A global blueprint for water resilience

How Arup’s work in Africa, in the midst of a global pandemic, has made the City Water Resilience Approach a globally applicable method.

The futures of all our cities and communities rely on water – but much of the world is experiencing a combination of too much, too little and polluted water, affecting health and wellbeing, devastating economies, and threatening lives and livelihoods.

Climate change, population growth and urbanisation continue to put increasing pressure on water systems. These issues have to be addressed everywhere, with some countries and regions in more immediate need than others.

This drove Arup, together with The Resilience Shift (TRS), the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), to develop the City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA). It provides an open-source methodology that helps cities understand the water-related risks they face and improve the way they plan, manage, and maintain their water system.

A world-first, its development was supported by the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Massachusetts, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Alliance for Global Water Adaption, and the World Resources Institute.

The CWRA follows a structured methodology to help a city understand its urban water shocks and stresses. It then supports the development of interventions to build its resilience, to the benefit of a collectively in the long term. Crucially, it helps to build true consensus by allowing all stakeholders in a city and wider region to share their needs, understand trade-offs, and create a shared resilience vision towards circular water economy that helps them to prosper.

Martin Shouler is water leader and project director; Louise Ellis is associate, water; and Sophie Fisher is water consultant at Arup.

The full article is published on the latest edition of Water & Wastewater Asia Jul/Aug 2021 issue. To continue reading the article, click here.