Water adaptation and rural development in a post-conflict scenario in Colombia


Water adaptation and rural development in a post-conflict scenario in Colombia

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Project detail:
Status: Completed

Colombia is extremely rich in water resources, however it is predicted that over 60% of the country's municipalities will face water shortages by 2050 and climate change projections show that these could increase even more by 2100 under the increasing climate stress that the country will face. Different regions of the country are already exposed to extreme weather phenomena, such as prolonged droughts, which heavily affect rural populations. While the Government of Colombia has succeeded in promoting the climate agenda in cities, its actions have had less impact in rural areas, where 30% of the population live. Similarly, there is a lack of complete information on water-related climate vulnerability and knowledge of effective climate change adaptation measures in areas under the threat of water scarcity.

Rural areas are home to agriculture, livestock and mining. They are also the areas where Colombia’s armed conflict has had the greatest impact, exacerbated by conflicts over land tenure. In the context of peace-building and the creation of a post-conflict agenda, the national government is paying special attention to rural development, promoting an agenda of land redistribution and re-titling and sustainable management of the natural resources which are essential for the survival of rural communities. Water management will be crucial for sustainable and equitable rural development and will support effective rural development policies.


  • The project promoted climate compatible rural development in post-conflict contexts.
  • It did so by developing a portfolio of practical measures and methodologies to gain an understanding of municipal water vulnerability and an ability to control it through adaptation measures in rural areas.
  • This project also helped to identify the rural areas that were most exposed to water scarcity, learning how the municipalities and rural communities faced water-related climate vulnerability and defining measures that could be scaled-up in other regions experiencing similar challenges.

Project focus

The project kept local and national decision-makers informed, complemented the knowledge embodied in the National Water Study and provided inputs for regional water vulnerability studies led by the Regional Autonomous Corporations (CARs).

Outcomes of the project:

  • Portfolio of case studies on adaptation options for water management in rural areas.
  • Policy Brief on water, adaptation and post-conflict.
  • Article on water management adaptation measures in rural development and post-conflict scenarios.

Partners: Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Rural Mission of Colombia; Colombian Rural Development Institute.



CDKN funding: £ 120,076