prevent the spread of cholera during the rainy season.

Report: June 2018 – Mapping sanitation in peri-urban Lusaka: A toilet database

Data from the Toilet Tracker

Improving drainage to minimise impacts of flooding

Climate change is causing more flooding, which can wreak havoc on water and sanitation infrastructure. In Maputo, we have worked with the city council, CMM, to improve drainage around low-income communities.

Report: February 2018 – An integrated approach to peri-urban sanitation and hygiene in Maputo

Chamanculo sanitation block, Maputo