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Water management in urban centers: how to achieve resilience?

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Autor: Jonas Völker

Water management in urban centers: how to achieve resilience?

Building resilience in cities requires an understanding of the flow of resources – especially water – into, within and out of the city. Urban centers need to be part of water management not only within the city limits but also beyond in their water basins. A key part of a resilience strategy is having a systems approach which considers the holistic nature of water, including the protection of water sources upstream, how water is managed within the urban environment, and the impacts of activities on its quality and quantity downstream.
Evidence-based decision making that informs effective resilience strategies across cities needs reliable data and information. Digital technologies can support availability and access of this information across the water sector from upstream water management to water supply services to consumers. For example, earth observations, which include satellite, airborne, land and marine-based data, as well as model outputs, can provide early warning for water related hazards such as droughts and flash floods. Forecasting of both water quality and flows can be used to give sufficient warning for water supply companies to optimize production (while also reducing costs). Digital tools create opportunities for increased awareness and engagement by consumers. If applied effectively it can support crowd sourcing of information from citizens to develop a more complete picture of their water systems from source to tap and back to the source. There are also cutting-edge approaches such as block chain technology (which provides a way to decentralize and track information securely) that are being explored as way to provide a transparent, sustainable approach to trading water rights.
Ultimately these are all tools for better water management within and beyond our cities, but how they are applied and managed is what underlies their effectiveness. Consequently, resilience also means having the foundations of effective water governance, including active communication and partnership between upstream and downstream water agencies and other communities (both urban and rural).
You can learn more at the Disaster Countermeasures and Risk Management Towards Resilient Cities Forum on September 17th at the IWA World Water Congress, which will also offer a session on the Digitalization of Water on September 20th.
Further information about the program can be found under http://worldwatercongress.org/forums/.
By Katharine Cross, IWA Programs Manager

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gwf-wasser.0872.perimetrik.de, Besitzer: Vulkan-Verlag GmbH (Firmensitz: Deutschland), würde gerne mit externen Diensten personenbezogene Daten verarbeiten. Dies ist für die Nutzung der Website nicht notwendig, ermöglicht aber eine noch engere Interaktion mit Ihnen. Falls gewünscht, treffen Sie bitte eine Auswahl: