IWA Side Event at the 2023 UN Water Conference:​ Resilient and Inclusive Sanitation in combatting Climate Change Events and Extremities

IWA, Grundfos, GIZ Climate change, Sanitation, Resilience

Target Audience

Water and sanitation professionals, policymakers, youth, local authorities, the scientific and technological community, industry and attendees of the UN 2023 Water Conference

Time 7.00-8.15 NY Time


IWA and partners are pleased to host this virtual event as an official side event of the UN 2023 Water Conference.

Climate change has emerged as one of the challenges facing urban sanitation. Extreme weather conditions like floods and droughts impacts water, but in the growing cities and towns it is more a sanitation crisis which leads to public and environmental health issues. This could either be an increase in the risk of diseases and infections from exposure to pathogens, undesired chemicals, and other emerging substances of concern from environmental contamination or an increase in the risk of diseases and infection due to lack of access to sanitation when a section or the whole service chain has been destroyed. It is important to note that the most vulnerable groups who face severe consequences of climate impacts are those with formal water and sanitation services, as well as poor and marginalised groups.

The session will provide an overview of the growing consequences of climate change specifically on sanitation and its implications. The session will also draw from real experiences of public, private, and social sectors and will outline innovative and new adaptation options for strengthening climate resilience which relate to sanitation governance, policies, systems, and services.  These elements align to a new norm of inclusive sanitation approach, which incorporate a paradigm aligned to decentralisation, non-sewered technologies, nature-based solutions, CWIS and behaviour change.

IWA already is promoting a comprehensive and integrated approach to managing water – one that envisages resilient and ‘water-wise’ cities. To help progress its work on inclusive sanitation, IWA will leverage and build on the foundations and engagement secured in other recent global initiatives, particularly the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities, IWA’s Climate Smart Utilities initiative, and work on Regulating for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation.



This virtual event is in partnership with:



Learning Objectives

The session will focus on:

  • incorporating climate risks and resilience in urban sanitation
  • promoting public and environmental health
  • the importance of developing inclusive and resilient sanitation system
  • the strategies adopted by utilities in ensuring safe and secured sanitation


Additional Resources

Summary Report

Presentation slides

Q and A Report


International Water Association, Grundfos, GIZ


  • Dr Virginia Newton-Lewis, Grundfos, Denmark
  • Dr. Sudipti Arora, Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology, India
  • Arne Panesar, Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, Germany
  • Jay Bhagwan, Water Research Commission, South Africa
  • Hitesh Vaidya, National Institute of Urban Affairs, India
  • Juliet Willetts, University of Technology Sydney - Institute for Sustainable Futures, Australia
  • Jennifer Vergara-Chan, Manila Water, Philippines
  • Suraja Raj, Emory University, USA
  • Péricles Sócrates Weber, Igua Saneamento, Brazil