Every drop counts: Water in times of climate change

Record temperatures and extreme droughts are causing water shortages the world over. GIZ is working to ensure that available water resources are used in a more targeted manner. Like at Lake Chad, for example.

Temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius, dried-out river beds and harvest losses. Extremely hot and dry summers have become a regular occurrence in Germany too. With drinking water already in short supply in some parts of the country, deliberations on a national water strategy are currently underway. This topic is also at the forefront of German development cooperation’s 2020 water-sector activities. Dubbed 'Every Drop Counts', the present campaign showcases how the impacts of climate change are driving water shortages.

Sustainable use of water in the Lake Chad Basin

In Germany, the consequences of climate change on water resources is only gradually beginning to manifest itself. However, throughout Central Africa's Lake Chad Basin (LCB), the impacts have long been palpable. Lake Chad has shrunk in size by around 80 per cent over the past 50 years. Since many of the 42 million or more people who live in the Basin’s riparian states earn their living from agriculture, the shrinking lake and lack of rainfall pose a threat to their livelihoods. People will only be able to live in the region in future if water resources are managed sustainably.

Committed to securing the sustainable use of available water resources in this region, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is assisting the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to advise its member states on water use and the management of climate change impacts. 

To date, GIZ has helped network around 450 actors from agriculture, civil society and state organisations with LCBC and is promoting new methods of cultivation adapted to the new conditions brought about by climate change. More than 14,000 people have already benefited to date and LCBC is disseminating the findings.

Climate change's impact on water supplies and sanitation services for society are also the focal topic of the Week on Water for Development (WW4D) conference. Spearheaded by GIZ, WW4D will enable actors from the water and sanitation sector to share their experience through virtual formats, despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Over the next five days, more than 70 organisations will come together in 30 virtual meetings to discuss not only climate change but also the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on water, sanitation and hygiene.

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