Mainstreaming Water Resources Management in Urban Projects: Taking an Integrated Urban Water Management Approach

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The objective of this document is to provide guidance for managing the urban water cycle in a sustainable manner, with a focus on cities in developing countries. In doing so, the Bank is promoting a paradigm shift to more holistic and sustainable management of urban and water resources by applying an Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) approach to the broad water challenges commonly faced in developing country cities around the world. IUWM is not a new concept; its principles have been outlined elsewhere before and are referred to in a variety of ways (Cities of the Future (IWA) or Water Sensitive Cities (Wong 2009) and with different acronyms (Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS), in the UK, or Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), in Australia). The objective of this guidance note is not to add to the theoretical framework but to provide practical references and recommendations for the Bank and for other development practitioners working on the issues of water in cities in developing countries. IUWM is multi-sectorial in nature, and this note specifically targets staff working in several Global Practices of the Bank: Water (particularly urban Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) and Water Resources Management (WRM)), Urban (particularly urban services provision, Disaster Risk Management, and urban upgrading), Environment, and Climate Change, as well as Social and Environmental Specialists involved in the design and implementation of Bank projects. A separate version of the Guidance Note will be published for an external audience, aimed at Bank clients such as municipal, central and regional governments, water utilities, river basin authorities, urban planners, and other relevant stakeholders and decision makers. After a brief introduction to the concept of IUWM (section one), this guidance notes profiles the different IUWM approaches applied in three types of city: a water-scarce, fast-developing city (Windhoek, Namibia), an expanding city subject to climate extremes (Melbourne, Australia), and a dense, flood prone city (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). It also profiles an example of Bank engagement under an IUWM approach in a fast-growing city in a middle-income country (Vitoria in Espirito Santo, Brazil). The final section of the guidance note showcases a potential methodology for applying an IUWM approach in a city, from the initial engagement and diagnostic phases toward the application of a full IUWM umbrella framework under which a program (or a series of operational loans and analytical activities) can be implemented.
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World Bank. 2016. Mainstreaming Water Resources Management in Urban Projects: Taking an Integrated Urban Water Management Approach. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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