Climate change adaption measures required to protect Nicaraguan water resources - World Bank

Friday, November 30, 2012

Climate change adaption measures need to be taken to protect Nicaragua's water resources, Lilian Peña, a water and sanitation specialist at the World Bank told BNamericas.

"The net effect of climate change on the water balance in Nicaragua by 2050 is likely to be negative" unless action is taken, said Peña.

The World Bank's board of directors recently approved the US$6mn project "climate change adaptation in the water and sanitation sector," which aims to improve efficient water-use practices and protect water supply sources in the Pacific region.

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Nicaragua's strategic water resources for current and future water supplies are vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to the high frequency of extreme weather events, droughts, floods and hurricanes, said the expert.

Untreated wastewater and agricultural runoff are also sources of potential pollution.

The project aims to support the protection of coastal systems and drinking water systems in the municipality of Corn Island in order to reduce its vulnerability to climate change and rises in sea levels.

Water supplies in the Corn islands off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua may be more vulnerable to the pressures of climate change than in any other part of the country, and groundwater reserves, the only source of potable water on the island, are already under severe pressure from over extraction and poor management of the islands' wetlands, said Peña.

This situation is expected to worsen with the additional pressures from climate change and rising sea levels.