Cities must improve resilience to avoid Day Zero - Arup
Increasing numbers of cities worldwide risk reaching Day Zero, with taps running dry, and exacerbating the effects of climate change, unless they start actively managing and improving the resilience of their entire water basins, a new report by global engineering consultancy Arup has warned.
Cape Town’s recent water crisis has alerted major cities to threats to their water supply. According to the Arup report Cities Alive: Water for People, endorsed by the International Water Association (IWA) and launched at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Tokyo, cities need to expand what they might now consider ‘their’ water infrastructure to include the entire river basin on which they depend.
The report highlights that the world’s 100 largest cities occupy less than 1 per cent of the planet’s land area, while the basins that provide their water resources cover over 12 per cent and serve almost a billion people.
Water basins are vital for supplying cities with water, collecting all the surface water and groundwater in the area. Cities impact stewardship for hundreds of miles. They have the potential to influence how their water basins are managed, yet they invest very little in them.
The report calls for more ‘upstream thinking’ in how cities approach water management. This means greater collaboration, working with landowners, businesses and local authorities further upstream to consider the water basin as a whole.
Understanding how a city’s water basin behaves not only leads to better water management but can protect the local environment and ensure the wellbeing of residents.
Dr Mark Fletcher, global water leader at Arup, said: "Recognising the importance of the entire water basin is essential as urban water resilience is not possible without rural water resilience. In simple terms, we must be more water-wise.
"With up to 4.3 billion people expected to live in cities by 2050, this is something city leaders and water managers need to be looking at now. Whilst this is a challenge, it also provides a significant opportunity to revolutionise how urban water systems are designed and retrofitted, and how they can deliver greater benefits for all."
The full report can be viewed here.
- Welsh Water outlines draft drought strategy Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has published its 2014 draft Drought Plan which details how it intends to maintain water supplies,... Read More >
- Construction firm fined for interfering with water supply without consent Construction firm Carpenter Projects has pleaded guilty to illegally interfering with the public water supply without... Read More >
- Mott MacDonald appointed to £410M Dhaka water project UK consultancy Mott MacDonald has been appointed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide technical engineering and... Read More >
- How to become 'water-wise' Luke Matcham, consultant at Capgemini, looks at how incentives and penalties can be balanced to encourage water... Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >
- Making wasting water the newest taboo Although water utilities have made great strides in reducing leakage, wasting water needs to become the next big social... Read More >
- Capital's infrastructure needs integrated water approach The concerns of Londoners about the capital city's resilience highlight the need for integrated planning across water,... Read More >
- Comment: Can innovation help the taps continue to run in the future? There is little doubt that innovative thinking is required if the industry to meet the resource challenges of the future,... Read More >