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GWP Paper Addresses Increased Urban Water Demand

May 2012: The Global Water Partnership (GWP) Technical Committee published a background paper building on concepts from integrated water resources management (IWRM) to develop a model for urban and peri-urban environments – integrated urban water management (IUWM). Emphasizing rapid urban growth, competition between agriculture and industrial uses of water, and increased disaster risk due to climate change, the Paper by Akiça Bahri identifies IUWM as a means of managing these challenges. The Paper discusses: changing urban contexts; water resources and urbanization; climate change challenges; from resource user to resource manager; enabling environments for IUWM; and IUWM tools and management strategies. The Paper highlights the roles of central and local governments, the private sector and stakeholders in enabling IUWM and identifies a number of management strategies, including: water audits and efficient use; water reclamation and reuse; storm water management; scaling; tariffs, payments, and other economic tools; and promoting climate change resilience.

Key messages identified by the Paper include that: as an iterative and adaptive process, IUWM can respond to change; cross-sectoral relationships such as those between water resources, energy and land use are required for achieving sustainable urban development; climate change should be integrated into urban water planning; IUWM requires capacity building; water supply diversification is a central pillar of IUWM; and stakeholder participation in planning processes improves outcomes. [Publication: Integrated Urban Water Management]