Abstract

The impacts of climate change on society are becoming increasingly evident. The water sector is sensitive to variations in climatic patterns as it is expected that major changes in flows will occur, along with increased risks of water quality degradation and flooding. According to published climate scenarios the Mediterranean area will become dryer. As a leading group operating in the water sector in Portugal, AdP decided to develop a strategic plan for climate change adaptation with the aim of establishing a strategy for reducing business vulnerability and increasing systems resilience. In developing the plan, a pragmatic method was adopted for characterizing current vulnerabilities. This was founded on the bottom-up approach and supported with past events data, including evaluating their impacts, and the adaptive capacity of systems and utilities to climate extremes. In water supply, the effects of more severe and frequent extreme events are being felt with respect to water quality and availability, representing as much as 80% of the events studied, whereas, in terms of sanitation, floods account for about 90% of events identified. Globally, 78% and 21% of the measures adopted in water supply and wastewater management, respectively, were effective.

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