The Adaptation Journey

Join the journey into the world of water adaptation mainstreaming

The Water Adaptation Community aims at supporting efforts of adaptation by consolidating existing knowledge on the needed steps of this journey. Here, national government agencies, regional and local governments and other organisations in the driving seat of adaptation can find guidance and support.

Mainstreaming water adaptation

Mainstreaming water adaptation refers to the integration of adaptation measures to address water-related challenges into policies, plans, and programs across different sectors and levels of governance. The goal is to make water adaptation a standard practice that is integrated into decision-making processes and implemented systematically.

Water adaptation is becoming increasingly important due to the impacts of climate change on water resources. Rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme weather events are affecting water availability and quality, as well as increasing the risk of water-related disasters such as floods and droughts. Mainstreaming water adaptation is therefore crucial to ensure the sustainable management of water resources and to build resilience to climate change.

Some key steps in mainstreaming water adaptation include:

  1. Getting organised and strengthen institutional capacity: Ensuring that institutions responsible for water management have the capacity to integrate water adaptation measures into their decision-making processes. 

  2. Assessing risk and building awareness: Creating awareness among stakeholders about the importance of water adaptation and the risks posed by climate change to water resources. Here assessing risks is one important step. 

  3. Risk dialogues and strategising to develop policies and plans: Integrating water adaptation into national and local policies and plans, including those related to water resources management, agriculture, infrastructure, and disaster risk reduction. Here, traditional and local knowledge is important (water & culture) and social inclusion. 

  4. Implementing, including providing technical assistance and capacity building for implementation: Providing technical assistance and capacity building to stakeholders to help them implement water adaptation measures. 

  5. Financing is crucial for planning and implementation. 

  6. Innovation, learning and behaviour change - including monitoring and evaluation: Establishing a system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of water adaptation measures, and using the results to learn, refine approaches, and policies and plans. 

Overall, mainstreaming water adaptation is an important approach to ensure the sustainable management of water resources and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. It requires the collaboration of different sectors and levels of governance, as well as the involvement of stakeholders and the community.

The Water Adaptation Community is continuously building knowledge together with the community about water adaptation mainstreaming which can be used to support strategic planning, financing and implementation, and to enhance understanding on climate adaptation, risk reduction and resilience. Each step of the journey is described on this webpage with the rationale, identifying strategic areas of intervention and identifying key actions. These actions need to be part of the overall climate adaptation planning process and influence national, regional and local government development planning and design.

The adaptation journey is designed to be harmonizing and synergizing with the Paris Agreement for Climate Adaptation, the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals under the Agenda 2030.

How to get involved?

Register on this site (right upper corner) and you can contribute to the journey and exchange lessons learnt with fellows in the Water Adaptation Community. You can support the journey by submitting case studies and articles and engaging in the community with your knowledge. If you want to join a community of practice, and sign up for one of the events and meetings. We welcome for example national and local government professionals, NGOs, academia and research institutes, private sector, UN entities or organizations, water and resilience networks etc. to start engaging, exchanging and learning in the community.  


Learn more about the adaptation journey

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Get organised and strengthen institutional capacity

This means creating or assigning an organizational structure to coordinate and be responsible for the climate adaptation mainstreaming process.

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Assess climate risk

Climate risk assessments identify the likelihood of current and future climate hazards and their impacts.

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Risk dialogues and strategising

When climate risks have been assessed for multiple actors and sectors, these need to be coordinated and prioritizations worked out.

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Sufficient financial resources and capacity to access available resources are critical for adaptation. 

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Policies and regulations

The right policies and regulations can boost action and support implementation of climate adaptation.

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Innovation, evaluation, learning and behaviour change

Adaptation will be a collective effort, meaning that many people from various sectors and levels will have to collaborate. 

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Planning, implementation, and operation

Mainstreaming adaptation means to increasingly take onboard water as a structural agent in spatial planning.

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