Environmental Indicators of Climate Risks to Inclusive WASH

Blue graphic featuring the cover image including two women in Lao PDR carrying water buckets across a dry field

Climate change is altering the water cycle and driving extreme weather events in unprecedented ways. These environmental changes pose significant risks for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, with the risks often being greatest for marginalised people. Further, due to limitations in the accuracy of climate projections at local levels, it can be difficult to anticipate when and where risks to WASH access will become high at the household level.

This learning resource summarises a range of indicators that WASH service authorities and their civil society organisations (CSOs) can use to monitor the key risks of six climate hazards to household WASH access. Specifically, the indicators pertain to changes in the natural or built environment that may be outside the sphere of control of a WASH program. 

Who is it for?

This learning resource is intended to help WASH service authorities and their supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) to reflect on the indicators they could use in their own contexts to monitor climate risks to WASH.

WASH CSOs that want to support government service authorities to proactively monitor and respond to emerging risks to WASH from climate change can use this learning resource as a tool to reflect on elements needed to set up or upgrade a monitoring system.

A thumbnail of this resource

What does it include?

  • Tables of climate risks for WASH and simple environmental indicators that WASH service authorities can use to trigger action to prevent negative impacts on WASH
  • Suggested data sources for measuring the indicators
  • Guidance on the contexts in which each indicator is most relevant
  • Advice on important aspects to consider when putting indicators into practice



Citation: Water for Women. (2022). Environmental Indicators of Climate Risks to Inclusive WASH. https://www.waterforwomenfund.org/en/news/environmental-indicators-of-climate-risks-to-inclusive-wash.aspx 

A Water for Women logo locked up with the learning agenda theme logo for Building Climate CHange Resilience and Adaptation in Inclusive WASH

Water for Women acknowledges Jeremy Kohlitz (University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS-ISF)), Rosie Sanderson (International WaterCentre, Griffith University), and Tanvi Oza (WaterAid) for their leadership of this Learning Agenda initiative and their authorship of this learning resource. We also gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Rana Abdel-Sattar (iDE), Juliet Willetts (UTS-ISF), and Tim Davis (WaterAid).

This learning resource was also informed by workshop participants who contributed technical knowledge: Collin Odeva Benjamin (Solomon Islands National University); IV Bunthoeun (Thrive Networks/East Meets West); John Kelleher and Wahyu Triwahyudi (Plan International Australia); Gail Pigolo (Plan International PNG); Novika Noerdiyanti and Stevie Ardianto Nappoe (Yayasan Plan International Indonesia); Rana Abdel-Sattar, Tyler Kozole and Veasna Toeur (iDE Cambodia); Gabrielle Halcrow (SNV); Kencho Wangdi, Tashi Dorji and Raj Kumar Bhattrai (SNV Bhutan); Shane Wilkes (SNV Laos); David Clatworthy, Habibur Rehman and Muhammad Rashid (International Rescue Committee (IRC), Pakistan); Juhi, Sakreen Hasan, Samir Ranjan Dash, Akhila Sivadas, Jogal Nayak and Anoushka (Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), India); Enif Petsakibo (Live & Learn Environmental Education, Solomon Islands); Bronwyn Powell and Helen Johnson (International WaterCentre (IWC), Griffith University); Doug Ruuska (World Vision Australia); Alison Baker, Stuart Raetz and Gowri Pincombe (Water for Women Fund).

Thanks also to the Water for Women Fund Coordinator team for the reviews of draft versions of this resource: Gowri Pincombe, Jose Mott, Stuart Raetz, Lee Leong, and Matt Bond, and to Mia Cusack and Bianca Nelson Vatnsdal, who led the graphic design.

This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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