Equity in climate change adaptation
Impacts from climate change pose many challenges to water and sanitation development and management. This includes changing patterns of both supply and demand for water resources, affecting function and operations of existing water and sanitation infrastructure, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and changing ecosystems and their functions. They also alter human migration patterns. Evidence shows that the poor and ethnic minorities are more vulnerable because they can be highly exposed to climate extremes and because their adaptive capacity is often lower. If poorly undertaken, adaptation processes can potentially exacerbate inequalities, causing maladaptation. Undue burden is often placed on women and youth, although these groups also play a key role in achieving successful adaptation. Equitable adaptive capacity building requires addressing not only climate-related risks but also socio-economic structural deficits. Successful adaptation must therefore address dilemmas of equality, many of which are most acute in vulnerable communities across the world.