WaterWhere to Start with Urban Water Management

Where to Start with Urban Water Management

Karl Dickinson
Karl Dickinson
Change matters. It takes courage. As a writer - and citizen - I am inspired by stories of those who challenge the 'we've always done it this way' attitude. We can do better - it's time to listen to those who go against the grain.

Concerned with how to kick off a better water culture in your city? Whether your region is blighted by too much or too little, our guides are packed full of ideas to get you started. And the best part is, everyone can do something, from children to municipal decision-makers and local businesses.

Everyone’s an Urban Water Manager

Water affects everyone, everywhere. Hydrological cycles and water basins stretch far beyond the city boundaries and impact majorly on urban water systems. Managing it is a massive undertaking and one that no single entity can do alone.

Thankfully, there are simple changes we can all make to preserve the precious resource when water is stressed or prevent disaster when faced with a downpour.

Although we’ve split Getting Started into these opposing scenarios, it’s worth checking out each of the guides; many of the skills and ideas are transferable. We also acknowledge that some cities face the dual challenge of both too much and too little water at times, so why not mix and match the advice our experts offer?

Preventing Day Zero – Keeping the Taps Turned On

Imagine completely running out of water. This nightmare knocked at the door of Cape Town in 2018 after two years of drought. Following the story of how city leadership, citizens, and local businesses responded, we present a roster of prevention and emergency response tactics that are proven to prolong and replenish urban water supplies.

Getting Started Guide to Flood Control

Coming soon…

General Steps for Motivation

Alongside these concrete steps, the following articles act as signposts for cities to get started with understanding and planning urban water management techniques.

Inspiring Infrastructure – Beat the Blues with Bioswales

One for the city planners, decision-makers, and infrastructure services.

If you want some reliable hardware in your city to deal with a deluge, try your hand at bioswales. Indianapolis combined greenery and an art trail to their downtown district. Making the streets safer and more attractive almost hides its core purpose: keeping stormwater under control and reusing it elsewhere.

It takes commitment and a budget but bioswales are the investment that pays off. Learn from the masters.

Principles of Water Wise Cities

Category 6 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is a focus on clean water and sanitation. This led the International Water Association to put together a package of 17 principles that help cities define what water wisdom looks like in their locale.

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