The impacts and costs of these events are exacerbated by such factors as unplanned urbanization and degradation of ecosystem services. Reducing risk to, and improving the resilience of, water and sanitation services will be key to maintaining access during a climatically uncertain future.
ChallengesWater-related disasters pose both direct impacts (e.g. damage to buildings, crops and infrastructure, and loss of life and property) and indirect impacts (e.g. losses in productivity and livelihoods, increased investment risk, indebtedness and human health impacts).
The increasing economic cost and toll of disasters should be a significant incentive for governments and humanitarian organizations to focus more attention on preparedness, prevention and addressing the root causes of vulnerability.