Rotterdam tops global water sustainability index

Rotterdam has been rated as the top city worldwide for water sustainability, according to Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Water Index...

May 27th, 2016
Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2016 05 Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Rotterdam has been rated as the top city worldwide for water sustainability, according to Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Water Index.

The index, conducted by Arcadis in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), explores water sustainability of 50 cities across the world based on its robust (resiliency), effective (efficiency) and healthy (quality) water environment.

This Index was prepared in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and gauges the sustainability of city waterscapes overall, as well as focusing on each sub-index measure as well.

The Index is not intended to be a “report card” on how well municipal water utilities do their jobs nor is it a verdict of a city’s achievement. It as a tool to help inform future improvement and long term water sustainability.

European cities dominated the overall rankings, taking seven of the top ten places. Many of these cities have mature water systems that have been built up over a long period of time, many times in response to challenges they have faced with water.

The Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, for example, place at first and third respectively, having overcome challenges such as flooding in the last century.

In general, European cities have high water quality through well-established drinking water supply, sanitation and wastewater treatmentsystems.

It is in the area of efficiency that some European cities are challenged. London, at 21st, is behind fellow UK cities Birmingham (9th) and Manchester (11th). Berlin (4th) is amongst the most consistent overall performing cities across all categories.

The German capital is also one of the most resilient cities in the world due, in part, to its low susceptibility to natural disasters.

As the highest ranking city in this Index, Rotterdam has the best balance among the three indices. It is in many ways a leading global city in urban resiliency and sustainability, Arcadis said in its report.

The city has been innovative and proactive in its approach to water resiliency; implementing a Chief Resilience Officer and works on implementation of the Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy.

Driving global best practices on resiliency, the city shares its knowledge with other cities in the Connecting Delta Cities program of the C40, as well as in the Rotterdam Center for Resilient Delta Cities, and is visited by numerous water-oriented delegations all year round.

Some of the features that Rotterdam is particularly proud of include its floating water pavilion, multifunctional flood protection, the water plaza and water storages under the central station and Museum Park Garage.

Additionally, with heavy investment in its reservoir catchment system, Rotterdam is among the highest in the world in water reserves.

Lead by Evides, a world-leading water utility committed to sustainable water practices, Rotterdam is working on large-scale water reuse for industrial wastewater, which could further improve future sub-rankings and ensure greater sustainability as reuse is statistically an indicator for Rotterdam that is slightly below other indicators.

John Batten, gobal director of water and cities, said: “This report seeks to expand on our annual Sustainable Cities Index to focus solely on water and identify which city is harnessing its water assets to its greatest long term advantage. It is our hope that city leaders find this ranking to be a valuable tool in helping them to think of water as an opportunity and as a resource for economic development while also meeting the critical needs and safety of their residents and the environment.”

Overall Arcadis Sustainable Cities Water Index ranking:

1. Rotterdam

2. Copenhagen

3. Amsterdam

4. Berlin

5. Brussels

6. Toronto

7. Frankfurt

8. Sydney

9. Birmingham

10. Manchester

11. Melbourne

12. Paris

13. Washington

14. New York

15. Houston

16. Boston

17. Philadelphia

18. Dallas

19. Madrid

20. Chicago

21. London

22. Singapore

23. Seoul

24. San Francisco

25. Tokyo

26. Istanbul

27. Los Angeles

28. Rome

29. Moscow

30. Hong Kong

31. Beijing

32. Dubai

33. Sao Paulo

34. Buenos Aires

35. Shanghai

36. Santiago

37. Kuala Lumpur

38. Abu Dhabi

39. Riyadh

40. Wuhan

41. Doha

42. Jeddah

43. Mexico City

44. Rio de Janeiro

45. Johannesburg

46. Nairobi

47. Jakarta

48. Manila

49. Mumbai

50. New Delhi

Full details of the Sustainable Cities Water Index rankings can be seen here: arcad.is/asQHIn

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