The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts: Urban Resiliency

The impact of climate change on the safety and security of water supply is pushing cities to adapt and reassess their approaches to water supply and urban storage and drainage. This workshop is an opportunity to highlight approaches developed across cities and utilities to adapt to the impacts of climate change especially floods and droughts.

For more information, contact Katharine Cross at IWA.
The rapid pace of urbanization in many areas and the inability of most cities to keep up with demand is resulting in a number of impacts such as the damage to ecosystems upstream, groundwater depletion, and water quality decline. There is also increased competition between sectors and users of water, which is exacerbated by fragmented governance and the inability of any entity to control conditions.
Cities and their utilities need to consider the fundamental characteristics which can build resilience to changing weather patterns and available water. This includes understanding the physical system attributes, actors and their normative values and objectives, as well as the rules governing a system.
There are existing conventional and semi-conventional strategies for addressing urban water needs, but we need to understand how far can they go to addressing stresses, and what do they contribute from a resilience perspective. There also needs to be thinking beyond the box including possibilities based on emergent behavior, enhanced autonomy, and transformation. This includes options beyond the utility such as water markets and unitized supply. As well as transforming municipal sewage through distributed treatment, composting toilets, and commercializing waste products.
IWA World Water Conference and Exhibition: Lisbon, Portugal
Monday, September 22, 15:30-17:00