The water-climate challenge

Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change, the impacts of which are severely impacting the availability and quality of water worldwide. While the water sector has to cope with the impacts of climate change, it also contributes about 5 percent of GHG emissions globally, and up to 10 percent in some regions, a share likely to increase in enhanced water scarcity conditions.  Drinking water pumping, treatment and its distribution, use up to 8 percent of the global energy generation and wastewater is the source of other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide and methane emissions that have a high global warming potential.

The COP21 Paris Agreement seeks to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C. The water sector can play a significant role in achieving this target. A carbon neutral urban water sector could increase by 20% the GHG reductions committed in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The WaCCliM Project

The Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation (WaCCliM) project is demonstrating that the water sector can reduce greenhouse gas emissions: in the short-term by improving operational efficiency and adopting energy efficiency measures; in the long-term by proactively upgrading and reforming their drinking water and wastewater systems. Water utilities working with WaCCliM are becoming sector leaders, and are seizing the opportunity to become more efficient and effective in an uncertain future.

The WaCCliM project has developed the Energy Performance and Carbon Assessment and Monitoring Tool (ECAM) to drive GHG emission reduction in water utilities, while keeping a strong emphasis on energy savings to reduce costs. It is designed to assess the carbon emissions that utilities can control within the urban water cycle and prepares utilities for future reporting needs on climate mitigation.

Decarbonizing the water sector

The greenhouse gas balance of drinking water and wastewater utilities in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand has improved due to the introduction of greenhouse gas reducing measures whilst maintaining at least constant performance.

WaCCliM Utilities

WaCCliM is working with pilot water utilities in four countries, developing a road map to guide them towards energy and carbon neutrality.


Meet the Partners

WaCCliM works with multiple national and international partners, to address carbon and greenhouse gas emissions in drinking water and wastewater utilities.


Donors and Implementing partners

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Water Association (IWA) are working together with their partners from Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand on the WaCCliM project. This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.