Addressing Water-Related Disasters at the Local Level: Assessment and Strategy Development Tools and Approaches


The frequency and number of water-related disasters including floods and drought has been observed to increase over the past two decades1. These account for almost 90% of the 1,000 most disastrous events since 1990, with climate change driving and exacerbating risks and slow-onset disasters2. Global annual losses from disasters are estimated to increase by over 60% from 2015 to 2030 to an average of USD 414 billion3. Noting the risks posed by disaster to economic development and the overall achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, this session aims to provide information on existing assessment and strategy development tools and approaches helping local governments and communities improve risk management in the water sector. With a focus on the water dimensions of resilience-building in communities, points of discussion include the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient to climate and disaster risks, integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into urban policy and planning processes, and the role of strategic partnerships in supporting this process. Presenters will be invited to note key challenges and opportunities faced by countries in Asia and the Pacific to mainstream concepts of resilience into local planning and policy development processes. They will also share insights on leveraging increased political commitment and social demand for disaster and climate resilient development pathways. The session will also point to pathways to address existing capacity gaps.

1 United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)2018. Words into Action Guidelines,Implementation Guide for Addressing Water-Related Disasters and Transboundary Cooperation:Integrating disaster risk management with water management and climate change adaptation

2 United Nations2014. Water and disaster risk, A contribution by the United Nations to the consultation leading to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
3 UNISDR 2018


The questions this session will try to respond to:

  • How can DRR in the water sector be mainstreamed into policymaking and planning processes while supporting local leadership and ownership?
  • What are some of the key challenges, concerns, and demands on locally led DRR efforts 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


  • Introduction (10 mins)
  • Moderated discussion between five experts, broken up into presentations (75mins)
  • Questions and contributions from the audience (30mins)
  • Summary of most relevant outcomes, by the moderator (5mins)

Hosted by

Phurba Lhendup

Head, Climate Change Cluster. AIT.RRC.AP
Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand