Climate Risks to Urban Water Security in the Asia-Pacific Region: Emerging Responses and Lessons

Hemant Ojha, Nicholas Schofield

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Urban and peri-urban centers across Asia and the Pacific are facing increasing water challenges on numerous fronts. In recent years, the urban water crisis has reached potentially catastrophic proportions, as exemplified by the approach of “day zero” water supply in Chennai and extensive flooding of Jakarta. In the Pacific, where informal urban communities are growing, a very low proportion of the urban population receives affordable, safely managed water and sanitation services. This chapter takes an empirical approach to understand the nature of climate risks experienced by various cities and towns in the region, with a view to identifying gaps and lessons for more effective climate risk management in the context of urban water management. The case studies selected include mountain towns, Karachi and Chennai from South Asia; Jakarta and Singapore from East Asia; Port Vila, Vanuatu, from the Pacific; and the city of Perth in Australia. These cities in the Asia-Pacific region vary in terms of climate hazards, exposure, and vulnerability, but the general trend is that they are increasingly at risk of climate change-induced water insecurity, with the disadvantaged groups hit the hardest. The urban vulnerability to climate change is profound in the region. A key lesson from these cases is that climate risk management must cover short-, medium-, and long-term water planning and infrastructure development. In general, climate risk management becomes effective when water systems are managed in an integrated way, considering the likely impact of climate change in the medium and long term.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Climate Resilient Societies
Subtitle of host publicationVolumes 1-2
EditorsRobert C. Brears
Place of PublicationNetherlands
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030424626
ISBN (Print)9783030424619
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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