Water supply and sanitation (WSS) services are expected to become increasingly susceptible to the impacts of climate change – impacts that will materialize in the form of more frequent and severe extreme events such as floods and droughts, different rainfall patterns and temperatures, and seasonal shifts.
Climate change could have profound consequences for the Central Asia region, yet significant uncertainties remain. Major infrastructure rehabilitation projects are carried out by governments in the region, with the support of international financial institutions, but climate uncertainty is not yet mainstreamed into sector policy and long-term development planning.
At the conference, water agencies and utilities from the region will share their experiences and knowledge on WSS services that could withstand the impacts of climate change, and they will discuss how to develop policies and build capacities for resilience. Participants will also discuss the main challenges in the WSS sector, including issues such as sector and tariff reform, service gaps in rural areas, and transitioning to a more financially viable sector that can mobilize commercial finance in the long-term.
The conference aims to:
- Introduce and support adoption of climate resilience policies and practices for sustainable water supply and sanitation services;
- Share knowledge, experience and best-practices on shared priorities for professionalization of utilities and improvement of drinking water and sanitation services; and
- Motivate continued knowledge sharing, capacity building and network development at national and regional levels.
Conference participants include utility directors and managers, national-level sector ministry representatives, regulatory agency representatives, and hydromet agencies from the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Other participants include utility associations, key industry professionals, and representatives of development partners in the WSS services sector.
The conference is funded by the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).