Strategic planning for water security in developing countries

2013-04-22T12:29:24Z (GMT) by Ian Smout
Water security is an increasing problem in many areas of the world, exacerbated by population growth, economic development and climate change. Infrastructure such as reservoirs may be used to increase water security, and this requires planning over an extended period for approval and construction before new infrastructure can be operational. Long term planning is sensitive however to uncertainty about the future, including for example on local impacts of climate change. This paper proposes a strategic planning approach to water security with a 15 – 40 years’ time horizon, consideration of various scenarios and a focus on “no-regrets” actions which would strengthen resilience and bring benefits in all scenarios. Examples of these are actions to reduce water losses and to manage demand for water. The paper draws on research conducted for the EU SWITCH project in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, and on other studies in south and south-east Asia.