Water-wise cities initiative launched by IWA

Oct. 12, 2016
The IWA has launched the Principles for Water-Wise Cities to help urban areas overcome problems leading to pressures on water resources...

BRISBANE, Australia – The International Water Association (IWA) has launched the Principles for Water-Wise Cities to help urban areas overcome problems leading to pressures on water resources.

Launched at the 2016 World Water Congress and Exhibition in Brisbane, the IWA developed the 17 principles to help city leaders ensure that everyone in their cities has access to safe water and sanitation.

One of the aims is to ensure that cities are resilient to floods, droughts and the challenges of growing water scarcity, and that water is integrated in city planning to provide increased livability, efficiencies, and a sense of place for urban communities.

The 17 principles are grouped into four categories:

1. Regenerative water services: including replenishing water bodies and their ecosystems, reducing the amount of water and energy used, recovering energy, nutrients and other materials from water, and increased efficiencies by integrating water services with other services

2. Water sensitive urban design: including designing urban spaces to reduce flood risks, enhance livability with visible water, and modify and adapt urban materials to minimise environmental impact

3. Basin connected cities: including planning to secure water resources and mitigate drought, protect the quality of water resources and prepare for extreme events

4. Water-wise communities: including empowering citizens, increasing professional awareness of water and enabling policy makers to take water-wise action

The cities of Gothenburg, Kunshan, Lyon, Melbourne Metropolitan Area, Sydney, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Dakar, Amsterdam and Brisbane are becoming the first cities to endorse the IWA Principles at their launch during the World Water Congress.

Amsterdam and Copenhagen are endorsing the Principles through their water authorities. The companies Arup, Arcadis, Veolia, Ramboll, Schneider, Suez, Xylem will be endorsing the principles at the Congress.

The 17 principles for water-wise cities encourage collaboration, underpinned by a shared vision, so that local governments, urban professionals, and individuals can actively prepare and find solutions to urban water management challenges.

Corinne Trommsdorff, programme manager for the Cities of the Future Program at the International Water Association, said: “Cities are rapidly expanding and water resources are under increasing pressure. We need to find ways to do more with less. The Principles will be used to bring people together for resilient city planning and to guide the urban water revolution needed in cities of the future.”

Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, added: “The floods that hit Brisbane in 2011 and 2013 and the Millennium Drought have reshaped our city’s relationship with water, highlighting the importance of managing water at all stages of the water cycle. To ensure Brisbane meets the challenges of an increasing population, and to respond to our changing climate, Brisbane City Council is embracing the International Water Association’s Principles for Water Wise Cities.”


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