Adapting to Climate Change: Strengthening Urban Water Resilience


Climate change coupled with poorly planned water management pose significant threats for water quality and water related disaster in the urban areas. This has potential consequences for human health, livelihoods, and assets, especially for the urban poor, informal settlements, and other vulnerable groups. Over the past twenty years, there has been a sustained rise and frequency in the number of climate-related disasters such as floods and droughts. A large part of disaster risk is directly or indirectly linked to water. It is estimated that the global average annual loss from disasters will increase from an annual average of US$ 260 billion in 2015 to US$ 414 billion by 2030 (Word into Action: Implementation Guide for Addressing Water- Related Disasters and Transboundary Cooperation: Integrating Disaster Risk Management with Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation, is part of the Words into Action. UNISDR,
2018). This puts at risk economic growth, poverty reduction, peace, and more generally, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Water-related disasters account for almost 90% of the 1,000 most disastrous events that have taken place since 1990 (UNISDR, 2017). Climate change is a key driver that exacerbates water-related risks and slow-onset disasters. The impacts of severe hydro-meteorological events,
including water-related disasters, result in multiple casualties and significant damage to devastating stroke. The poor and vulnerable, particularly women and girls, and vulnerable populations in regions where risks may exacerbate, fragility, conflict or forced displacement and affect peace and security, suffer most. Economic and environmental losses associated with water-related hazards are on the rise globally. Countries, communities and individuals are called upon to step up their investments in resilience and address underlying drivers of disaster risk; including climate change and unsustainable management of land and water resources.

It is envisaged that this session will contribute to sharing information, best practices, tools and approaches used to develop strategies towards water-secure urban settlements from disaster risks.


The purpose of this session is to provide information on urban water resilience related issues, vulnerability and resilience assessment, planning, tools and approaches to facilitate discussions on key challenges in mainstreaming concepts of resilience, water related disaster risks
reduction and climate change adaptation into local planning and policy development processes and for Increasing political commitment and social demand for disaster resilient development, adapted for climate change, aiming for sustainable development.

The session will facilitate sharing countries experience, case studies, best practices as well as to provoke discussions on how to best address identified management aspects and capacity gaps in this area.


  • Ten (10) Essentials for making urban areas and local governments resilient to climate and water related disaster risks.
  • Sharing case studies from the region on governance, security and resilience related to urban water resilience and how to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into urban policy and planning processes.
  • Approaches and Tools for assessing the resilience and water risk management situation and resilient urban action plan development.

Intended target audience

High-level national and local government officials, policy-makers, Intergovernmental organisations officials, experts and practitioners in DRR and water management, academia, and other stakeholders dealing with water-related issues and working in adaptation and/or development planning and implementation in Asia and the Pacific.

What are the questions this session will try to respond to?

  • How can water resilience aspects be mainstreamed into policymaking and planning processes while supporting local leadership and ownership on water related DRR initiatives?
  • What are some of the key challenges, concerns, and demands on locally-led DRR in the water sector?
  • How can academia support local government inform and enhance their strategies for water resilience from climate and disaster risks?

Key words

Water risk management, DRR planning, Water sensitive cities, Vulnerability and risk assessment, Educational partnerships, City resilience


  • Session Introduction: Phurba Lhendup and Asmita Poudel, RRC.AP
  • Keynote: Dr. Naoya Tsukamoto, Director, RRC.AP
  • Oral Presentations
  • Q&A Session and Wrap Up: Phurba Lhendup and Asmita Poudel, RRC.AP

Oral Presentations

  • Rostomyan, Armen; Keesara, Venkata Reddy; Pratap, Deva Pratap: Adapting to Climate Change: Strengthening Urban Water Resilience
  • Khaing Kyaw, Kay; Lolupiman, Ticha; Charoensuk, Theerapol; Luangdilok, Narongrit; Sisomphon, Piyamarn: Web-based Interface for Urban Flood Warning System in Bangkok area
  • Mumtaz, Muhammad; Khan, Shiraz: Water Adaptation Governance at Local Level: A Case of Pakistan
  • Tahsin, Nazwa; Subah, Zarin; Kashem, Sumaia; Mondal, Mohammad Shahjahan; Nowreen, Sara; Murshed, Sonia Binte: Understanding Water Insecurity Dynamics in Slums of Dhaka

Hosted by

Phurba Lhendup

Head, Climate Change Cluster. AIT.RRC.AP

Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Asmita Poudel

Programme Officer, Climate Change Cluster. AIT.RRC.AP

Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand