The WaCCliM project will be extended until 12/2022. WaCCliM supports a low-carbon and resilient urban water sector in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and globally. Following a positive response to WaCCliM’s assistance on climate change mitigation to the water and wastewater utilities in the partner countries, the extension of the project seeks to incorporate resilience in the water and wastewater utilities, support in the implementation of climate objectives relevant to the water sector and the institutionalization of the developed tools.

Wastewater Treatment Plant in Madaba, Jordan © GIZ/Elaine Cheung

The growing change in climatic patterns caused by global warming and the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) result in more intense and frequent adverse effects, such as water shortages, floods, etc. The urban water sector seeks to incorporate actions to address these effects, such as: i) search for solutions to increase resilience to adapt to the effects of climate change and ii) implement mitigation measures to reduce GHG emissions generated in treatment processes for drinking water and wastewater, which are mostly attributed to high energy consumption. These actions provide opportunities for countries to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The project Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation (WaCCliM) supports its partners to achieve a resilient, climate-friendly water sector. WaCCliM is an initiative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Water Association (IWA) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU, by its German acronym) as part of the International Climate Protection Initiative (IKI, by its German acronym).

San Jerónimo – Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Francisco del Rincón, Mexico ©SITRATA

Since 2013, the WaCCliM project has been working with water and wastewater utilities, supporting awareness raising, capacity building and technical strengthening of key actors within the water sector, encouraging the water utilities to reduce their carbon footprints and adapt to climate change, while reducing their vulnerabilities. WaCCliM promotes a roadmap with systematic steps and concrete measures towards low-carbon water utilities. In this process, the project incorporates the use of digital solutions such as ECAM (Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring), a tool developed by the project and used to assess GHG emissions, identify energy saving opportunities and monitor the GHG and energy reduction impacts of the implemented mitigation measures. ECAM provides areas for reducing emissions by considering all components of the urban water cycle, from water supply, wastewater treatment or water reuse to faecal sludge containment, treatment and disposal. Another contribution of the project and IWA is the development and management of the knowledge platform ‘Climate Smart Water’ that publishes and provides access to the information of the project.

Through the technical assistance to the pilot projects in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand, around 8,800 tons of CO2e per year have been avoided, in addition to reducing the energy consumption and operational costs. After the successful results and the high interest of the partner countries, in May 2019, the BMU commissioned an extension of the project with additional funds until 2022.

Sludge Management in SEDACUSCO – Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cusco, Peru ©SEDACUSCO

The project extension adopts an up-scaling strategy to extend assistance to more water and wastewater utilities in the partner countries. Based on the measures and activities successfully implemented up to 2018, the project intends to:

  • Provide technical assistance for the implementation of mitigation measures seeking co-benefits in adaptation in water and wastewater utilities, hence achieving a transversal approach of mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
  • Provide assistance on the identification of opportunities with climate actions aimed at compliance with the sector’s NDCs, including monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems.
  • Institutionalize ECAM and the Climate Smart Water platform.
  • Incorporate the digital technology component and climate risk analysis in the water utilities to achieve a more significant impact on adaptation to climate change.
  • Support knowledge management, systematize the experiences and results of concrete climate activities and their diffusion among the project’s partner countries.

The consistency in the application of the WaCCliM measures will ensure that they are integrated and adopted in decision-making, service provision and institutional management of each water utility. As a result, they adopt a low-carbon, climate-friendly policy and position themselves as leaders of a carbon-neutral future. In addition, governmental entities will also strengthen regulatory and institutional frameworks for compliance of their NDCs.