Water Sensitive Cities edited by Institute researchers Carol Howe and Prof Cynthia Mitchell and published by the International Water Association outlines a different approach to urban water management.
As part of the Cities of the Futures series, it showcases innovative, globally leading-principles and practices on integrating water management into planning for the city of the future.
Today’s urban water managers are faced with an unprecedented set of issues that call for a different approach to urban water management. These include the urgent changes needed to respond to climate change, population growth, growing resource constraints, and rapidly increasing global urbanization. Not only are these issues difficult to address, but we are facing them in an environment that is increasingly unpredictable and complex. Although innovative, new tools are now available to water professionals to address these challenges, solving the water problems of tomorrow cannot be done by the water professionals alone. Instead, the city of the future, whether in the developed or developing world, must integrate water management planning and operations with other city services to meet the needs of humans and the environment in a dramatically superior manner.
Water Sensitive Cities had its genesis in the “Planning for Sustainable Solutions” stream at 2009 Singapore International Water Week – many of the chapters are extensions of selected papers from that and other IWA events, but there are also other specially commissioned pieces. Prof Mitchell says “We decided to do this because we were so excited by the shift in the conversation that was evident at Singapore International Water Week back in 2009… a real, broadly understood, international commitment to sustainability across the water sector.”
The book aims to promote planning that designs resilience into cities from the outset so they can provide affordable, safe, fit-for-purpose water supplies whilst minimizing environmental footprints, improving protections from natural disasters such as floods, and improving liveability outcomes.
As mentioned in our September newsletter, Prof Mitchell is leading a two-year research project for the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence that will investigate the broader costs and benefits of water recycling in practice. Around $1m in cash and over $800,000 of in-kind support have been committed to this project by a dozen partners. The project will lead to publicly available case studies that will improve the sector’s capacity to build a business case and invest wisely, as well as to policy recommendations on how to better distribute the costs and benefits of water recycling. The kickoff workshop for this project will be held this month. If you’d like to know more, or are interested in joining up as a partner, please contact ISF.