P

a
v
e
d

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O
u
t d
o
o
r
u
s
e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D
o
m
e
s t i c

u
s
e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
r
a
i
n
a
g
e

n
e
t
w
o
r
k
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
‘The design and management of the urban water system
based on an analysis of the entire system will lead to
more sustainable solutions than separate design and
management of elements of the system.’
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
P
a
v
e
d

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O
u
t d
o
o
r
u
s
e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D
o
m
e
s t i c

u
s
e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
r
a
i
n
a
g
e

n
e
t
w
o
r
k
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
P
a
v
e
d

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O
u
t d
o
o
r
u
s
e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D
o
m
e
s t i c

u
s
e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
r
a
i
n
a
g
e

n
e
t
w
o
r
k
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
P
a
v
e
d

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O
u t d o o r
u s e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D
o
m
e
s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
r
a
in
a
g
e

n
e
t
w
o
r
k
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
One system – one approach!
From population growth to rapid urbanisation, changing consumption patterns to deteriorating infrastructure, increasing energy
prices to climate change: water systems in cities throughout the world are confronted by an intimidating future. Integrated Urban
Water Management (IUWM) can make a difference – and the SWITCH Training Kit has been developed to show how.
Designed for training workshops, but also for individual reading, the SWITCH Training Kit contains six modules covering all of
the central features of urban water management (see diagram on the opposite page).
Users will also fnd insights into:
• the interactions between the different elements of the urban water cycle;
• the wide-reaching benefts of an integrated approach to managing water;
• the recommended phases of a strategic planning process; and
• ways and means to work with local stakeholders effectively.
Target group: Water managers, urban planners and engineers from local governments and water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
Accessibility: Freely available. The SWITCH training modules can be found on the attached CD-ROM. They can also be downloaded
from the SWITCH Training Desk (www.switchtraining.eu) along with supporting resources, further training material
and a set of practical case studies.
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC plannIng
preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / stormwater management / wastewater management
can beneft from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in
SWITCH and the contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
2 3
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH | Gino Van Begin (responsible)
rebekka dold | grafk design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Poster image by loet van Moll – Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
©2011 ICleI european Secretariat gmbH, leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in this booklet summarising the modules of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license allows others to remix, tweak,
and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they credit the copyright holder and license their new creations under
the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found
at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode.
The Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011) | www.switchurbanwater.eu | SWITCH was supported by the European
Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views. The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Publisher:
Design:
Copyright:
Creative Commons
Licence:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISBN 978-3-943107-00-5 (print copy) | ISBN 978-3-943107-01-2 (PDF) | ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
CD-ROM missing?
All SWITCH training materials can also be found at
www.switchtraining.eu
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 1
STraTegIC plannIng
preparing for the future
In most cities, the different sectors of the urban water cycle – water supply, stormwater,
wastewater – are managed by different departments and institutions with minimal
coordination in their design and operation. Decisions are taken from a narrow perspective
with little consideration for the long-term impacts across the city as a whole.
As pressures such as climate change, population growth and ageing infrastructure
increase, this fragmented approach and its dependence on conventional technologies is
no longer suffcient to deliver the water services that cities rely on.
Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) is an alternative approach. IUWM
recognises that problems encountered in one area of the urban water cycle may be the
result of (mis)management in another. By looking at water in the city as one system,
holistic evaluation becomes possible leading to a more effcient and sustainable use of
resources.
Module 1 introduces the concept of IUWM and describes how shifting from a conventional
approach to urban water management towards an approach based on integration is more
suitable to meet current requirements and cope with future uncertainty.
It also demonstrates how greater integration can be realised in practice through the
adoption of a strategic planning process. Rather than investing in short-term solutions
that focus solely on today’s problems, the development and implementation of a strategic
plan provides the framework for making sustainable urban water management a reality.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in gaining a solid understanding of:
• what constitutes an integrated approach to managing the urban water cycle and how
it differs from a conventional approach;
• how IUWM can help move towards increased sustainability in the urban water cycle and
urban development in general; and
• how to adopt IUWM through a long-term strategic planning process.
The SWITCH hypothesis:
‘The design and management of the urban water system based on an analysis of
the entire system will lead to more sustainable solutions than separate design and
management of elements of the system.’
4 5
©
iS
to
c
k
p
h
o
to
.c
o
m
/
n
e
o
e
llis
Monitoring &
evaluation
Baseline
assessment
Implementation
Visioning,
objectives, targets
& indicators
Scenario building
& development
of strategy and
action plan
©
IC
l
e
I e
u
r
o
p
e
a
n
S
e
c
r
e
t
a
r
ia
t
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Professionals in water utilities, regulators, environmentalists, government offcials, tourists,
urban farmers, entrepreneurs, energy providers, lawyers, communities marginalised
from mainstream society: all leave their mark on water in the city. Some are users,
some are decision makers – all are affected if the urban water cycle is managed poorly.
Many institutions and individuals using or dealing with the urban water system never
think about how their actions impact upon water in other locations. Water falls from the
sky, comes from the tap, is supplied through pipes - and is carried away in other pipes
when it is dirty or fooding the streets. Different bodies are in charge of making sure this
happens and communication between them is kept to a minimum.
Water users and water institutions often only react when problems come to the surface
causing tensions and frictions in society. This may be the case, for example, when citizens
living in communities with poor water and sanitation services start protesting in front of
the city hall about their unhealthy living conditions. Or when the competition for water
resources between farmers and industries turns into a major confict and catches the
attention of the media. Or when environmental groups put the spotlight on politicians
who have been bribed into ignoring the pollution of rivers and wetlands caused by a
company’s waste.
Module 2 is based on the conviction that institutions acting in isolation and with
little consideration of water users will have no future in urban water management. Big
problems require big ideas to solve them and fragmentation doesn’t help. Pooling the
knowledge, experiences, and resources of stakeholders can signifcantly improve urban
water management. Coordination of needs and interests as well as of strategies and
actions is necessary to achieve more effciency. Encouraging stakeholders to talk to each
other is the frst step to making Integrated Urban Water Management a reality.
This module provides an overview of the most relevant stakeholders in urban water
management as well as of a range of alternative ways of working with them. Among the
different approaches, Learning Alliances stand out in times where water issues become
increasingly complex. Learning Alliances are multi-stakeholder platforms that rely to a
large degree on the participation of researchers who share their expertise in order to
jointly tackle issues of common concern.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in:
• distinguishing between ‘good’ and ‘poor’ involvement;
• understanding the rationale and the benefts of working with stakeholders;
• identifying the most important stakeholders in their city and getting them involved;
• planning and coordinating a stakeholder process in the long run;
• becoming aware about the costs and other challenges of stakeholder involvement; and
• assessing the stakeholder process and its outcomes.
6 7
©
K
a
t
a
r
z
y
n
a
Iz
y
d
o
r
c
z
y
k
©
a
n
n
e
-
C
la
ir
e
l
o
f
t
u
s
©
S
W
IT
C
H
©
b
a
r
b
a
r
a
a
n
to
n
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
As cities grow and develop, more water is needed to satisfy the increasing demands of
domestic, industrial and commercial uses. Traditionally, the solution has been to dam
more rivers, drill more boreholes and transfer water from neighbouring regions. But
as limited resources become increasingly depleted, cities are running out of options,
resulting in water scarcity and the inability to meet demand. Source pollution and the
potential impacts of climate change exacerbate the problem further.
The opposite approach is to prioritise investment in reducing demand rather than
increasing supply. When combined with source protection, natural water treatment
techniques and the use of alternative supplies, such an approach can protect and
enhance fragile water environments, reduce service costs and energy consumption, and
even contribute to food control and improved wastewater treatment.
8
©
IC
l
e
I e
u
r
o
p
e
a
n
S
e
c
r
e
t
a
r
ia
t
©
r
a
lp
h
p
h
ilip
detachable poster:
The Water-Sensitive City of the future
The electronic version of this image can be found on the website
www.switchtraining.eu and on the Cd-roM containing the
modules of the SWITCH Training Kit.
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg, germany
www.iclei-europe.org
phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
Poster image by: loet van Moll – Illustraties | aalten, netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
The Water-Sensitive City of the Future
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 3 presents an overview of water supply in cities and how this infuences, and is
infuenced by, the urban water cycle and urban development as a whole. The aim of the
module is to reassess the conventional approach to urban water supply and to examine
an integrated approach that can lead to more sustainable management of resources.
The module also introduces a number of alternative solutions that can replace
conventional technologies while yielding additional benefts to urban water management
and the quality of life in a city.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in gaining a better understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to water supply and how this differs
from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can gain by prioritising demand management
and alternative sources of supply over increased resource development;
• the opportunities that exist to improve potable water treatment effciency, particularly
through the use of natural systems; and
• the solutions available to put a more sustainable approach to water supply into practice.
9
©
S
W
IT
C
H
©
r
a
lp
h
p
h
ilip
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Posing a restriction to development and potential threat to infrastructure, stormwater in
the city is typically considered a nuisance. The more a city grows the more problematic
stormwater becomes. Urbanisation replaces vegetation with impermeable roofs, roads
and paving, restricting the natural attenuation and infltration of stormwater and creating
greater volumes of runoff.
To cope with these increased volumes, urban drainage infrastructure is designed with the
aim of conveying rainfall away from the city as rapidly as possible. Taking this approach
has, however, negative implications, including localised and downstream food risk,
erosion of streams and riverbanks, groundwater depletion and pollution of receiving
water bodies.
Alternatively, stormwater can be approached and managed not as a nuisance but rather
as a resource. By attenuating, infltrating and reusing rainfall runoff within the city,
stormwater management can become an attractive and benefcial feature of the urban
landscape.
Module 4 highlights the problems caused by conventional urban drainage methods and
explains the benefts of integrating stormwater with other sectors of water management
and urban design. These include food risk management, environmental protection,
urban regeneration and the alleviation of water scarcity.
In addition, the module introduces a number of more sustainable urban drainage
solutions, such as the use of ponds and wetlands for stormwater retention, vegetation
and soils for attenuation, and aquifers for infltration and reuse. It goes on to demonstrate
how these can positively infuence urban water management and city development as a
whole.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to stormwater management and how
this differs from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can gain by managing stormwater as a
resource rather than as a restriction to urban development; and
• the solutions available to put into practice a more sustainable approach to stormwater
management, including the use of natural systems.
10 11
©
s
to
c
k
.x
c
h
n
g
/
s
h
o
r
t
s
a
n
d
©
IC
l
e
I e
u
r
o
p
e
a
n
S
e
c
r
e
t
a
r
ia
t
©
Jo
h
a
n
n
e
s
g
e
r
s
te
n
b
e
r
g
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Urban wastewater is made up of a variety of waste streams, such as faeces, urine, grey-
water, stormwater and industrial effuent; each differing in volume and composition.
Conventional wastewater management is designed to combine these different streams
during collection before applying centralised treatment and discharging the effuent to
receiving water bodies.
Although capable of protecting human health and the environment, this approach to
wastewater management can be ineffcient and fails to extract and recycle many of the
resources contained within the different streams. The system also lacks fexibility and
copes badly with unexpected change such as rapid urbanisation and climatic variation.
As opposed to the combined and disposal-orientated approach of conventional waste-
water management, an integrated approach is based on the separate collection and
recycling of wastewater streams. This encourages, for example, the use of urine as
fertiliser, the generation of biogas from sludge and the reuse of greywater for non-potable
water consumption, leading to a range of benefts within and beyond the wastewater
management sector.
Module 5 shows how the separate collection, treatment and reuse of different wastewater
streams can recycle resources and improve treatment performance. It also demonstrates
the positive impacts that this can achieve, particularly for water security, urban agriculture,
environmental protection and energy consumption.
A variety of decentralised options that can replace or complement conventional waste-
water management infrastructure is introduced. These include technologies that facilitate
wastewater separation and reuse as well as fexible treatment solutions that make use of
natural systems such as ponds, wetlands and soils.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to wastewater management and how
this differs from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can reap by managing wastewater as a
resource rather than as a waste product; and
• the solutions that are available to put a more sustainable approach to wastewater
management into practice, including the use of natural systems.
12 13
©
b
a
r
b
a
r
a
a
n
to
n
©
b
a
r
b
a
r
a
a
n
to
n
©
b
a
r
b
a
r
a
a
n
to
n
©
IC
l
e
I e
u
r
o
p
e
a
n
S
e
c
r
e
t
a
r
ia
t
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Due to the large investment costs and long life span of pipelines, reservoirs and treatment
plants, long-term planning is a vital aspect of urban water management. Traditionally,
investment and planning decisions are taken independently within different sectors,
based on narrowly defned aims and implementation costs. Quantifed data and future
forecasts are used to identify a solution that addresses a current or anticipated problem
under presumed conditions.
This approach leads to the selection of solutions that are optimal for a confned area
and specifc goal of urban water management. However, it typically lacks the scope to
also identify negative knock-on effects – as well as benefts – elsewhere in the system,
since it fails to assess the urban water cycle as a whole. In addition, the faith placed in
future predictions tends to favour rigid solutions only capable of operating within a rather
limited range of variability.
Integrated modelling and decision-support tools can help assess the urban water cycle
from a holistic perspective and facilitate decision making that has a higher chance of
leading to sustainable solutions. Rather than focusing only on the economic cost of
providing/treating/disposing of a certain quantity of water, an integrated assessment
also considers a range of less direct benefts and impacts associated with the natural
environment, economy and overall quality of life in the city.
Crucially, integrated decision making acknowledges uncertainty and prioritises
interventions that have the fexibility to cope with a range of possible future scenarios,
thereby improving the adaptive capacity of the city’s water system.
Module 6 introduces a number of decision-support tools that are available to help water
managers and urban planners assess the impacts of different actions and policies on
urban development more broadly. These tools allow decision makers to explore a range
of alternative interventions by providing a system that collects, interprets, revisits and
updates the vast amount of information that inevitably needs to be managed.
Adaptable to local circumstances, the tools discussed in this module focus on specifc
areas of the urban water cycle, such as stormwater management and water supply, whilst
ensuring that the input data and interpretation of outputs are placed frmly in the context
of IUWM.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• the way in which integrated decision making utilises information and knowledge to
assess the urban water cycle holistically, manage future uncertainty and promote multi-
stakeholder engagement;
• how Decision Support Systems can be used to manage large quantities of data and
model the impacts of potential strategies and scenarios;
• the use of indicators to evaluate results of data assessment and present complex output
to a wider audience; and
• the practical details of selected tools, including the SWITCH developed City Water.
14 15
s
o
u
r
c
e
: w
w
w
.ip
o
g
e
e
.c
h
©
b
a
r
b
a
r
a
a
n
to
n
www.switchtraining.eu
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
Partners: Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg, germany
www.iclei-europe.org
phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
P
a
v
e
d

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O
u t d o o r
u s e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D
o m
e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
r
a
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
r
k
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
Find out how we can help with your training needs
ICLEI, in cooperation with specialist SWITCH partners, offers tailor-made training workshops on all of
the subjects covered by the SWITCH Training Kit. Please contact us if your organisation is interested in
building its capacity for Integrated Urban Water Management.
water@iclei.org
ISBN 978-3-943107-00-5 (print copy)
ISBN 978-3-943107-01-2 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Ralph Philip, (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Barbara Anton (ICLEI European Secretariat), Peter van der Steen (UNESCO-IHE)
John Butterworth, Charles Batchelor, Carmen Da Silva (IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre), Peter van der Steen, Carol Howe,
Diana M. Guio-Torres (UNESCO-IHE), Chris Jefferies, Alison Duffy (University of Abertay)
Ralph Philip, Barbara Anton, Anne-Claire Loftus (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Stephan Köhler (ICLEI European Secretariat)
©
2011 ICleI european Secretariat gmbH, leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in Module 1 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled 'Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future' is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they credit the copyright
holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of "Global Change and Ecosystems" [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Imprint
Publisher:
Principal author:
Contributing authors:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISbn 978-3-943107-03-6 (Pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material, all of which are
highlighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUPPorT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUPPly
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / stormwater management / wastewater management can beneft
from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in SWITCH and the
contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 1: Contents
O Introduction ....................................................................................................
O learning targets .............................................................................................
O Why there is a need for change ....................................................................
3.1 The issues ..................................................................................................
3.2 A conventional versus an integrated approach .......................................
O Water in the city .............................................................................................
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle .....................................................
4.2 Linkages between the water cycle and other urban
management sectors ................................................................................
4.3 Water and quality of life ............................................................................
O The overall direction: Sustainable water management .............................
O Putting IUWM into practice .........................................................................
O The strategic planning process for IUWM ..................................................
7.1 An overview ................................................................................................
7.2 Stakeholder involvement ...........................................................................
7.3 Internal coordination in administration ...................................................
7.4 The role of local politics ...........................................................................
7.5 Phases of strategic planning .....................................................................
7.5.1 Baseline assessment ........................................................................
7.5.2 Creating a vision ...............................................................................
7.5.3 Setting objectives .............................................................................
7.5.4 Indicators and targets .....................................................................
7.5.5 Scenario building ..............................................................................
7.5.6 Strategy development ......................................................................
7.5.7 Development of an action plan .......................................................
7.5.8 Implementation ...............................................................................
7.5.9 Monitoring and evaluation ..............................................................
7.6 The cyclical nature of the strategic planning process .............................
O Wrapping-up ...................................................................................................
O references .......................................................................................................
7
8
9
9
11
14
14
16
18
20
22
23
23
25
26
26
28
28
30
33
35
39
41
44
46
47
49
50
51
7
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Introduction
Being the frst of the series, Module 1 of the SWITCH Training Kit familiarises the user
with the concept of Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) and provides guidance
on the basic steps for realising such an approach in practice. Module 1 promotes an
integrated approach to urban water management on the premise that:
‘The design and management of the urban water system based on an analysis of the entire
system will lead to more sustainable solutions than separate design and management of
elements of the system.’
1
Rather than disconnecting the various tasks regarding stormwater, water supply and
wastewater, designing and managing all of them in an interlinked manner leads to
opportunities for a more effcient and sustainable use of resources.
To move towards such an integrated approach, the SWITCH Training Kit recommends
the adoption of a long-term strategic planning process for the urban water system as a
whole. Module 1 describes the phases for implementing such a process.
A crucial aspect of IUWM is the early and effective involvement of stakeholders.
Stakeholder involvement is only touched upon here but is covered comprehensively in
Module 2 of the series. Modules 1 and 2 are therefore inextricably linked and should not
be considered in isolation. Module 1 does not go into the details of designing different
elements of the urban water cycle such as drainage, wastewater treatment and water
reuse. This can be found in Modules 3, 4 and 5.
O
1
SWITCH hypothesis (van der Steen 2009)
I
m
a
g
e
:

i
S
t
o
c
k
p
h
o
t
o
.
c
o
m
/
n
e
o
e
l
l
i
s
8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
learning targets
Module 1 presents an overview of IUWM and the phases necessary for developing a
strategic plan to move towards it. It provides assistance for shifting from a conventional
approach in urban water management towards an approach based on integration that is
more suitable to meet current requirements and cope with future developments more
sustainably. It also delivers a simpler message relevant for all cities: that an integrated
approach is worth pursuing regardless of the starting point.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in gaining a solid understanding of:
• what constitutes an integrated approach to managing the urban water cycle and how
it differs from a conventional approach;
• how IUWM can help move towards increased sustainability in the urban water cycle
and urban development in general; and
• how to adopt IUWM through a long-term strategic planning process.
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
figure 1: The urban water cycle
P
a
v
e
d
s
u
rfa
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O u t d o o r
u s e
I
n
d
u
s
t
r
i
a
l
/
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i
a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
ra
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
rk
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
9
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Why there is a need
for change
3.1 The issues
The state of water in the city is one of the key determinants of the urban quality of life.
When managed poorly, the health and wellbeing of a city’s population, its economy and
its natural environment are all compromised. For example:
• Public health – The lack of a clean supply of water and the unhygienic disposal of
wastewater causes waterborne diseases.
• Security – Poor management of stormwater and land development leads to urban
fooding, putting lives, livelihoods and property at risk.
• economy – An insuffcient supply of water limits economic activity and thus
development of a city. Too much water can do the same.
• environment – Over-abstraction from and untreated discharges to urban water
bodies damage ecosystems and limit their value as a natural resource.
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Urban water systems are also confronted with conditions that are undergoing signifcant
changes. Cities are facing increasing pressures that aggravate current challenges and
also lead to entirely new ones. The impacts of climate change, rapid urbanisation and
the deterioration of out-dated infrastructure, among others, cause fooding events, water
scarcity and rehabilitation costs on a scale that will overwhelm the capacities of cities.
figure 2: developments challenging water management in cities in the future
Economic development
• Impacts of a growing/shrinking
economy on water services
• Industrial pollution
Climate change
• Increased risk of fooding
• Water scarcity
Public behaviour and attitudes
• Changing life styles and consumption
patterns
• Increased environmental awareness
Energy use
• Rising energy costs for water
distribution and treatment
• The need for the water sector
to reduce CO
2
emissions
Population growth
and urbanisation
• Greater demand for water
• Increased diffculty in
providing water services
Emerging technologies
• Increased wastewater recycling
• Desalination
Deterioration of
infrastructure
• Leaking pipes
• High rehabilitation costs
11
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
3.2 A conventional versus an integrated approach
Many cities throughout the world are already struggling to operate water systems
effectively and many more will struggle in the future if current management solutions
and technological interventions in the urban water cycle are not seriously reformed.
The conventional approach to water management, in both developing and developed
countries, tends to address problems through large investments in a limited range of
long-established technologies. The management of the urban water system is often
fragmented, with the design, construction and operation of the various elements
carried out in isolation from one another. Short-term solutions are selected with little
consideration for the long-term impacts on the entire system.
More specifcally, the conventional approach to urban water management is typically
associated with the following issues:
• fragmentation – The various elements of the urban water system are often operated
in isolation. Such a fragmented approach can result in technical choices that are
based on the benefts to an individual part of the system, but may neglect the
impacts caused elsewhere.
• Short-term solutions – Water management in both developing and developed
countries often focuses on today’s problems, opting for short-term solutions despite
the risk that the implemented measures are not cost effective or sustainable in the
long-term.
• lack of fexibility – Conventional water infrastructure and management tends to
be infexible to changing circumstances. Water supply, wastewater treatment and
stormwater drainage systems are constructed to match fxed capacities and when
these are exceeded problems occur. Likewise, the management of these systems
becomes dysfunctional when faced, for example, with increasing climate variability
and rapidly growing urban demand.
• energy intensive – Conventional water distribution and treatment infrastructure is
energy intensive. Power cuts and rapid increases in fuel costs can disrupt services.
Intensive energy use also results in high levels of CO
2
emissions at a time when many
cities are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
In response to these limitations, Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM)
recognises that problems encountered in one area of the system may be the result of
(mis)management in another. In IUWM all aspects of the urban water cycle are treated
as one system, and all relevant institutions are involved in ensuring that such integration
is achieved. Preference is given to innovative and fexible technologies that have been
selected based on a holistic evaluation of the water cycle and the long-term sustainability
of the system as a whole.
Increasing fexibility in urban
water management as a means
of adapting to climate change
is discussed in the SWITCH
publication 'Adapting urban
water systems to climate
change - A handbook for
decision makers at the local
level' (Loftus et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
In summary, IUWM requires:
• all parts of the water cycle to be considered as an integrated system;
• all dimensions of sustainability to be balanced;
• all stakeholders including all water users to be involved;
• all water uses to be taken into account; and
• all specifcs of the local context to be addressed.
based on Mitchell (2004)
Following such requirements, IUWM has a strong potential to signifcantly improve
effciency in water management. Typical benefts are, for example:
• Increased water availability for economic development and reduced volumes of
wastewater to be discharged by exploiting the potential of wastewater reuse.
• Protection of water supply sources and natural aquatic ecosystems by investing in the
control and prevention of diffuse pollution in stormwater runoff.
• Higher cost-effectiveness and viability of interventions by identifying options through
cross-sectoral coordination and multi-stakeholder involvement.
IUWM allows a fresh look at urban water resources. Rather than solving problems
through unquestioned investments in the expansion of existing infrastructure and end-
of-pipe technologies, IUWM calls for a reassessment of current approaches and – where
necessary – for fundamental changes. This includes the formulation of new policies and
the examination of alternative and emerging technologies that are sensitive to the long-
term needs of the entire urban water cycle as well as to the wide range of water users who
depend on it.
Table 1 summarises some of the key differences between a conventional and an integrated
approach to urban water management.
Further information on
the differences between a
conventional and innovative
approach to urban water
management can be found in
the following SWITCH papers:
‘An overview of conventional
and innovative approaches for
UWM in Europe and the South’
(van der Steen et al 2007)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
‘Report providing an inventory
of conventional and innovative
approaches for urban water
management’ (van der Steen
2007).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
A crucial aspect of IUWM is the
engagement of stakeholders.
Module 2 covers this aspect in
detail
13
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Table 1: Key diferences between a conventional approach to urban water management
and an integrated one
Aspect of urban water
management
Conventional approach Integrated approach
overall approach
Integration is by accident. Water supply,
wastewater and stormwater may be
managed by the same agency as a matter of
historical happenstance but physically the
three systems are separated.
Physical and institutional integration is by
design. Linkages are made between water
supply, wastewater and stormwater, as
well as other areas of urban development,
through highly coordinated management.
Collaboration with
stakeholders
Collaboration = public relations. Other
agencies and the public are approached
when approval of a pre-chosen solution is
required.
Collaboration = engagement. Other
agencies and the public search together for
effective solutions.
Choice of infrastructure
Infrastructure is made of concrete, metal or
plastic.
Infrastructure can also be green including
soils, vegetation and other natural systems.
Management of
stormwater
Stormwater is a constraint that is conveyed
away from urban areas as rapidly as
possible.
Stormwater is a resource that can be
harvested for water supply and retained
to support aquifers, waterways and
biodiversity.
Management of human
waste
Human waste is collected, treated and
disposed of to the environment.
Human waste is a resource and can be
used productively for energy generation and
nutrient recycling.
Management of water
demand
Increased water demand is met through
investment in new supply sources and
infrastructure.
Options to reduce demand, harvest
rainwater and reclaim wastewater are given
priority over developing new resources.
Choice of technological
solutions
Complexity is neglected and standard
engineering solutions are employed to
individual components of the water cycle.
Diverse solutions (technological and
ecological) and new management strategies
are explored that encourage coordinated
decisions between water management,
urban design and landscape architecture.
based on Pinkham (1999)
More information about
innovative options for urban
water management can be
found in Modules 3, 4 and 5.
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Water in the city
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle
As demonstrated in Figure 1, elements of the urban water cycle are inextricably linked: good
as well as poor management of one element can infuence the successful management of
another. The conventional approach of managing individual elements of the system will
often result in unintended impacts elsewhere in the cycle.
When ignored, the linkages between the different elements of the urban water cycle can
cause negative impacts. However, these linkages can also be exploited to provide positive
effects. Integrated planning ensures that interventions are designed to maximise multiple
benefts in different parts of the cycle while minimising negative impacts in others. Some
examples of both positive and negative impacts that are the result of the multiple linkages
in the water cycle are shown in Figure 3.
O
Positive impact, e.g. through
control of stormwater difuse
pollution
–> Reduced cost of wastewater
treatment in combined sewer systems
Negative impact, e.g.
through expansion of
combined sewer system
–> More regular combined sewer
overfows
Positive impact, e.g. through
greywater reuse
–> Alternative source of water supply and
reduced volume of wastewater generated
Negative impact, e.g. through
the discharge of poorly treated
wastewater efuent
–> Contamination of local water supply
sources
Positive impact, e.g. through
rainwater harvesting
–> Reduced stormwater runoff and
alternative source of water supply
Negative impact, e.g.
through the construction of
concrete drainage channels
–> Reduced aquifer recharge
The Urban
Water Cycle
Stormwater
Wastewater
Water supply
figure 3: Selected impacts between the diferent components of the urban water cycle
15
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
The linkages within the water cycle are numerous, which makes integrated planning a
complex business. Modelling tools exist to assist the process and can help planners
predict the impacts of possible interventions throughout the system. It should however
be noted that the complexity is not only derived from the linkages between components
of physical infrastructure but also from the institutional set-up where an entirely different
set of challenges need to be overcome to improve integration.
For more information on
decision support tools see
Module 6
For more information on
overcoming institutional
constraints see Module 2
Total water cycle management in the City of Melbourne, Australia
In response to prolonged
drought, a growing population
and increased pollution in the
local waterways, the City of
Melbourne has committed itself
to what it refers to as ‘total water
cycle management’. Based on
an integrated management
approach, the local council
has developed water sensitive
policies and guidelines that
consider all components of the
urban water cycle, including
water consumption, stormwater,
wastewater and the natural water
environment.
Within this framework, ambitious water saving, wastewater reduction and stormwater quality
targets have been set with the overall aims of reducing the reliance on vulnerable water
supplies, improving the health of the local waterways and preparing the city for the impacts
of climate change. Led by the city council, the ‘city as a catchment’ approach involves a
range of stakeholders including the local water services operators, the commercial sector
and the general public.
For further information on the Melbourne approach to urban water management
see the Melbourne Case Study and:
http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Environment/WhatCouncilisDoing/Pages/CityCatchment.aspx
Water Sensitive Urban Design in Melbourne, Australia
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
e
l
b
o
u
r
n
e

W
a
t
e
r
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.2 Linkages between the water cycle and other urban
management sectors
The urban water cycle is directly and indirectly linked with a range of other urban sectors,
such as housing, energy and transport. An integrated approach to urban water management
therefore requires coordination and cooperation between the different departments or
other stakeholders responsible for managing these. In reality, however, such linkages are
often neglected when decisions for the different sectors are being taken.
New housing developments, for example, may be planned with limited input from water
utilities and drainage departments. But, once constructed, they are likely to have a large
impact on the work of a city’s water managers. The development of new water resources
may be necessary to supply the increased demand and there will almost certainly be
implications for wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure. In addition, the
volume of rainfall runoff generated by the increased area of impermeable surfaces will
have to be managed to prevent local and downstream fooding.
By applying an integrated approach, the relevant departments and stakeholders cooperate
to proactively address such knock-on effects. Rather than resulting in costly remedies in
the urban water system at a later date, unwanted impacts can be prevented through
multi-sectoral integration at the planning stage. This allows at little or no extra cost, the
incorporation of certain solutions into the design of urban development. In the case of
new housing developments, water effcient fttings and rainwater harvesting systems to
reduce water consumption can be installed along with various sustainable urban drainage
systems included as part of the landscaping such as porous paving, swales and retention
ponds.
With integrated planning, synergies and conficts between different elements of urban
management can be systematically identifed and addressed, thereby making the most
of available resources.
Figure 4 shows some of the linkages between the urban water cycle and selected urban
management sectors.
I
m
a
g
e
:

i
S
t
o
c
k
/
s
t
e
v
e
g
e
e
r
17
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
figure 4: examples of how the urban water cycle is linked to other urban management sectors

= impact of urban management sector on water cycle

= impact of water cycle on urban management sector
The Urban
Water Cycle
Land-use planning:

Changes in land use alter the local
hydrology

Water scarcity and food risk
restrict land development
Urban agriculture:

Runoff containing fertiliser and
pesticides can pollute local water
bodies

Water scarcity restricts productivity
in urban farms
Energy:

Water treatment and distribution
requires a reliable supply of energy

Water resources are used for
energy generation
Waste:

Pollution of water resources and
blocking of drainage channels

Flooding of waste collection sites
Health:

Watercourse pollution caused by
pharmaceutical waste

Waterborne and parasitic diseases
caused by contaminated and
stagnant water
Housing:

Additional water supplies and water
and wastewater infrastructure
required

Flooding of property
Transport:

Increased surface runoff and
diffuse pollution from roads

Damage to transport infrastructure
caused by foods
Parks and recreation:

Increased water use for irrigation

Flooding and drought damages
plants and playing felds
Economic development:

Increased water demand and risk of
pollution from wastewater
discharges

Water scarcity can restrict
economic productivity
Integrated urban planning in Hammarby Sjöstad
The eco-district of Hammarby Sjöstad in the City of Stockholm, Sweden, is an
early example of an integrated approach to urban planning and development.
Constructed on a former brownfeld site, Hammarby Sjöstad utilises the
synergies and linkages between different urban sectors such as energy, waste
and water to create a more sustainable urban environment. The production
of district heating from industrial waste, the digestion of sewage sludge to
create biogas and the recycling of wastewater for cooling are just some of the
examples of the district’s holistic environmental vision in which the waste
from one system becomes the resource for another.
For further information on the ‘Hammarby Model’ see the
Hammarby Sjöstad Case Study and:
http://www.hammarbysjostad.se/
Hammarby Sjöstad
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
a
l
e
n
a

K

a
r
l
s
s
o
n
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.3 Water and quality of life
IUWM also has the great potential to improve a city’s standard of living at a much
broader scale. The quality of urban life depends on a large variety of social, economic and
environmental factors. This is recognised by many cities and, increasingly, quality of life
indicators are being monitored and evaluated in order to gauge progress in sustainable
urban development.
Such monitoring activities will often directly cover water to some extent, particularly with
regard to access to adequate water supply and sanitation services. However, water tends
to be just one aspect, no more signifcant than the many others listed in relation to
health, safety, employment opportunities, average income, etc. Only when the indirect
relationships between water and a city’s well being are examined more closely does it
becomes obvious just how important good water management is to the standard of
urban life.
Some relevant examples of typical aspects of quality of life and how these are related to
water are shown in Table 2.
Quality of life aspects Relationship to water
Social equity
Universal access to adequate water and wastewater services and their benefts are key
aspects of social equity.
Human health
Water resources and services are closely linked to human health both directly, such as the
case of waterborne and parasitic diseases, and indirectly, for example through the role of
water in reducing the urban heat island effect.
green space and urban
biodiversity
Water is required for the creation and management of green urban areas and natural
ecosystems either through artifcial irrigation or the preservation of a healthy aquatic
environment.
Safety
Extreme precipitation events are a threat to urban inhabitants and property. Managing
food risk protects both citizens as well as economic activities.
good urban design
Water is often associated with an aesthetically pleasing built environment through the
inclusion of water features such as fountains, ponds and canals.
Table 2: The relationship between water and quality of life in a city
19
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Further information on water
management in Rotterdam can
be found at:
http://www.
rotterdamclimateinitiative.nl
The New Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant that
supplies potable water to Windhoek, Namibia
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
e
r
l
i
n
w
a
s
s
e
r
Windhoek, Namibia
Windhoek is the capital city
of Namibia and home to a
population of 250,000. Due to a
lack of permanent natural water
bodies and rapid urbanisation,
securing water supply for the city
is a considerable challenge. In
response the city has introduced
a comprehensive water demand
management programme which
features a number of physical and
non-physical measures to secure
long-term water supply without
restricting social and economic
development in the city.
Policy and legislative measures to reduce water consumption and encourage water recycling
have been combined with investments in water effcient technologies aimed at increasing water
effciency and reducing non-revenue water. Consequently the city has succeeded in reducing
water consumption by 15%, maintains leakage from the distribution network at less than 10%
and satisfes a quarter of its water demand through reclaimed wastewater. The urban water cycle
in Windhoek is now almost completely closed and security of supply to users is no longer under
threat.
Source: ‘Water Management in Windhoek, namibia’, Water Science & Technology Vol 55 no 1–2 pp 441–448,
J. lahnsteiner and g. lempert, 2007, IWa Publishing
In some cities where 'too much' or 'too little' water has become an obvious constraint
on the quality of life, signifcant investments were needed to address the problem.
Local governments increasingly recognise that they cannot afford to neglect the state of
their water resources if they want to maintain or improve the standard of living for their
citizens. Windhoek, Namibia (see box example below), and Rotterdam, the Netherlands,
are two examples where local governments have acted to overcome the constraints of
water scarcity and fooding respectively.
The expected impacts of climate change should be suffcient to persuade cities to make
the management of their water a priority. Whereas a conventional approach to urban
water management will struggle to maintain and enhance living standards in many cities
for the reasons outlined in Section 3, IUWM offers cities a pathway to seriously address
current problems and reduce the risk of future threats.
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The overall direction:
Sustainable water management
The ultimate goal of a more integrated approach to urban water management is to make
local development more sustainable.
In 1983, the World Commission on the Environment and Development coined the famous
defnition of sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” If water
management is to contribute to sustainability, these two time perspectives will therefore
always have to be kept in mind: the present and the future.
Sustainability is defned through three major dimensions: a social, an economic and
an environmental one. Combined with the above, sustainable water management may
in brief be defned as water management that meets current social, economic and
environmental needs while creating conditions that allow these needs to also be met in
the future. As well as avoiding the externalisation of negative impacts ‘in time’, seen from
a city perspective this also includes the consideration of the impacts that local actions
may have ‘in space’, that is in neighbouring and more distant regions.
O
figure 5: dimensions of sustainable urban water management
Sustainable
urban water
management
Society
Water management
contributes to the quality
of life of all citizens
Space
Management decisions
and actions are taken with
consideration for upstream
and downstream impacts
Time
Management decisions
and actions are taken with
consideration for long-
term impacts
Economy
Operation and
maintenance of water
services are cost-effcient
Environment
The ecological balance
of natural water systems
is maintained by not
abstracting more than
can be replenished and
pollution and erosion are
prevented
21
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Applying the sustainability dimensions to the different elements of the urban water system
can help refect on the sustainability of water resources management and planning. Table
3 shows how the dimensions of sustainability can be refected in overall aims for water
sustainability in a city.
To varying degrees most cities will already be making good progress towards some of the
aspects of the sustainability aims described above. However, many would acknowledge
that they still have plenty of work to do. Whilst providing all citizens with adequate water
and sanitation is clearly achievable, other aspects of the principles, such as operating water
and wastewater services at the lowest possible cost, establishing a natural water balance
in an urban environment and eliminating food risk are all challenges that are unlikely to
ever be entirely achieved. Improvements that increase sustainability will therefore always
be identifed even in cities considered to be world leaders in water management.
Even if a city can confdently state that it has already achieved the one or other aim
described above, striving for sustainability remains an ongoing challenge. Water
management is subject to ever-changing infuences, which implies that adjustments
are regularly needed and occasionally more drastic reforms. Continued technological
development and research results also present opportunities to further improve services
and operation effciency on a regular basis.
A world leader in sustainable water management policies and practices today could well
be lagging behind a few years from now. Working towards sustainability must be regarded
as an evolving process with a fnal goal that can never be reached.
Table 3: Sustainability and the urban water system
Urban water system elements Sustainability aims
Water supply
To provide a safe and reliable supply of water in the long-term to all citizens in
suffcient quantities, at the lowest possible cost and using the least possible non-
renewable energy, without abstracting water from the environment that cannot be
naturally replenished under varying climatic conditions.
Wastewater management
To provide all citizens with adequate sanitation in the long-term, at the lowest possible
cost and using the least possible non-renewable energy, whilst minimising the risk
to human health and maintaining the net waste output from the city to below the
carrying capacity of the receiving environment.
Stormwater management
To reduce the risk of fooding for all stakeholders to acceptable levels, even under
future climate change scenarios, whilst maintaining a balanced natural water cycle and
healthy aquatic environment.
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Putting IUWM into practice
Moving towards IUWM is not about a solitary activity or process that single-handedly
results in more sustainable water management. Changes will be necessary at multiple
levels: within governance structures, in a city’s planning policy, in the attitudes of those
who are using or are in charge of managing the urban water resources, etc. Such changes
may result incrementally over time through the gradual efforts of key stakeholders.
Or, where resources allow, they can be steered by the city more pro-actively through a
comprehensive effort to create a shift towards greater integration.
To this end, the city may decide to embark upon a number of processes and arrangements
simultaneously that will mutually enforce each other and accelerate such a shift. Some of
these are shown in Figure 6.
The remainder of this module focuses on one of these aspects, namely the strategic
planning process. It should be noted, however, that this process needs to be implemented
with attention to the other aspects shown in Figure 5. In particular, stakeholder
involvement as discussed in Module 2 is closely linked to most of the phases of the
strategic planning process.
O
figure 6: Ways and means of moving towards IUWM
Strategic planning
A structured framework for the
development and implementation of a
long-term strategy for IUWM. See Section
7 of this module for details.
Research and demonstration
The examination and demonstration of
innovative solutions that provide more
sustainable alternatives to conventional
technologies. See Modules 3 to 5 for details.
Multi-stakeholder involvement
The collaboration with all relevant
stakeholders to overcome institutional
fragmentation. See Module 2 for details.
Transitioning
A structured investigation into the local
applicability of innovative approaches and
opportunities for widespread uptake. See the
SWITCH Transitioning Manual for further
information (Jefferies , Duffy 2011)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Integrated decision-making
The use of integrated decision support
tools to analyse the overall impact that
selected solutions and interventions
could have on the urban water cycle. See
Module 6 for details.
IUWM
23
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
The strategic planning
process for IUWM
7.1 An overview
The strategic planning process for IUWM is a planning process with a long-term strategy
at its core. IUWM can be applied in many different ways. It must not, however, be
misunderstood as a limited set of actions. It is rather a commitment to a continuous,
regularly evaluated procedure with ongoing choices designed to cope with changing
circumstances.
The methodology of a strategic planning process provides the framework that facilitates
the shift to more integrated policies, governance structures, practices and choice of
technology for more sustainable water management. If developed on the basis of a
formal decision by the local government or another relevant public authority, it provides
the backing and legitimacy for all organisations involved to take the required water sector
reforms forward.
The process consists of the development and implementation of a fexible strategy that
holistically considers all areas of the urban water cycle as well as its linkages to other urban
management sectors. It facilitates the optimisation of the entire urban water system and
the selection of solutions that are more likely to succeed under the different scenarios of
an increasingly uncertain future.
A strategic planning process consists of a number of phases, the outcomes from which
are reviewed on a regular basis. Figure 7 provides a model of these phases.
O
figure 7: The strategic planning process for IUWM
Measuring and assessing the outcomes
of implementation to make sure that the
intended results are being achieved and to
change the course of action if needed.
Collection and analysis
of information on water
uses, users, issues and
outside infuences.
development of a long-term vision for the city’s water system
and the objectives and targets necessary for achieving it.
Indicators need to accompany the objectives to allow
successes and failures to be evaluated.
The defnition and implementation of
actions that put the strategy into practice
within a timeframe and the availability of
fnancial and other resources.
The development of a strategy
that will meet the objectives and
achieve the vision under a range of
future scenarios.
Monitoring &
evaluation
Baseline
assessment
Development of
an action plan &
implementation
Visioning,
objectives, targets
& indicators
Scenario building
& strategy
development
24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The process in Figure 7 is shown as a logical sequence of steps although in reality there is
a great deal of reiteration and revisiting of the different phases. The order of different tasks
can also vary. However, what is consistent in the strategic planning process is the need
for the continuous review of the results against a set of indicators designed to measure
progress. The ability to react to unplanned circumstances is the key to its success.
The phases of the strategic planning process will have to be adjusted to the local situation
for which it is intended. No city will be starting from scratch and the process will have to
be aligned with existing strategic planning initiatives in the city.
The strategy is the central milestone of the IUWM strategic planning process. If developed
and accepted by all stakeholders, and approved by the city council (or other relevant
political body), the strategy becomes the guiding framework for all actors in their joint
efforts to improve water management. Furthermore, it can also give direction to urban
planning as a whole by informing the priorities and plans of other departments or sectors.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
The strategic planning process
for IUWM is discussed in the
paper 'SWITCH approach
to strategic planning for
Integrated Urban water
Management (IUWM)' (van
der Steen 2008) .
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
A summary of the proccess is
also provided in the SWITCH
Policy Briefng Note 2 (Fisher
2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
25
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.2 Stakeholder involvement
Managing the urban water cycle in a holistic manner is not possible without engaging
all those who are either using the water or who are responsible for taking care of its
individual elements via policy-making, legislation, regulation, construction, abstraction,
water treatment, etc. The bigger the city, the wider the array of institutions, interest
groups, user associations and similar that are in one way or another linked to the urban
water cycle. No key stakeholder should be left out and this collaboration needs to be
planned carefully if a more integrated approach is to truly succeed.
This should not be confused with the organisation of one or two meetings where
information is distributed and feedback collected. Stakeholder involvement is more than
that. It aims at fnding a joint understanding by all relevant actors working on urban
water issues to pull in the same direction in line with common principles. To this end, the
concerns of all stakeholders need to be addressed and the available capacities, expertise
and resources they possess should be utilised when searching for the best solutions for
the different issues at hand.
In order to make integration a reality, stakeholders play a varying, but continuous role
throughout the strategic planning process. Early involvement is advisable to gain and
strengthen their ownership and thus their motivation right from the beginning.
It should be noted that the stakeholder process does not replace, but rather complements
the governance of the urban water system. The actual power of decision-making – and
thus the accountability – for performing good water services still lies with the public and
private entities that have an offcial mandate for managing water. An effective stakeholder
process, however, will ensure that key decisions are taken in consensus with all key actors
and that these in turn develop a sense of responsibility and willingness to support the
offcial entities within the limitations of their own capacities.
As mentioned above, stakeholder involvement needs to be carefully planned and
budgeted. A dedicated unit within the local government or an equivalent institution is
necessary to coordinate all activities and act as a communication node. Professional
support might further be sought for certain tasks such as the facilitation of meetings.
The same might hold true for the application of the latest communication technologies
to create a platform of exchange for the complex web of information and knowledge that
is nurtured through all activities.
Guidance on how to involve stakeholders can be found in Module 2 of the SWITCH
Training Kit.
For more information on
stakeholder involvement
see Module 2
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.3 Internal coordination in administration
The strategic planning process for IUWM requires the participation and cooperation of
various departments and institutions that may not be accustomed to working together.
Under a conventional approach, managers in charge of stormwater drainage, for example,
will not necessarily consult the water supply or environmental departments when planning
interventions – and vice versa.
Even where communication and cooperation between departments is established and
effective, it is still rare to fnd water managers with an overview of water management in
the city as a whole. As a result there is no-one with the ability to make decisions based
on what is best for the entire system, rather than what is best for individual elements.
The establishment of a coordination unit can overcome this constraint by achieving
a ‘helicopter view’ over the entire urban water system. In this way, the evaluation of
proposed options can be based on the interest of the system as a whole, and negative
side effects can be kept to a minimum.
Different options may be considered on how to position the coordination unit within
given administrative structures. These include:
• A separate, higher level offce that oversees all relevant departments and
institutions.
• A unit within or associated with an existing department or institution.
Local governments, or equivalent institutions, are in a good position to host the
coordination unit due to their broader responsibility for local development as a whole.
This does not imply, however, that the local government bears the responsibility of all
areas of the planning process. Rather, it would be expected to set up sub-groups or task
forces that involve the delegation of specifc responsibilities to members from outside
the administration.
The coordination unit can also play a role in collaborating with relevant players beyond
the local boundaries. IUWM purposefully centres on the city boundaries as the planning
arena over which the local government has control. This does not mean that IUWM is in
confict with the efforts for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) which uses
the larger scale and natural hydrological boundaries of the catchment or river basin. On
the contrary, IUWM can complement IWRM by embedding the city plans and activities
into the ongoing processes and policies at the river basin level. This also helps fulfl the
local aspirations of water management to avoid negative impacts up- or downstream.
27
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.4 The role of local politics
IUWM can only be achieved if management units are working in coordination with
the politicians who are directing local development and allocating the accompanying
fnances and other resources. A formal endorsement by the city council, or equivalent, to
gain high level support for the strategic planning process is therefore essential to put the
transformation in motion.
In addition, strong political backing is necessary:
• To gain legitimacy for the IUWM approach and the strategic planning process;
• To gain credibility vis-à-vis the stakeholders;
• To formalise the process of involving the stakeholders and get the outputs and results
of their collaboration offcially acknowledged;
• To initiate and realise the necessary institutional reforms; and
• To maintain the motivation of all people involved despite setbacks.
Local political priorities and provision of funding can change quickly. Local elections
and changes to political leadership can hamper the support for the strategic planning
process. It is therefore necessary to build close relations to politicians from all parties,
make them aware about the economic, social and environmental benefts to be gained
through IUWM and keep them posted about all key developments. This can strengthen
cross-party approval and increases the chance of creating long-term policies that continue
to support IUWM beyond the next election.
At the same time, however, as well as strengthening the coordination mechanisms
between different water organisations, integration also needs to be mainstreamed
within their internal structures. Making integration a part of their working culture and
institutionalising the forms of communication and collaboration can strengthen a certain
independence from the vagaries of local politics.
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
t
o
c
k
.
x
c
h
n
g
28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.5 Phases of strategic planning
7.5.1 Baseline assessment
A baseline assessment is an initial collection and analysis of information to gain up-
to-date knowledge on water issues, the urban water system, main actors and legal and
institutional frameworks relevant for water management.
Purpose
Before entering into a process of change, a city needs to know its starting point. The
baseline assessment provides an overview of the current water management situation,
identifes key issues and collects the information that is necessary to carry out the
subsequent phases of the strategic planning process.
responsibility
The data required for a baseline assessment is likely to be dispersed over many institutions.
Support will be needed from authorised sources in a number of different local government
departments, institutions and water utilities. Some of these may be over-protective of
‘their data’ and restrict access to it. In such cases wide-spread awareness of the need for
integration and its benefts and the existence of joint ownership of the strategic planning
process can help to encourage cooperation. Otherwise reference will have to be made to
the political decision that is behind the initiative and higher-level interventions might be
necessary to get hold of the requested information.
The baseline assessment will also require the assistance of specialists with a good
understanding of the different elements of the urban water cycle as well as those
experienced in data management. This is often obtainable locally through universities or
consultants. Input from regular water users may also be sought, for example through the
completion of surveys and audits.
In practice
A baseline assessment looks at a wide range of information associated with the water cycle.
Both quantitative and qualitative data are collected that generate social, environmental,
economic and technical knowledge. Examples include data on:
• Local water resources: Where do water resources for the city come from and in which
quantity and quality?
• Water infrastructure: What are the main elements of the infrastructure and in what
condition is it?
• Local water use and demand trends: What is the balance between supply and demand
and what are the characteristics and dominant components of water consumption?
• Relevant legislation and policies: What water legislation, for example water acts and
national standards, does the local government have to comply with and what are the
policies to which it has committed itself?
• Water management institutions and activities: What are the key institutions that
manage water in the city and what exactly is their role?
• Water users: Who are the different water consumers and other interest groups that
have a stake in the management of the city’s water?
More information on carrying
out a baseline assessment can
be found in the book ‘SWITCH
in the City: Putting urban
water management to the test’
(Butterworth et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
29
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Before starting to collect information, it is useful to agree on the type and scope of
information required as well as a list of institutions and organisations from where it will
be obtained. There is likely to be a lot of data attainable and this creates a risk that it is
collected randomly and in quantities that make it unmanageable.
The data collected during the baseline assessment is indispensable for the following
phases of the strategic planning process. As mentioned above, this should also include the
identifcation of stakeholders in water management which is addressed comprehensively
in Module 2. Once the stakeholders are on board, they can also provide important inputs
to the compilation of information.
Find out more about collecting
information on different
stakeholders in Module 2
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.5.2 Creating a vision
A vision is a concise description of a desired future state, containing the broad goals that
give the overall direction for the strategic planning process.
Purpose
Without agreement on a common goal, different stakeholders will continue to
work according to their individual and sometimes conficting agendas. Under such
circumstances, integration – and thus more sustainable water management – is almost
impossible to achieve.
It is therefore crucial that stakeholders come together to develop and agree on a common
vision of the desired future of water in their city – typically looking 15 to 30 years ahead.
Once agreed, the vision provides the overall direction of the process against which the
success or failure of future strategies and plans can be assessed. The fnal vision is also
useful to get the attention of the media and reach out to the wider public.
Table 4: example of a vision
Vision Objectives Indicators Targets Means of
monitoring &
evaluation
Vision 2050 (extract)
…. Water resources
are protected
through the actions
of all of our citizens
enabling a healthy
environment where
aquatic landscapes
are ubiquitous and
a reliable supply of
water is available
for all without
environmental
consequences.
To change behaviour
among citizens
that has negative
impacts on water
resources.
Number of pollution
incidents caused by
public discharges to
drains.
Pollution incidents
caused by public
discharges to drains
reduced to X by year X.
Documentation
of reported
pollution incidents
and evaluation
of preventative
activities.
To restore and
revitalise the city’s
rivers and streams.
Proportion of urban
rivers and riparian
zones restored to a
near natural state.
X kilometres of the
city’s rivers and
riparian zones restored
to a near natural state
by year X.
GIS mapping of river
environments and
an assessment of the
natural ecosystems
that have been
established.
To replace
environmentally
damaging
abstractions with
alternative solutions
for satisfying local
water demand.
Groundwater levels
in environmentally
sensitive aquifer.
Groundwater levels
maintained at natural
recharge levels from
year X.
Groundwater
measurements
monitored and
evaluated in
conjunction with
rainfall rates
and abstraction
programmes.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
31
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Apart from creating the actual vision, the visioning exercise also generates additional
benefts among the stakeholders themselves such as:
• Encouraging them to look forward rather than remaining preoccupied with current
issues only;
• Encouraging discussion and mutual understanding between them in spite of their
diverse interests; and
• Fostering their ownership in the later stages of the planning and implementation
process.
responsibility
The vision will only set the strategic planning process in motion if it can rely on suffcient
political backing. Local politicians should ideally participate in the creation of the vision
or at least endorse its outcome so that it becomes part of offcial policy-making. Local
government, or the equivalent, is therefore often the ideal candidate for kicking off the
visioning exercise.
On the other hand, local government is not necessarily best placed for conducting the
visioning exercise itself. Multi-stakeholder participation is crucial for the exercise and a
professional moderator is usually needed to guide participants to the desired result, the
future vision of water in the city. A neutral person that is not associated with one of the
stakeholder organisations also helps ensure that all participants have an equal chance to
contribute and that the fnal outcome is indeed a consensus that balances the different
needs and interests of all.
In practice
Before a new vision is developed, it is necessary to take stock of potentially already existing
visions for other urban sectors, local development as a whole or even others developed
in certain areas at the national level. Making sure that the vision for water ties in with
other similar processes is an early opportunity to increase integration across sectors and
potentially also different levels of government.
Supported by the fndings from the baseline assessment, the vision itself can then be
developed through the following steps:
• Identifcation of the main water issues that the city is facing;
• Prioritisation of the identifed issues; and
• Agreement on a draft vision that refects the priority issues by turning them into a
desired state.
The format of the draft vision can vary, but it should be concise and use a style that is
accessible for all stakeholders, avoiding too much detail or technical language.
The vision is not intended to be a random ‘wish-list.’ It needs to be ambitious but also,
in principle, achievable within the chosen timeframe. The information from the baseline
assessment can help avoid unrealistic expectations.
More information on the
visioning exercise can be found
in the book ‘SWITCH in the
City: Putting urban water
management to the test’
(Butterworth et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The vision should be disseminated for wider consultation both within the city as well
as potentially also through higher levels of administration beyond the city boundaries.
Constructive comments received at this stage should be taken into account for the fnal
version.
Once the document is fnalised it needs to be presented to the city council for its formal
adoption. Without this political endorsement it will be diffcult to generate any long-
lasting commitment to the goals that it contains. Stakeholders might become frustrated
about the lack of attention to their initiative and the process as a whole immediately loses
credibility.
Alexandria vision 2037
‘A proud water city where available water resources are managed
in an integrated manner, with the participation of all citizens,
and are used effectively for development within a framework of
environmental sustainability. All citizens have access to high quality
(meeting national norms), reliable, sustainable, and affordable
water and sanitation services and beneft from a clean and healthy
environment’.
developed by the alexandria SWITCH learning alliance in July 2007
View of Alexandria
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
33
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.5.3 Setting objectives
Objectives are a more detailed and concrete breakdown of a vision into sub-goals.
Purpose
The vision is deliberately written in a clear and concise style without going into the details
of the change that is required. This detail is in the objectives. Reaching each aspect of the
vision – such as having universal access to sanitation or healthy rivers and lakes – will
potentially require the achievement of several objectives. The objectives specify what
changes in state need to be achieved for the vision to become reality.
responsibility
Drafting the objectives is best done by a small group consisting of a limited number
of individuals with a good overview of water management and urban planning as a
whole. The coordination unit should oversee the setting up of such a task force and take
responsibility for disseminating the results for consultation among stakeholders.
Table 5: examples of objectives
Vision Objectives Indicators Targets Means of
monitoring &
evaluation
Vision 2050 (extract)
…. Water resources
are protected
through the actions
of all of our citizens
enabling a healthy
environment where
aquatic landscapes
are ubiquitous and
a reliable supply of
water is available
for all without
environmental
consequences.
To change behaviour
among citizens
that has negative
impacts on water
resources.
Number of pollution
incidents caused by
public discharges to
drains.
Pollution incidents
caused by public
discharges to drains
reduced to X by year X.
Documentation
of reported
pollution incidents
and evaluation
of preventative
activities.
To restore and
revitalise the city’s
rivers and streams.
Proportion of urban
rivers and riparian
zones restored to a
near natural state.
X kilometres of the
city’s rivers and
riparian zones restored
to a near natural state
by year X.
GIS mapping of river
environments and
an assessment of the
natural ecosystems
that have been
established.
To replace
environmentally
damaging
abstractions with
alternative solutions
for satisfying local
water demand.
Groundwater levels
in environmentally
sensitive aquifer.
Groundwater levels
maintained at natural
recharge levels from
year X.
Groundwater
measurements
monitored and
evaluated in
conjunction with
rainfall rates
and abstraction
programmes.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
In practice
Objectives are developed based upon the vision and, to a lesser extent, the baseline
assessment. To make the defnition of objectives easier, the vision may be broken down
into its different elements, as shown in Table 6. This helps focus on all the areas for which
objectives need to be set. The water issues identifed during the baseline assessment also
play a part as these will be the problem areas that the objectives will have to address.
The type of objectives chosen for each vision element will vary depending on the scope
of improvement that is being sought. The list of objectives should be concise and include
only those that will directly lead to the achievement of the relevant element of the vision.
The shorter the list, the more targeted the objectives which might also help sharpen the
strategy later.
Table 6: The relationship between the vision and objectives
Vision Vision elements Objectives
Vision 2050 (extract)
…. Water resources are protected
through the actions of all of
our citizens enabling a healthy
environment where aquatic
landscapes are ubiquitous and a
reliable supply of water is available
for all without environmental
consequences.
Water resources are protected through the
actions of all citizens…
To change behaviour among citizens that
has negative impacts on water resources.
To improve the quality of stormwater
fows into water bodies.
Etc.
...where aquatic landscapes are
ubiquitous…
To restore and revitalise the city’s rivers
and streams.
To include water elements in public
spaces, such as parks and public
buildings.
Etc.
...a reliable supply of water for all
without environmental consequences.
To replace environmentally damaging
abstractions with alternative solutions for
satisfying local water demand.
To ensure a continuous water supply for
all households.
Etc.
35
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.5.4 Indicators and targets
Indicators are tools to measure and/or visualise progress towards objectives (and thus the
vision). Targets are aspired indicator values, usually expressed in specifc fgures (number
of units, percentage, costs, etc.)
Purpose
As explained in the previous chapter, objectives are a desired change of state to be
achieved over time. In order to measure this achievement, indicators have to be defned
that refect progress towards the objective. Indicators are associated with a target which
is the result to be achieved in order to meet the objective.
For example, if the objective is to use biogas generated from wastewater sludge digestion
for cooking gas, the indicator could be the number of households using biogas stoves.
The target could be a minimum of 5,000 households using biogas stoves by 2015.
The indicators and targets therefore aim to measure the results of programmes and
actions that are implemented to achieve the objectives and ultimately the vision.
Table 7: examples of indicators and targets
Vision Objectives Indicators
2
Targets Means of
monitoring &
evaluation
Vision 2050 (extract)
…. Water resources
are protected
through the actions
of all of our citizens
enabling a healthy
environment where
aquatic landscapes
are ubiquitous and
a reliable supply of
water is available
for all without
environmental
consequences.
To change behaviour
among citizens
that has negative
impacts on water
resources.
Number of pollution
incidents caused by
public discharges to
drains.
Pollution incidents
caused by public
discharges to drains
reduced to X by year X.
Documentation
of reported
pollution incidents
and evaluation
of preventative
activities.
To restore and
revitalise the city’s
rivers and streams.
Proportion of urban
rivers and riparian
zones restored to a
near natural state.
X kilometres of the
city’s rivers and
riparian zones restored
to a near natural state
by year X.
GIS mapping of river
environments and
an assessment of the
natural ecosystems
that have been
established.
To replace
environmentally
damaging
abstractions with
alternative solutions
for satisfying local
water demand.
Groundwater levels
in environmentally
sensitive aquifer.
Groundwater levels
maintained at natural
recharge levels from
year X.
Groundwater
measurements
monitored and
evaluated in
conjunction with
rainfall rates
and abstraction
programmes.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
2
The example indicators listed here are state indicators. More information on these and examples of other types of indicators is provided on pages 36-37
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
responsibility
Indicators and targets are usually developed by the various institutions with a specifc
responsibility to achieve a certain objective. The actual data collection is likely to require
the collaboration of several stakeholders such as different local government departments,
offces for statistics, national ministries and research communities. A range of specialists
may also be necessary to assist with the analysis and interpretation of data.
The overall responsibility to bring all the results together ideally lies with the coordination
unit and thus in many cases with the local government. With the formal endorsement of
the water vision, the local government has now also become accountable for achieving
the related objectives and targets.
In practice - Indicators
The selection of appropriate indicators is arguably one of the most critical phases of the
strategic planning process. Without these indicators the city has no way of systematically
determining the extent to which the implemented actions are achieving the desired results
and consequently will not know whether an adjustment of the strategy is necessary.
A simplifed view of urban water management can break the system down into three
interacting aspects; the state of the system itself, the pressures which act upon the
system, and the management responses that aim to improve the system. The relationship
between these aspects is shown in Figure 8.
Objectives typically relate to the condition of the urban water system (its state). Indicators
on the other hand can measure:
• the change to the system itself (its state);
• the change to the factors that infuence the system (the pressures);
• the implementation of actions aimed at improving the system or mitigating the
pressures (the response).
Pressure
Events and activities
that affect the state of
the urban water system
(e.g. potable water
demand).
Response
Actions implemented to infuence
the pressures on, or the state of,
the urban water system
(e.g. water effciency programmes,
groundwater recharge).
State
Current status of the
urban water system
(e.g. groundwater levels).
Infuences
the state
Infuences
the response
Infuences
the state
Infuences
the pressure
figure 8: Pressure, state and response in the urban water system
37
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
The measurement of all three aspects of the system provides the level of detail necessary
to assess overall progress. State indicators assess whether the strategic planning process
as a whole is achieving progress towards the objective (change of state), pressure
indicators assess whether implemented actions are having the desired impact on the
causes (pressures) that infuence the state, and response indicators assess to what extent
the actions (responses) are being implemented.
Some examples of state, pressure and response indicators are given in Table 8.
The selection of indicators can be a complicated task. Certain state indicators may be
obvious as they simply involve adding a measurable unit to an objective, such as the
number of households using biogas stoves. Other state indicators and, in particular,
pressure indicators are more diffcult to identify and will require a good understanding of
the cause-effect relationships in the system to ensure that the right parameters are being
measured. Response indicators are likely to be selected later in the planning process
during the creation of the strategy and the implementation programme.
Indicators are selected based on different criteria. This is mostly a combination of the
level of information they provide and the ease with which they can be measured. Key
questions to consider are:
• Is the indicator relevant for the objective?
• Can the indicator be compared with baseline data?
• Can the indicator be easily collected at an affordable cost?
• Can the indicator be easily interpreted at an affordable cost?
Assessing indicators can be a simple data reading, such as the measurement of water
quality, or a more complex operation involving the aggregation of a number of interlinked
sub-indicators. In such a case, these sub-indicators need to be weighted to refect
importance and combined to work out an overall score. For example, the aggregate
indicator of ‘sanitation behaviour among citizens’ could be disaggregated into sub-
indicators such as % of population practising open defecation, % of households using
soap for hand washing, % of population reached through awareness raising campaigns, etc.
Objective Type of indicator Example indicators
To restore natural
groundwater levels
State indicator • Groundwater levels
• Volume of groundwater abstracted
Pressure indicator • Percentage of impermeable surfaces that prevent
infltration of rainfall runoff
• Domestic per capita consumption of potable water
Response indicator • Area of impermeable surface disconnected from
combined sewer system
• Number of low fush toilets sold
Table 8: examples of state, pressure and response indicators
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Furthermore indicators play an important role in communicating progress to the public.
In this case, they need to be easily understandable. An example for such an indicator is
the number of a certain type of fsh in a local lake providing information about the quality
of the water in this lake.
In practice – Targets
Whereas the indicator is the measurement, the target is the desired result of that
measurement. Targets are set based on what is considered to be a necessary condition
for meeting the objective. It is therefore the targets that form the basis for evaluating the
achievement of objectives.
Setting targets that are too vague or lack a clear means of evaluation will inevitably
lead to disagreement over whether or not they have been met. Meanwhile, if a target
is over-ambitious, the continuous failure to meet it may lead to critical reactions (and
consequently disillusionment) despite the fact that good progress is nevertheless being
made. Finally, a target is only a target if it has a timeframe attached to it. Without this,
there can be no such thing as a failed target, defeating the purpose of setting one in the
frst place.
The targets will greatly infuence the selection of actions during the development of
implementation programmes, and it is therefore important that they are realistically
achievable.
Some examples of targets are included in Table 9.
Further information on
indicators and their use is
available in the SWITCH
manual 'Application of
sustainability indicators within
the framework of strategic
planning for Integrated Urban
Water Management' (van der
Steen 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
Objective Example indicators Associated targets
To restore natural
groundwater levels
• Volume of groundwater abstracted • Average groundwater abstraction to not
exceed X Ml/d over a period of 5 years
starting at year X
• Percentage of impermeable surfaces
that prevent infltration of rainfall runoff
• Area of permeable surface increased to
X% by year X
• Domestic per capita consumption of
potable water
• Average per capita consumption reduced
to X litres per person per day by year X
Table 9: examples of indicators and associated targets
39
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.5.5 Scenario building
A scenario is a plausible description of the way a domain or area of interest might turn out
at some specifed time in the future.
Purpose
The next phase in the strategic planning process is working out how the objectives and
the vision can be achieved. The diffculty with this is the same as for any organisation,
business or individual that wants to make plans for the future: uncertainty.
Uncertainty surrounds economic growth, fuel prices, the climate, demographics,
emerging conficts, technological innovation and many more factors. All of them can
either upset plans for the future or, on the contrary, make it easier to implement them.
This uncertainty can never be eliminated, but the identifcation of the factors most likely
to have an impact, and the estimation of how these will develop over time, can help when
developing a strategy for an uncertain future. “Scenario building is not about ‘knowing
the future’, or always being right; it is about trying to minimise the chances of being
seriously wrong” (Batchelor and Butterworth 2008).
responsibility
Researchers and specialists will be needed to support the development of scenarios,
especially when modelling programmes and similar tools are used. Informed judgements
and expert interpretation of data is necessary to extrapolate current trends and assess the
degree of probability surrounding results.
However, scenario development is not only about complex data analysis. It also involves
brainstorming about likely developments in a range of sectors and the key factors that
will impact upon them. Scenarios developed by one or two sectors in isolation may well
overlook infuencing factors from elsewhere. For example, a water supply utility may create
a future water availability scenario based on predicted changes to the local hydrology,
abstraction infrastructure, treatment capacity and licensing. However, this may ignore
developments in other sectors of the urban water system such as drainage, wastewater
and environmental management which will also have an impact. It is therefore important
that stakeholders from a wide range of departments, institutions and organisations are
involved.
Who is capable and available to take part in scenario building will vary from city to city. This
will also determine which of the many methods available are used. The way that scenario
building is described here needs to be adapted to the local situation and resources.
In practice
There are various methods of developing alternative future scenarios. On one end of
the scale there are sophisticated modelling tools that can be used to assess possible
change based on the combination of a wide range of data. At the other there are scenario
development activities that don’t rely on vast amounts of quality data but rather focus on
how stakeholders perceive the future and their infuence upon it. Ideally scenarios should
be developed using a combination of different information, views and opinions.
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
For example, developing a scenario for the likelihood of changes to future water demand
could include factors such as:
• Projected population growth
• Changing rainfall patterns
• Future industrial productivity
• Predicted changes to individual daily water use
• Possible changes in legislation
• Anticipated technological advancement
• Etc.
Obtaining and analysing information on each of the above factors will require a range of
sources and methods. Some information, such as national economic growth forecasts, will
be obtained from external sources. Others, such as planned water pricing mechanisms,
will be dependent on local information. Methods of analysis may include modelling the
impacts of technological interventions, or assessing national strategies to control rapid
urbanisation.
All information from different sources must then be combined to generate a scenario
that is the most plausible based on the information available. As uncertainty can never be
eliminated, a range of scenarios may be developed, all of which could conceivably occur.
Table 10 demonstrates a simplifed version of this for the example used above: changes
to future water demand.
When fnalised, the scenarios will be vital for the development of a strategy designed to
achieve the vision.
Scenario Outcome Assumptions
Scenario 1
Demand stays the same Population growth is gentle and the resulting demands are offset by
investments in leakage reduction and water effciency measures. Changes
to legislation allow increased use of new water recycling technologies for
non-potable use. Industrial demand remains unchanged.
Scenario 2
Demand increases by 15% Economic growth in the city increases demand as industrial output grows
and increased affuence leads to more water intensive lifestyles. However,
increased revenue for water services allows leakage reduction schemes to
be implemented.
Scenario 3
Demand increases by 30% Population grows rapidly with proportional impact on demand. The
economy stagnates and more and more residents are unable to pay
their water bills. The reduced revenue delays improvements to aging
infrastructure and leakage increases.
Table 10: Potential scenarios for future urban water demand
See the book ‘SWITCH in the
City: Putting urban water
management to the test’
(Butterworth et al 2011) for
more information on scenario
building in practice.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
41
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.5.6 Strategy development
A strategy is a medium-term framework for planning that directs the choices between
different options in relation to the resources at hand.
Purpose
Once a vision is in place, objectives have been specifed and future scenarios have been
explored, a city is ready to work out a strategy. The aim of the strategy is to defne the main
avenues through which the city will, under a range of scenarios, achieve the identifed
objectives.
responsibility
The development of the strategy is made easier if the coordination unit establishes
a working group or task force that is responsible for drawing up the initial draft. This
group should be made up of senior staff from relevant local government departments,
water utilities and representatives of other key stakeholders. Following completion, the
draft strategy should be made available for consultation with a wider audience including
stakeholders that have already been involved in the strategic planning process.
In practice
The strategy provides the basis for planning future actions intended to reach the objectives
and vision under different future scenarios. The strategy charts the direction needed to
reach the vision. It is a conscious choice between different options. Although a strategy
document could consist of a lot of detailed explanatory information justifying its choice,
the strategy itself can often be spelt out in a simple paragraph, or even a sentence. For
example, if the overall goal or vision is securing future water supply for all, the strategy
could be:
Prioritise water demand management and reuse options over the further development of
water supply sources.
If a vision contains a number of different aspects, a strategy might be broken down
into strategic areas or directions to match the objectives of these different aspects.
The strategic directions will need to have the fexibility to meet the objectives under the
possible future scenarios identifed previously, as well as being feasible to implement.
Table 11 provides a simplifed example of how strategic directions are related to the vision,
objectives and scenarios.
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Vision: …. Water resources are protected through the actions of all of our citizens enabling a
healthy environment where aquatic landscapes are ubiquitous and a reliable supply of water is
available for all without environmental consequences
Vision
elements
objectives Strategic
directions
based on the following scenarios
Water resources are
protected through
the actions of all
citizens…
To improve
the quality of
stormwater fows
into water bodies.
enforced
regulation of
quality standards
of runof and
wastewater
discharges whilst
raising awareness
of good practice
• Population growth of 5-15%
• Water availability decreases by up to 10% in dry years
• New national water quality legislation is passed
• Urban green spaces and recreational
opportunities increase adjacent land prices
To change
behaviour among
citizens that
has negative
impacts on water
resources.
...where aquatic
landscapes are
ubiquitous…
To include water
elements in public
spaces, such as
parks and public
buildings.
reverse policy of
channelling and
burying urban
rivers and streams
To restore and
revitalise the city’s
rivers and streams.
...a reliable
supply of water
for all without
environmental
consequences.
To ensure a
continuous water
supply for all
households.
Prioritise
water demand
management and
reuse options
over the further
development
of water supply
sources
To replace
environmentally
damaging
abstractions
with alternative
solutions for
satisfying local
water demand.
Table 11: examples of strategic directions and their relationship to the vision, objectives and potential
future scenarios
43
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Strategy formulation is not the same as planning. The examples above do not say what
actions will be carried out to implement the strategic directions. These come later during
the development of implementation programmes.
A key requirement of the strategy is fexibility. A strategy needs to be adaptable to a range
of future uncertainties associated with the climate, the economy, demographics, fuel
availability, consumption patterns, etc. If it relies too heavily on a single assumption, such
as the continued availability of unlimited groundwater, it runs the risk of failure when such
an assumption is proven to be false. A robust strategy needs to include a mix of solutions
that will achieve its objectives under a wide range of conditions.
In addition, the strategy, or strategic directions, need/s to be formulated based on
questions such as:
• Is the strategy broad enough to cover all relevant objectives?
• Is the strategy in line with, and can it be incorporated into, existing strategies and
plans developed by the city as a whole (for example an overall municipal development
plan), or by relevant departments (for example environmental, transport and housing
plans)?
• Is there a possible scenario under which the strategy could not be implemented?
• Is it feasible to implement the strategy using the available natural, fnancial and
human resources?
These questions are diffcult to answer and the development of the strategy will require a
thorough review process. Each aspect will need to be closely assessed to ensure that the
strategy chosen is the most appropriate.
Formulating the strategy is a key milestone in the strategic planning process. It is also the
frst opportunity to present a tangible output that maps out how the city intends to move
towards the vision.
Political endorsement is key to turn the strategy from paper into action. Without political
commitment, there is a great risk that the strategy will remain a good intention that never
comes to fruition.
The process for developing a
strategic plan for the SWITCH
city of Accra, Ghana, is
presented in the document
'Towards Integrated Urban
Water Management in the
Greater Accra Metropolitan
Area - Current status and
strategic direction for the
future' (Adank et al 2011)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.5.7 Development of an action plan
The development of an action plan is the compilation of programmes, projects and other
measures that match the selected strategy and are designed to achieve the objectives and
targets within a defned time and budget frame.
Purpose
The aim of the action plan is to devise the different departmental implementation
programmes necessary to convert the strategy into tangible results and turn the targets,
objectives and vision into reality. Selected implementation programmes should include
the details of the different projects and measures, as well as the relevant departmental
plans into which they will be embedded. The development of an action plan should also
include the prioritisation and scheduling of the identifed actions, their estimated costs
and the sources through which they will be funded.
responsibility
Again, local government is well placed to act as the overall coordinator of the development
of the action plan. If the strategy has been granted political endorsement, local government
will be accountable for its implementation and will therefore have an interest in coming
up with an effective programme.
An action plan is compiled by gathering the various projects and measures proposed
by different departments or, where relevant, other institutions. It will most likely be the
coordination unit that brings all the ideas for action together.
In practice
The strategy has set out the basis for which programmes and actions need to be selected
that will achieve the objectives. For example, if the strategy is to make use of natural
systems for water and wastewater treatment, actions to be implemented could be
investments in riverbank fltration through the water treatment sector, aquifer recharge
schemes through wastewater management, or the construction of wetlands through the
environmental department.
An action plan can be developed through a step-by-step approach such as the following:
• Converting the strategic directions into a set of actions that will achieve the
objectives;
• Optimisation and selection of actions for implementation within the programme;
• Setting a time frame for implementation with some actions being identifed for earlier
or later implementation depending on priorities;
• Planning realistic long-term fnancing for each action;
• Bringing together all actions and ensuring that all actions are coherent and in line
with the direction of the strategy; and
• Defnition of the roles and responsibilities of different departments and institutions
for each element of the action plan.
45
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
A review of each element of the action plan individually and of all actions in combination
is essential. Cost effectiveness, score against indicators and the impacts elsewhere in the
water cycle must all be considered when the actions are being selected.
Transition management
Step changes in urban water systems through experimentation
and learning in niches
Increasing integration in the urban
water system is a never ending
task. The linkages between the
different elements are manifold,
complex, overlapping and shifting
under varying conditions – the
‘sustainable’ system is, for all
intents and purposes, virtually
impossible.
With dedication and commitment,
incremental progress in certain
elements of the water system
can still be achieved. However, a
more fundamental shift towards
more future-oriented water
management remains a major challenge. Most stakeholders have to concentrate on their day-to-
day responsibilities and the current situation consumes all their resources, be they time, money
or professional expertise.
Transition management is an attempt to close this gap between the present and the future.
Transition management means to create a ‘‘protected space’ (Loorbach 2007) – a so-called
transition arena – where alternative visions, agendas and actions can be developed. The focus is
here on experimentation and demonstration, constant refection and learning around promising
solutions with a particular interest in barriers and failures. A group of stakeholders, carefully
selected for their expertise, their visionary attitude and their readiness to think ‘outside the box’,
is guided through a defned process from problem identifcation to the evaluation of results from
unconventional demonstration projects. By sharing the results from the transition arena activities
with mainstream urban water managers, it is hoped that innovation – which would otherwise be
slow and incremental – can take off more rapidly.
Adopting such an approach to instigating transition – defned as ‘a radical switch from
conventional socio-technical systems to next generation urban water systems’ (Jefferies, Duffy
2010) – will usually require an iterative learning process through several rounds of trial and error.
Transition experiments imply uncertainty of outcomes, thus taking risks. Not every city will be
able to afford such ‘innovation engines’ and the activities to stimulate the necessary step changes
in water management are therefore often initiated and fnanced by national government and part
of a broader framework of research programmes.
For a comprehensive guide to transitioning management see
the 'SWITCH Transitioning Manual' (Jefferies, Duffy 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.5.8 Implementation
Implementation is the carrying out of planned actions.
Purpose
The implementation phase ensures that the programmes of the action plan are
mainstreamed into the work of different departments. It is where the strategic planning
process goes from discussion and documentation to the achievement of tangible change
and physical progress towards the vision.
responsibility
Implementation will need the cooperation of a range of local government departments,
institutions and organisations, although the actual implementation activities may be
undertaken by private contractors. All stakeholders are likely to be involved to some
degree due to the integrated nature of the implementation programme.
The coordination unit should have a facilitation role to ensure that deadlines are being
met, the quality of results is satisfactory, budgets are being correctly managed and up-to-
date information is distributed to stakeholders.
In practice
Implementation requires considerable preparation and a continuous management of
budgets, staff, and timelines. Work plans should be developed with the programme
broken down into smaller units. Responsibilities need to be clearly allocated and the
necessary equipment and materials made available.
Problems will certainly be encountered during the implementation phase. It is important
that a performance monitoring process is in place prior to work commencing to ensure
that issues with budgets, staff, deadlines and direction are identifed as soon as they arise.
These can then be managed without signifcant disruption to progress and results.
Successful implementation is dependent on a wide range of fnancial, logistical, political
and social factors, many of which are specifc to the local context. These are not dealt with
within this Module other than to note that they need to be given due consideration when
embarking on the implementation of the action plan.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
47
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.5.9 Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring is the measurement of indicator values against targets. Evaluation is the
analysis of monitoring results.
Purpose
Monitoring and evaluation are necessary to assess the results of the implementation
programmes. They are important for identifying progress, but also shortcomings in the
process. Deciding upon a revised course of action might be necessary if programmes are
not achieving the intended aims.
Monitoring and evaluation make use of the indicators and associated targets identifed
earlier in the planning process (see Section 7.5.4). The activities and initiatives included in
the action plan have been chosen with the aim of meeting these targets and, consequently,
the objectives. A detailed monitoring and evaluation programme is therefore essential for
determining whether the strategic planning process as a whole is making progress and to
fag up when this is not the case, thereby preventing the wasteful use of resources.
Vision Objectives Indicators Targets Means of
monitoring &
evaluation
Vision 2050 (extract)
…. Water resources
are protected
through the actions
of all of our citizens
enabling a healthy
environment where
aquatic landscapes
are ubiquitous and
a reliable supply of
water is available
for all without
environmental
consequences.
To change behaviour
among citizens
that has negative
impacts on water
resources.
Number of pollution
incidents caused by
public discharges to
drains.
Pollution incidents
caused by public
discharges to drains
reduced to X by year X.
Documentation
of reported
pollution incidents
and evaluation
of preventative
activities.
To restore and
revitalise the city’s
rivers and streams.
Proportion of urban
rivers and riparian
zones restored to a
near natural state.
X kilometres of the
city’s rivers and
riparian zones restored
to a near natural state
by year X.
GIS mapping of river
environments and
an assessment of the
natural ecosystems
that have been
established.
To replace
environmentally
damaging
abstractions with
alternative solutions
for satisfying local
water demand.
Groundwater levels
in environmentally
sensitive aquifer.
Groundwater levels
maintained at natural
recharge levels from
year X.
Groundwater
measurements
monitored and
evaluated in
conjunction with
rainfall rates
and abstraction
programmes.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Table 12: examples of monitoring and evaluation
48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
responsibility
Monitoring and evaluation are necessary for maintaining accountability over the strategic
planning process. As the local government is likely to have had a large say in the setting
of the targets, they are not necessarily best placed to carry out the monitoring and
evaluation of these. An impartial body from outside the process is therefore better suited
to the task.
Evaluated results should be presented to senior levels of the municipality and the council
as well as externally to sponsors, stakeholders and the public, to ensure transparency in
the implementation process and to allow for independent review of whether targets and
objectives are being met.
The collection of data for the monitoring and evaluation of the different elements of the
action plan is likely to be the responsibility of the sectors into which the activities have
been embedded. The procedure should however be based on agreed standards and be
reported back to the coordination unit on a regular basis.
In practice
A transparent mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the results of the action plan is
necessary to establish what progress is being made towards the targets and objectives
of the strategic planning process as a whole. Setting up a consistent monitoring and
evaluation framework for use across all programmes is an ideal way of achieving
a systematic process for the collection and reporting of information as results are
obtained.
The monitoring and evaluation framework is based on the indicators and targets set
earlier in the strategic planning process. For example, the outcome of a water metering
programme is monitored based on the percentage of households that are metered
(indicator) with the result evaluated based on the number of metered households
specifed to achieve an objective (target). If the monitored result reaches the target it is
assumed that progress is being made towards the objective and ultimately the vision.
As well as highlighting progress, monitoring and evaluation also identify where expected
results have not been achieved through the actions implemented. This information then
forms the basis of reassessing the actions and, if necessary, the action plan and potentially
even the strategy. Monitoring and evaluation are therefore vital for making sure that the
strategic planning process is being reviewed and adapted if it doesn’t deliver the expected
improvements.
The evaluated results should be reported and made available to all stakeholders.
Explanations should accompany the results, particularly where targets have not been met,
and corrective actions have been proposed. Suggested changes to the strategy should be
proposed to the council for formal adoption and funding.
49
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
7.6 The cyclical nature of the strategic planning process
The purpose of the strategic planning process is to facilitate the adoption of IUWM and
move towards sustainable water management as defned through its social, economic
and environmental dimensions. The process is not a one-off undertaking and the different
stages need to be reassessed on a regular basis to ensure that the course of action leads
to the desired results. Where this is doubtful, the underlying causes have to be identifed
which might lead to a revision at the level of individual actions, the overall action plan, or
even the applied strategy.
However, earlier stages of the process will also have to be re-addressed. This applies in
particular to the further development of the original set of baseline data that might also
lead to the reformulation of scenarios. Over a longer period of time it might also become
necessary to bring a new generation of stakeholders together and refresh or completely
review the overall vision.
Monitoring &
evaluation
Baseline
assessment
Development of
an action plan &
implementation
Visioning,
objectives, targets
& indicators
Scenario building
& strategy
development
50
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Wrapping-up
Integrated Urban Water Management is an approach that promotes the optimisation of
the entire urban water system leading to more sustainable solutions than managing the
different elements of the system in isolation.
The conventional approach to urban water management is unsustainable and is expected
to struggle with future change. In some cases it is already failing to cope with current
pressures.
The success of the strategic planning process is highly dependent on comprehensive
stakeholder involvement and political commitment. It is also crucial to establish an
effective working coordination unit to oversee the entire process.
The strategic planning process includes the formulation of a vision which is jointly
developed and agreed by all stakeholders.
The strategy sets the overall direction towards IUWM. It needs to be fexible enough to
cope with a range of different future scenarios.
Regular monitoring and evaluation are important to change the course of action if no or
only slow progress towards more sustainable water management is being made.
This is because the different elements of the urban water cycle are inextricably linked and
are also heavily infuenced by, and have an infuence on, urban development as a whole.
IUWM can best be achieved through a strategic planning process with a continuous
mechanism of refection and adaptation.
O
Monitoring &
evaluation
Baseline
assessment
Development of
an action plan &
implementation
Visioning,
objectives, targets
& indicators
Scenario building
& strategy
development
The Urban
Water Cycle
The Urban
Water Cycle
51
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
references
adank, M., darteh, b., Moriarty, P., osei-Tutu, H., assan, d., van rooijen, d. (2011)
Towards Integrated Urban Water Management in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area
- Current status and strategic direction for the future, SWITCH/RCN Ghana, Accra,
Ghana. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
anderson, J., Iyaduri, r. (2003) Integrated urban water planning: big picture planning is
good for wallet and the environment, Water Science and Technology Vol. 47 No. 7-8 pp
19-23, IWA Publishing
butterworth, J., McIntyre, P., da Silva Wells, C. eds. (2011) SWITCH in the City: Putting
urban water management to the test, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre,
Delft, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
fisher J. (2010) SWITCH Policy Briefng Note 2: Strategic Planning For Integrated
Urban Water Management, The Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC),
Loughborough University, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
garzillo, C., Kuhn, S. (2007) The Aalborg Commitments Implementation Guide – A
5-step approach, ICLEI European Secretariat on behalf of the ACTOR Project Partners.
http://www.localsustainability.eu/fleadmin/template/projects/localsustainability_eu/
fles/ACTOR-Guide_english.pdf
guio-Torres, d. M. (2006) Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of Urban water
Systems: The need for a common ground, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education,
Delft, Netherlands. http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/WP1-1_PAP_
Sustainability_indicators_for_assessment_of_UWS.pdf
Jeferies, C., dufy, a. (2010) The SWITCH Transition Manual, Second Draft, University
of Abertay, Dundee, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
lahnsteiner, J., lempert, g. (2007) Water Management in Windhoek, Namibia, Water
Science & Technology Vol 55 No 1–2 pp 441–448, IWA Publishing.
http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/05501/wst055010441.htm
loftus, a. C., Howe, C., anton, b., Philip, r., Morchain, d. (2011) Adapting urban
water systems to climate change - A handbook for decision makers at the local level,
ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
loorbach, d. (2007) Governance for sustainability, Sustainability: Science, Practice, &
Policy 3(2):1-4. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol3iss2/editorial.loorbach.html
lundin, M. (2003) Indicators for measuring the sustainability of urban water systems –
a life cycle approach, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
https://www.chalmers.se/ee/SV/forskning/forskargrupper/miljosystemanalys/
publikationer/esa-rapportserie-1979/esa2005/downloadFile/attachedFile_f0/ESA20031.pdf
Mitchell, V. g. (2004) Integrated Urban Water Management – A review of current
Australian practice, CSIRO & AWA report CMIT-2004-075.
http://www.clw.csiro.au/awcrrp/stage1fles/AWCRRP_9_Final_27Apr2004.pdf
O
52
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Moriarty, P., batchelor, C., abd-alhadi, f. T., laban, P., fahmy, H. (2007) The
Empowers Approach to Water Governance: Guidelines, Methods and Tools, published
by INWRDAM on behalf of the EMPOWERS Partnership.
http://www.project.empowers.info/page/3344
Pinkham, r. (1999) 21st Century Water Systems: Scenarios, Visions and Drivers, Rocky
Mountain Institite, Snowmass, Colorado
Steinberg, f. (2003) Strategic urban planning in Latin America: experiences of building
and managing the future, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS),
Rotterdam, Netherlands. http://www.sciencedirect.com
van der Steen, P. (2011) Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of
Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for
Water Education, Delft, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
van der Steen, P., Howe, C. (2009) Managing water in the city of the future; strategic
planning and science, Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology, Volume 8,
Number 2, 115-120, DOI: 10.1007/s11157-009-9154-2.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/W1-1_GEN_PJ_Managing_water_in_the_
city_of_the_future.pdf
van der Steen, P. et al (2007) An overview of conventional and innovative approaches
for UWM in Europe and the South: including case studies and the application of
Cleaner Production Principles, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft,
Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
van der Steen, P. (2007) Report providing an inventory of conventional and of
innovative approaches for Urban Water Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water
Education, Delft, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
van der Steen, P. (2008) SWITCH Approach to Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban
Water Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
53
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
notes
www.switchtraining.eu
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
Phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
Partners:
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
ISBN 978-3-943107-03-6 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Imprint
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Barbara Anton (ICLEI European Secretariat)
John Butterworth, Carmen da Silva, Joep Verhagen, Charles Batchelor, , Patrick Moriarty, Peter Bury, Stef Smits, Jaap Pels, Ton Schouten,
Deirdre Casella, Catarina Fonseca, Ewen Le Borgne (IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre); Alistair Sutherland, Adrienne Martin,
Mike Morris, Valerie Nelson (Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich), Colin Green (Middlesex University), Bertha Darteh
(KNUST - Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), Mónica Sanz (UNESCO-IHE; also supported by UNAL-IDEA, Universidad
Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Estudios Ambientales)
Barbara Anton, Anne-Claire Loftus, Ralph Philip (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Stephan Koehler (ICLEI European Secretariat)
©
2011 ICleI european Secretariat gmbH, leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in Module 2 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they
credit the copyright holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. .
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information this publication contains.
Publisher:
Principal author:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISbn 978-3-943107-04-3 (Pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material all of which are
highlighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUPPorT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC PlannIng
Preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUPPly
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / stormwater management / wastewater management
can beneft from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in
SWITCH and the contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 2: Contents
O Introduction .........................................................................................................
O learning targets ..................................................................................................
O The need for efective stakeholder involvement .............................................
3.1 The conventional approach to stakeholder involvement ...........................
3.2 The issues facing conventional stakeholder involvement .........................
3.3 A more effective approach to stakeholder involvement ............................
O Stakeholders in urban water management .....................................................
4.1 The range of stakeholders in the city ..........................................................
4.2 The role of ‘champions’ ...............................................................................
O The overall direction: Stakeholder involvement and sustainability ..............
5.1 Good governance ..........................................................................................
O Putting stakeholder involvement into practice ...............................................
6.1 Different levels of involvement ....................................................................
6.2 Informal and formal approaches ................................................................
6.3 Learning Alliances for action research and scaling up innovation ...........
6.4 SASI – A Systematic Approach for Social Inclusion ..................................
O Involving stakeholders in strategic planning for IUWM ................................
7.1 Compiling information on the stakeholders ...............................................
7.1.1 How to conduct a stakeholder analysis ...............................................
7.1.2 A backstage look at decision-making: Institutional mapping ............
7.2 Establishing a process for stakeholder involvement ..................................
7.2.1 Financial requirements .........................................................................
7.2.2 Setting up a focal point for coordination ...........................................
7.2.3 Getting stakeholders on board ............................................................
7.2.4 Social inclusion: Enabling disadvantaged groups to become involved ....
7.3 Working with stakeholders effectively ..........................................................
7.3.1 Facilitating the stakeholder network ....................................................
7.3.2 The moderation of stakeholder meetings ..........................................
7.3.3 Consensus building ..............................................................................
7.3.4 Confict mediation ...............................................................................
7.4 Assessing the stakeholder process .............................................................
7.4.1 Process documentation ......................................................................
7.4.2 Monitoring ...........................................................................................
7.4.3 Evaluation .............................................................................................
O Wrapping up .......................................................................................................
O references ...........................................................................................................

7
8
9
9
10
12
13
13
15
16
17
21
21
24
25
27
28
29
29
32
33
35
36
38
39
41
42
44
46
47
49
50
51
52
53
54
7
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Introduction
Module 2 of the SWITCH Training Kit has been developed for those who want to initiate
a systematic process for developing a local water strategy and action plan in order to get
their urban water system ready to meet current and expected needs and challenges. The
tasks are complex and manifold – which makes it obvious that they cannot be tackled
effectively by one institution only. But with whom to collaborate? And how?
Stakeholder involvement should not be confused with a few public workshops or an
isolated one-off awareness raising campaign. Rather, it is a systematic and inclusive
process of sharing the responsibility for better urban water management in a strategic
planning process as can be found laid out in detail in Module 1. All stakeholders
involved have a role to play – in accordance with their given or ascribed entitlements and
obligations.
While the SWITCH Training Kit is generally addressed at both local governments and water
utilities, this module might be more useful for decision makers in local governments.
Local governments are the institutions with a general duty to care for the well-being
of their communities, although in various degrees and subject to different governance
frameworks. Amongst others, this well-being depends to a large extent on having
access to all basic services – including water supply and sanitation – as well as on being
protected from public nuisances, health hazards and other dangers – such as polluted
drinking water and fooding. Local governments therefore have a major responsibility in
providing the space for water stakeholders to collaborate for better water management in
a meaningful and effective fashion.
Water utilities are usually more concerned with the technical side of managing an urban
water system. This makes them indispensable as key stakeholders in the strategic
planning process – but also less likely to be the ones in charge of the governance side of
affairs and to initiate a process of multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Module 2 presents a foundation of basic knowledge about the stakeholder involvement
process as well as a number of recommendations for establishing such a process from
scratch. However, the ways and modes of working with stakeholders are closely linked to
local circumstances – whether referring to local habits, the culture of communication, the
perception of water in religion or the day-to-day life more generally. At the end of the day,
rather than following a specifc theory of participation, it is often more the enthusiasm
and leadership of an outstanding personality in the city (a ‘champion’) that nurture the
willingness and commitment of local stakeholders to provide their share in improving
urban water management.
O
“Collaboration beats
confrontation hands down!”
(Mitchell, 2004)
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
learning targets
Module 2 provides an overview of the most relevant stakeholders in urban water manage-
ment and information about a range of alternative ways of working with them.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in:
• distinguishing between ‘good’ and ‘poor’ involvement;
• understanding the rationale and the benefts of working with stakeholders;
• identifying the most important stakeholders in their city and getting them involved;
• planning and coordinating a stakeholder process in the long run;
• becoming aware about the costs and other challenges of stakeholder involvement; and
• assessing the stakeholder process and its outcomes.
O
figure 1: a network of stakeholders in urban water management, in this
case with local government as coordinator of the process
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
SWITCH Training Kit
Module 2, page 8: image
Universities
& research
institutions
Waste
management &
recycling
companies
Environment
agency
Schools
National water
authorities
Housing &
construction
industry
Water
utilities
Community
based groups
Mining
industry
Urban
farmers
Water user
associations
Health
services
Local
government
Local
industry
Catchment
committee
Professional
associations
Retailers
Energy
utilities
Fisheries
management
Formal &
informal
business
Home
owners

Women
groups
Youth
clubs
Forestry
commission
Figure 1: A network of stakeholders in urban water management, in this case with the local
government as coordinator of the process
Tourism
sector
NGOs
Etc.
Labour unions
9
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
The need for efective
stakeholder involvement
3.1 The conventional approach to stakeholder involvement
The notion of stakeholder involvement has made a steep career in the last decades,
especially since the proclamation of Local Agenda 21 in 1992. Local Agenda 21 calls on
local authorities to work with their citizens on a plan for re-directing local development
towards more sustainability.
O
Local Agenda 21
“28.3. Each local authority should enter into a dialogue with its citizens, local organizations
and private enterprises and adopt ‘a local Agenda 21’. Through consultation and consensus-
building, local authorities would learn from citizens and from local, civic, community,
business and industrial organizations and acquire the information needed for formulating
the best strategies. …”
UN Commission of Social and Economic Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development
(1992): Agenda 21, Section III, Strengthening the Role of Major Groups, Chapter 28, Local
Authorities’ Initiatives in Support of Agenda 21
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/agenda21.htm
Literature on stakeholder involvement has become ubiquitous. Many international
agencies for development cooperation have also made stakeholder involvement a
requirement for approving fnancial assistance.
In reality, things often don’t look so rosy. What is called stakeholder involvement has
many different faces and forms a patchy landscape of more or less successful initiatives
of different size and outcomes. Experts working in institutions dealing with water
professionally often can’t see the value of sharing their work with those who are, for
example, just using the water. On the other hand, water users and other non-technical
stakeholders tend to fully rely on what the experts have to say – or merely complain to
them or to public authorities if things don’t work out as expected.
A number of other shortcomings can sometimes be observed such as the following:
• Stakeholders are reduced to listeners without any mechanism for them to intervene.
• Stakeholder fora are only composed of a number of handpicked people that do not
represent the sector at large.
• Disadvanted groups have no access to the stakeholder group – either while being
ignored altogether or because the meeting arrangements (the timing, location,
language of proceedings) are not suitable for them.
• Researchers tap the expertise of stakeholders for their own scientifc needs – but
don’t offer the outcome of their research in turn.
• Stakeholders are only invited in hot election periods – to serve a questionable
political agenda.
• The institution initiating the stakeholder process is lacking the professionalism to lead
and coordinate it in all its dimensions in the long term which results in frustration
and ‘stakeholder fatigue’.
Read entire Chapter 28 of
Agenda 21 on the website
of the UN Commission of
Social and Economic Afairs,
Division for Sustainable
Development
http://www.un.org/esa/
dsd/agenda21/
res_agenda21_28.shtml
10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.2 The issues facing conventional stakeholder involvement
Although technologies in the water sector are globally well advanced, tremendous
challenges remain in providing adequate water and sanitation services to all, controlling
stormwater effectively and protecting aquatic ecosystems from pollution by harmful
substances. Since technological progress does not seem to be the answer, the clue is
likely to be found in governance issues.
In most developed countries, this might not be obvious at frst glance. Generally
speaking, the governance system and the related share of responsibilities seem to be
well-established and function adequately. For decades, citizens in regions such as North
America or Europe have enjoyed high quality water coming from their taps and private
water-based sanitation facilities in each house. Water problems arising in cities from
time to time seemed to be manageable by applying latest technologies; this has usually
been the job of engineers and consultants. The original source of water – the natural
ecosystem – has thus nearly been ‘forgotten’ over time.
However, things are changing. Infrastructure developed and established more than a
century ago is gradually deteriorating and its replacement at a similar scale is economically
unviable. Climate change takes its toll, in particular through extreme fooding events, and
demographic changes require different approaches to urban development – including the
water system. While the issues become more complex, a greater variety of perspectives on
these issues is needed, as is expertise from across different disciplines and an enhanced
sense of responsibility from a range of stakeholders and the public at large.
For more information
on the consequences of
climate change, see also
the SWITCH handbook on
‘Adapting Urban Water
Systems to Climate Change’
(Loftus, A.-C., 2011)
http://www.
adaptationhandbook.org
“After a big dry you get a big wet”, as the locals say.
Rockhampton, Australia

Rockhampton was the city most affected in Queensland, Australia, when the state was hit
by an unexpected period of months of heavy rainfall in summer 2010/2011. An area of the
size of France and Germany together got drowned in water. Also in Rockhampton, water
in the low-lying suburbs reached up to letter boxes and the tops of garden fences. Sources
for fresh food were soon depleted, and snakes and large swarms of mosquitoes became a
plague for the population.
The Queensland food followed an earlier decade of extreme drought that caused the
country’s worst bush fres in history in 2009. More than 170 people lost their lives in these
fres and thousands had to leave their homes.
Source: The Telegraph, 9 January 2011
I
m
a
g
e
:

f
i
c
k
r
.
c
o
m
/
t
g
e
r
u
s
11
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Instead, conventional approaches to urban water management today still largely rely on
engineers and other technical experts who plan and develop infrastructure mainly from
a technological and economic point of view. At the same time, competencies for the
different elements of the urban water system are split and experts working in one sector,
for example water supply, are little concerned about what their colleagues in other sectors,
such as wastewater management, are doing. Thus, it goes unnoticed when decisions and
actions in one area clash with those in another. This also means that certain costs of
(poor) water management are transferred from one actor to another, making the overall
costs of water management higher than necessary.
Under current circumstances, water users can often only make a claim to push their own
interests if they are economically strong and play a key role in society, such as agriculture.
Big mining and production companies, generators of energy, the tourism industry or
the wealthier strands of society also have their channels to infuence decision makers to
respond to their water demand. Poorer groups easily loose out in the fght for equal rights
to water supply and sanitation – without suffcient economic standing, they cannot bring
their justifed requests to bear.
In many developing countries, the situation is even more problematic. Access to water
and sanitation itself remains a luxury in many cities. While more affuent districts enjoy
water services that are similar to those in developed countries, the living conditions in
poorer areas are too often still inadequate, causing severe health problems if not lethal
diseases which affect in particular children and elderly people. In many cases, private
vendors provide water, but at higher prices than the water from offcial, piped supplies in
the more well-off areas.
While a lot of efforts are undertaken to upgrade water services in such urban communities,
the magnitude of the challenge is increasing daily because of the accelerating pace of
urbanisation, leading to more and more informal settlements. In this way, a steadily
increasing number of people reside in cities without having a proper entitlement to
regular services.
To make things worse, cities in developing countries are also more vulnerable to the
impacts of climate change, and none of their residents more so than those in the poor
communities. Frail housing, improvised construction and the lack or complete absence
of proper infrastructure make people living under such conditions particularly susceptible
to fooding. This often has deadly consequences, especially through the spread of water-
borne diseases and in cases of landslides.
Particularly through external funding from donor agencies and similar avenues, many
examples of community-based approaches for water management can now be found,
most of them in rural areas. Guided by water experts, water users and other stakeholders
are supported in taking water management into their own hands.
However, such projects are often not viable in the long term. Once funding and other
sources of external support end, they collapse quickly since the regular governance system
in place in many developing countries does not include any resources and mechanisms
to ensure that such smaller pockets of good practice can really survive.
Whether for making urban water systems ft for future challenges or meeting basic human
needs in terms of access to water and sanitation, the majority of decision makers and
practitioners are hardly aware of the benefts that can be gained through working with
their stakeholders in different ways. This will be outlined in more detail in the following
section.
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.3 A more efective approach to stakeholder involvement
A more integrated approach that brings together all main actors who affect the urban
water cycle in one way or another can help overcome ineffciency and social inequity.
Water management that is based on the expertise and the resources of a variety of actors
with different backgrounds allows for the joint identifcation of potential gains in effciency
and for the creation of win-win situations. By having not only the technical experts and
the decision makers but also all user groups sitting around the same table, interests in
water can be negotiated with each other. Conficts come more easily to the surface, but
this is necessary to clarify their reasons and work towards commonly accepted solutions.
The provision of a platform in which all
stakeholders can talk with each other
helps get a better understanding of the
different water uses in the urban setting
and how one’s own claims ft into
the bigger picture. Once the ground
rules for cooperation are established,
developing a joint vision for water in the
city increases awareness of key issues,
makes stakeholders think outside the
box and fosters ownership for a jointly
developed strategy.
However, in order to arrive at such benefts, stakeholder involvement has to be prepared
and managed wisely. Starting the process with a lot of enthusiasm but little experience
might cause a serious damage to mutual trust and willingness from the side of the
stakeholders making a next attempt for such an endeavour even more diffcult to succeed.
The following sections of this Training Kit have therefore been developed to assist in setting
up a stakeholder process by outlining the most important features and mechanisms to
make it work in a given urban context.
13
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Stakeholders in urban water
management
4.1 The range of stakeholders in the city
In the box below, a list of the range of stakeholders in urban water management can be
found. Since the local government cannot necessarily be expected to be fully aware of all
the institutions and groups that should participate, it might frst bring a smaller group of
more obvious key people to the table who then jointly develop the complete list of actors
to be invited to the process.
O
Stakeholder categories
1
Stakeholders in urban water management are:
• Key organisations responsible for water management. These include in particular
those who take decisions or implement changes in policy and practice (e.g. policy
makers and regulatory authorities)
• Utilities and service providers (whether public, private, voluntary, formal or informal etc.)
• Individual water users (e.g. enterprises that need large amounts of water for production
or energy generation, owners of tourism, sport or other recreational facilities)
• User groups (e.g. representing domestic consumers, farmers in peri-urban areas etc.)
• Health care, social and educational institutions (e.g. hospitals, schools, kindergardens)
• Civil society organisations committed to help solve local water issues or issues closely
related with water management such as poverty, gender, environmental pollution etc.
(e.g. NGOs, trade unions, professional associations etc)
• Organisations that can strengthen the process through the provision of their expertise
(e.g. training and research organisations)
• Locally respected activists or champions who draw attention to the process and can help
increase public awareness and trust
• The media, which is important to create a bridge between the activities and the wider
public and also functions as a critical observer
• Financial organisations or the donor community which might be crucial to support the
process as such, the realisation of demonstration activities or the implementation of
the strategic plan
Reference: butterworth, J. a., McIntyre P., da Silva Wells, C. (eds.) (2011)
SWITCH in the City: putting urban water management to the test; IRC Inter-
national Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Note: In the following the above publication will be referenced as follows:
‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011)
1
In the following stakeholders are usually referred to as ‘institutions’. However, this term is meant to include all
categories above, apart from individuals who are referred to separately where appropriate.
See also defnition of institution in Section 7.1.2
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The local government also has to consider which departments from its own administration
should become involved. Apart from those directly responsible for any aspect of urban
water management, other departments are also important. These may include those with
responsibilities that have an impact on the water cycle (e.g. planners, waste managers,
or housing developers) or those whose work depends on or is directly affected by water
management (e.g. health offcers or offcers from the school or parks department).
figure 2: example of departments impacting and being impacted by water management
Both good coordination within the local administration as well as professional facilitation
for involving external stakeholders are key for achieving successful outcomes from the
process. This is further explained in Section 7.
Source: Philip r. et al., local governments and Integrated Water resources Management,
Part III: engaging in IWrM – Practical Steps and Tools for local governments (2008)
local government
mandates directly
related to water
local government
mandates indirectly
related to water
Water supply
Sanitation and
wastewater management
Stormwater management
Solid waste
Land-use planning
Housing
Parks and recreation
Roads and transport
Local economic
development
Health services
Disaster management
local
government
15
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
4.2 The role of ‘champions’
As already mentioned in the list of the previous section, certain local personalities widely
known and respected in the city can play a vital role in promoting sustainable ways of
dealing with water. These might be, for example, a local politician, a leading academic
from the university, the chairperson of a local NGO, but also a sportsman, actor or other
artist, i.e. a person whose name is familiar to virtually everyone in the city and who can
easily attract a lot of attention in public. In the course of the SWITCH project, it has often
be the Learning Alliance facilitator who became this kind of a champion and thus the
driving force of the stakeholder process. However, what kind of personality will adopt
such a role will always greatly depend on the local society and culture as well as on the
specifcs of the local process in a given governance context.
If not closely involved in the stakeholder process anyway, champions will be invited to
key events, media interviews, and appear on posters and other promotional materials.
Many people will look at them as role models and follow their example. However, this is
also why the local process might be seriously affected if such individuals are ‘caught’, for
example, using water carelessly themselves.
Apart from individuals, also institutions can play the role of a champion. A local
government, for example, that commits itself to using water wisely in all its own facilities
and operations and making this commitment explicit in the public can also encourage
other institutions to follow suit. For a local government that has initiated a stakeholder
process towards more sustainable water management, it will be indispensable to ensure
that its own policies and practices are in line with the messages that are conveyed to the
other actors involved.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
The Department of Water Affairs in Botswana ‘championing’ sustainable water resources management
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The overall direction:
stakeholder involvement and
sustainability
Sustainability is based on the recognition that human development in the long term
will depend on people’s ability to meet social, economic and environmental needs
simultaneously – now and in the future. Fairness and equity are core values when
negotiating different interests in the use of natural capital such as the water resources
that are discussed in their urban dimension in more detail in Module 1 of this Training Kit.
It goes without saying that the negotiation of different interests in water implies that
those representing these interests have to talk with each other. This refers mainly to
water users, but also to those that speak, for example, ‘on behalf of nature’. At the same
time, water managers and decision makers who are responsible for addressing the issues
raised, as well as other specialists in the water sector, such as researchers, have to sit
around the same table.
Professional facilitation and moderation
2
are key to ensuring fairness and equity in
participation. In order to capacitate disadvantaged groups to become fully involved in
the stakeholder discussions and other activities, additional support for these groups will
have to be considered. This might include certain training events or separate briefngs on
the issues at stake or – in a more practical sense – transport services, for example, for
handicapped or elderly people.
See Module 1 for an
overview on the urban
water cycle
O
2
for the sake of clarity, the terms ‘facilitation’ and ‘moderation’ are being used in this module as follows:
facilitation stands for the coordination of the stakeholder network and process in general while moderation
stands for the guidance of meetings and workshops.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
Seen at the EXPO in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2008
17
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
5.1 Good governance
When following the path towards more sustainability it is of paramount importance to
develop a thorough and comprehensive understanding of all institutions having a say in
urban water management in the city. In other words: an understanding of urban water
governance.
What is an institution?
Institution is here understood as ‘systems of rules, either formal or informal, and those
rules defne the boundaries of any institution. For the purposes of water management,
institutions are also likely to be organisations: the physical embodiment of an institution.
Such organisations will have a recognised service or regulatory role in water management
(such as a water supply company or a water board), or are able to clearly articulate their
interest in water management (such as a water user association). These named entities are
recognised to have authority, power and infuence in relation to water management.
Quoted from: ‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011)
Whether an existing governance system is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is partly a matter of social
values. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has refected such values
in a set of principles that are nowadays widely accepted and can be found in the box
below.
The Five Good Governance Principles
The UNDP Principles and related UNDP text on which they are based

1. Legitimacy and Voice
Participation – all men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institu-
tions that represent their intention. Such broad participation is built on freedom of association and speech, as well as capacities to
participate constructively.
Consensus orientation – good governance mediates differing interests to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of
the group and, where possible, on policies and procedures.
2. Direction
Strategic vision – leaders and the public have a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development,
along with a sense of what is needed for such development. There is also an understanding of the historical, cultural and social com-
plexities in which that perspective is grounded.
3. Performance
responsiveness – institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders.
Effectiveness and effciency – processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources.
4. Accountability
accountability – decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society organizations are accountable to the public, as
well as to institutional stakeholders. This accountability differs depending on the organizations and whether the decision is internal
or external.
Transparency – transparency is built on the free fow of information. Processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to
those concerned with them, and enough information is provided to understand and monitor them.
5. Fairness
equity – all men and women have opportunities to improve or maintain their wellbeing.
rule of law – legal frameworks should be fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on human rights.
Quoted from: Graham, J., Amos, B., Plumptre, T. (2003)
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
A stakeholder process as laid out in the following sections is considered to contribute
to good governance in the water sector by aiming at the realisation of principles such as
those promoted by the UNDP. This also means that the positioning of the stakeholder
forum in a given governance context – which might be anything from very close to far
away from these principles – has to be a conscious decision. Last but not least, this
embedding and the design of the process as a more ‘formal’ or more ‘informal’ one (see
also Section 6.2) will be a crucial determinant of its potential for achieving a tangible
impact.
In the following, it is briefy explored how the UNDP principles translate into principles
for a stakeholder process for sustainable urban water management.
1. Legitimacy and Voice
Participation
• As water users, men and women usually have a different relationship to water issues.
In the urban context, this might be less relevant, although women in more traditional
societies often still have the main burden of taking care of all household activities
such as cooking, cleaning the house, washing the clothes etc. – all of which imply the
use of water. When it comes to reducing domestic water demand, for example, their
perspective will be crucial. Balanced participation of men and women in the stake
holder process can therefore be expected to lead to more meaningful results.
• Freedom of association and speech is not a matter of course in any country context.
Where not fully realised, there might still be scope for a more informal process that
brings together people interested and knowledgeable in water issues, rather than
offcial representatives of institutions. Researchers can have an important role here as
neutral brokers.
• It is not enough to invite representatives from disadvantaged groups if their capacity
to participate constructively is insuffcient. This might refer to their mother tongue,
their cultural habits, their economic standing, their mobility, their education, their
confdence to speak in public. Support to such stakeholders can include special
training events or briefngs or maybe separate modes of communication altogether.
In a more practical sense, it might be necessary to offer fnancial compensation for
the loss of income during the time of meetings or also transport services for elderly
or handicapped people.
Consensus orientation
The mediation of differing interests with the aim of achieving a broad consensus belongs
to the core activities of the stakeholder process. One of the main approaches is not to
start with the differences but rather with the development of a common and positive
long-term vision of water in the city. This can help create a sense of ownership that will
make stakeholders more willing to compromise some of their interests for the sake of
working towards a greater goal that is jointly developed and accepted.
2. Direction
Strategic vision
In order to create ownership and agree on a common road map for an integrated
approach to water management in the city, it is crucial to develop a joint vision at an early
stage of the strategic planning process. Visioning is therefore an indispensable step in the
strategic planning process.
More about visioning can be
found in Module 1,
Section 7.5.2
19
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
3. Performance
responsiveness
Addressing and balancing the needs of all stakeholders and providing adequate water
and sanitation services to all are basic values of sustainable urban water management.
efectiveness and efciency
By defnition, sustainability always requires the reconciliation of social and economic
requirements while taking into account the limited availability of natural resources.
Sustainable urban water management is therefore based on managing water effciently
by considering all elements of the urban water cycle in an integrated fashion.
In order to measure whether the chosen solutions effectively improve urban water
management, a monitoring process has to be established based on relevant indicators
and targets to be achieved within a defned time frame. If the evaluation of the monitored
results suggests that measures do not achieve set objectives, they will have to be adjusted
or abandoned and replaced by different ones.
The format of the monitoring and evaluation process is ideally also the result of an
agreement with stakeholders.
4. Accountability
accountability
Since water is essential to all forms of life, the stakeholders taking decisions regarding its
use, consumption and treatment have to be ready to report back to all other stakeholders
but also to individual citizens at any time. Legal or similar mechanisms need to be in place
that sanction poor decisions or failed action, if this leads to severe consequences such
as threatening people’s access to potable water. Here, also the ‘polluter pays’ principle
comes in.
Taking accountability seriously, it will be crucial for a formal stakeholder process to involve
all institutions with a legal mandate in water management. At city level, this often means
that the participation of national and sub-national actors will also have to be considered.
At the end of the day, it will be these players who have to justify their decisions and
actions vis-à-vis the wider public. They will not be able to escape from their responsibility
to change the course of action or at least take certain corrective measures if the other
stakeholders are not satisfed with the outcome of the planning and implementation
process.
Transparency
Stakeholder collaboration in the water sector can only lead to useful outcomes if all
institutions involved share information as openly as required and possible under given
circumstances. A valid stock of data and other information is a must for all steps of the
collaborative planning process, for instance for the identifcation of water demand, the
defnition of targets and the monitoring of implementation.
Even more critical is transparency in the decision making process. This concerns the
clarity of the purpose of the process and in particular the mandate of stakeholders to
share or intervene in decisions. In other words, transparency should consider the level of
power that stakeholders without offcial mandates are granted in relation to those that do
have such mandates for the performance of certain tasks.
This is also discussed in the context of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ approaches to stakeholder
involvement Section in 6.2 of this module.
More about monitoring and
evaluation in Integrated
Urban Water Management
can be found in Module 1,
Section 7.5.9
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
5. Fairness
equity
Equity in the feld of water basically translates into equity in the access to clean water and
appropriate sanitation facilities as well as in the protection from extreme weather events
and other hazards that can be caused by water. However, such kind of equity is by no
means confned to gender issues (as suggested by the UNDP principles), but rather an
issue between privileged and disadvantaged groups in society more generally.
Equity can only be ensured if no stakeholders – and in particular major water users
- are excluded from the process. This is also necessary to comply with the aspect of
‘participation’ in UNDP Principle 1, Legitimacy and Voice’.
rule of law
Good governance is not possible without a legal framework in which stakeholders’
entitlements and obligations are offcially spelled out and failure to perform according to
law is prosecuted effectively and impartially.
In 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Council (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/
bodies/hrcouncil) adopted a resolution affrming that water and sanitation are human
rights, i.e. they have become legally binding in human rights treaties. This implies that
in 160 signatory countries all over the world governments can no longer withdraw from
their legal responsibility to provide water and sanitation to the poor, which signifcantly
strengthens the position of disadvantaged groups to claim their respective rights. Socially
inclusive stakeholder processes for more sustainable urban water management can be a
perfect vehicle to turn the human right to water and sanitation into reality.
“With ever increasing numbers of people living in cities today, lack of access to safe and
affordable water and sanitation in urban contexts is a pressing concern. Time and again, we
see that those without access to water and sanitation are also those who are marginalized,
excluded or discriminated against. Their inadequate access to safe water and sanitation is
not simply an unfortunate by-product of their poverty but rather a result of political decisions
to exclude them and to de-legitimize their existence, which perpetuates their poverty.”
Quoted from the statement of the Special Rapporteur on housing R. Rolnik
and the UN Independent Experts on water and sanitation and extreme poverty
respectively, C. de Albuquerque and M. Sepúlveda, issued on the occasion of
World Water Day 2011.
21
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Putting stakeholder
involvement into practice
In spite of many stakeholder processes initiated around water and other issues, it has
remained a big challenge to set up and maintain such a process in a manner that all
participating parties can truly beneft from it. It also has become clear that for each context
and purpose, stakeholder involvement will always have to be designed in a different way.
As mentioned in the previous section, transparency in the role of stakeholders in decision-
making mechanisms – here regarding water issues – is of great importance. Frustration
as a result of false expectations can bring the entire process to a standstill – or make it
collapse entirely.
In the development of every stakeholder process, it is therefore key to clearly establish
at the beginning where power resides and what the rules will be for the participation of
stakeholders with more and those with less power.
In the following, users of this Training Kit will fnd some guidance on the main levels of
stakeholder involvement and some more general aspects of a multi-stakeholder platform.
Furthermore, Section 6.3 describes the specifc format of stakeholder involvement that
forms a major backbone of the SWITCH approach: the Learning Alliance.
In Section 6.4, a systematic methodology for social inclusion is explained. It was
developed under SWITCH and successfully applied in the case of a group of Colombian
micro tanneries which were supported in organising themselves and building their
capacity to reduce their pollution of the Bogotá River and thus securing the future of their
business.
6.1 Diferent levels of involvement
The call for stakeholder involvement in water management is based on the assumption
that water can ‘better’ be managed if all those who either (1) have a say in this feld;
(2) are (major) water users themselves; or (3) are potential victims of poorly managed
water work together. True stakeholder involvement allows all groups of society to have
a forum in which they can bring forward their own needs and expectations. This is also
necessary to ensure a sound recognition of the social dimension of sustainability in water
management.
However, even if all those parties come together for a joint undertaking, this doesn’t
mean that every voice is taken into account in the same way. In any country and city in the
world, water management is governed by a number of public and private institutions with
a set of legally-defned mandates defning their rights and obligations. At the end of the
day, it will be those with an offcial responsibility that have to stand up if poor decisions
lead, for example, to interruptions in service delivery, water-borne diseases, fooding that
could have been avoided, etc.
While public and private water authorities and agencies and, in many countries, local
governments are ‘involved’ in water management by legal defnition, other institutions
or groups of society have to be explicitly and pro-actively invited to come to the table.
Depending on the roles attributed to them and the rules defned for the decision-making
process, their capacity to tangibly contribute to the planning and implementation process
can vary tremendously. The more a stakeholder can practically contribute to decision
O
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
making, the higher its infuence on the course of action – but also its responsibility and
accountability.
Different levels of involvement can be described as follows below. This includes the
modalities of communication since different objectives in the stakeholder process will
require different working modes. ‘Higher’ levels always have to incorporate ‘lower’ levels,
i.e. collaboration, for example, will include consultation and information.
In reality, of course, the distinction between the different levels will usually not be as
straightforward as the brief description suggests. It is also unlikely that there is just one
big stakeholder process. In most cases, the variety of issues in the city will be approached
with different ways of involving stakeholders, including the formation of smaller sub-
groups working on more specifc issues.
The different levels therefore do not represent ‘good’ or ‘bad’ stakeholder involvement,
but display different options that have to be tailored to the purpose for which the
engagement of stakeholders is envisaged. In this context, it goes without saying that
clarity of language is key for success.
Information (one-way communication)
The water authorities, water agencies and/or the local government (hereafter referred
to as ‘offcial water bodies’) disseminate information to the stakeholders - and often the
wider public – for various reasons. The information might just aim at generally creating a
better understanding of water issues among the citizens. Sometimes it is also geared at
changing the behaviour of water users, for example in the case of appeals to refrain from
washing cars in times of a prolonged drought.
No interventions in decision making are foreseen at this stage.
Consultation (two-way communication)
The offcial water bodies liaise with stakeholders – and possibly the wider public – to
get feedback from their side on certain issues. The request for information may refer to
factual information or to get insights and advice from different professional and personal
perspectives.
Effective consultation informs decision making and enables those with offcial mandates
to improve their decisions. Stakeholders do not intervene in decisions directly, although
their involvement might allow them to steer a decision into the desired direction.
Consultation processes raise stakeholders’ expectations that their views and suggestions
will eventually be taken into consideration. If this is not the case, decisions taken and
actions put in place by offcial bodies might be publicly questioned by stakeholders and,
depending on political circumstances, they might have to be revised.
Collaboration (bi- or multilateral partnerships)
The offcial water bodies carry out their tasks by sharing them with other stakeholders.
This might often happen in the form of a partnership in which both sides have something
to offer to each other. A community-based organisation, for example, might be willing
to operate the sanitation facilities in their township. In turn, the local government might
conduct a broad awareness-raising campaign on hygienic behaviour and health issues in
this community, thus contributing to the well-being of citizens from an additional angle.
23
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Empowerment (multi-stakeholder decision making)
Empowerment is the highest level of involvement and refers to sharing power by sharing
decision-making. This requires that all parties involved meet each other as equals and
‘have the desire, skills and legal mandate to share that power’ (Seymoar, N.-K., 2010).
The more stakeholders other than the offcial water bodies are involved in actual decision
making, the more important it is that ground rules are agreed upon and that the entire
decision-making process is transparent. Wrong expectations regarding the level of power
attributed to the participants can damage the process in a way that it cannot easily be
continued, or repeated, if breaking down.
As already mentioned further above, the right of sharing actual decision making comes
with the obligation to be accountable if things don’t work out as expected. To avoid
drawbacks in such cases, solid information and possibly even some more systematic
training of stakeholders is a prime requirement.
The Community Participation Policy of eThekwini Municipality
The Council of eThekwini
Municipality, South Africa,
has adopted its Community
Participation Policy in 2006.
This goes beyond stakeholder
involvement and aims at “Creating
an enabling environment for
citizens’ involvement in [all]
matters” of the Municipality, but
is still a good example of the wide
range of aspects that will most
likely also have to be defned
when working with stakeholders
in a more narrow sense.
Issues covered are, amongst others: practical principles for participation, citizens’
participation levels, non-negotiable and negotiable issues, rights and responsibilities of
stakeholders, and participation tools and techniques.
Source: eThekwini Municipality, Community Participation Policy (2006)
25
Source: eThekwini Municipality, Community Participation Policy, 2006





(Stephan: Use picture only if space allows.)




24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
6.2 Informal and formal approaches
The involvement of stakeholders can be organised in many different ways. It is always the
purpose of the involvement that should defne its format and activities in a specifc case.
One dimension of stakeholder processes is that they can be established anywhere
between the two extremes of a completely informal or a completely formal process.
Informal processes can in principle be set up by any recognised player in the feld of water
management that has enough professional or societal standing, meaning that other
stakeholders have enough trust and are keen on becoming part of it. The participants
of (purely) informal processes tend to be individuals who are open-minded and have
a positive attitude to exchanging their views with people coming from other spheres
of life. They are personally interested in improving the local situation and intrigued by
experimentation and innovation.
The advantage of informal processes is their relative freedom to organise themselves
according to self-agreed rules. They typically provide for an open space for everybody to
speak her or his mind without facing any threats of being sanctioned for controversial
opinions. The resulting atmosphere is a fertile ground for ‘thinking outside the box’ and
for more radical ambitions to be pursued.
The fipside of purely informal processes is that the people participating come on
their own accord without a formal mandate from their institution. They are not offcial
representatives speaking on behalf of their ‘employers’ and do not necessarily report back
to their superiors. This usually implies that the results of the discussions and activities
in the stakeholder process have little impact in the decision making of the offcial water
bodies.
Another disadvantage is that the group might be rather unstable. Stakeholders are invited
to participate but can in principle come and go as they like.
A formal process has to be initiated by one of the offcial water bodies or alternatively by
an institution acting on behalf of an offcial body. In this case, the stakeholder process
receives a recognised status in the local water governance system. Stakeholders are
invited in their offcial capacity to represent their institution. The rules of the discourse
and the rights and obligations of the participants are clearly defned. Decisions taken
in the stakeholder process have a binding character and are communicated back to the
participating institutions to be taken up in their internal discussions or procedures.
The main shortcoming here is that the participants will be more ‘careful’ in how they
contribute to the process, trying to avoid any undesired implications for their institutions.
In other words, stakeholder representatives behave within the boundaries of the mandates
and interests of the institution that has nominated them to take part on their behalf. Local
politics and hidden agendas of the institutions represented can easily overshadow and
hamper the culture of discussion. This again can signifcantly slow down the pace of
innovation and change.
In reality, stakeholder processes usually have elements of both formal and informal
processes. Because of the target group of this Training Kit, the contents of the following
sections focuses on the potential of a local government to work with the stakeholders in
urban water governance and initiate such a process from their side. This implies that the
local council would have given green light for such an activity and also approved a budget
to be set aside for it. Under these circumstances, the process would have to be a more
formal one and its outputs would also have to be reported back to the Council.
25
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
6.3 Learning Alliances for action research and scaling
up innovation
Learning Alliances are a specifc type of multi-stakeholder involvement. In the course of
the SWITCH project, they have been set up and tested in a number of cities worldwide.
The name itself already suggests that learning plays a major role in this format. This
refers to both learning in terms of the water issues at stake, but also learning about
the interaction between the stakeholders. Their achievements and failures in working
together are equally important as improvements in water management itself.
The Learning Alliance approach has many different roots, but its main background can be
found in social science research. It is basically a response to the failure of applying only
natural sciences and technical engineering to address complex societal issues. Amongst
others, the agricultural sector has been one of the focuas areas in which research was
conducted via the collaborative activities of Learning Alliances.
The original issue that the Learning Alliance approach has tried to address has been
widespread failure of conventional research making an impact in the ‘real world’.
Traditionally, the subjects of research are defned within the academic area and solely
investigated by academics. Even if academics go out into the feld and speak to people
affected by certain issues, the role of these people is limited to being informants only.
Consequently, the results and the innovation coming from such type of research are often
either irrelevant or remain within academic circles and do not lead to any progress on
the ground.
Learning Alliances are a type of action research attempting to bridge the gap between
scientists and experts on the one hand and – in the case of the subject addressed in
this module – the stakeholders in water management on the other. The typical activities
of action research can be illustrated as a repeated cycle of observing, planning, acting,
observing and refecting, with the conclusions from the refection being fed into the next
cycle.
figure 3: Cycles in action research according to Kemmis and McTaggart (1988)
 
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The logic of the Learning Alliance requires that already the agenda of the research is
formulated in conjunction with stakeholders and addresses their main concerns. The
research itself is not confned to the activities of experts, but shared with the stakeholders
in an iterative process of defning the key questions, sharing information and different
perceptions and working together on alternative solutions. Experts thus beneft from the
insights and ideas of non-experts and vice-versa.
Following this path of an organised joint learning process, the resulting solutions are
more likely to be adopted in practice. The variety of stakeholders involved in the Learning
Alliance, which might also include national, regional and potentially international
organisations, also increases the likelihood of uptake at larger scale.
Learning Alliances have many similarities with other stakeholder formats; however, they
also have some features that make them stand out from these:
• Key role of universities and other research organisations. They are also often the ones
to propose a Learning Alliance around a specifc theme.
• Systematic observation of learning process. In parallel to researching actual water
issues, the process of interaction between the stakeholders and their progress in
learning is also monitored through continuous documentation.
• Social inclusion. Learning Alliances put strong attention to those stakeholders who
are normally not included in the offcial discourse on public matters.
A detailed insight into the
outcomes and conclusions
from more than ten
Learning Alliance processes
can be found in ‘SWITCH in
the City’ (2011), Part I
I
m
a
g
e
:

N
i
k
l
a
s

K
l
o
s
t
e
r
m
a
n
n
Meeting of the local SWITCH Learning Alliance in Hamburg, Germany
27
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
6.4 SASI – a Systematic Approach for Social Inclusion
SASI, a Systematic Approach for Social Inclusion, is a methodological framework
developed in SWITCH which can help simultaneously achieve the goal of
• empowering a marginalised community; and
• fnding a more sustainable solution for a water management problem that is caused
by that community.
Under the guidance of a researcher acting as a neutral facilitator – here called the Change
Agent – the members of the community follow a sequence of six steps as illustrated in
Figure 4.
figure 4: The six basic cyclic steps of SaSI
The process assists the community in organising itself and fnding its own solutions, with
the Change Agent helping to gain an overview on possible technical approaches. While
the Change Agent has a stronger role at the beginning of the process, she or he will not
be needed any longer once the community has frmly established its own way of handling
the controversial issue. This change is characterised by solving both the technical side
of the problem as well as its social side by building the capacity of the marginalised
community to become a respected stakeholder at local level (see also Section 7.3.4 on
confict mediation).
For the source of the
diagram and more
information on SASI see
Sanz, M. et al, 2010:
Bringing Together Diverse
Groups to Clean Up the
Bogotà River – The case
of micro- tanneries in
Villapinzón, Colombia and
Sanz, M., Siebel, M.A.,
Ahlers, R., van der Zaag, P.,
Gupta, J., 2011
Preparation
Building
relationship
Redefnition
of the
problem
Common
grounds
INT-ALL
Agreements Implementation
Follow-up
Initial
diagnosis
Psychological
safety
Consensus
Visioning
Strategy
Negotiations Monitoring
Stakeholder
analysis
BATNA
Initial
defnition
Problem
Possible
allies
Help ???
Trust
building
Sharing
information
Initial big
meeting
Big group
methods
Options
building
Big group
methods
Commitments
Small
committees
Focusing on
issues
Source: Sanz, M. et al (2010)
28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Involving stakeholders in
strategic planning for IUWM
The bigger the city, the longer the list of actors with a role in water management. Since
every single citizen is also a water user, the composition of people working together on
commonly defned issues has to be thoroughly thought through.
To make the participatory process work it is crucial to make a well-informed choice of who
to invite to the process. While no key stakeholder may be left out, the number of people
should also be in manageable in the end. A typical range of stakeholders is described in
the next section.
In order to identify the most important stakeholders for working towards more sustainable
water management, the local government can make use of certain methodologies, such
as a systematic approach to a stakeholder analysis and institutional mapping. These
approaches are explained in the following sub-sections.
O
identifiable such as insurers and pension funds. These relationships are
extremely complex and require a thorough understanding of their purpose.
Chlebek & Sharp (2008) examine the relationships of the stakeholders and
the position they have in water management. Figures 1 and 2 demonstrate
the complexity of water management in different fields, with those shown in
bold representing key stakeholders. It is clear that the areas of water sources
and stormwater management are much more complex than cleanwater
treatment/distribution and wastewater treatment and collection. This is likely
to be due to the remit of the water and sewerage provider and the structure of
water collection/treatment in the Birmingham, in that there is only one
sewerage provider and 2 water providers.
Birmingham also doesn’t have many access constraints that other global
cities face such as affordability and gender equality. Organisations such as
OFWAT, the Consumer Council for Water and Social Services have a number
of measures to ensure that access to water is not related to ability to pay.
When this is applied to other global cities, which are not as regulated, the
mapping results are very different, for example in Accra there are informal
structures in place which have no legal connections to water but are still
stakeholders in water management.
Figure 1-Stakeholders involved in clean and waste water management
(extract from Chlebek & Sharp, 2008)
figure 5: Stakeholders involved in clean and waste water management in birmingham
Source: Chlebek, J., Sharp, P.g., (2008)
29
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.1 Compiling information on the stakeholders
7.1.1 How to conduct a stakeholder analysis
The frst step to getting stakeholder involvement right is to ensure that all relevant
organisations and groups are on board. In some cases, this might be self-explanatory –
for example when it comes to water utilities or water associations - while in other cases
stakeholders might only be ‘discovered’ when the process has already been started.
Leaving out a stakeholder that is severely affected by poor water management and
actually has a great interest in playing an active role in defning the course of action can
badly damage and slow down the process. Moreover, in order to avoid that local politics
affect the selection of stakeholders, it is recommended to hire a neutral facilitator from
an early stage on. This person will have to keep an objective eye on the composition
of stakeholders and make sure that important actors with controversial views are also
invited.
Initially, it will most likely be up to the core team of the process to sit together and come
up with a frst list, through a simple scoping or brainstorming exercise. However, this list
will most likely be incomplete. Ideally, it is then an external facilitator who works with the
initially identifed stakeholders to refne and complete the selection.
A simple table such as this is useful for presenting and sharing the fnal list:
figure 6: Table for entering list of stakeholders
Name of stakeholder ‘Stake’/role
The degree to which a stakeholder selection process is complete is however relative. In
the course of the process, a different composition of stakeholders might be needed at
different stages and for different tasks or for different districts in the city.
Furthermore, a too large forum of stakeholders might make proper and result-oriented
facilitation close to impossible. In this case, it should be considered whether to create
two layers of the forum, with the ‘higher’ one looking at the entire city and decentralised
sub-fora focusing on specifc issues in certain areas only. Another way of dealing with
‘overly long’ lists of stakeholders might be that several organisations of similar character
coordinate their input and have just one or two delegates through whom they provide
their contributions and represent their interests. In any case, considering the above, it will
be necessary to get a more detailed understanding of who the stakeholders are.
The second main step is therefore a stakeholder analysis. One of the criteria to categorise
stakeholders are their offcial mandates and thus their power in the actual decision
making and later enforcement of decisions. However, equally important are those who are
affected by better or worse water management in the widest sense, such as for example
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
hospitals, the local tourism business or women in countries where they are typically the
ones to supply the water for their families.
A stakeholder analysis should be done in a participatory way since different perspectives
and knowledge about stakeholders will help get a proper fnal result. A common way to
arrive at a useful categorisation is to differentiate key, primary and secondary stakeholders:
• Key stakeholders include all those who can signifcantly infuence the policies and
practices of urban water management.
• Primary stakeholders are those who are directly affected by the way water is managed,
be it positively or negatively.
• Secondary stakeholders are all others with an interest, stake or intermediary role in
water management.
To distinguish between them, participants are asked to rank stakeholders according to:
• their infuence (i.e. their capacity to facilitate or impede an activity); and
• their importance (i.e. the priority given to them in terms of improving their particular
situation).
Ranking can be done by using ordinal scores of 1 to 5 (1 being a low infuence or low
importance, and 5 the highest). The ranking can be shown in a table or spiderweb (see
Figure 5).
figure 7: example of spider-web diagram refecting relative infuence of
diferent stakeholders in a particular situation
33
such as for example hospitals, the local tourism business or women in countries
where they are typically the ones to supply the water for their families.
A stakeholder analysis should be done in a participatory way since different
perspectives and knowledge about stakeholders will help get a proper final result. A
common way to arrive at a useful categorisation is to differentiate key, primary and
secondary stakeholders:
 Key stakeholders include all those who can significantly influence the policies and
practices of urban water management.
 Primary stakeholders are those who are directly affected by the way water is
managed, be it positively or negatively.
 Secondary stakeholders are all others with an interest, stake or intermediary role
in water management.
To distinguish between them, participants are asked to rank stakeholders according
to
 their influence (i.e. their capacity to facilitate or impede an activity); and
 their importance (i.e. the priority given to them in terms of improving their
particular situation).
Ranking can be done by using ordinal scores of 1 to 5 (1 being a low influence or low
importance, and 5 the highest). The ranking can be shown in a table or spiderweb
(see Figure 5).











Figure 5: Example of spider-web diagram reflecting relative influence of different
stakeholders in a particular situation (Butterworth, B., McIntyre P., da Silva Wells, C.
(Editors), 2011, Part II)
The relative influence and importance can then be compiled in a matrix (see Figure
6). The stakeholders that feature in boxes A, B and D are the key stakeholders. The
ones in A and B are the primary stakeholders and the ones in C are the secondary
stakeholders.

Source: ‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011), Part II
31
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
The relative infuence and importance can then be compiled in a matrix (see Figure 6).
The stakeholders that feature in boxes A, B and D are the key stakeholders. The ones in
A and B are the primary stakeholders and the ones in C are the secondary stakeholders.
More on stakeholder
analysis can be found in
‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011),
Part II
figure 8: Importance / Infuence Matrix
High Importance / Low Infuence High Importance / High Infuence
A B
C D
Low Importance / Low Infuence Low Importance / High Infuence
Source: UK department for International development, 2002
The fnal result of the analysis should be agreed upon by all stakeholders, something
which might not be so straightforward to do. In particular, the scoring of the importance
of stakeholder might lead to some controversy. Such debates, however, are already the
start of the necessary interaction between all concerned. It will be the role of a professional
moderator to guide the discussions in a way that they remain constructive and eventually
lead to the desired agreement.
Depending on the actual starting point of the involvement of stakeholders, but potentially
also at future stages of the process, clarifcation about further aspects of the identity and
role of stakeholders might be useful. This might refer, for example, to the way stakeholders
perceive water issues in the city, who are the prime movers or what are the relationships
between them. The moderator should be familiar with the methodologies that can be
used to explore such issues in a participatory way.
Even more detailed insights can be gained through institutional mapping, which is
described in the next section.
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.1.2 A backstage look at decision making: Institutional mapping
Institutional mapping means to look behind the ‘scenes’ of stakeholders in urban water
governance, i.e. behind offcial roles, structures and mandates. Thoroughly done this
will shed a light on where real power is located, who the main drivers and shakers are in
reality and how they ft in into the complex web of water sector relationships.
Realising integration in Urban Water Management depends to a large degree on the
institutions with an offcially attributed role in water management. Therefore, if integration
is the goal, these institutions will have to work differently. They will have to correct their
perceptions of each other and ultimately their relationships and modes of collaboration.
Before institutional reform and organisational change for achieving integration is set in
motion, it is therefore helpful to thoroughly investigate how the relevant key institutions
function and relate with each other.
“Institutions are defned as systems of rules, either formal or informal, and those rules defne
the boundaries of any institution. … Achieving greater integration in water management wil
involve either designing new institutions to suit the physical boundaries of the systems to
be managed, or improving the cooperation or coordination between existing institutions.”
Quoted from ‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011), Part II
Institutional mapping is the methodology for such an investigation. It goes behind the
scenes of institutional roles and mandates to explore where in a city the relevant power
(including fnancial resources) resides and how decision making works in reality. This will
determine how smoothly or how diffcult the uptake of new, more sustainable approaches
and technologies in the future will be. Having a better understanding of local power
relationships will also form a prerequisite for designing the roadmap to the reforms in
the local governance system that will be necessary for shifting towards more integration
in water management.
Looking into the issues mentioned above will result in a city-specifc institutional map.
While the principal map will provide an overview on the institutional landscape in general,
complementary maps might be more technology-oriented and give a better understanding
of the institutional issues that surround the uptake of a particular technology.
Institutional mapping is a lot more diffcult to carry out than a ‘more superfcial’
stakeholder analysis. What’s more, it might also lead to rather delicate, politically-
sensitive results. This is why it will always have to be the task of a researcher or consultant
to carry out such an exercise. This person needs to have a solid educational background
in social or political sciences - and here in particular in the area of water governance - and
should be a neutral actor who is not directly involved in the local stakeholder process. At
the same time, she or he has to be well familiar with the social web in the city, the local
culture and language, and the recent history as far as relevant for the present set-up of
the governance structure.
The quality of the resulting map will strongly depend on the information accessible to
the researcher or consultant. Here, the legitimacy of the stakeholder process and the
commitment of higher level politicians might play an important role. This also applies for
the chosen person’s relationships to the stakeholders and their confdence in the change
process, since the stakeholders themselves will be key informants for the development
of the institutional map.
A variety of mapping
reports as developed during
the SWITCH project are
available, amongst others,
for Accra, Ghana (Darteh,
B. et al., 2010), Belo
Horizonte, Brazil (Dias, J.
et al., 2011);Birmingham,
UK (Green, C., 2007);
Hamburg, Germany
(HafenCity Universität,
Hamburg, 2011); and
Zaragoza, Spain (de la Paz
de San Miguel Brinquis, M.,
2009).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
More information on
mapping can be found in
‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011),
Part II
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
33
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
See Module 1, Section for
4.2, for more information
on how water management
is linked to other sectors of
urban management.
7.2 Establishing a process for stakeholder involvement
Integration in urban water management will always depend to a large extent on the
effective involvement of stakeholders. At the end of the day, it will be their decisions
and their actions that determine whether conventional urban water management that
is characterised by fragmentation will be overcome in favour of a more coordinated
approach.
Early involvement of stakeholders in the strategic planning process is therefore key. This
will foster their ownership and their motivation to stick to the process during the ups and
downs of a journey that can be both rewarding and challenging.
The contribution of stakeholders will be crucial at many different stages of the strategic
planning process. To name but a few, the following are listed here:
• Visioning: Only if the stakeholders have developed and jointly agreed on the common
vision themselves will they will truly accept it as the framework for all further action.
• Priority setting: Priorities may not suit single actors only; they need to be discussed
and weighed against each other by all stakeholders. Otherwise they will remain stuck
in protecting their ‘own turf’ only.
• Implementation: Integration and more sustainable water management are high
aspirations, too high to be realised by single institutions only. Joint planning happens
with a view to later joint implementation.
• Monitoring and evaluation: No good management can happen without continuous
review and refection. A critical observation of the outcomes of the strategic planning
process needs to happen from different perspectives in order to spot its strengths
and weaknesses comprehensively.
While the list of benefts from working with stakeholders for IUWM could be a lot longer
it is also important not to raise false expectations concerning their role and infuence in
the process. It must be clear to them that their involvement does not replace the offcial
governance set-up. Instead, it will be established to complement the current structures
and to make up for the gaps and weaknesses identifed. In the long run, however, it should
actually lead to a reform of these structures and a revision of roles and responsibilities of
institution to match the requirements of an integrated approach.
The stakeholders have to be well aware about the relationship between their own activities
and what is happening on a more offcial level in order to avoid frustration and maintain
their willingness to spend time and money in this process.
Before a new stakeholder process is established, one further consideration will be
needed. This is whether a similar process for a parallel urban sector – for example in the
health arena – or a superordinate initiative – such as for urban planning or sustainable
development as a whole – is already in place. In this case, it is advisable to coordinate the
establishment of the new process with the unit in charge of the existing one. Depending
on the approach and the thematic focus of the latter, it might be possible to merge or at
least link the two processes right from the beginning. This would then also be a perfect
start for integrating water management to other sectors of urban management.
Stakeholder involvement calls for tenacity from all that take part. It takes time, it costs, it
is prone to confict and it consumes a lot of personal energy. Trying to capitalise on its
benefts rather than its challenges, it is worth looking into the experiences of those who
have undergone such a process before.
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The Learning Alliances in SWITCH, set up in more than ten cities worldwide, present a
rich source of experience.
Lessons learned from these and other similar processes can be reformulated into
recommendations that include the following:
• Ensure that there is a clear understanding of what the goal of the stakeholder process
is – and what is expected from each actor participating.
• Maintain transparency regarding each stakeholder’s role and the interests that the
respective institution pursues.
• Focus on common needs, i.e. the needs of the city as a whole, rather than that of
individual actors.
• Try to create win-win situations.
• Care for early tangible results – even if of smaller extent – so that stakeholders can
see their efforts bearing fruit.
I
m
a
g
e
:

T
a
m
e
r

E
l
-
H
a
k
i
m
Meeting of the local SWITCH Learning Alliance in Alexandria, Egypt
35
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
3
In order to avoid confusion, a person coordinating the overall stakeholder process is here called a
‘facilitator’ and the person guiding the activities in a meeting or workshop is called a ‘moderator’.
In most literature, however, both roles can be found called ‘facilitator’.
7.2.1 Financial requirements
Stakeholder involvement comes at a cost. However, this money will be well invested and
promises return in good time if the stakeholder process runs effectively and leads to the
expected results and benefts.
The following cost categories should be kept in mind when calculating the budget for the
stakeholder process:
Staf
This is on top of the list and should not be underestimated. Given a rather continuous
fow of communication internally and externally, the coordination of a stakeholder process
needs at least one person – the facilitator of the process and the stakeholder network -
with a signifcant proportion of time dedicated to just this task.
Additional capacity will also be required for various other tasks such as logistical
arrangements for meetings and the development of a specifc website.
Depending on the internal staff resources and their knowledge and skills some of these
tasks might better be outsourced. The local government will have to consider this
carefully, in particular with regard to the overall facilitation of the process
Communication costs
Communication of all kind will be the central activity throughout the stakeholder process.
This includes everything from ordinary mailings to phone calls, faxes and e-mails.
A separate website with chat facilities, discussion fora and blogs can be a useful tool for
communication with the wider public.
Print materials
A lot of information can nowadays be disseminated through electronic means, but for
certain purposes and since not everyone has access to the Internet yet print materials
might still be the more appropriate choice. Awareness raising campaigns and public
events, for example, usually need posters, banners and fyers to spread key messages.
Moderator
3
for meetings
Stakeholders will have to invest a good bit of their own time for taking part in meetings. To
use their time most effectively and effciently and get to the desired results of meetings,
a professional moderator will be indispensable.
Cost for meeting venues, equipment, materials and catering
Meeting venues need to be convenient for the participants and well equipped with
everything needed for a productive meeting. It will be usually the moderator who
indicates what is needed. Typically, this will include pin boards, fip charts and special
stationery such as moderation cards in different colours and sizes. A computer and an
LCD projector also have to be available if presentations are foreseen.
Apart from the provision of drinks and snacks for coffee breaks, meetings that take longer
than half a day may also have to include lunch.
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.2.2 Setting up a focal point for coordination
All strands of activities that are part of the integration process will have to be overseen
by a dedicated node of coordination. If this unit resides within the local government,
this will be the focal point to ensure collaboration with all concerned departments of the
administration internally, but also functions as the relay for all external relationships.
The coordination function will have two main aspects: a more technical one and a more
process-oriented one. Staff responsible for the respective activities will therefore have to
have different professional backgrounds and skills.
To highlight the local government’s commitment to the process and give it the necessary
authority, the focal point is best placed in a higher-level strategic department. However,
the institutional environment in which the process will be embedded varies a lot, so
that the anchoring of this unit within the structures of local government – or another
institution chosen for the coordination - will be very different from city to city.
Expert advice and training
From time to time discussions might come across a certain issue that is not well enough
understood by any of the stakeholders around the table. In such cases, an additional
expert might have to be hired to provide more detailed insights into the respective subject.
More prolonged training might also become necessary, for example to ensure that
stakeholders with little expertise in water can follow and share the discussions in an
equitable manner.
See Section 7.3 of Module
1 for the various options
to set up a focal point for
coordination within a local
government.
I
m
a
g
e
:

k
i
a
n
k
h
o
o
n
/
i
S
t
o
c
k
37
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
The local government will further have to defne how the activities of the overall
coordination node will relate to those of the day-to-day facilitation of the stakeholder
network and process and who is most suitable – in- or outside the own ranks - to
moderate the various stakeholder meetings.
A potential model for sharing responsibilities could be, for example, as shown in the box
below.
Potential share of responsibilities
for conducting a stakeholder process
Focal point for coordination:
• Managing internal collaboration between local government departments,
utilities (if publicly owned) and local council (incl. Mayor)
• Ensuring coherence with other strategies and policies
• Linking internal and external stakeholders
• Development of Terms of Reference for process and stakeholders involved
• Hiring facilitator and moderator
• Planning and administering budget
Facilitation of interaction with and between stakeholders:
• Ensuring day-to-day communication
• Identifying needs for information and training
• Organising meetings with stakeholders
• Working with media
• Maintaining website
• Documenting process
• Establishing a mechanism for participatory monitoring and evaluation
Moderation of meetings:
• Developing the programme for meetings
• Ensuring that all equipment and materials are in place
• Guiding participants to achieve expected outcomes
• Creating space for equal involvement of all participants
The overall coordination of the stakeholder involvement, the facilitation of the process
and the network and the moderation of meetings will always be closely linked. How these
three functions are organized in a particular city will depend on its size and the capacities
of the administration, but also on the willingness of other institutions to share some of
these tasks and many other locally-specifc circumstances.
Further information on the role of a facilitator and a moderator can be found in this
module in Sections 7.3.1 and 7.3.2 respectively.
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.2.3 Getting stakeholders on board
Once the institutions that will form the stakeholder group are selected, certain rules
and procedures will have to be defned about their role and the ways and means of their
participation.
In more informal processes, representatives of stakeholders might just be addressed
following earlier contacts of the local government. Participation is more on an individual
basis and does not imply major rights or duties.
In a more formal process, the focal point will have to address invitations to the senior
executives of institutions or the leaders of social groups and request them to nominate
the actual representative in the process from their side. The goals of the stakeholder
process and the roles and responsibilities of each participating institution or group need
to be clearly spelled out and jointly agreed at the frst meeting, maybe in some kind of
Terms of Reference. Each stakeholder institution will have to formally commit itself to
take part in the process within the boundaries of its given mandate and thus also approve
of the fnancial implications of its participation such as in particular covering the staff
time of their representative to be spent during the process.
In reality, such processes will always be hybrids including both formal and informal
elements. However, the institution that convenes the process will have to bear the above
implications in mind and take a conscious decision about the nature of the process and
the mutual expectations involved.
The conceptual framing of the stakeholder process will also determine whether the
institutions and groups addressed will actually agree with playing a part. For them, it will
have to be clear what the benefts of integration and their own involvement will be. Public
entities in particular have their own agenda and institutional responsibilities for which
they are accountable. If they are requested to invest time and money in a stakeholder
process, they need to be convinced that they can get something in return.
The frst invitation to stakeholders will therefore have to be formulated with care.
Different stakeholders might be addressed in different ways to match their interests and
to provide incentives that are particularly relevant for them. For this, it will be useful to
refer back to the outcome of the earlier stakeholder analysis (see Section 7.1.1) and the
city’s institutional map (see Section 7.1.2).
The offcial launch of a stakeholder process is often marked by a kick-off event that also
aims at getting the attention of media and thus the wider public. It will be useful to
also invite the mayor or other high-ranking local and potentially provincial or national
politicians which will give the event higher recognition right from the beginning. This will
also convey an important message to the actual stakeholders in terms of their importance
and the offcial appreciation of their involvement.
Ensuring good relations to higher-level political offcials will also be a backbone of
maintaining the commitment of stakeholders in the long run and keeping them on board
throughout the process. This holds especially true in diffcult times, for example, when
the process has come to a certain standstill, major conficts have emerged or there is a
lack of tangible success.
See Section 6.2 in this
module for the distinction
between informal and
formal processes
39
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.2.4 Social inclusion: Enabling disadvantaged groups to
become involved
One of the universal roles of democratically elected local governments is to be at the
service of their local constituency. Citizens pay taxes to government with the expectation
that public authorities will take care of their basic needs. Equal access to water and
sanitation services is crucial to meet such needs and to create the conditions for human
subsistence, health and welfare.
It is therefore one of the principle goals of any integration process for urban water
management to extend and improve services also for those inhabitants in town that have
so far been neglected. This applies in particular to those groups of society that live in
areas in the city that are poorly planned and constructed – or maybe not planned at
all. Poverty is the common theme of these areas, but poverty usually has its deeper
roots in some kind of social discrimination that identifes people as not belonging to the
mainstream of society and culture.
Social exclusion is a ‘process by which certain groups are systematically disadvantaged
because they are discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, sexual
orientation, caste, descent, gender, age, disability, HIV status, migrant status or where they
live. Discrimination occurs in public institutions, such as the legal system or education and
health services, as well as social institutions like the household’
Quoted from DFID (2005)
If sustainability is the long-term goal, these people do not only have a right to enjoy equal
services as everyone else in the city, they also have to play an active role in planning and
designing these services.
Working together with marginalised and disadvantaged groups of society often presents
a major challenge for the convenor of a stakeholder process. Apart from having a different
cultural background, people from poor communities might also speak a different
language, have a different educational background and also lack the confdence or the
rhetorical skills to effectively take part in discussions that are conducted following rules
of the dominant culture in a city or country. It is therefore by no means suffcient to just
invite representatives of such groups and expect that they fnd a way to make up for their
disadvantage by themselves.
Social inclusion needs to be tackled with a strategy of its own. This will be important
right from the start when stakeholders are defned and invited to the process. First
problems might already occur at this stage when the relevant community is cut off from
the regular communication channels or when people are illiterate and thus unable to read
information materials and invitations, even if translated into their language. Different
forms of communication might be necessary such as visits to people’s houses, interviews
and other forms of direct oral conversations.
SWITCH case studies on
social inclusion have been
developed, among others,
for six Indonesian cities
(Sijbesma & Verhagen,
2008); Colombo, Sri
Lanka (Smet, 2008);
Kumasi, Ghana (Nyarko
et al., 2007); and
several cities that were
involved in EMPOWERS
- Euro-Mediterranean
Participatory Water
Resources Scenarios (da
Silva Wells, 2008)
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
People can be excluded because of:
• what they have or do not have in terms of access to resources (money, land, housing,
public services etc.);
• where they live (e.g. in neighbourhood predominantly home to an ethnic minority);
• who they are (e.g. elderly or handicapped people or people whose tradition, culture or
religion etc. is not mainstream).
Source: Nelson, V. et al (2008)
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
In many cases, such obstacles can be overcome by working closely together with
community-based organisations in these areas that can act as a mediator between
the poor and disadvantage communities and the local government or other institution
convening the stakeholder process.
However, issues are not solved once the proper organisation or individual is identifed
that has an interest and commitment in participating in the process. It will be a constant
challenge for the convenors of the process, and in particular the facilitator, to ensure that
disadvantaged people have, for example, the same access to information and the same
space for staging their claims.
Assisting such groups of society to become properly included in the process will usually
require targeted support. This may be, for example:
• training in the effective articulation of interests and priorities as well as in negotiation;
• separate technical briefngs;
• translation and potentially interpretation services;
• production of graphical – and not only written – materials;
• transport services to meetings if people cannot pay for their own travel;
• adjustment of meeting times to their daily lives because they can less afford to miss
income from not being able to execute their jobs.
It might also be considered to organise visits to the poor communities for the other
participants of the stakeholder group so that they can get their own picture of the harsh
realities of being excluded from proper services. Certain stakeholder meetings might be
directly held in such communities. Both will beneft from high-level political representation
to demonstrate commitment and readiness for tangible change which will be particularly
important for people living in poverty or at the edge of society.
For a broader approach to social inclusion and in cases where a multi-stakeholder
initiative is organised to address a major confict between a marginalized community and
other stakeholders, see also the SWITCH developed SASI framework as briefy described
in Section 6.4 and 7.2.4 of this module.
More information on social
inclusion can be found in
‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011),
Part II.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

T
a
n
i
a

F
e
r
n
a
n
d
a

S
a
n
t
o
s
Meeting of the tanners in Villapinzòn, Colombia
41
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.3 Working with stakeholders efectively
Setting a stakeholder process into motion is certainly not easy and requires a good deal
of preparation. However, working with stakeholders over time, making sure to arrive at
proper results and keeping people interested and actively contributing to the process will
also require constant attention.
Depending on the magnitude and duration of the process, initial enthusiasm can turn
into fatigue when discussions don’t move forward and no proper decisions are taken. In
order to avoid that the stakeholder process falls to pieces before it has fulflled its purpose
the following will be important:
• Ensuring early outputs: Discussions and meetings only – although indispensable for
the strategic planning process – might lead to people questioning the process.
Smaller actions or demonstrations that are implemented before the action plan is
completed help build confdence that the process will eventually deliver tangible
change.
• Highlighting success: Smaller milestones should also fnd their way into the media to
maintain a sense of progress.
• Raising profle of stakeholders engaged: Those willing to spend time and other
resources for the common cause of improving water management in the city should
be publicly recognised. This may apply both to institutions, but also to individuals.
Being in charge of a stakeholder process that will most likely last for several years
will always remain a huge challenge. This is why the facilitator of the process – or the
members of the facilitating team – will have to be chosen with care. For certain tasks,
and depending on the capacities of the human resources in the institution convening the
process, it is also advisable to rather seek cooperation with a professional who has special
skills and long-term experience in working with social processes. Some of the tasks that
rely in particular on special expertise are outlined in the following.
Note: As indicated before, the terms ‘facilitator’ and ‘moderator’ refer here to different
functions; this choice has been made to avoid confusion between their two distinct
roles. ‘Facilitator’ is used for a person coordinating the stakeholder network and the
overall process. ‘Moderator’ is used for a person guiding a meeting or workshop. In other
literature, both roles can often be referred to as ‘facilitator’.
This does, of course, not exclude that a facilitator also moderates meetings or that a
moderator is member of the process facilitation team.
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.3.1 Facilitating a stakeholder network
When stakeholders are called to a meeting, it is quite obvious that an agenda has to
be in place and someone to guide the people through a sequence of presentations,
discussions and other joint activities. However, once the stakeholders are not physically
together in the same room, it might seem that nobody is needed to ‘look after’ them. This
is, however, not the case.
The stakeholders form a net of relations and have a joint task to accomplish. They do this
when meeting each other, but also in their different professional contexts. This is why
they need to be linked with each other throughout the process and why a facilitator for
the network will be required throughout.
The following focuses on the role of a facilitator within the stakeholder network. However,
all activities within the network are part of the stakeholder process and thus both aspects
are closely linked.
Network facilitators will have to be gifted in communication in the widest sense. They
need to be able to talk many ‘languages’ of people from different social backgrounds.
They will have to be pro-active in their communication, always eager to ‘collect and
connect’ - i.e. to collect relevant and up-to-date pieces of information and connect people
with people, with resources, with opportunities etc. They should also be people able to
oversee the fow of communication in a network and have an eye for bits and pieces that
might be interesting and useful for other recipients or for writing up a story for the media,
a publication on the stakeholder forum’s website etc.
The ABC of the ideal competencies of network facilitators describe their typical Activities,
required Behaviour and their ability to handle different (communication) Channels. Below
can help a local government identify the most suitable person within its own ranks or
externally.
Activities
• Network facilitators are knowledge managers. This starts with making sure that a list
of all members of the network exists – in this case the participants of the stakeholder
process – and that all its key documents are easily accessible for all.
• Facilitators have to ensure that important information arrives at those who will have
to be aware of it. This kind of information sharing might happen digitally, but also
includes the organisation of meetings.
• Facilitators are representatives of the process. They promote it in other circles and
make sure that achievements become known.
• Facilitators have a permanent role in the network that is similar to that of a host who
has invited guests: they introduce new people to the network, bring people together
that are likely to have something in common, make sure that no one is left aside and
keep the energy and fow of communication going.
Behaviour
• Network facilitators are always at the pulse of communication. They are attentive
to questions and needs of the network members and make sure that information is
properly understood. When necessary, they help out with pointing at complementary
sources of information, be it within or outside of the network.
• Facilitators make sure that the communication works smoothly and bring members of
the network together that might have diffculties to communicate properly.
43
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Channels
• Network facilitators are aware about the different media that are available for
communication between network members and know what they can or cannot do
with which. They also a have particular interest and the related skills in exploiting the
latest of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Finally, they are aware
of the different methods to be applied for guiding meetings via tele- and
videoconferences.
• Facilitators organise informal meetings to nurture and strengthen relationships
between members.
• Facilitators have a wide spectrum of skills for processing information in different
ways; they can write for different purposes and media and appeal to different target
groups.
Considering the central role of good communication and all the skills that go with it,
it might be questionable whether all of these can reside in just one person. At least in
bigger cities it will be useful to have one main person for the facilitation who then leads
a team of two or three members who together represent the mosaic of abilities required.

More guidance on how to
facilitate communication in
a stakeholder network can
be found in ‘SWITCH in the
City’ (2011), Part II
Website of the local SWITCH Learning Alliance in Birmingham, UK http://switchbirmingham.wordpress.com
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.3.2 The moderation of stakeholder meetings
People working in local governments and other institutions are used to meetings and
often believe that it is not especially diffcult to run them. They might have done it often
enough by themselves or have observed their superiors or colleagues doing it. However,
at the same time many walk out from meetings bored or frustrated or with a sense of
having wasted their time.
This is a clear indicator that it is indeed an art of its own to conduct meetings that really
deliver the intended results, but also do so in a reasonable amount of time and with
keeping the spirits high until these results are achieved. Professional moderators have
these skills, and the more crucial the expected result of a meeting is – for example a
visioning process - the more important is their involvement.
Furthermore, there are many instances in the process where it will be crucial that the
person leading a meeting is in a neutral position. Otherwise, there will easily be a
suspicion that the consensus of the meeting is not a real one, but rather meets the
particular interests of the institution that this person represents.
Poorly conducted meetings which people leave disappointed and possibly even angry
will spoil the entire process and shift the attention from the actual issues of the debate to
the behaviour of certain stakeholders and the process as such. There are therefore many
good reasons to hire a professional person.
What is a good moderator?
A good moderator:
• is seen as trustworthy, impartial and culturally sensitive
• speaks clearly and positively
• notices and responds when people’s energy is fagging.
A suitably fexible moderator
• plans the agenda in advance but is fexible on the day
• ensures at the start of the meeting that the purpose is clear and agreed by those present
• has a toolbox of techniques for engaging people in different ways.
An experienced moderator:
• focuses on guiding the meeting rather than talking
• ensures that different voices are heard and prevents one person or group from
dominating the meeting
• constructively manages confict
• clarifes where necessary, by paraphrasing what has just been said and checking accuracy
• summarises at intervals the conclusions the meeting appears to be reaching
• keeps the meeting on track and keeps an eye on the time
• helps participants draw conclusions at the end and determine clear actions.
Adapted from Offce for the Community & Voluntary Sector, Government of New Zealand,
Good Practice – Participate; available at
http://www.goodpracticeparticipate.govt.nz/techniques/choosing-a-facilitator.html
Information on the role
of visioning in strategic
planning and how to
conduct a visioning process
can be found in Module 1,
Section 7.5.2
45
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
On the other hand, there will also be a lot of smaller meetings that are closer to the type
of regular work meetings in any offce. These can be easily chaired by the convening
institution or any other stakeholder with a good understanding of the issues at hand.
Some basics to be kept in mind for conducting an effective meeting can be found below.
These should however not be understood as an exhaustive list and what applies in a
specifc case will always depend on the actual purpose of a meeting.
The following can be used as a basic check list for holding an effective meeting:
• The agenda and the key documents need to be distributed beforehand.
• All participants should be introduced to each other.
• A consensus must be in place about the desired outcome of the meeting.
• One person has to be in charge of taking notes, keeping track of the main points
made and compiling a concise report on the results of the meeting afterwards.
• The moderator or chairperson of the meeting has to make sure that everybody has
equal opportunity to speak.
• Discussions have to be result-oriented.
• Interim and fnal results should be made visible to all, for example by writing them
down on a fip chart poster.
• All participants should receive the report afterwards including the list of participants
with contact information.
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.3.3 Consensus building
A large number of agreements will have to be taken during the strategic planning process:
on a joint vision, on priorities, objectives, targets, the strategy, actions for implementation
etc. Depending on how the role of stakeholders is defned in these, a great deal of the
meetings will be dedicated to arriving at a consensus in these matters.
The strength of the moderator of stakeholder meetings will therefore lie to a great degree
on her or his ability to guide stakeholders in a way that these events will indeed result in
the outputs foreseen.
A consensus should not be confused with a majority vote. It is rather a kind of negotiation
process in which all stakeholders have equal space to bring their needs and interests to
the fore. These will have to be weighed against each other in order to come to conclusions
which everybody around the table can live with – even if they do not fully meet the initial
expectations.
All actors will have to be ready for certain compromises. At the same time, fnding a
consensus should not be just limited to fnding the least common denominator.
Sustainable water management is a high aspiration and won’t come about without some
bold and powerful decisions to change key elements of the conventional system.
Also in this sense, the choice of the right moderator will be crucial for a successful
participatory strategic planning process. Any good moderator will have a large set of
moderation techniques and tools at her or his disposal for achieving the needed
agreements. If she or he fails to deliver concrete outputs of meetings, the selection of a
new moderator might have to be considered.
With professional result-oriented moderation each agreement that is clearly based on a
consensus of all stakeholders can signifcantly contribute to strengthening the process.
The common experience of going through the ups and downs of debates, negotiations
and eventually formulating a jointly agreed output will strengthen ownership on the side of
stakeholders. Thus, it will also increase their commitment to continue their participation
and actively follow up with whatever is needed from the side of their own institution.
I
m
a
g
e
:

K
a
t
a
r
z
y
n
a

I
z
y
d
o
r
c
z
y
k
Meeting of the local SWITCH Learning Alliance in Łódź, Poland
47
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.3.4 Confict mediation
It is in the nature of a process involving a diverse set of stakeholders that conficts will
arise. One could even argue that one of the key reasons why stakeholders are being
brought together for fnding a joint vision and approach to water management is the
fact that their claims on water derive from different institutional and individual interests
that are unbalanced and give privileges to some while providing disadvantages to others.
Conficts are therefore unavoidable, but if managed constructively will shed light on the
main barriers that hinder progress towards more sustainability and trigger the discussions
necessary to overcome such barriers.
Conficts over water and water management might already be in the open and then have
to be addressed at an early stage – maybe even before a strategic planning process gets
initiated. Other conficts may be hidden and only come to the surface during the process,
for example when prioritising the issues that should most urgently be addressed. In any
case, every major confict will need proper attention, so that the spirit of collaboration for
better water management in the future can be maintained and the stakeholder process
continued.
Confict mediation is a skill that usually goes beyond the typical profle of a process
facilitator or a moderator of regular meetings. Since a poorly managed confict is likely
to damage the planning process as a whole it is indispensable to involve a neutral and
experienced professional who can turn a confict into a productive source for developing
alternative solutions.
A confict mediator has to be equipped with a specifc methodology to guide the
conficting parties through a process enabling them to review their perception of the
issue at stake and acknowledge the different perspectives of other stakeholders. The
opposite sides are required to rethink the potential ways and means to deal with the
issue in a constructive manner. This should allow all actors involved to pursue their own
interests to a degree that does not exclude the others doing the same. At the end of a
successful mediation process will not be winners and losers. Instead, all parties will be
able to beneft from having shown readiness to compromise some of their agenda for the
sake of the greater good.
While bigger and smaller conficts will always emerge in a mutil-stakeholder activity,
a confict may actually also be the actual reason why stakeholders are being brought
together in the frst place. In such a situation, the facilitator of the overall process has to
have strong skills and solid experience in confict-resolution her- or himself. A broader
methodology will be necessary such as SASI, a methodology for building a strategic
alliance on an initial confict while addressing the lack of social inclusion of one the two
main conficting parties at the same time (see box next page and Section 6.4 for further
details).
“Whenever there is confict
in the room, it means
there’s energy to work on
something - confict is better
than apathy.”
Lisa Beutler in Forester
(2007). Quoted from Jan
Teun Visscher (2008)
48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
A systematic approach for moving from confict to mutual beneft:
the case of micro-tanneries in Villapinzòn, Colombia
Colombia’s economy is
characterised by a high proportion
of micro and small enterprises
that employ more than 80% of
the nation’s workforce. In the
case of Villapinzòn, these are
micro-tanneries that have settled
along the Bogotá river decades
ago to dispose of the effuents
that result from their production
process.
Forcing the tanneries to stop this
behaviour had not been possible
because they were not aware
of any affordable alternative for
dealing with the polluted water.
Legal action was therefore
equivalent for them to lose their
business and thus their livelihood.
With the SWITCH developed framework SASI (Systematic Approach for Social Inclusion),
the tanners were supported in building their own professional association and exploring
different technical solutions to reduce the pollution to the river in compliance with legal
requirements. This strengthened their position vis-à-vis the offcial authorities and enabled
them to enter into a constructive dialogue and joint action with their former antagonists.
For more details on the SASI methodology and its application in practice,
see the case study by Sanz, M. et al, 2010: Bringing Together Diverse Groups
to Clean Up the Bogotà River – The case of micro- tanneries in Villapinzón,
Colombia. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
In all cases, however, it is important to note that confict mediation does not end with all
parties coming to an agreement over an issue. On the contrary, the actual settlement of
the confict will only be achieved if the actions agreed are put into practice and if there
is also a procedure in place guaranteeing that this indeed happens. The actual solution
of the confict might therefore only materialise weeks, months or even years after the
agreement has been accepted.
Micro-tannery in Villapinzòn, Colombia
I
m
a
g
e
:

T
a
n
i
a

F
e
r
n
a
n
d
a

S
a
n
t
o
s
49
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.4 Assessing the stakeholder process
Stakeholder involvement should be seen as a means to an end and not as ‘something
good’ to be done for its own sake. Both the stakeholders themselves as well as the
institution managing the process have to invest a signifcant amount of time and money.
It would therefore be a wasteful exercise if it would not lead to the desired results.
While it goes without saying that a monitoring process has to be established for
observing the outcomes of implementing the actual urban water strategy, keeping a close
eye on the stakeholder process from which this strategy derives is equally important.
Certain problems in achieving, for example, the technical objectives of the strategy may
actually result from an inadequate involvement of stakeholders and can potentially only
be resolved in a satisfactory manner after the issue in the underlying process has been
explored.
To make a proper assessment of the stakeholder involvement possible it will be necessary
that a certain record is kept on the different developments, incidents, breakthroughs,
conficts etc. that will happen while the process evolves. Process documentation is an
approach to ensure that such a record exists, and the assessment will not have to rely
only on the good memory and purely subjective impressions of the facilitator or the
stakeholders.
The assessment can happen with a focus on the quality of the process itself or rather
on its outcomes, in other words its effectiveness. In the frst case, an issue such as the
fair participation of disadvantaged groups might be of interest. In the second case, the
attention might be on whether the stakeholders have managed to come to an agreement
on a particular matter within a reasonable period of time.
In order not to disrupt the spirit of collaboration, transparency is also indispensable.
Ideally, stakeholders themselves participate in shaping the procedure for assessment and
also share their own perspectives when the actual assessment is undertaken. In addition
it is useful to include an impartial external person who can provide further refections
from a more neutral point of view.
In the following, methods for process documentation and monitoring and evaluation are
being explained in more detail.
50
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
More guidance on how
to capture the process of
change can be found in
‘SWITCH in the City’ (2011),
Part II
7.4.1 Process documentation
Process documentation is a method for looking more closely and critically into processes
of change; it tracks what happened, how it happened, and why it happened.
In practice, process documentation means to have an individual – or potentially also
a team – following the process of change with some sort of a ‘diary’, i.e. with memos,
photographs, videos etc. from interviews, events and others relevant activities. In this
way, a continuous record of local stories about the process will get compiled. This record
will then allow a more thorough refection of the process of change as well as including
the factors that have helped or hindered its progress.
Process documentation can have an internal as well as an external purpose:
• Internally, it can support those in charge of coordinating the strategic planning
process – including the involvement of stakeholders - to better understand its
actual course of development. It reveals insights into factors that provide a barrier
or accelerate change such as certain legacies from the past, traditional beliefs, local
politics, power constellations etc. Observations made contribute to the learning
around the process and are also used to explore options on what could potentially be
done to overcome blockades that might have to do with one of these factors.
• Externally, these insights might also be shared with others and thus contribute to
more transparency vis-à-vis the wider citizenship and feed the public debate on key
issues. Such kind of external sharing has to be part of a broader communication
strategy. Some of the observations, for example, might be politically sensitive and
damage the reputation of one of the stakeholders that is however still a key actor in
moving things forward.
Process documentation is typically the task of the person or team in charge of facilitating
the process. Of course, it can be greatly supported by many others providing the facilitator
with their own collection of observations, snips of newspaper clippings, photos etc.
51
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
7.4.2 Monitoring
Just as for the performance and the effectiveness of the urban water system and its
management itself, indicators are also needed to keep track of whether the stakeholder
process meets its purpose. While the defnition of appropriate indicators is already
challenging for the water system, assessing a process can be even more tricky.
Looking at the process and ‘soft’ outcomes of stakeholder involvement requires a
different methodology, such as the defnition of ‘micro-scenarios’ that refect gradient,
and qualitative levels of achieving change. The micro-scenarios can be assessed in a
participatory way.
Every ‘ladder’ of a set of micro-scenarios relates to an objective of the stakeholder
process. The ‘steps’ on this ladder formulate gradual changes from the current state to
the state assumed as meeting the objective. Furthermore, one of the steps is defned as
a benchmark, i.e. the minimum level to be achieved.
The scheme of such a monitoring method, i.e. both the micro-scenarios themselves as
well as the associated scores, should be developed and agreed by the stakeholders. This
will at the same time increase their awareness on what constitutes a successful process
and potentially trigger some ideas what they can contribute themselves to make this
happen.
Example:
The objective is ‘to have a clear picture on who the involved stakeholders are and that
they communicate with each other effectively’.
The relevant micro-scenarios might look as follows (adapted from ‘SWITCH in the City’
(2011), Part II.
Scenarios for objective Score
There is no accessible record of stakeholders involved and of their actual involvement in
various events and activities.
0
There is an out-of-date record of stakeholders and their actual involvement in events and
activities.
25
There is an up-to-date record of stakeholders and their involvement, and some basic
communication tools are systematically used (e.g. email, phone) between events.
50
(benchmark)
There is an up-to-date record of stakeholders and their involvement, and archives are
maintained through systematic use of advanced communication tools such as a message
board or an Internet Forum.
75
Information on the involved stakeholders is accessible to all (e.g. via an on-line database),
participation in all events and activities is systematically recorded and a combination of
methods is used effectively (based on feedback received) to communicate between events.
100
Justifcation of score (with date) Score awarded
figure 9: Micro-scenarios assessing progress in a stakeholder process
52
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.4.3 Evaluation
With the micro-scenarios and the associated scores in place, stakeholders have a useful
tool to conduct an evaluation. This should happen at regular intervals.
Of course, the evaluation doesn’t end with the agreement on the scores. Especially if the
latter indicate a level of achievement below the benchmark, a critical review of the set-
up and management of the stakeholder process will be necessary: what has worked and
what hasn’t? And what are the reasons?
Measures to improve the stakeholder process can look very different. They can range
from a more responsive and frequent communication with stakeholders in order to build
more trust and commitment on their side to more ‘radical’ consequences such as the
replacement of the process facilitator.
Another conclusion of the evaluation might also be that the micro-scenarios themselves
need a certain adjustment - or that another objective should be added for refecting on
the process, including an entire set of own scenarios.
Evaluation can greatly beneft from the involvement of a neutral person – for example a
researcher or possibly also a journalist – who has a certain distance to the process and
can also not be easily accused of being biased and using the fndings to push through an
own agenda. Of course the results of such an analysis will then have be shared again with
the entire group of stakeholders for drawing their conclusions.
A neutral outsider will also be able to raise some potentially contentious issues, in
particular concerning barriers to change, that would otherwise never be raised by any
stakeholder in order to avoid political tensions or damage the reputation of the one or
other person or institution around the table. However, if a group of stakeholders is truly
committed to taking integrated urban water management forward, it will also have to be
ready to deal with less comfortable facts which will be crucial to keep the process going.
53
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Wrapping up
O
In conventional urban water management the range of tasks is typically performed by
different institutions in isolation. Water users have little say in decisions taken, apart from
those with signifcant economic power.
Lack of coordination and poor awareness of user needs and interests lead to ineffciencies
in water management. Negative impacts to other sectors of urban development and
management often remain overlooked and result in the wasteful use of resources.
Involving all relevant institutions and groups - including the socially marginalized - in
the management of the urban water cycle can be benefcial for all provided that power
relations between stakeholders are well understood and taken into account while moving
ahead.
Stakeholder involvement has to be based on the principles of good governance including
accountability, transparency and equity, and mutual trust and respect are necessary for
making it work.
Given the ever-rising complexity of urban water affairs, science and technology become
increasingly important. The Learning Alliance approach provides a format for involving
researchers so that they can assist the identifcation of up-to-date and locally tailored
solutions while also promoting broader uptake of innovation and lessons learned.
Integration is the main mechanism for developing more sustainable water management,
and it cannot be achieved without the concerted effort of all relevant stakeholders. This
becomes even more important in the decades to come when the pressure on water
systems such as rapid urbanisation, economic growth and climate change will further
increase.
Key ingredients for a successful process are central coordination, strong facilitation, a
local ‘champion’ for continuously driving the process and the long-term planning and
allocation of fnancial and other resources.
The stakeholder process needs to be equipped with clear and measurable goals and
these have to be monitored and evaluated regularly.
33
such as for example hospitals, the local tourism business or women in countries
where they are typically the ones to supply the water for their families.
A stakeholder analysis should be done in a participatory way since different
perspectives and knowledge about stakeholders will help get a proper final result. A
common way to arrive at a useful categorisation is to differentiate key, primary and
secondary stakeholders:
 Key stakeholders include all those who can significantly influence the policies and
practices of urban water management.
 Primary stakeholders are those who are directly affected by the way water is
managed, be it positively or negatively.
 Secondary stakeholders are all others with an interest, stake or intermediary role
in water management.
To distinguish between them, participants are asked to rank stakeholders according
to
 their influence (i.e. their capacity to facilitate or impede an activity); and
 their importance (i.e. the priority given to them in terms of improving their
particular situation).
Ranking can be done by using ordinal scores of 1 to 5 (1 being a low influence or low
importance, and 5 the highest). The ranking can be shown in a table or spiderweb
(see Figure 5).











Figure 5: Example of spider-web diagram reflecting relative influence of different
stakeholders in a particular situation (Butterworth, B., McIntyre P., da Silva Wells, C.
(Editors), 2011, Part II)
The relative influence and importance can then be compiled in a matrix (see Figure
6). The stakeholders that feature in boxes A, B and D are the key stakeholders. The
ones in A and B are the primary stakeholders and the ones in C are the secondary
stakeholders.

 
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
©
®
54
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
O
references
arnstein, S. r. (1969) A Ladder of Citizen Participation, JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969,
pp. 216-224. http://lithgow-schmidt.dk/sherry-arnstein/ladder-of-citizen-participation.
html
bury, P., Sijbesma, C., eckart, J. (2008) Our island in the city of Hamburg. Ten years
experience with citizens involvement “MITwirken” in rehabilitation and restructuring
of Wilhelmsburg island – a basis for social inclusion in integrated urban water
management?, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The
Netherlands & HafenCity Universität, Hamburg, Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
butterworth, J.a., dziegielewska-geitz, M., Wagner, I., Sutherland,a., Manning, n.,
da Silva Wells, C., Verhagen, J. (2008) Learning Alliances for innovation in urban water
management. Paper presented at the thematic workshop ‘Water and Cities’ at the Water
Tribune, Expo Zaragoza, Spoin, 25-28 July 2008. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
butterworth, J.a., McIntyre P., da Silva Wells, C. (eds.) (2011) SWITCH in the City:
putting urban water management to the test, IRC International Water and Sanitation
Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
butterworth, J.a., Sutherland, a., Manning, n., darteh, b., dziegielewska-geitz,
M., eckart, J., batchelor, C., Moriarty, P., Schouten, T., da Silva Wels, Verhagen,
J., bury, P.J. (2008) Building more effective partnerships for innovation in urban
water management. Paper presented at International Conference on Water and
Urban Development Paradigms: Towards an integration of engineering, design and
management approaches, 15-19 September 2008, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,
Belgium. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Chlebek, J., Sharp, P. (2008) Birmingham Learning Alliance Stakeholder Analysis,
ARUP, Solihull, West Midlands, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
darteh, b., adank, M., Manu, K.S. (2010) Integrated Urban Water Management in
Accra: Institutional Arrangements and Map, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana & IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre,
The Hague, The Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
da Silva Wells, C. (2008) Including marginalised groups in equitable water
management through a Learning Alliance Approach: The EMPOWERS project - A case
study on social inclusion for SWITCH, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre,
The Hague, The Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
de albuquerque, C., rolnik, r., Sepúlveda, M., (2011) Water and sanitation: A Human
Right for all, even slum-dwellers and the homeless - Offce of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Joint Statement on Occasion of World Water Day, issued on 18
March 2011, Offce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland.
http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=10865&LangID=E
de la Paz de San Miguel brinquis, M. (2009) Urban Water Management: Water
governance and institutional mapping in Zaragoza, Spain, University of Abertay,
Dundee, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
55
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
dias, J., Costa, H., Costa, g. Welter M., nunes, T. (2011) Urban water management in
Belo Horizonte: institutional mapping, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG),
Belo Horizonte, Brazil.www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
eThekwini Municipality, Community Participation Policy (2006) eThekwini
Municipality, South Africa. http://www.durban.gov.za/durban/government/policy/
participation
forester, J. (2007) Public Participation as Mediated Negotiation: Entangled Promises
and Practises. In: International Journal of Public Participation: Denver, Colorado, USA:
IAP2.
http://www.iap2.org/associations/4748/fles/Journal_Issue1_ForesterEssay.pdf
graham, J., amos, b., Plumptre, T. (2003) Principles for Good Governance in the
21st Century, Institute On Governance, Policy Brief No.15, August 2003, Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/UNPAN/
UNPAN011842.pdf
green, C. (2007) Institutional arrangements and mapping for the governance of
sustainable urban water management technologies: Mapping protocol and case study
of Birmingham, Middlesex University, London, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
HafenCity Universität, Hamburg (2011) Institutional Framework for Water
Management in the German Federal State of Hamburg, HafenCity Universität,
Hamburg, Germany.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Kemmis, S. and McTaggart, r. (eds.) (1988) The action research planner, 3rd edition,
Gelong, Victoria, Australia, Deakin University Press.
Malkin, b. (2011) Australian foods: Rockhampton residents are ‘whacking’
Queensland’s venomous snakes to keep themselves safe, The Telegraph, 9 January 2011,
Telegraph Media Group Limited 2011, UK.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacifc/australia/8248084/
Australian-foods-Rockhampton-residents-are-whacking-Queenslands-venomous-snakes-
to-keep-themselves-safe.html
Martin, a., Verhagen, J., abatania, l. (2008) Urban Agriculture and Social Inclusion.
RUAF, Urban Agriculture magazine, No. 20 - Water for Urban Agriculture, August 2008,
pp. 17-19.
http://www.ruaf.org/sites/default/fles/UAM%2020%20-%20pagina%2017-19.pdf
Mitchell, V. g. (2004) Integrated Urban Water Management – A review of current
Australian practice, CSIRO & AWA report CMIT-2004-075, Commonwealth Scientifc
and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Clayton South, Australia & Australian
Water Association (AWA), St. Leonards, Australia.
http://www.clw.csiro.au/awcrrp/stage1fles/AWCRRP_9_Final_27Apr2004.pdf
56
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
nelson, V., Martin, a., Sutherland, a., Casella, d., Verhagen, J. (2008) Social
inclusion and integrated urban water management, Institute for Natural Resources
(INR), University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritim, UK & IRC International Water and
Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
nelson, V. (2008) Brazil and beyond: lessons from participatory governance innovation,
Institute for Natural Resources (INR), University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
nyarko, K.b., odai, S.n., fosuhene, K.b. (2007) Optimising social inclusion in
urban water supply in Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
(KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ofce for the Community & Voluntary Sector, government of new Zealand (no date)
Good Practice – Participate, Government of New Zealand, Department of Internal
Affairs, Wellington, New Zealand.
http://www.goodpracticeparticipate.govt.nz/techniques/choosing-a-facilitator.html
otieno, P. (2008) How to Set Up and Manage a Town-Level Multistakeholder Forum,
Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Building in the Lake Victoria Region Water
and Sanitation Initiative, UN-HABITAT, Kenya, Nairobi.
http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=2554
Philip et al. (2008) Local Government and Integrated Water Resources Management
(IWRM), Part III, Engaging in IWRM – Practical Steps and Tools for Local Government,
2008, ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany.
http://logowater.iclei-europe.org/fleadmin/user_upload/logowater/wp5/Part3_en.pdf
Sanz, M. et al (2010) Bringing Together Diverse Groups to Clean Up the Bogotà River
– The case of micro- tanneries in Villapinzón, Colombia, Universidad Nacional de
Colombia (UNAL), Bogotá D.C., Colombia. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Sanz, M., Siebel, M.a., ahlers, r., van der Zaag, P., gupta, J. (2011) Cleaner
Production (CP) and Confict Resolution: A way out of social exclusion. A case study on
micro-tanneries in Colombia, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The
Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Seymoar, n.-K. (2010) Empowerment and Public Participation, Sustainable Cities
International, Vancouver, Canada.
http://sustainablecities.net/docman-resources/cat_view/110-resources/134-public-
participation
Sijbesma, C., Verhagen, J. (2008) Making urban sanitation strategies of six Indonesian
cities more pro-poor and gender-equitable: the case of ISSDP, IRC International Water
and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
Smet, J. (2008) Political and Social Dynamics in Upgrading Urban Sanitation – a case
from Colombo, Sri Lanka, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague,
The Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
UK department for International development (2002) Tools for Development: a
handbook for those engaged in development activity. Performance and Effectiveness
Department, Version 15, Department for International Development (DFID), London,
UK. http://www.dfd.gov.uk/pubs/fles/toolsfordevelopment.pdf
57
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
UK department for International development (2005) Reducing poverty by tackling
social exclusion, A DFID policy paper, Department for International Development
(DFID), London, UK. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/development/docs/
socialexclusion.pdf
Un department of economic and Social afairs (UndeSa) Division for Sustainable
Development (1992): Agenda 21, Section III, Strengthening the Role of Major Groups,
Chapter 28, Local Authorities’ Initiatives in Support of Agenda 21, UN Commission
of Social and Economic Affairs, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
(UNDESA), New York, USA. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_28.
shtml
UneSCo-IHe Institute for Water education, Universidad nacional de Colombia
(Unal), Instituto de estudios ambientales (Idea) (2011) Villapinzón and Chocontá
Tanneries - Final Report, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Universidad
Nacional de Colombia (UNAL), Bogotá D.C., Colombia.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Verhagen, J., butterworth, J., Morris, M. (2008) Learning alliances for integrated and
sustainable innovations in urban water management, Waterlines Vol. 27 No. 2; April
2008.
http://learningforchange.fles.wordpress.com/2011/03/waterlines-learning-alliances-paper.
pdf
Jan Teun Visscher (2008) Confict mediation in the water and sanitation sector: and
how to reach solutions, Thematic Overview Paper 22, IRC International Water and
Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands.
http://www.irc.nl/content/download/139947/432501/.../TOP22_Confict_08.pdf
www.switchtraining.eu
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
Phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
Partners:
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
ISBN 978-3-943107-04-3 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Imprint
ISbn 978-3-943107-05-0 (pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Ralph Philip (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Sam Kayaga, Ian Smout (WEDC Loughborough University); Sung Kyu Maeng, Diederik Rousseau, Saroj K. Sharma (UNESCO-IHE Institute
for Water Education)
Ralph Philip, Barbara Anton, Anne-Claire Loftus (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Stephan Koehler (ICLEI European Secretariat)
©
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH, freiburg, germany 2011
The content in Module 3 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they credit the copyright
holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. .
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information this publication contains.
Publisher:
Principal author:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups specifcally in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material all of which are high-
lighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC plannIng
preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / stormwater management / wastewater management can beneft
from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in SWITCH and the
contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 3: Contents
O Introduction ....................................................................................................
O learning targets ..............................................................................................
O Sustainable water supply - why is it needed? ..............................................
3.1 The conventional approach to waster supply ..........................................
3.2 The issues facing a conventional approach to water supply .................
3.3 An integrated approach ............................................................................
O Water supply in the city ..................................................................................
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle .....................................................
4.2 Linkages between waster supply and other urban
management sectors ................................................................................
4.3 Water supply and the natural environment ............................................
O The overall direction: Water supply and sustainability ..............................
5.1 Sustainable water supply ..........................................................................
5.2 Sustainability objectives and indicators for water supply .....................
O putting integrated water supply into practice ............................................
6.1 Barriers to integrated water supply .........................................................
O options for sustainable water supply ..........................................................
7.1 Options ......................................................................................................
7.2 Selection of options ....................................................................................
O Wrapping up ....................................................................................................
O references .......................................................................................................
7
8
9
11
13
15
18
18
19
20
23
23
25
27
30
32
34
47
49
50
7
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Introduction
As a city grows and its economy develops, its water needs increase accordingly. To meet
this demand, cities have gone to great lengths to secure adequate supplies through
the drilling of wells, the damming of rivers and even the desalination of seawater.
Accompanying treatment facilities and distribution infrastructure is constructed to
ensure that good quality water is reliably delivered to homes, businesses and industry.
Despite the high economic and environmental costs of such investments, the further
development of water resources and supply infrastructure remains the standard approach
to address growing urban water demand.
However, increasing supply is not the only means in which a city can ensure that water
needs are satisfed. Module 3 promotes a different approach, one that prioritises the
reduction of water demand ahead of the development of new resources. By reducing
wasteful water use, installing water effcient products and taking advantage of alternative
sources of supply such as rainwater and recycled wastewater, a city can still develop
without the need to continually increase abstractions from fnite local water resources.
The benefts of such an approach extend beyond increased water security and Module
3 aims to show how a demand management approach can lead to economic gains,
reduced energy use, environmental improvement and greater resilience to climate
change. In addition the module introduces a number of non-conventional water supply
options that enable the practical implementation of a more integrated management of
the urban water cycle.
Module 3 is closely related to Modules 4 and 5 which cover a similar practical approach
to water cycle management from the perspective of urban drainage and wastewater
management respectively.
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
learning targets
Module 3 presents an overview of water supply in cities and how this infuences, and is
infuenced by, the urban water cycle and urban development as a whole. The aim of the
module is to reassess the conventional approach to urban water supply and to examine
alternative solutions that can assist with more sustainable management of resources.
Although of particular interest for cities where water scarcity and drought are, or soon
will be, an issue, the module is also relevant for cities where water resources are plentiful.
This is demonstrated by the many benefts that more effcient management of water
treatment and demand can bring regardless of the starting point.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to water supply and how this differs
from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can gain by prioritising demand
management and alternative sources of supply over increased resource development;
• the opportunities that exist to improve potable water treatment effciency, particularly
through the use of natural systems; and
• the solutions that are available to put a more sustainable approach to water supply
into practice.
It should be noted that it is not the purpose of the module to provide the user with
the necessary technical detail to select, design and construct the water supply solutions
best suited for their local situation. Users who want to take this next step towards
implementation are rather encouraged to consult the many technical manuals and
guidelines that are readily available for this purpose. Some of these resources are referred
to within the module.
O
figure 1: Water supply within the urban water cycle
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
P
a
ve
d
su
rfa
ce
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O u t d o o r
u s e
I n
d
u
s
t r
i a
l /
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
ra
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
rk
Im
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
le

r
o
c
k
/s
o
ils
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
iv
in
g

w
a
te
r
b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
9
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Sustainable water supply –
why is it needed?
Despite being arguably the most important factor affecting the quality of life in a city,
when operating smoothly, water supply services are not given much thought. That of
course changes quickly when problems occur and inhabitants are reminded of the severe
impacts that a limited supply of good quality water can have on their standard of living. In
some cities this is part of every day life with signifcant social and economic consequences.
In others it is a rare occurrence but one which typically results in a public outcry.
Citizens may associate the quality of water delivery services directly with the amount of
rainfall that falls on a city. Shortages are understandable if there has been a prolonged
period of drought. This is of course valid to some extent but what many people don’t
consider is the challenges and related costs involved in collecting, treating and distributing
water throughout the city. Regardless of the amount of rainfall, the management of these
aspects remains crucial if a city is to provide an acceptable level of water supply services
to its citizens.
The overall goal for water supply in a city can be described as follows:
Provision of a safe, reliable and affordable supply of suffcient quantities of water for all
citizens

The management process to achieve this goal can be split into fve components, each of
which is infuenced by a wide range of factors in addition to the amount of rainfall a city
receives. These are:
• Resource – The source of a city’s water supply, for example rivers, aquifers and lakes.
• Abstraction – The removal of water from the source through channels, pumps
and boreholes.
• Treatment – The application of treatment processes to produce water of potable
quality.
• Distribution – Pumping of the treated water to the points of use.
• Demand – The use of water by people, industry, services, nature, etc.
The main infuences upon these components are shown in Figure 2.
O
figure 1: Water supply within the urban water cycle
10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
figure 2: Management components of water supply services
11
Figure 1: Management components of water supply services




















4.1 The conventional approach to water supply
The conventional approach to urban water supply is based on the concept of developing
water resources and the accompanying infrastructure to meet user demand.
By damning rivers, sinking boreholes, constructing treatment facilities and laying
distribution networks, most cities are able to provide a piped supply of clean water to
homes on a 24 hour basis. This approach to water supply has been in operation in some
cities for well over 100 years and today it remains the most sought after solution in those
that continue to rely on water vendors and unregulated abstractions.
The management of the different components of water supply under the conventional
approach are as follows:
Resource: Resources are developed to ensure water availability on a consistent basis.
This includes the damning of rivers and the construction of storage facilities to capture
high river flows for use in drier periods.
Abstraction: Required volumes of water are abstracted from the most economically
efficient resources available. Abstraction regimes are devised based on the predicted
demand and the hydrological, infrastructural and licensing constraints of the different
sources.
Resource Treatment Distribution Demand Abstraction
Influenced by:
 Climate
 Topography
 Geology
 Land use
 Upstream
activities
 Seasons
 Impoundment
 Etc.
Influenced by:
 Resource
availability
 Pumping
infrastructure
 Reliable energy
supply
 Etc.
Influenced by:
 Quality of
resource
 Treatment
infrastructure
 Reliable energy
supply
 Chemical inputs
 Etc.
Influenced by:
 Pumping
infrastructure
 Reliable energy
supply
 Leakages
 Illegal
connections
 Etc.
Influenced by:
 Population
 Per capita demand
 Pricing
mechanisms
 Economic
development
 Climate
 Seasons
 Etc.
Alternative source
(E.g. seawater,
wastewater)
River
Reservoir / lake
Groundwater

Irrigation
Industry
Businesses
Households



Treatment
11
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
3.1 The conventional approach to water supply
The conventional approach to urban water supply is based on the concept of developing
water resources and the accompanying infrastructure to meet user demand.
By damning rivers, sinking boreholes, constructing treatment facilities and laying
distribution networks, most cities are able to provide a piped supply of clean water to
homes on a 24 hour basis. This approach to water supply has been in operation in some
cities for well over 100 years and today it remains the most sought after solution in those
that continue to rely on water vendors and unregulated abstractions.
The management of the different components of water supply under the conventional
approach are as follows:
Resource: Resources are developed to ensure water availability on a consistent basis. This
includes the damning of rivers and the construction of storage facilities to capture high
river fows for use in drier periods.
Abstraction: Required volumes of water are abstracted from the most economically
effcient resources available. Abstraction regimes are devised based on the predicted
demand and the hydrological, infrastructural and licensing constraints of the different
sources.
Treatment: Treatment techniques are employed according to the quality of raw water
abstracted from the source. A clean groundwater source can require as little treatment as
a dose of chlorine to render it potable whereas water from a polluted lake may require a
series of energy and chemical intensive treatment measures to achieve the same result.
Distribution: Water is distributed to demand nodes through a piped distribution network.
Depending on typography, this may be pumped or gravity fed. Leaks from the system are
located and repaired only if it’s economical to do so.
Demand: Supply is provided to meet demand. Water use is charged either on a fxed cost
or in relation to the volume consumed. Different charges typically apply to different uses,
for example domestic supplies are priced differently to industrial or agricultural ones.
Future demand is predicted using current data and historical trends.
Of the fve water supply components described above it is the fnal area, demand, which
drives the management of and investment in the other four areas. In other words: the
conventional response to increased demand is to increase supply through investments in
the resource, abstraction, treatment and distribution infrastructure. Figure 3 shows the
different ways in which this tends to be done.
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
figure 3: example of a supply-demand graph for a conventional approach to water supply services
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
Available Water Resources Demand Forecast
Years
Volume
of water
Development of
additional boreholes
to increase
abstraction from
aquifers
Upgraded treatment
facilities to cope with
greater volumes of
raw water
Construction of a
pipeline to transfer
bulk supplies of water
from an area with a
surplus
Construction of
a desalination
plant
Development of a
new water supply
reservoir through
the damming of a
local river
Predicted increase in demand due to:
- Population growth
- Economic development
- Increase in per capita consumption
13
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
3.2 The issues facing a conventional approach to
water supply
The concept on which the conventional approach to urban water supply is based succeeds
in the overall objective of delivering a safe and reliable supply of water directly to the user.
However, the sustainability of the management aims and technologies used are in many
cases questionable. A large number of issues are associated with the approach which
can result in ineffcient operation, poor service and environmental damage in cities in
developed and developing countries alike.
The following are some of the issues that are commonly associated with urban water
supply systems:
• Unsustainable use of local resources: The need to meet increasing demands can
cause over-abstraction from local resources. This leads to depleted groundwater
levels and low river fows which have consequences for future supplies and
downstream users, as well as causing damage to aquatic ecosystems.
• Energy use: Water supply is reliant on energy for treatment, distribution and, in some
cases, to import supplies from neighbouring regions. This leaves the service
vulnerable to power cuts and variations in fuel costs, and typically increases a city’s
carbon emissions.
• Pollution: Upstream water pollution increases treatment costs and can cause reduced
use and abandonment of water supply sources.
• Non revenue water: In some cities as much as half of the treated water entered into
the distribution network is lost through leakages and illegal connections.
• Waste of resources: Water treated to potable standard is used for non-potable
purposes such as toilet fushing, garden use and industry. This, along with leakage
from the distribution network, results in expenditure in unnecessary treatment.

• Cost: The cost of constructing, operating and maintaining water supply pumping,
treatment and distribution infrastructure is high and can not always be reclaimed
from the customer.
• Non-fexible: Water treatment plants and distribution infrastructure have a design
capacity based on forecasted water demands. These systems are not easily adapted if
the forecasts prove to be too high or too low.
• Inefcient use: Where water is heavily subsidised or charged based on a fxed rate,
users have little fnancial incentive to use it sparingly. This leads to wasteful usage and
high consumption rates.
As well as the current water supply issues faced by cities, uncertainties such as urban
population growth and a changing climate are likely to cause additional challenges in the
future. Some of these pressures are shown in Figure 4.
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The combination of current issues and future pressures mean that a city’s water supply is
increasingly vulnerable. Drought is the most common cause of system failure but due to
the infexible nature of the conventional approach other incidents such as pollution spills,
power cuts and rapidly increasing demand from competing users can also disrupt water
supply services with severe social and economic implications
figure 4: examples of future pressures on urban water supply services
Increasing demand
for water
Growing urban populations,
economic development and
more water intensive behaviour
accelerates demand. This puts pressure on
existing supplies and can lead to water scarcity.
Climate change
Greater variations in
rainfall will impact
on the reliable
output from a city’s
available water resources. An
increase in the frequency of
drought in particular will affect
river fows and reduce aquifer and
reservoir storage volumes.
Rising energy
costs
Water supply is
reliant on energy
for pumping and
treatment. A rapid
rise in fuel prices would therefore
have implications on the cost of
providing the service.
Stricter
environmental
controls
Increasing
awareness and
concern over the environmental
impacts caused by the construction
of dams and increased abstractions
from rivers and aquifers result
in limitations on the further
development of sources of supply.
Urban sprawl
Urbanisation often occurs faster
than water supply infrastructure can
be built. This can result in a lack of a
safe supply of water for large urban
populations, especially in informal
settlements.
Deteriorating
infrastructure
Ageing and poorly
maintained water
supply pipelines
result in high levels
of losses through leakage from
the distribution network.
Poorly planned
infrastructure
The design of
new water supply
infrastructure
such as reservoirs and treatment
plants is based on predicted water
demand. If these forecasts prove
to be inaccurate, the infexibility
of the new infrastructure makes
adaptation to the actual situation
problematic.
15
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
3.3 An integrated approach
Rather than increasing supplies to meet demand, an integrated – and thus more
sustainable – approach to water supply looks to reduce demand, harvest rainwater and
reuse wastewater as a means of maintaining the supply-demand balance. In addition,
alternative measures and innovative technologies are sought to improve treatment
effciency and reduce losses from the distribution network.
In contrast to the conventional approach of balancing supply and demand as shown in
Figure 3 above, Figure 5 below shows how the same graph would look using an integrated
approach based on reducing demand rather than increasing supply.
The key differences between the conventional approach and an integrated one are:
• Increased supply versus reduced demand
• Freshwater sources only versus a mix of freshwater and alternative sources
• Improved treatment technology versus control of pollutants at source
These differences are described in more detail in Table 1.
figure 5: example of a supply-demand graph where demand management options and water reuse
is prioritised
Available Water Resources Demand Forecast
Years
Volume
of water
Introduction
of a leakage
control
programme
Reuse of treated
effluent for
industrial demand
Rainwater
harvesting
programme
Water efficiency
measures in new
and existing
homes
Predicted increase in demand due to:
- Population growth
- Economic development
- Increase in per capita consumption
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Aspect of water supply
Conventional approach
(supply driven)
More integrated approach
(demand driven)
Supply-demand balance
Increased demand is met through invest-
ments in resources and infrastructure to in-
crease supply
Options to reduce demand, harvest rainwa-
ter and reuse
Treatment
Treatment technologies are improved in line
with the type of pollutant that needs to be
removed
Pollution control at the source and natural
pre-treatment techniques are sought before
new technologies are invested in
Leakage reduction
Leakage detection and repair is driven by
economic factors
Leakage detection and repair is driven by
economic, social and environmental factors
Pricing
Users are charged for water based on a fxed
cost or, if available, the recorded volume they
use
Users can be charged based on tariff sys-
tems that account for different volumes of
use, purpose of use, season, etc.
Resource planning
Predicted resource availability is based on
past hydrological records
Predicted resource availability includes ad-
justments for different climate change sce-
narios
Demand forecasting
Future water demand is forecast using his-
torical trends, demographic estimates and
projected economic growth
Future water demand is forecast by analys-
ing future end uses in different sectors and
is acknowledged as being uncertain.
End use requirements
Water of potable quality is supplied for all
uses
Water of potable quality is provided only for
uses that require it. Alternative sources are
sought for non-potable demand
Table 1: diferences between a conventional and an integrated approach to water supply services
A more sustainable approach makes use of proactive measures to maintain operational
effciency and infuence user demands. Rather than accepting deteriorating quality
at the source and increasing water usage, the approach looks to prevent these from
occurring in the frst place.
One of the main benefts of managing demand, using alternative sources and controlling
resource pollution is the added resilience to future uncertainty that this approach offers.
Most supply infrastructure is designed to operate under anticipated future conditions.
Problems arise if these forecasts turn out to be wrong as the infrastructure is typically
infexible and cannot easily be adapted to operate outside of its design range of variability.
Moving towards a demand driven approach such as that outlined in Table 1 increases
fexibility and reduces reliance on assumed future conditions. Indeed, a programme to
install water saving devices in domestic households can easily be extended in response
to actual population growth. In contrast, a new reservoir will be over designed and a
waste of money if the actual growth in demand is half of what was predicted.
Increased fexibility is just one of a number of economic, social and environmental
benefts that a shift from a conventional to a more sustainable approach can deliver.
17
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Additional benefts include:
• More efcient treatment: Source control of resource pollutants and the use of natural
systems such as riverbanks to pre-treat abstractions reduce the treatment required to
produce water of drinking standard.
• Economic savings: Reducing water demand results in less water to abstract, treat and
distribute. This saves in chemical and energy costs.
• Environmental protection and enhancement: Reduced demand results in less
water to be abstracted from the environment. This helps to maintain and restore
ecosystems that rely on a healthy aquatic environment.
• Improved service: Reduced demand and the use of alternative supplies relieve
pressure on resources such as reservoirs and aquifers that may be scarce during
dry periods. This lessens the risk of water use restrictions and supply interruptions for
households, businesses and industry.
• Reduced carbon emissions: Managing demand and source pollution results in
less energy consumed for the abstraction, treatment and distribution process.
This reduces carbon emissions in cities where non-renewable energy is used for this
purpose.
• Flood control: The collection of rainwater from roof surfaces for non-potable water
supply reduces the volume of runoff that has to be managed by a city’s drainage
system. This reduces the risk of downstream fooding and erosion.
• Reduced volumes of wastewater: Low-fush toilets and greywater reuse for non-
potable purposes reduces the volume of wastewater to be collected and treated.
This improves the performance and economic effciency of the wastewater treatment
process.
• Greater resilience: Uncertainty surrounding future demand and availability of
supplies complicates decision-making for water supply investments. Solutions that
target demand reductions and the use of alternative sources rather than resource
development and infrastructure expansion make it easier to cope with inaccurate
forecasts and predictions.
The benefts listed above demonstrate that water supply has many links to other areas
of the water cycle (stormwater and wastewater management) and urban development
as a whole (energy, environment, economic development, etc.). A more sustainable
approach to water supply is therefore not only concerned about effciency and improved
performance within the sectoral boundaries, but also with how management decisions
impact upon other sectors in the urban environment. Section 4 examines this relationship
in more detail.
The relationship between
water supply, stormwater
management and food
control is examined in more
detail in Module 4
See Module 5 for more
information about an
integrated approach to
wastewater management
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Water supply in the city
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle
In the majority of cities throughout the world, the different elements of the water cycle -
water supply, wastewater and stormwater - are managed in a fragmented way. This lack
of integration leads to the following:
• Missed opportunities – such as the failure to exploit rainwater and recycled
wastewater as a source of water supply for non-potable uses.
• Unexpected impacts – such as the over-abstraction of water from a river thereby
reducing its ability to dilute downstream wastewater effuent discharges
Looking at the urban water cycle as a whole, the links between water supply and other
parts of the urban water cycle can be identifed. Without proper recognition of these
links, decisions can be taken that provide perceived benefts to one area of urban water
management but cause great damage elsewhere. Greater integration of water supply into
the other elements of the urban water cycle therefore leads to more sustainable decision
making for urban water management as a whole.
Some of the linkages that need to be recognised between water supply and other areas of
the urban water cycle are shown in Figure 6
O
More detail about why
integrated management
of the urban water cycle
results in more sustainable
development is provided in
Module 1
figure 6: examples of linkages between water supply and stormwater (left box) and water supply and
wastewater management (right box)
When collected, stormwater can be used for
non-potable water supply such as irrigation
of parks and gardens, toilet fushing and
industrial use.
Stormwater can be used to recharge aquifers
from where it can be re-abstracted for supply
purposes at a later date.
Stormwater is a pollution threat as it can
convey contaminants such as oils, heavy
metals, nutrients and sediment into water
supply sources increasing the cost of treating
the water to drinking quality.
The reuse of greywater and treated
wastewater is an alternative water supply
source that can supplement the needs of a
city’s water demand needs, particularly non-
potable uses such as parkland irrigation and
industrial use.
Residential, commercial and industrial
water use is directly related to the volume of
wastewater to be treated. Rising consumption
increases pressures on wastewater treatment
infrastructure.
Poorly treated wastewater discharges due to
leakages, overfows and inadequate treatment
can pollute water supply sources such as
aquifers and lakes.
©
©
®
©
®
®
Water
supply
Stormwater
management
Wastewater
management
Water
supply
19
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
4.2 Linkages between water supply and other urban
management sectors
The management of water supply is also closely related to urban development as a whole.
Looking at the bigger picture this link is obvious as most economic activities in a city
are dependent on a reliable supply of water. But there are also other examples of urban
sectors such as energy, waste and transport that are infuenced by, and have an infuence
on, the successful management of water supply in a less obvious way.
Understanding this relationship prevents the implementation of actions that may lead to
unexpected consequences elsewhere and can also reveal opportunities where coordinated
decision-making will lead to mutual benefts.
Some of the most signifcant linkages between water supply and urban planning and
development, including the positive and negative impacts that these can cause, are
shown in Figure 7.
figure 7: examples of how water supply is related to other urban management sectors
Local economic development:
Many industries rely on a large supply of fresh
water for production, washing and cooling pur-
poses. Industrial productivity and growth therefore
depends on a reliable source of supply.
Waste management:
Poorly managed urban waste can cause
the pollution of ground and surface
water sources that a city’s water supply
may be reliant on.
Health:
A reliable water supply of suffcient
quality and quantity is essential for the
health of a city’s population.
Housing:
The construction of new housing developments
creates additional water demand (once inhabited)
and the need for new distribution infrastructure.
Tourism:
Popular tourist destinations can
experience huge peaks in water
demand during the high season. Water
supplies need to be able to cope during
these peak periods if hotels and other
facilities are to remain operational.
Transport:
Most distribution pipelines run under-
neath roads and pavements. Rehabilita-
tion of the network and the fxing of
leaks cause disruption to the fow of traffc.
Energy:
Water availability from reservoirs may be restricted
due to conficting interests from hydro-power gen-
eration. Water treatment and pumping costs are
dependent on a reliable supply of energy. Power
stations also have high demands for water for cool-
ing purposes.
See Module 1 for further
details on how integrated
planning leads to more
sustainable urban
development
Parks, gardens and recreation:
Land uses such as parks and gardens, golf courses
and sports felds rely on large quantities of fresh
water for irrigation. Water supply sources such as
lakes and reservoirs also provide recreational op-
portunities such as water sports, fshing and bird
watching.
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.3 Water supply and the natural environment
Water supply has a two way relationship with nature. On the one hand water supply
infrastructure manipulates the natural environment through the modifcation of rivers,
construction of dams and abstraction of water from the environment. On the other,
water supply depends on the availability of the resources themselves and therefore on
the natural conditions in which it is embedded. More sustainable water supply looks to
minimise the impacts of the former while increasing resilience towards the latter. Ideally
the relationship between water supply and nature is managed in a way that the natural
environment is protected whilst simultaneously guaranteeing suffcient supplies for
public consumption.
The concept of ecohydrology looks at how the water cycle (not just water supply) and
ecosystems interact as a whole and the multidimensional benefts that a city can gain
from this interaction. In relation to water supply, this is particularly relevant for a city’s
supply sources such as urban aquifers and riverbank storage reservoirs. The fow of
water into these sources can be seriously affected by pollutants derived from the urban
environment such as chemicals, oils, heavy metals and sediment. Ecohydrology promotes
the use of natural systems to remove these pollutants from urban rivers and stormwater
runoff rather than doing so through conventional water supply treatment processes.
The natural systems that can provide this service include a range of stormwater Best
Management Practices (BMPs) which treat stormwater before it enters local water
bodies, and river and lakeside banks which remove pollutants by fltering water prior to
abstraction from the source. These systems are low-cost to install and maintain and can
provide a range of additional environmental and social benefts
See Module 4 for more
information on the use
of stormwater BMPs to
improve water quality in
aquatic ecosystems
Ecohydrology and urban
river restoration is discussed
in detail in the SWITCH
paper ‘Ecohydrological
restoration of aquatic
habitats in urban areas:
aims, constraints and
techniques’ (Krauze et al
2008).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
The concept of ecohydrology
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
W
I
T
C
H

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
21
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
When combined with urban planning, ecohydrology can make the most of the benefts
natural systems provide to human health and quality of life. The concept looks at how the
water cycle and ecosystems interact as a whole and the multidimensional benefts that a
city can gain from this interaction. Some of the common solutions and the cross-cutting
benefts that these provide include:
Constructed wetlands – The creation of artifcial wetlands to attenuate and
treat urban stormwater runoff and effuent.
Benefts:
• Improved water quality
• Flood protection and reduced erosion
• Creation of urban green space and biodiversity
• Microclimate improvement
Attenuation ponds – The construction of ponds to store and infltrate high
river fows and stormwater runoff.
Benefts:
• Flood protection and reduced erosion
• Source of water supply and/or groundwater recharge
• Creation of urban green space and biodiversity
• Microclimate improvement
River restoration – Restoring a river to something approaching its natural
state by adding meanders and encouraging the growth of vegetation along
the banks and riverbed.
Benefts:
• Flood protection
• Increased amenities and adjacent land value
• Increased urban biodiversity
• Microclimate improvement
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
L
A
S
A
I
m
a
g
e
:

E
m
s
c
h
e
r

G
e
n
n
o
s
s
e
n
s
c
h
a
f
t
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
River restoration in Lodz – The Blue-Green Network
The City of Lodz in Poland is
situated on a complex network
of streams and rivers. During
the city’s industrial past,
most of these waterways were
heavily modifed to serve the
purpose of stormwater and
sewer conveyance resulting in
poor water quality, ecosystem
destruction and increased food
risk. Recognising the role that the
restoration of these rivers can
play in city regeneration, Lodz
is implementing the Blue-Green
Network, an urban development
programme based on the
rehabilitation of the city’s rivers.
Centred on river restoration combined with the construction of green spaces and small
reservoirs, the Blue-Green Network aims to improve the health and quality of life of the
city’s inhabitants, reduce food risk, encourage biodiversity, regenerate neglected areas and
improve the effciency of wastewater treatment by separating stormwater from the sewer
system. To achieve these aims, the Network makes use of ecohydrology techniques such as
channel re-meandering and the construction of reservoirs and artifcial wetlands to improve
water quality, attenuate stormwater and encourage biodiversity.
Due to the cross-cutting benefts provided, the Blue-Green network is now used within
the city as the basis for spatial planning and overall economic development, taking full
advantage of the opportunities that integrated water management presents for sustainable
urban development.
More information about the Blue-Green Network and the activities of SWITCH
in Lodz can be found in the Lodz case study and in the SWITCH paper
‘Ecohydrology as a basis for the sustainable city strategic planning: Focus on
Lodz, Poland’ (Wagner et al 2009). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
More specifc information on the SWITCH Learning Alliance experience in Lodz
is available in Part 1 of the book ‘SWITCH in the City’ (Butterworth et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
The restored Sokolowka River in Lodz
More information on
constructed wetlands and
infltration ponds can be
found in Module 5
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
23
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
The overall direction: Water
supply and sustainability
5.1 Sustainable water supply
Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) acknowledges and exploits the links both
within the urban water cycle and between water and urban development as a whole. It
therefore encourages decisions to be taken based on the evaluation of the bigger picture
rather than an artifcially isolated part of it, leading to increased sustainability.
Section 4 has demonstrated the wide range of links between water supply, the urban
water cycle and urban development as a whole. By considering these links when decisions
are taken, unsustainable interventions and actions become more apparent enabling more
sustainable solutions to be sought. However, to do so requires an agreed understanding
of what sustainable urban development means and how it is specifcally related to the
management of water supply.
In brief, sustainable water management may be defned as meeting current social,
economic and environmental needs while creating conditions that allow these needs to
also be met in the future. Figure 8 shows how these criteria can be applied to water
supply.
More information on
sustainability and the urban
water cycle can be found in
Module 1
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
To manage water supply as sustainably as possible, decisions need to be taken with
due consideration for each of these aspects. Increasing abstractions from an aquifer to
access a cheap source of water to match social demands will not be sustainable if the
rate of abstraction is greater than the rate of natural replenishment. Equally a programme
to install rainwater harvesting systems in all new homes will save costs and reduce
abstractions from the environment only on a temporary basis if the new inhabitants are
not prepared to do the necessary maintenance. In short, if one of the sustainability criteria
is not met, the chances of a solution to improve water supply in order to contribute to
sustainable development in the long-term are greatly reduced.
Finally any sustainability assessment needs to be backed up by multi-stakeholder
consultation. This ensures that the actions, opinions and needs of all who have an
infuence on and are infuenced by water supply are taken into consideration. Consultation
with the likes of utilities, the general public, businesses, industry, relevant authorities,
NGOs, etc. is therefore essential if the direct and indirect impacts of decisions taken are
to be truly understood.
More information on
stakeholder engagement
can be found in Module 2
figure 8: Sustainable water supply
Sustainable
water
supply
Society
Water management
contributes to the quality
of life of all citizens
Space
Management decisions
and actions are taken with
consideration for upstream
and downstream impacts
Time
Management decisions
and actions are taken with
consideration for long-
term impacts
Economy
Operation and
maintenance of water
services are cost-effcient
Environment
The ecological balance
of natural water systems
is maintained by not
abstracting more than
can be replenished and
pollution and erosion are
prevented
25
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
5.2 Sustainability objectives and indicators for water supply
In line with an integrated approach to urban water management, the selection of objectives
and associated indicators for water supply should ideally not be done separately but
rather as part of a larger IUWM strategic planning process in which an overall vision for
the city has been agreed upon (see Module 1 for further details).
Objectives need to be selected using an agreed set of sustainability criteria in line with
those described in Section 6.1. The achievement of an objective chosen based on a
limited set of criteria, such as economic performance, may result in costs elsewhere in
the urban environment that far outweigh the initial fnancial benefts.
For example an objective such as ‘provide affordable water for all’ is based on the social
need to ensure all citizens have access to water. This is an essential requirement of any city
but the objective could result in an unsustainable system if economic and environmental
criteria are not considered in measures taken to achieve it. The reduction of water bills
may cause more harm than good if the loss of revenue results in poor drinking water
quality and unreliable service. The cheap supply may also remove the incentive for the
user to avoid wasteful use.
In addition to selecting objectives based on defned sustainability criteria, an integrated
approach also identifes multi-purpose aims. A conventional approach to water supply
focuses strongly on quality and quantity goals. In addition to these, a more integrated
approach would also set a broader range of objectives that not only secure safe and
reliable supplies but also enhance the environment, reduce energy consumption, recycle
wastewater, protect against fooding, etc.
Targets and indicators need to be added to each objective in order to measure progress
towards its achievement. These targets and indicators need to be realistic as well as easily
measurable. They need to be directly relevant for the objective to which they apply and
allow for regular monitoring to demonstrate progress or lack thereof. See Module 1 for
more information on the selection of targets and indicators as part of a larger strategic
planning process.
Table 2 gives some generic examples of water supply objectives and the associated
targets and indicators based on an integrated management approach. It should be noted
that the degree of sustainability associated with these objectives is dependent on local
conditions. An objective that meets all sustainability criteria in one city may be highly
unsustainable in another where different criteria apply.
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Examples of integrated
water supply objectives
Examples of
associated indicators
Examples of
associated targets
Provision of a supply of
drinking water that is ft for
human consumption
•Testing of samples
•Number of reported cases of illness
linked to contaminated drinking water
•Maximum contaminant levels of X mg
per litre
•Chlorine applied to all water prior to
distribution
Minimise wasteful use of
potable water
•Measured per capita consumption of
potable water
•Unaccounted for losses from the
distribution system
•Per capita consumption reduced to X
litres per person per day by year X
•Leakage from distribution network
reduced to X% of input by year X
Reuse of stormwater and
treated wastewater for non-
potable use
•Volume of potable water used for non-
potable purposes
•Numbers of rainwater harvesting and
greywater recycling systems installed
and operating effectively
•X% reduction in potable water
consumption by year X
•X% of roof area used for rainwater
harvesting by year X
Maximise efciency of the
treatment process
•Number of days per year the
treatment works is not operational
•Measured energy consumption for
treatment
•No more than X number of outages
from the treatment works per year
•X% reduction of energy consumption
by year X
Minimise environmental
damage caused by raw water
abstractions
•River fow measurements
• Size of populations of key species
likely to be affected by low fows
•Abstractions not to result in river
fows of less than X m
3
/s
•Population of X specie to remain
stable or increase
Give priority to water demand
management options over
development of new water
resources
•Proportion of forecast water balance
defcits met through planned demand
management measures
•Financial investments made in water
demand management measures
•X% reduction in per capita
consumption by year X
•X% of total fnancial investment in
managing supply and demand made
in demand management measures
Table 2: examples of objectives, indicators and targets for urban water supply
See Module 1 for more
information on the use of
objectives, indicators and
targets in the context of a
strategic planning process.
27
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
putting integrated water
supply into practice
The main difference between conventional water supply management and a more
integrated approach is the way in which a gap in the supply-demand balance is met.
In the former the priority is to increase supply and treatment capacities whereas the
latter looks to reduce demand, use alternative sources and make use of soft measures to
improve treatment.
In practical terms this shift of approach does not necessarily require large fnancial
investments and signifcant changes to operational practices. Many solutions can be
brought in incrementally and are mostly compatible with existing infrastructure. Plenty
of opportunities therefore exist for a city to start developing a more sustainable water
supply system regardless of resources and the extent of infrastructure currently in place.
Some of these entry points include:
• Reassessment of demand forecasts: Predicting future demand based on bottom-up
end-use analysis and breakdown by sector allows more accurate forecasts to be made.
This also helps to identify the areas that provide the greatest scope for reducing urban
demand (see box example below).
• Making use of alternative sources: Rainwater and treated wastewater can be
exploited for non-potable water uses. Technologies can consist of simple water butts
to collect rainwater for garden watering to more complex systems that collect, treat
and recycle stormwater runoff, greywater and treated effuent for large scale irrigation
purposes, toilet fushing and industrial use.
• Protection of the source: Poor water quality at the source increases treatment
requirements and costs. This can be prevented by protecting the source from
pollution spills and contaminated runoff. Greater coordination with local and
upstream land and water management can ensure that the source is kept free of toxic
waste, algal growth and turbidity.
• Leakage control: Assessing leakage from the distribution system based on
environmental and social costs as well as fnancial ones can highlight the true cost of
such losses. This justifes larger investments in leak detection and repair programmes
as well as encouraging alternative mitigation measures such as pressure management
and improved network metering.
• New developments: Planning requirements can ensure that new and refurbished
housing estates, commercial premises, municipal buildings and industrial estates
are ftted with a range of low water use fttings and appliances as well as rainwater
harvesting and wastewater reuse systems. In most cases this adds little additional
costs to construction and can be used as a selling point for future buyers.
• Retroftting programmes: Households and businesses can be encouraged through
rebates and promotional material to replace high water using devices such as
toilets, showers and washing machines with low use varieties. Large scale retroftting
programmes can also be carried out by local governments within municipal buildings
and public housing.
O
28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
• Financial incentives: With the exception of settlements lacking access to public
supplies, water typically makes up a small proportion of a household’s expenditure.
This provides little incentive to save even if the price is charged based on the amount
used. Alternative pricing mechanisms such as rising block tariffs establishes a
fnancial incentive not to use water wastefully.
• Education: Many people take little notice of their water use due to the perception that
water falls freely from the sky and can be used accordingly. Convincing them that
water is in fact a scarce resource can reduce wasteful behaviour. Something as simple
as turning the tap off when brushing teeth can save vast amounts of water if practised
by millions of people.
Taking advantage of a combination of practical entry points such as those listed above
helps to create an urban water supply system that is better prepared to manage the
pressures to city dynamics and the urban environment. This dependency on fnite natural
resources and expensive infrastructure increases a city’s fexibility to accommodate future
growth and contributes to the management of a more cost effcient and environmentally
sound water supply system.
More information on
rainwater harvesting
and greywater reuse is
provided in Modules 4 and 5
respectively
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
29
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
27
 Financial incentives: With the exception of settlements lacking access to public
supplies, water typically makes up a small proportion of a household’s
expenditure. This provides little incentive to save even if the price is charged
based on the amount used. Alternative pricing mechanisms such as rising block
tariffs establishes a financial incentive not to use water wastefully.
 Education: Many people take little notice of their water use due to the perception
that water falls freely from the sky and can be used accordingly. Convincing them
that water is in fact a scarce resource can reduce wasteful behaviour. Something
as simple as turning the tap off when brushing teeth can save vast amounts of
water if practised by millions of people.
Taking advantage of a combination of practical entry points such as those listed above
helps to create an urban water supply system that is better prepared to manage the
changes to city dynamics and the urban environment. This decreased reliance on finite
natural resources and expensive infrastructure increases a city’s flexibility to
accommodate future growth and contributes to the management of a more cost efficient
and environmentally sound water supply system.
WCs
Basin taps
Baths/showers
Kitchen taps
Washing machines
Dishwashers
Outdoor use
Approximate breakdown of domestic consumption in
England and Wales (based on Defra 2008)
Demand forecasting using end use analysis
Predicting water demand is an
essential aspect of water supply
and is the main driver of long-
term investment in the sector.
Water resources planners use
demand forecasting to estimate
the future supply-demand
gap. Solutions to prevent the
occurrence of shortfalls are then
implemented based on this
estimation.
The conventional approach to
demand forecasting typically
relies on a limited amount of
current, projected and historical
data. For example domestic
consumption may be forecasted using current per capita consumption multiplied by
estimated population growth and adjusted based on the extrapolation of consumption
trends.
However, if the current data is infuenced by unusually hot weather, predicted population
growth proves to be too high and more effcient water use technologies alter the historical
trend then the forecast could be way off.
An alternative method of demand forecasting is end-use analysis. Rather than looking at
water demand as a total volume, end-use analysis breaks it down frst by sector (domestic,
industrial, etc.) and then by end-use within the sector. This enables a detailed assessment
of actual water use (and user) and how this is likely to change over time. If the average fush
volume of a new toilet is 6 litres compared to an average twenty years ago of 13 litres then it
would be expected that water consumption for toilets would fall as old toilets are replaced
by new ones. Likewise a detailed analysis of demographic data may show no predicted rise
in population but does show that household occupancy rates are decreasing which is likely
to increase domestic water use.
Analysis can be carried out on multiple end-uses such as showers, washing machines,
garden sprinklers, distribution losses, car washes, food processing operations, hospital
uses, industrial cooling, landscaping, etc. to establish a detailed understanding of how
water is used and what will infuence this use in the future.
End-use analysis does require a lot of data and time to process this data. However, the
method provides not only a more accurate forecast but can also identify areas where future
demand management initiatives can achieve the most effective results.
Further information on demand forecasting using end-use analysis can be found
in the Water Services Association of Australia ‘Guide to Demand Management’
(Turner et al 2008). This can be downloaded at:
http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/publications/wsaa2008dmguide.pdf
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
6.1 Barriers to integrated water supply
The practical entry points listed in Section 6.1 mostly involve an element of coordination
between water supply and other areas of water management and urban planning. This
integration is a necessary part of achieving increased sustainability. A lack of such
coordination is also, however, one of a number of potential barriers that can prevent or
restrict the implementation of a more sustainable approach to water supply.
Such restrictions are varied and highly dependent on local circumstances. However a
number of commonly encountered barriers can be identifed that would be relevant in
most cities that are looking to implement non-conventional water supply solutions. Some
of these and their implications are listed in Table 3.
Table 3: examples of barriers to alternative water supply options
Barrier Description Implications
Public resistance
Public resistance to interventions such as the
installation of water meters, the introduction
of tariffs and the enforcement of water use
restrictions
Public and consequently political pressure
to prevent the introduction of more
advanced water billing systems and water
saving measures
Perceived risk
Reluctance to rely on predicted savings based
on user acceptance and unproven water saving
technology to overcome predicted water supply
shortfalls.
Supply-side measures such as a new
reservoir are preferred as a perceived
guaranteed solution to future shortages
even if the cost is high.
Lack of institutional
collaboration
Lack of integration between urban management
sectors that infuence measures such as leakage
control, water effciency in new developments
and rainwater harvesting for the irrigation of
parks
Lack of necessary cooperation to
successfully implement water supply
measures that rely on other water
management or urban planning sectors.
Legislation
restrictions
Existing legislation that, for example, bans the
reuse of greywater for fushing toilets and the
use of treated effuent for irrigation
Legal limitations on the use of wastewater
as an alternative resource for non-potable
purposes
Privatisation of
water supply
services
The need to satisfy shareholders by increasing
proft and expanding the company is at odds
with the aim of reducing consumption
Investments in physical assets such as
new infrastructure are preferred over water
effciency measures and leakage reduction
Disruption
Road closures and disruption to traffc in already
congested cities due to the need to access
deteriorated distribution pipelines in order to
make repairs
Social costs of distribution pipe
rehabilitation programmes are considered
too high and measures to increase supply
are instead invested in
31
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Just as barriers to more sustainable water supply are location specifc, so too are the
measures through which these can be overcome. However, there are examples of actions
that are likely to always be necessary, regardless of local circumstances, when a city is
planning to implement more sustainable management water supply. These include the
following:
• Awareness raising: The local population may be reluctant to use less and pay more
for water than they already do due to a failure to appreciate its true value. Raising
awareness through publicity campaigns and the media can help to convince people
that clean water is a scarce resource which is costly to produce and therefore needs to
be paid for accordingly.
• Regulation: Strong and enforced regulation that prioritises demand management
over resource development encourages investment in water saving measures by
setting minimum standards for water use in buildings and restrictions of potable
water for non-potable purposes. Regulation of the water supplier itself is also
essential where the service is operated privately or semi-privately and the need to
satisfy stakeholders could override the common public good.
• Pilot projects: Neighbourhood and individual housing estate projects can be used
to demonstrate water saving measures such as low use instalments, innovative
metering and water reuse schemes. Results provide evidence for the amount of water
that can be saved if rolled out on a larger scale and participant surveys can eliminate
fears of user dissatisfaction.
• Stakeholder involvement: More sustainable water supply is dependent on the buy-in
of a range of stakeholders. Utilities, planners, developers, consultants, businesses
and, most importantly, users are among the stakeholders that will have a large
infuence on the success or failure of more sustainable water supply management.
These stakeholders therefore have to be on board if interventions are to be successful.
• Institutional coordination: Greater coordination between institutions and authorities
that are related to water supply ensures that common rather than conficting priorities
are sought. This prevents conficts of interest between the water supply utility and,
for example, planning, health, parks and housing departments. Coordination is also
needed on a practical level, such as to ensure that a road is dug up just once
rather than multiple times for various repairs to the water, sewage, gas and electricity
infrastructure that runs under it.
• Political support: A shift from a conventional, supply based, approach to water supply
to a more sustainable, demand based, approach requires a concrete commitment
from the city council or political body with equivalent power. The top-down creation
of policy and legislation that promotes and enables alternative approaches to water
supply will encourage decision-makers, developers, consultants and users to focus on
and invest in more sustainable solutions.
See Module 2 for more
information on stakeholder
engagement, institutional
coordination and political
support.
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
options for sustainable
water supply
Despite the fundamental differences in approach, a more sustainable water supply
system is still made up of the same structural components as a conventional system
(resource, abstraction, treatment, distribution, demand). The difference is in the options
selected to operate the system effciently and maintain the supply-demand balance.
Figure 9 illustrates these differences.
O
figure 9: examples of water supply options associated with a more sustainable approach in comparison
to a conventional one
33
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
In line with an integrated approach to urban water management, many of the options
to reduce demand and provide alternatives to increased water abstraction from natural
sources should be implemented in tandem with a range of other solutions that achieve
similar aims. This is particularly the case for options that aim to reduce water consumption
by users. These solutions are mostly compatible so can easily be implemented together
to maximise savings. A combined approach is also the most practical. If the opportunity
exists to retroft low-fush toilets then chances are that low fow showerheads and taps
could also be installed at little extra cost beyond the price of the fttings. By implementing
a combined suite of measures the unit cost of water saved becomes cheaper and the
options more attractive to investors.
This approach applies not only to water demand management options but also to
solutions that are directly relevant for other sectors. Rainwater harvesting is linked to urban
runoff and can form part of more a sustainable approach to stormwater management.
Greywater reuse and the recharging of aquifers with treated effuent is likewise closely
related to sustainable wastewater management. The options should therefore always
consider the benefts and costs elsewhere and look for combinations of solutions that
maximise and minimise these respectively.
Section 7.1 briefy describes a few of the many of the options that can increase the
sustainability of water supply and urban development as a whole. It should be noted,
however, that the degree of sustainability associated with any option is highly dependent on
the local conditions in which it will be implemented. An option that ticks all sustainability
boxes in one city may do the complete opposite in another. For further information about
the selection of sustainable options see Section 7.2.
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.1 Options
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)
An issue for many cities facing water shortages is not so much a lack of total rainfall but
rather a lack of rainfall at the right times. An inability to capture suffcient amounts of high
fows during wet weather results in shortages in supplies during the dry season when
resources are low and demand is high. The construction of storage reservoirs is one
solution to this although these are costly, require space, have high evaporation losses and
can have environmental consequences. An alternative is Aquifer Storage and Recovery
(ASR) which stores high fows underground for re-abstraction when conventional sources
are not available.
ASR works by injecting surplus supplies into existing aquifers during periods of high
water fows. This water displaces the native water in the aquifer to form a ‘bubble’ that can
be re-abstracted using the same injection well when the supplies are needed. The aquifer
used for the purpose does not have to be of good quality and it is therefore possible to
use saline or polluted aquifers which would not usually be considered for water supply
purposes.
The source of water used for ASR can vary. Sources include abstractions from rivers during
periods of high fow, captured stormwater runoff and treated wastewater. Treatment of
the water often takes place before it is injected although this depends on the quality of
the source and the purpose of use following re-abstraction. Depending on the aquifer
properties and water retention time, certain contaminants are also removed through
natural treatment processes that occur within the aquifer itself.
figure 10: positive infuences of aSr on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number of
segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
33
8.1 Options
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)
An issue for many cities facing water shortages is not so much a lack of total rainfall but
rather a lack of rainfall at the right times. An inability to capture sufficient amounts of high
flows during wet weather results in insufficient supplies for use during the dry season
when resources are low and demand is high. The construction of storage reservoirs is
one solution to this although these are costly, require space, have high evaporation
losses and can have environmental consequences. An alternative is Aquifer Storage and
Recovery (ASR) which stores high flows underground for re-abstraction when
conventional sources are not available.
ASR works by injecting surplus supplies into existing aquifers during periods of high
water flows. This water displaces the native water in the aquifer to form a ‘bubble’ that
can be re-abstracted using the same injection well when the supplies are needed. The
aquifer used for the purpose does not have to be of good quality and it is therefore
possible to use saline or polluted aquifers which would not usually be considered for
water supply purposes.
The source of water used for ASR can vary. Sources include abstractions from rivers
during periods of high flow, captured stormwater runoff and treated wastewater.
Treatment of the water often takes place before it is injected although this depends on
the quality of the source and the purpose of use following re-abstraction. Depending on
the aquifer properties and water retention time, certain contaminants are also removed
through natural treatment processes that occur within the aquifer itself.
Figure #.# Positive influences of ASR on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for the sake
of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
ASR is a cheap source
of water for the
irrigation of parks,
playing fields and golf
courses
ASR can provide
a cheap source
of water for
irrigation
ASR is a source of
water during dry periods
when economic activity
in a city may suffer from
water shortages
Stormwater and
treated
wastewater can
be recycled
through ASR
Natural storage
accrues no land
acquisition and
construction
costs
ASR provides natural
protection from organic
pollution and
contaminated
stormwater runoff
Subsurface base
flows from ASR
can be used to
support natural
ecosystems
The collection
and storage of
stormwater
reduces urban
runoff
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
33
8.1 Options
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)
An issue for many cities facing water shortages is not so much a lack of total rainfall but
rather a lack of rainfall at the right times. An inability to capture sufficient amounts of high
flows during wet weather results in insufficient supplies for use during the dry season
when resources are low and demand is high. The construction of storage reservoirs is
one solution to this although these are costly, require space, have high evaporation
losses and can have environmental consequences. An alternative is Aquifer Storage and
Recovery (ASR) which stores high flows underground for re-abstraction when
conventional sources are not available.
ASR works by injecting surplus supplies into existing aquifers during periods of high
water flows. This water displaces the native water in the aquifer to form a ‘bubble’ that
can be re-abstracted using the same injection well when the supplies are needed. The
aquifer used for the purpose does not have to be of good quality and it is therefore
possible to use saline or polluted aquifers which would not usually be considered for
water supply purposes.
The source of water used for ASR can vary. Sources include abstractions from rivers
during periods of high flow, captured stormwater runoff and treated wastewater.
Treatment of the water often takes place before it is injected although this depends on
the quality of the source and the purpose of use following re-abstraction. Depending on
the aquifer properties and water retention time, certain contaminants are also removed
through natural treatment processes that occur within the aquifer itself.
Figure #.# Positive influences of ASR on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for the sake
of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
ASR is a cheap source
of water for the
irrigation of parks,
playing fields and golf
courses
ASR can provide
a cheap source
of water for
irrigation
ASR is a source of
water during dry periods
when economic activity
in a city may suffer from
water shortages
Stormwater and
treated
wastewater can
be recycled
through ASR
Natural storage
accrues no land
acquisition and
construction
costs
ASR provides natural
protection from organic
pollution and
contaminated
stormwater runoff
Subsurface base
flows from ASR
can be used to
support natural
ecosystems
The collection
and storage of
stormwater
reduces urban
runoff
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
35
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Local considerations
• In cases where aquifers are used that are not ft to provide water for supply purposes,
there may be a risk that existing contaminants impact the quality of the injected water.
This is especially the case if the properties of the aquifer are poorly understood in
which case suffcient data should be gathered for a thorough assessment of risks.
• The chemical and microbiological composition of the injected water should be
compatible with that of the native water in the aquifer. Where this is not the case,
unexpected reactions may occur that can lead to water quality issues, the formation of
biomass and the clogging of well screens.
• Legislation may prevent anything other than water of potable standards from being
injected into aquifers due to the risk of contamination. This limits the multi-purpose
use of ASR as it is not economically feasible to use the system for purposes other
than drinking water.
The concept of ASR
I
m
a
g
e
:

J
.

W
a
r
d
a
l
e

Supply and demand pattern for a seasonal ASR scheme
I
m
a
g
e
:

J
.

W
a
r
d
a
l
e

See the paper ‘Investigating
the feasibility of a micro-
scale Aquifer storage and
Recovery system’ for an
example of combining ASR
with brown roofs in the City
of Birmingham, UK
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Riverbank fltration (RBF)
Surface water sources are vulnerable to a range of pollutants that have to be removed
through costly treatment processes. Depending on the quality of the source, riverbank
fltration (RBF) can be an effective way of naturally removing certain common pollutants
thereby reducing the cost and energy consumption of drinking water treatment.
RBF works by abstracting surface water through intake wells dug in the river’s banks.
Pollutants are removed as the water is drawn downwards through the sediment in the
riverbank and bed. The process makes use of natural physical, geochemical and biological
mechanisms to remove organic matter, turbidity and various heavy metals, greatly
reducing the artifcial treatment required to produce water of potable quality. It also offers
a buffer against sudden surface water pollution outbreaks that would otherwise make the
source unusable.
The effectiveness of RBF is dependent on factors such as the quality of the source, well
technology, the location of the well and the retention time within the riverbank sediment.
Although it is unlikely to replace the need for artifcial treatment, it does however greatly
support and reduce the costs of the subsequent treatment process and in some cases
aeration, fltration and disinfection is all the further treatment required to produce water
of drinking quality standard.
figure 11: positive infuences of rbf on the urban water cycle and urban development
(note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
35
Riverbank filtration (RBF)
Surface water sources are vulnerable to a range of pollutants that have to be removed
through costly treatment processes. Depending on the quality of the source, riverbank
filtration (RBF) can be an effective way of naturally removing certain common pollutants
thereby reducing the cost and energy consumption of drinking water treatment.
RBF works by abstracting surface water through intake wells dug in the river’s banks.
Pollutants are removed as the water is drawn downwards through the sediment in the
riverbank and bed. The process makes use of natural physical, geochemical and
biological mechanisms to remove organic matter, turbidity and various heavy metals,
greatly reducing the artificial treatment required to produce water of potable quality. It
also offers a buffer against sudden surface water pollution outbreaks that would
Figure 10: Positive influences of RBF on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Local considerations
 RBF is less effective at coping with heavy surface water pollutant loads. Highly
variable river flows will also limit its performance. It is therefore most appropriate
for sources where water quality and flows are fairly consistent.
 The interaction between groundwater and surface water that is created by RBF
can lead to surface water pollutants entering aquifers and, vice versa,
ASR is a source of
water during dry
periods when
economic activity in a
city may suffer from
water shortages
RBF saves
chemical and
energy costs in the
water treatment
process
RBF provides natural
removal of a range of
surface water
pollutants
Reduced energy
consumption in
the water
treatment
process
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
35
Riverbank filtration (RBF)
Surface water sources are vulnerable to a range of pollutants that have to be removed
through costly treatment processes. Depending on the quality of the source, riverbank
filtration (RBF) can be an effective way of naturally removing certain common pollutants
thereby reducing the cost and energy consumption of drinking water treatment.
RBF works by abstracting surface water through intake wells dug in the river’s banks.
Pollutants are removed as the water is drawn downwards through the sediment in the
riverbank and bed. The process makes use of natural physical, geochemical and
biological mechanisms to remove organic matter, turbidity and various heavy metals,
greatly reducing the artificial treatment required to produce water of potable quality. It
also offers a buffer against sudden surface water pollution outbreaks that would
Figure 10: Positive influences of RBF on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Local considerations
 RBF is less effective at coping with heavy surface water pollutant loads. Highly
variable river flows will also limit its performance. It is therefore most appropriate
for sources where water quality and flows are fairly consistent.
 The interaction between groundwater and surface water that is created by RBF
can lead to surface water pollutants entering aquifers and, vice versa,
ASR is a source of
water during dry
periods when
economic activity in a
city may suffer from
water shortages
RBF saves
chemical and
energy costs in the
water treatment
process
RBF provides natural
removal of a range of
surface water
pollutants
Reduced energy
consumption in
the water
treatment
process
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
No direct infuences
37
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Local considerations
• RBF is less effective at coping with heavy surface water pollutant loads. Highly
variable river fows will also limit its performance. It is therefore most appropriate for
sources where water quality and fows are fairly consistent.
• The interaction between groundwater and surface water that is created by RBF
can lead to surface water pollutants entering aquifers and, vice versa, groundwater
pollutants can be drawn into the water being abstracted. The local hydrogeographical
information must therefore be well understood before a site is selected.
For further information
about bank fltration see
the PhD Thesis ‘Multiple
objective treatment aspects
of bank fltration’ (Maeng
2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
Riverbank Filtration in Seoul, Korea Schematic diagram of a bank fltration system
I
m
a
g
e
:

H
i
s
c
o
c
k

a
n
d

G
r
i
s
c
h
e
k

(
2
0
0
2
)
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
N
E
S
C
O
-
I
H
E
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Active leakage management
Leakage can account for the wastage of a large proportion of treated water that is pumped
into a city’s distribution network. Active, rather than reactive, leakage management such
as leak detection and repair, water mains replacement and pressure reduction in the
network can reduce the amount of treated water that is lost from the system saving both
costs and resources, and improving levels of service.
Reducing leakage is a costly and disruptive process. Most distribution pipes are located
under roads and pavements and the location of a leak may be hard to detect. Zero losses
from a system is an impossibility and utilities must instead make a judgement on what
is an acceptable level of leakage to target. Conventionally this is done using a calculated
Economic Level of Leakage (ELL) – an estimate of the point at which it becomes cheaper
to produce and distribute more water than it would be to fnd and fx more leaks.
However, the ELL typically considers direct economic costs only (the cost of fnding
and fxing the leaks versus the cost of abstracting, treating and pumping more water)
and ignores external costs such as the environmental impact of abstracting more
water, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the social disruption of digging up the
roads. Such external costs are not always easy to quantify. They do however need to be
considered if the true costs and benefts of leakage reduction are to be determined.
ELL, with or without externalities, is not fxed but rather moves with changes to the cost
of producing water and the cost of repairing leaks. Effcient metering is a powerful way
to bring leakage detection costs down and hence reduce the ELL. Measuring how much
water is pumped into the system and the amount that comes out the other end gives a
good idea of the scale and costs of the problem. If this metering can be further broken
down to cover district areas, leakage hotspots can then be identifed and dealt with
accordingly.
figure 12: positive infuences of active leakage management on the urban water cycle and urban
development (note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
37
Active leakage management
Leakage can account for the wastage of a large proportion of treated water that is
pumped into a city’s distribution network. Active, rather than reactive, leakage
management such as leak detection and repair, water mains replacement and pressure
reduction in the network can reduce the amount of treated water that is lost from the
system saving both costs and resources, and improving levels of service.
Reducing leakage is a costly and disruptive process. Most distribution pipes are located
under roads and pavements and the location of a leak may be hard to detect. Zero
losses from a system is an impossibility and utilities must instead make a judgement on
what is an acceptable level of leakage to target. Conventionally this is done using a
calculated Economic Level of Leakage (ELL) – an estimate of the point at which it
becomes cheaper to produce and distribute more water than it would be to find and fix
more leaks.
However, the ELL typically considers direct economic costs only (the cost of finding and
fixing the leaks versus the cost of abstracting, treating and pumping more water) and
ignores external costs such as the environmental impact of abstracting more water,
increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the social disruption of digging up the roads.
Such external costs are not always easy to quantify. They do however need to be
considered if the true costs and benefits of leakage reduction are to be determined.
ELL, with or without externalities, is not fixed but rather moves with changes to the cost
of producing water and the cost of repairing leaks. Efficient metering is a powerful way to
bring leakage detection costs down and hence reduce the ELL. Measuring how much
water is pumped into the system and the amount that comes out the other end gives a
good idea of the scale and costs of the problem. If this metering can be further broken
down to cover district areas, leakage hotspots can then be identified and dealt with
accordingly.
Figure #.# Positive influences of active leakage management on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
A more reliable supply of
water replaces the need
for households to obtain
water from an alternative,
untreated, source.
A programme to replace
old pipelines prevents
future leaks and the
need to dig up roads to
repair them
A more reliable
supply of water is
needed to maintain
economic activity
Reducing leakage saves on
treatment and pumping costs. It
can also defer or replace the
need for capital expenditure on
new supply schemes
Less water needs
to be abstracted
from the
environment for
supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Leakage
control
reduces the
demand for
treated water
Repairing leaks
reduces the risk to
public health of
contaminants entering
the distribution pipe
Less energy use
through reduced
demand for
treated water
Increased water
availability removes
water as a constraint
on the construction
of new homes
37
Active leakage management
Leakage can account for the wastage of a large proportion of treated water that is
pumped into a city’s distribution network. Active, rather than reactive, leakage
management such as leak detection and repair, water mains replacement and pressure
reduction in the network can reduce the amount of treated water that is lost from the
system saving both costs and resources, and improving levels of service.
Reducing leakage is a costly and disruptive process. Most distribution pipes are located
under roads and pavements and the location of a leak may be hard to detect. Zero
losses from a system is an impossibility and utilities must instead make a judgement on
what is an acceptable level of leakage to target. Conventionally this is done using a
calculated Economic Level of Leakage (ELL) – an estimate of the point at which it
becomes cheaper to produce and distribute more water than it would be to find and fix
more leaks.
However, the ELL typically considers direct economic costs only (the cost of finding and
fixing the leaks versus the cost of abstracting, treating and pumping more water) and
ignores external costs such as the environmental impact of abstracting more water,
increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the social disruption of digging up the roads.
Such external costs are not always easy to quantify. They do however need to be
considered if the true costs and benefits of leakage reduction are to be determined.
ELL, with or without externalities, is not fixed but rather moves with changes to the cost
of producing water and the cost of repairing leaks. Efficient metering is a powerful way to
bring leakage detection costs down and hence reduce the ELL. Measuring how much
water is pumped into the system and the amount that comes out the other end gives a
good idea of the scale and costs of the problem. If this metering can be further broken
down to cover district areas, leakage hotspots can then be identified and dealt with
accordingly.
Figure #.# Positive influences of active leakage management on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
A more reliable supply of
water replaces the need
for households to obtain
water from an alternative,
untreated, source.
A programme to replace
old pipelines prevents
future leaks and the
need to dig up roads to
repair them
A more reliable
supply of water is
needed to maintain
economic activity
Reducing leakage saves on
treatment and pumping costs. It
can also defer or replace the
need for capital expenditure on
new supply schemes
Less water needs
to be abstracted
from the
environment for
supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Leakage
control
reduces the
demand for
treated water
Repairing leaks
reduces the risk to
public health of
contaminants entering
the distribution pipe
Less energy use
through reduced
demand for
treated water
Increased water
availability removes
water as a constraint
on the construction
of new homes
39
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Local considerations
• Active leakage management requires good data on the volume and location of losses
from the system. Actual losses need to be distinguished from apparent losses such as
unauthorised consumption, metering errors and underestimates of fat rate water use.
• The laying of new distribution pipes and the rehabilitation of old ones need to
consider a range of factors to ensure that future leaks are minimised. These include the
local typography, climate, soil types, overlying road surface, volume and load of traffc,
pipe material and pressure requirements of the network.
Leakage reduction in Berlin, Germany
Following the fall of the Berlin
wall in 1989, the city embarked
upon a new approach to manage
water holistically across the
reunifed metropolitan area. The
overall aim was to protect the
environment and reduce wasteful
water use, particularly in the
eastern part of the city where a
subsidised policy towards water
services had led to wasteful use
of water and lack of infrastructure
maintenance.
As part of the campaign, a strategy was developed to reduce the high level of leakages from
the distribution pipe network. The strategy covered a range of proactive leakage detection
techniques and pipeline renovation programmes, coordinated through a network database.
This database, which gathers statistics on burst rates, age of pipelines, hydraulic properties,
etc., is an essential aspect of managing the vast amounts of data needed in order to facilitate
an integrated decision-making process that can identify the most cost-effective solutions to
reduce leakage in the city.
The strategy has proven to be highly effective and in the ten years that followed the
reunifcation of Berlin, the city succeeded in reducing water losses from the distribution
network from approximately 25% to less than 5%, signifcantly increasing security of
supplies and reducing abstractions from the local environment.
Further information on the water effciency achievements of Berlin can be found
in the paper ‘Measures to minimize water consumption and water losses – case
study of Berlin’ (Heinzmann 2004) which can be downloaded at:
http://www.bvsde.paho.org/bvsacd/cd63/measures.pdf
For a more general investigation into water management in Berlin see the SWITCH
case study ‘Making urban water management more sustainable: Achievements in
Berlin’ (Salian 2011). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Section 6 of the SWITCH
book ‘Water demand
management in the City
of the Future – Selected
tools and instruments for
practitioners (Kayaga et al
2011) discuses the zoning
approach to managing
distribution leakage.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
The study ‘Leakage target
setting in London’ (Greater
London Authority, 2009)
is an example of including
environmental and social
impacts in leakage target
calculations. See: http://
legacy.london.gov.uk/
mayor/environment/water/
docs/leakage-target-setting.
pdf
See the SWITCH paper
‘Adapting the Economic
Level of Leakage concept to
include carbon emissions,
and application with limited
data’ (Smout et al 2010) for
further information about
including externalities in
Economic Level of Leakage
calculations.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n

D
r
a
g
h
i
c
i
/
d
r
e
a
m
s
t
i
m
e
.
c
o
m
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
For information about the
use of SAT see the Tel Aviv
case study.
www.switchtraining.eu
Domestic water efciency measures
Residential water uses such as toilet fushing, bathing, cleaning, food preparation and
garden watering often account for the largest proportion of a city’s potable water demand.
There are a number of measures that can be employed to reduce this demand including
targeting the volume of water used by the main water using devices themselves (see
below for other measures to reduce domestic consumption).
Toilet fushing typically accounts for up to a third of a household’s water consumption.
Ideally non-potable water, such as collected rainwater or greywater, would be used for
this purpose. But where this is not feasible a good alternative is the installation of a
low-fush toilet (designed to clear the toilet bowl using less than a quarter of the water
of a standard toilet) or dual fush toilet (featuring the option to select a full or half fush
depending on whether urine or faeces is being removed). Considering that on average
each household inhabitant is fushing the toilet around fve times a day, the water savings
from the installation of a low or dual-fush toilet are likely to be substantial.
The ftting of water effcient toilets is easiest in new developments where their use can
be part of building regulations. But retroftting in existing homes can also be encouraged
through rebates and subsidies as well as promotion of the savings in water bills that
customers can expect to make. Once installed the toilets are unlikely to meet with user
dissatisfaction reducing the risk that they are replaced at a later date.
Although unlikely to achieve the same volumes of saving as low-use toilets, water
effciency products are also available for other domestic water using devices. Low-fow
showerheads and taps can easily be ftted to existing plumbing, and, along with energy
effciency, water effciency is now also widely promoted in the latest models of washing
machines and dishwashers. As with the toilets, regulatory measures, fnancial incentives
and promotional material can encourage the uptake of these in both new and existing
households.
figure 13: positive infuences of water efciency measures on the urban water cycle and urban
development (note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
39
Domestic water efficiency measures
Residential water uses such as toilet flushing, bathing, cleaning, food preparation and
garden watering often account for the largest proportion of a city’s potable water demand.
There are a number of measures that can be employed to reduce this demand including
targeting the volume of water used by the main water using devices themselves (see
below for other measures to reduce domestic consumption).
Toilet flushing typically accounts for up to a third of a household’s water consumption.
Ideally non-potable water, such as collected rainwater or greywater, would be used for
this purpose. But where this is not feasible a good alternative is the installation of a low-
flush toilet (designed to clear the toilet bowl using less than a quarter of the water of a
standard toilet) or dual flush toilet (featuring the option to select a full or half flush
depending on whether urine or faeces is being removed). Considering that on average
each household inhabitant is flushing the toilet around five times a day, the water
savings from the installation of a low or dual-flush toilet are likely to be substantial.
The fitting of water efficient toilets is easiest in new developments where their use can
be part of building regulations. But retrofitting in existing homes can also be encouraged
through rebates and subsidies as well as promotion of the savings in water bills that
customers can expect to make. Once installed the toilets are unlikely to meet with user
dissatisfaction reducing the risk that they are replaced at a later date.
Although unlikely to achieve the same volumes of saving as low-use toilets, water
efficiency products are also available for other domestic water using devices. Low-flow
showerheads and taps can easily be fitted to existing plumbing, and, along with energy
efficiency, water efficiency is now also widely promoted in the latest models of washing
machines and dishwashers. As with the toilets, regulatory measures, financial incentives
and promotional material can encourage the uptake of these in both new and existing
households.
Reduced domestic energy
consumption through the
use of less hot water in
showers, washing machines
and dishwashers
Increased water
availability for other
productive urban
purposes
Less potable water
consumption
reduces the cost of
treating and
distributing water
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from
the environment
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Domestic
demand is
reduced
Energy
consumption for
treatment and
pumping is
reduced
Enables the
construction and
refurbishment of more
water (and energy)
efficient housing
39
Domestic water efficiency measures
Residential water uses such as toilet flushing, bathing, cleaning, food preparation and
garden watering often account for the largest proportion of a city’s potable water demand.
There are a number of measures that can be employed to reduce this demand including
targeting the volume of water used by the main water using devices themselves (see
below for other measures to reduce domestic consumption).
Toilet flushing typically accounts for up to a third of a household’s water consumption.
Ideally non-potable water, such as collected rainwater or greywater, would be used for
this purpose. But where this is not feasible a good alternative is the installation of a low-
flush toilet (designed to clear the toilet bowl using less than a quarter of the water of a
standard toilet) or dual flush toilet (featuring the option to select a full or half flush
depending on whether urine or faeces is being removed). Considering that on average
each household inhabitant is flushing the toilet around five times a day, the water
savings from the installation of a low or dual-flush toilet are likely to be substantial.
The fitting of water efficient toilets is easiest in new developments where their use can
be part of building regulations. But retrofitting in existing homes can also be encouraged
through rebates and subsidies as well as promotion of the savings in water bills that
customers can expect to make. Once installed the toilets are unlikely to meet with user
dissatisfaction reducing the risk that they are replaced at a later date.
Although unlikely to achieve the same volumes of saving as low-use toilets, water
efficiency products are also available for other domestic water using devices. Low-flow
showerheads and taps can easily be fitted to existing plumbing, and, along with energy
efficiency, water efficiency is now also widely promoted in the latest models of washing
machines and dishwashers. As with the toilets, regulatory measures, financial incentives
and promotional material can encourage the uptake of these in both new and existing
households.
Reduced domestic energy
consumption through the
use of less hot water in
showers, washing machines
and dishwashers
Increased water
availability for other
productive urban
purposes
Less potable water
consumption
reduces the cost of
treating and
distributing water
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from
the environment
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Domestic
demand is
reduced
Energy
consumption for
treatment and
pumping is
reduced
Enables the
construction and
refurbishment of more
water (and energy)
efficient housing
41
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Local considerations
• The total volume and breakdown of domestic consumption varies considerably from
city to city due to wealth, climate, occupancy rates, sanitation systems, habits, size
of properties, etc. A good understanding of end-uses among different demographics
allows water effciency programmes to target areas that will achieve high savings at
low investment cost.
• The success of measures such as dual-fush toilets and low-fow showers and taps
depend on user acceptance. Assumed savings will not materialise if a user refuses to
use a dual-fush function correctly or replaces a low-fow shower with a power shower.
Awareness raising campaigns can help to overcome scepticism and highlight the
fnancial gains for the household.
The study ‘Water
performance of buildings’
(European Commission
2009) examines water
efciency technologies and
policy measures that can
reduce water consumption
in diferent building
types. The study can be
downloaded at:
http://ec.europa.eu/
environment/water/
quantity/pdf/Water%20
Performance%20of %20
Buildings_Study2009.pdf
Water saving tap aerator
I
m
a
g
e
:

A
Q
D
a
i
g
u
a
Dual fush toilet Water Effciency Labelling and Standards (WELS)
Scheme, Australia
I
m
a
g
e
:

w
w
w
.
t
o
i
l
e
t
o
l
o
g
y
.
c
o
m
I
m
a
g
e
:

w
w
w
.
w
a
t
e
r
r
a
t
i
n
g
.
g
o
v
.
a
u
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Promoting behavioural change
Unlike water effciency measures such as low-fush toilets and water effcient washing
machines, changing consumer water use behavioural patterns can achieve substantial
water savings without the need of technical interventions.
Education and awareness raising campaigns reduce water consumption by encouraging
consumers to change their water use behaviour. Highlighting the economic and
environmental benefts of effcient water use can persuade people to think of water as a
commodity, like electricity or gas, that should not be wasted.
Campaigns can make use of a number of dissemination means. These include the
distribution of information leafets with water bills, radio and television announcements,
billboard messages, schools programmes, etc. Campaigns can be targeted specifcally at
high user groups or areas and are likely to emphasise the fnancial gains that can be made
(where consumers pay by volume) and the need to conserve precious resources (where
consumers pay a fat rate).
There are many options to save water in households including taking a shower rather
than a bath, flling the sink rather than leaving the tap running when washing dishes
or preparing food, and watering the garden with a watering can rather than a hose or a
sprinkler. In some cities gardening may account for a high proportion of household use.
In this case campaigns are also likely to stress the opportunities for collecting rainwater
for watering plants as an environmentally friendly (and plant friendly) alternative to using
water treated to drinking quality.
figure 14: positive infuences of behavioural change on the urban water cycle and urban development
(note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
41
Promoting behavioural change
Unlike water efficiency measures such as low-flush toilets and water efficient washing
machines, changing consumer water use behavioural patterns can achieve substantial
water savings without the need of technical interventions.
Education and awareness raising campaigns reduce water consumption by encouraging
consumers to change their water use behaviour. Highlighting the economic and
environmental benefits of efficient water use can persuade people to think of water as a
commodity, like electricity or gas, that should not be used wastefully.
Campaigns can make use of a number of dissemination means. These include the
distribution of information leaflets with water bills, radio and television announcements,
billboard messages, schools programmes, etc. Campaigns can be targeted specifically
at high user groups or areas and are likely to emphasise the financial gains that can be
made (where consumers pay by volume) and the need to conserve precious resources
(where consumers pay a flat rate).
Water use behaviour where savings are likely to be possible include taking a shower
rather than a bath, filling the sink rather than leaving the tap running when washing
dishes or preparing food, and watering the garden with a watering can rather than a
hose or a sprinkler. In some cities gardening may account for a high proportion of
household use. In this case campaigns are also likely to stress the opportunities for
collecting rainwater for watering plants as an environmentally friendly (and plant friendly)
alternative to using water treated to drinking quality.
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Promoting behavioural
change is a cheap way of
reducing water demand
thereby saving costs for water
treatment and distribution
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from
the environment
Domestic
demand is
reduced
Energy
consumption for
treatment and
pumping is
reduced
Reduced domestic energy
consumption through the
use of less hot water in
baths and for washing
dishes
Increased water
availability for other
productive urban
purposes
41
Promoting behavioural change
Unlike water efficiency measures such as low-flush toilets and water efficient washing
machines, changing consumer water use behavioural patterns can achieve substantial
water savings without the need of technical interventions.
Education and awareness raising campaigns reduce water consumption by encouraging
consumers to change their water use behaviour. Highlighting the economic and
environmental benefits of efficient water use can persuade people to think of water as a
commodity, like electricity or gas, that should not be used wastefully.
Campaigns can make use of a number of dissemination means. These include the
distribution of information leaflets with water bills, radio and television announcements,
billboard messages, schools programmes, etc. Campaigns can be targeted specifically
at high user groups or areas and are likely to emphasise the financial gains that can be
made (where consumers pay by volume) and the need to conserve precious resources
(where consumers pay a flat rate).
Water use behaviour where savings are likely to be possible include taking a shower
rather than a bath, filling the sink rather than leaving the tap running when washing
dishes or preparing food, and watering the garden with a watering can rather than a
hose or a sprinkler. In some cities gardening may account for a high proportion of
household use. In this case campaigns are also likely to stress the opportunities for
collecting rainwater for watering plants as an environmentally friendly (and plant friendly)
alternative to using water treated to drinking quality.
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Promoting behavioural
change is a cheap way of
reducing water demand
thereby saving costs for water
treatment and distribution
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from
the environment
Domestic
demand is
reduced
Energy
consumption for
treatment and
pumping is
reduced
Reduced domestic energy
consumption through the
use of less hot water in
baths and for washing
dishes
Increased water
availability for other
productive urban
purposes
43
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
For an example of large
scale water savings achieved
through public awareness
raising campaigns see
section 7 of the SWITCH
book ‘Water demand
management in the City
of the Future – Selected
tools and instruments
for practitioners (Kayaga
et al 2011) as well as the
Zaragoza case study.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
Local considerations
• Water use behaviour varies depending on culture, wealth, personal habits, garden
size and activities, religion, etc. Understanding this behaviour locally is essential for
directing behavioural change campaigns towards the uses and user groups from
which most savings can be expected.
• The timing of awareness raising campaigns is important. Periods of hot and
prolonged dry weather, especially if picked up on by the media, is an ideal time to
emphasise the need to save water. In contrast a campaign urging consumers to use
water wisely that follows weeks of heavy rainfall and local fooding is likely to be less
effective.
The ‘Save water Swindon’
campaign launched in
Swindon, UK, is an example
of a publicity campaign
to encourage the local
population to reduce
wasteful consumption of
water. See: http://www.
savewaterswindon.org.uk/
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
o
u
t
h

E
a
s
t

W
a
t
e
r
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
a
v
e

W
a
t
e
r

S
w
i
n
d
o
n
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
e
l
b
o
u
r
n
e

W
a
t
e
r
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Metering and tarifs
The purpose of metering and tariffs is primarily economic. However, this fnancial
element also provides an incentive for users to save water. Customers who receive their
water on an unmetered fxed charge do not get billed for the amount consumed. They
therefore have no fnancial incentive to save water as using less has no impact on their
bills. Universal metering allows customers to be charged for what they use providing a
fnancial incentive to save water. Variable tariffs can magnify these fnancial incentives
and can therefore prove to be a powerful water saving measure.
Universal metering is widely considered to be the fairest way to pay for water as costs
are based on actual rather than assumed consumption. Types of meters on the market
range from those that take a simple volumetric measure that is read manually, to more
sophisticated ‘smart’ meters that break down consumption by end-use and can be read
telemetrically.
With the exception of proft making water supply companies and subsidised utilities, the
price of water, whether measured or unmeasured, is set to recover the cost of operating
the service. A metered supply allows this to be done based on a fxed price per unit of
water used (a linear tariff). But metering also allows variable water tariff structures to be
applied that price water use with greater fexibility. These include rising block tariffs in
which the cost of water increases exponentially with the amount used thereby charging
high users more per unit than those who use water more sparingly. This offers the
possibility to ensure that a basic (and suffcient) amount of affordable water is available
for low-income groups while charging higher rates for those who choose to use water
more extravagantly. Other types of tariffs alter charges based on season, user and type of
use (for example, industry, agriculture, etc.).
figure 15: positive infuences of metering and tarifs on the urban water cycle and urban development
(note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
43
Metering and tariffs [Add Zaragoza tariff objectives from use of multiple economic
instruments for WDM paper]
The purpose of metering and tariffs is primarily economic. However, this financial
element also provides an incentive for users to save water. Customers who receive their
water on an unmetered fixed charge do not get billed for the amount consumed. They
therefore have no financial incentive to save water as using less has no impact on their
bills. Universal metering allows customers to be charged for what they use providing a
financial incentive to save water. Variable tariffs can magnify these financial incentives
and can therefore prove to be a powerful water saving measure.
Universal metering is widely considered to be the fairest way to pay for water as costs
are based on actual rather than assumed consumption. Types of meters on the market
range from those that take a simple volumetric measure that is read manually, to more
sophisticated ‘smart’ meters that break down consumption by end-use and can be read
telemetrically.
With the exception of profit making water supply companies and subsidised utilities, the
price of water, whether measured or unmeasured, is set to recover the cost of operating
the service. A metered supply allows this to be done based on a fixed price per unit of
water used (a linear tariff). But metering also allows variable water tariff structures to be
applied that price water use with greater flexibility. These include rising block tariffs in
which the cost of water increases exponentially with the amount used thereby charging
high users more per unit than those who use water more sparingly. This offers the
possibility to ensure that a basic (and sufficient) amount of affordable water is available
for low-income groups while charging higher rates for those who choose to use water
more extravagantly. Other types of tariffs alter charges based on season, user and type
of use (for example, industry, agriculture, etc.).
Variable tariffs can
ensure a cheap (or
free) supply of basic
water needs to low-
income groups
Financial
incentives to
harvest rainwater
and reuse
greywater
Customers charged
based on the actual
cost of water enabling
cost recovery for the
service
Metering and variable
tariffs offer consumers
financial incentives to
use less water
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from the
environment
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Energy consumption
for treatment and
pumping are reduced
due to reduced
demand
43
Metering and tariffs [Add Zaragoza tariff objectives from use of multiple economic
instruments for WDM paper]
The purpose of metering and tariffs is primarily economic. However, this financial
element also provides an incentive for users to save water. Customers who receive their
water on an unmetered fixed charge do not get billed for the amount consumed. They
therefore have no financial incentive to save water as using less has no impact on their
bills. Universal metering allows customers to be charged for what they use providing a
financial incentive to save water. Variable tariffs can magnify these financial incentives
and can therefore prove to be a powerful water saving measure.
Universal metering is widely considered to be the fairest way to pay for water as costs
are based on actual rather than assumed consumption. Types of meters on the market
range from those that take a simple volumetric measure that is read manually, to more
sophisticated ‘smart’ meters that break down consumption by end-use and can be read
telemetrically.
With the exception of profit making water supply companies and subsidised utilities, the
price of water, whether measured or unmeasured, is set to recover the cost of operating
the service. A metered supply allows this to be done based on a fixed price per unit of
water used (a linear tariff). But metering also allows variable water tariff structures to be
applied that price water use with greater flexibility. These include rising block tariffs in
which the cost of water increases exponentially with the amount used thereby charging
high users more per unit than those who use water more sparingly. This offers the
possibility to ensure that a basic (and sufficient) amount of affordable water is available
for low-income groups while charging higher rates for those who choose to use water
more extravagantly. Other types of tariffs alter charges based on season, user and type
of use (for example, industry, agriculture, etc.).
Variable tariffs can
ensure a cheap (or
free) supply of basic
water needs to low-
income groups
Financial
incentives to
harvest rainwater
and reuse
greywater
Customers charged
based on the actual
cost of water enabling
cost recovery for the
service
Metering and variable
tariffs offer consumers
financial incentives to
use less water
Indirect benefits
through less water
needing to be
abstracted from the
environment
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Energy consumption
for treatment and
pumping are reduced
due to reduced
demand
45
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Local considerations
• The roll-out of a comprehensive metering programme is expensive and needs to
be sustained through an effcient system to read the meters and manage the billing
process. These costs can be recovered but to do so meters have to be protected
from theft, read regularly and the information they provide applied correctly to the
customer’s bill.
• Tariffs should be set after careful consideration of which users should be paying
what for water and when. Ill-considered tariffs can result in social inequality and
health risks if low-income groups are charged more for water than they are willing to
pay. Equally, setting prices with the aim of saving water will only achieve this goal if
high users have a tangible fnancial incentive to consume less.
• The relationship between price and most domestic water uses is often considered
to be ‘inelastic’, meaning that changes in price do not have a signifcant impact
on consumption (Kayaga 2009). This relationship needs to be well understood,
particularly if the main aim of the tariff structure is to infuence water demand rather
than improve cost recovery.
Tarif reforms in Zaragoza, Spain
As part of a large scale
programme to reduce water
consumption and alleviate
the threat of water scarcity,
the Spanish city of Zaragoza
implemented a comprehensive
reform of the tariff structure
through which citizens were
billed for water. The aim was to
create a ‘rising block’ system that
was both equitable and demand
responsive through which the
true cost of water services would
be covered.
More specifcally the Zaragoza tariff structure was reformed with the aim of achieving:
• full cost recovery through revenues, including the direct costs of service provision as
well as indirect costs within the water cycle more generally;
• equitable charging, ensuring that the cost of water is related to the benefts it
delivers to the user;
• affordable access to basic water services for all, including the availability of
subsidies for vulnerable households; and
• an incentive for the consumer to use water effciently.
Since being introduced, the reformed tariff structure has largely achieved its aims,
particularly with regard to cost recovery. Whereas in 1997 income from water consumers
covered around 70% of the cost of supply and wastewater disposal, the equivalent fgure in
2006 was closer to 90% allowing much needed investment to be made in water services
infrastructure (Kayaga 2011).
For more information on water tariffs in Zaragoza see Section 8 of the
SWITCH book ‘Water demand management in the City of the Future –
Selected tools and instruments for practitioners (Kayaga et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Additional details about the overall water saving programmes implemented by
Zaragoza can be found in the Zaragoza case study.
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
W
I
T
C
H

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Water from alternative sources
With few exceptions, centralised
urban water supply systems
deliver only water of potable
quality (or as close as possible
thereof). However, potable use
makes up only a portion of
total urban use. Water demand
for toilet fushing, cleaning,
garden use and most productive
purposes does not require the
same quality standards as that of
water for drinking yet that is what
is typically used.
An alternative approach is to
supply water of a quality ft for
its purpose through the use of
collected rainwater, greywater
and treated wastewater effuent
for non-potable demand. This
reduces water supply abstractions
from the environment and saves
on treatment costs.
A variety of systems exist that
can exploit such alternative
sources of water. These may be
at the individual household level,
such as rainwater harvesting
and greywater recycling systems
for garden watering and toilet
fushing, or employed on a larger
scale such as the reuse of treated
effuent for the irrigation of parks,
gardens and golf courses.
Alternative sources are both reliable, particularly in the case of wastewater reuse, and cheap
supply options. They also provide benefts other than those associated directly with water
supply. For example the collection and reuse of rainwater from rooftops reduces the risk
of local and downstream fooding during heavy rainfall whereas the recycling of greywater
for toilet fushing signifcantly reduces the volume of domestic wastewater needing to be
treated.
New housing developments, urban regeneration projects and large buildings such as
sports stadiums and airports often offer the best opportunities to make use of alternative
sources of supply. The necessary infrastructure such as separated plumbing, storage tanks
and distribution pipelines is easily incorporated during the planning phase and can even be
used as an aesthetically positive feature of urban design.
See Module 4 for more information about rainwater harvesting and the use of
stormwater to enhance urban landscapes.
Greywater recycling and wastewater reuse in general is discussed in more detail
in Module 5.
Greywater reuse in a Beijing car wash
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
W
I
T
C
H

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
Rainwater is collected from the roof of the Millennium
Dome in London, UK and used for toilet fushing
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
i
m
o
n

W
a
r
d
47
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
7.2 Selection of options
A large number of non-conventional solutions exist for source protection, improved
water treatment and water demand management. Whereas many of these solutions may
appear to achieve more sustainable water supply objectives – such as the reduction of
demand – their viability is very much dependent on local circumstances. The option
selection process must therefore include a detailed assessment of each potential option,
particularly with regard to the different aspects of sustainability as described in Section
5. Only then can implementation take place with the confdence that the solution will
achieve its intended purpose without causing social, economic or environmental costs
that will ultimately outweigh the perceived benefts delivered.
The options described in Section 7 can each potentially make a signifcant contribution
to more sustainable urban water management. However, on the whole these will need to
be combined to some extent with conventional technologies and standard water supply
solutions. For example, riverbank fltration alone is unlikely to produce water of drinking
quality; but when combined with standard technologies it can contribute to a highly
effcient treatment process. Likewise, greywater recycling will need to be supplemented
by supplies from rivers, aquifers and reservoirs; but when implemented on a large scale
greywater use can greatly reduce the threat of over-abstraction from these sources. The
selection process for water supply interventions is therefore likely to consider a mix of
conventional and alternative options from which the optimal combination is chosen.
The most important aspect of the selection process is the identifcation of the true
costs and benefts of potential options in relation to sustainable urban development as
a whole. This aspect is, however, often carried out only to a limited extent – typically
based on the quantity of water produced (or saved) and the cost of producing it. Ranking
options through this approach helps identify the most economical options to close gaps
in supply and demand, but does not take into consideration external costs and indirect
benefts that may be attached to the selected and discarded options.
The addition, for example, of environmental and social costs and benefts in the selection
process can drastically change the evaluation of certain options. In purely fnancial terms,
the installation of a new river abstraction point may be cheaper than the implementation
of a large-scale low-fush toilet retroft programme. But if environmental and social
impacts are also included the assessment might look quite different. Unlike the new river
abstraction, the toilet campaign will not reduce the amount of water available for aquatic
ecosystems, deplete recreational fshing stocks, or increase the city’s carbon emissions.
Taking these aspects into consideration in addition to the fnancial costs may well alter
the evaluation results of the two alternatives.
The inclusion of indirect costs and benefts is not straightforward. Unlike fnancial
investment and operating costs, these may be diffcult to quantify in a way that allows a
robust and transparent assessment. The assessment process is further complicated by
the need to include associated levels of risk and uncertainties in relation to planned results
and indirect impacts. The use of integrated modelling software and decision support
tools are, however, available to assist with the management of such vast amounts of
data and can be used to analyse a range of scenarios and the likely impacts of different
combinations of water supply solutions in relation to existing infrastructure.
Further examples of tools to
assist with water demand
management are described
in the SWITCH book ‘Water
demand management in the
City of the Future – Selected
tools and instruments for
practitioners (Kayaga et al
2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
See Module 6 for details on
some of the decision support
tools that can assist with
the selection of water supply
options
For further information
on the evaluation and
selection of water demand
management options see
the ‘Guide to Demand
Management’ (Turner et
al 2008) produced by the
Water Services Association
of Australia. This can be
downloaded at: http://www.
isf.uts.edu.au/publications/
wsaa2008dmguide.pdf
48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Using the Average Incremental Social Costs (AISC) method
for the comparison of options
Average incremental costing is a method for estimating the full life cycle cost of a potential
option. It is commonly used to compare different water supply options such as the
development of a new groundwater source or the construction of a desalination plant,
although the method can also be used for options that save water.
The Average Incremental Cost (AIC) is calculated by dividing the Net Present Value (NPV)
of capital and operational expenditures of the option with the NPV of the water consumed
or saved over a 25 year period. The resulting AIC fgure is the average cost of producing
the water over the entire lifetime of an option and is therefore a useful means of ranking
different water supply options. The AIC calculation is not limited to options that increase
supplies but can also be used for water savings, allowing demand and supply side options
to be compared fnancially.
The AIC approach can also be extended to include social and environmental costs and
benefts (externalities), such as greenhouse gas emissions and recreational benefts. This is
known as the Average Incremental Social Cost (AISC). The diffculty of using the AISC is the
quantifcation of externalities in economic terms. Some can be included with relative ease
(for example greenhouse gas emissions can be included as a fxed cost for each tonne of
carbon dioxide equivalent), but others, such as services provided by natural ecosystems are
more diffcult to price. However, once externalities have been successfully quantifed, the
AISC approach provides an effective method for comparing the direct and indirect life cycle
costs of different supply and demand side options.
The full AISC calculation is as follows (adapted from Waterwise 2008):

Where,
- C is the NPV of the capital costs (capex);
- O is the NPV of the operating costs (opex);
- E is the NPV of the social and environmental costs and benefts of the option;
- OS is the NPV of the opex saving, i.e. the money saved by not producing the water saved
by the option; and
- W is the NPV of the total water consumed or saved
The NPV of each element is defned as the sum of the annual costs/savings over 25 years
(regardless of option life), with future costs/savings discounted at a rate input by the user.
AISC =
C + O + E – OS
W
49
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Wrapping-up
O
Urban water supply services are becoming increasingly diffcult to maintain due to the
pollution of natural resources and increasing water demands.
Traditionally these constraints have been overcome by improving artifcial treatment
technologies and developing new sources of water supply.
In many cases these options are no longer sustainable as the cost of treatment increases
and the availability of fnite natural water resources reaches its limit.
By prioritising source protection over improved treatment and water demand management
over increased supply, a city can protect and enhance the natural environment, improve
water services and reduce treatment and distribution costs.
To do so, the linkages between water supply, urban drainage, wastewater and a range
of other urban management sectors need to be recognised. An integrated approach is
therefore required.
A large number of options are available to implement such an approach. These include
natural storage and treatment systems, water effcient technologies and the use of
alternative sources of supply such as rainwater and recycled wastewater.
The optimal solution is likely to be a combination of conventional and innovative
technologies. These should be selected following assessment against comprehensive
sustainability criteria relevant for local conditions and needs.
The Urban
Water Cycle
AISC =
C + O + E – OS
W
80
85
90
95
100
105
110
115
120
125
130
1 1 1 2 1 3 1
Available Water Resources Demand Forecast
80
85
90
95
100
105
110
115
120
125
130
1 2 1
Available Water Resources Demand Forecast
50
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
references
ashton, V., gordon-Walker, S., Marshallsay, d. (2009) Leakage target setting in
London, Greater London Authority, London, UK.
http://legacy.london.gov.uk/mayor/environment/water/docs/leakage-target-setting.pdf
butterworth, J., McIntyre, p., da Silva Wells, C. eds. (2011) SWITCH in the City: Putting
urban water management to the test, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre,
The Hague, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
defra (2008), Briefng Note BNWAT22: Domestic water consumption in domestic
and non-domestic properties, Defra’s Market Transformation Programme, The UK
Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK.
effcient-products.defra.gov.uk/spm/download/document/id/669
european Commission (2009) Study on water performance of buildings ref.
070307/2008/520703/ETU/D2, European Commission (DG Env.)
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/quantity/pdf/Water%20Performance%20of %20
Buildings_Study2009.pdf
Heinzmann, b. (2004) Measures to minimise water consumption and water losses –
case study of Berlin, Berlin Water (Berliner Wasserbetriebe), Germany.
http://www.bvsde.paho.org/bvsacd/cd63/measures.pdf
Kayaga, S., Smout, I. (2011) Water demand management in the City of the Future
– Selected tools and instruments for practitioners, The Water, Engineering and
Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Krauze, K., Zawilski, M., Zalewski, M., Wagner, I. (2008) Ecohydrological restoration
of aquatic habitats in urban areas: aims, constraints and techniques, University of Lodz,
Poland. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Maeng S. K. (2010) Multiple objective treatment aspects of bank fltration, PhD Thesis,
UNESCO-IHE, Delft, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
retamal, M., Turner, a., White, S. (2009) The water-energy-climate nexus – Systems
thinking and virtuous circles, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology,
Sydney, Australia.
http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/publications/retamal2009climatechange.pdf
Salian, p., anton, b. (2011) Making urban water management more sustainable:
Achievements in Berlin, ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Smout, I., Kayaga, S., Muñoz-Trochez, C. (2010) Adapting the Economic Level of
Leakage concept to include carbón emissions, and application with limited data, The
Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Smout, I., Kayaga, S., Muñoz-Trochez, C. (2008) Financial and economic aspects of
water demand management in the context of Integrated Urban Water Management, The
Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/W6-0_PAP_BH_Session7c_Economics_
of_demand_management.pdf
O
51
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Turner, a., Willetts, J., fane, S., giurco, d., Kazaglis, a., White, S. (2008) Guide to
Demand Management, Water Services Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/publications/wsaa2008dmguide.pdf
Turner, a., Willetts, J., White, S. (2006) The International Demand Management
Framework – Stage 1: Final Report, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of
Technology, Sydney, Australia.
http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/publications/turneretal2006idmf.pdf
Wagner, I., Zalewski, M. (2009) Ecohydrology as a basis for the sustainable city
strategic planning: Focus on Lodz, Poland, University of Lodz, Poland.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Wagner, I., Izydorczyk, K., drobniewska, a., fratczak, W., Zalewski, M. (2006)
Inclusion of ecohydrology concept as integral component of systemic in urban water
resources management. The city of Lodz case study, Poland, University of Lodz, Poland.
http://www2.gtz.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/en-ecohydrology-urban-water-2007.pdf
Wardale, J. (2007) Investigating the feasibility of a micro-scale Aquifer Storage and
Recovery system, University of Birmingham, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Waterwise (2008) Evidence Base for Large-scale Water Effciency in Homes, Waterwise,
London, UK.
http://www.waterwise.org.uk/images/site/Policy/evidence_base/evidence%20base%20
for%20large-scale%20water%20effciency%20in%20homes%20-%20phase%20ii%20
interim%20report.pdf
www.switchtraining.eu
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
Partners:
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
ISBN 978-3-943107-05-0 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Imprint
ICLeI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Ralph Philip (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Heiko Sieker, Christian Peters (Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH); Mike D. Revitt, Bryan J. Ellis, Lian Scholes, Brian Shutes
(Middlesex University); Chris Jefferies, Alison Duffy (Abertay University); Jacqueline Hoyer, Wolfgang Dickhaut, Lukas Kronawitter, Björn
Weber (Hafen City University)
Ralph Philip, Barbara Anton, Anne-Claire Loftus (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Tu My Tran, Stephan Koehler (ICLEI European Secretariat)
©
2011 ICLeI european Secretariat gmbH, Leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in Module 4 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they
credit the copyright holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information it contains
Publisher:
Principal author:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISbn 978-3-943107-06-7 (Pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material all of which are high-
lighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk website
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUPPorT TooLS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC PLannIng
Preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHoLderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
Learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUPPLy
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / urban stormwater management / urban wastewater management
can beneft from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in
SWITCH and the contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 4: Contents
O Introduction ....................................................................................................
O Learning targets .............................................................................................
O The need for sustainable stormwater management .................................
3.1 The conventional approach to stormwater management ......................
3.2 The issues facing conventional stormwater management .....................
3.3 A more sustainable approach ....................................................................
O Stormwater in the city ....................................................................................
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle .....................................................
4.2 Linkages between stormwater management and other urban
management sectors ...............................................................................
4.3 Stormwater management and the urban environment – Water
Sensitive Urban Design.............................................................................
O The overall direction: Stormwater management and sustainability............
5.1 Sustainable stormwater management ......................................................
5.2 Objectives, indicators and targets for stormwater management ..........
O Putting sustainable stormwater management into practice .....................
6.1 Implementation of more sustainable stormwater management .............
6.2 Barriers to sustainable stormwater management ...................................
O options for sustainable stormwater management .....................................
7.1 Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) .......................................
7.2 Examples of stormwater BMP solutions ..................................................
7.3 Assessment and selection of solutions ...................................................
O Wrapping-up ...................................................................................................
O references .......................................................................................................
7
8
9
10
11
13
15
15
16
18
21
21
23
25
25
26
29
29
30
47
48
49
7
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Introduction
Cities and stormwater are not, at frst glance, mutually compatible. On the one hand
the space requirements of natural drainage systems such as rivers, streams, wetlands
and ponds restrict urban development. On the other, urban infrastructure disrupts and
pollutes natural runoff regimes. Consequently the development of cities has tended to
include the straightening of rivers, the burying of streams, the draining of standing water
and the construction of vast drainage networks designed to remove rainfall from the
urban environment as rapidly as possible.
The overall aim of Module 4 is to demonstrate that sustainable stormwater management
and urban growth do not necessarily have to be at odds. By highlighting the limitations
of conventional urban drainage and exploring an alternative, more integrated approach,
the module shows how recognising stormwater as a resource to be utilised rather than a
nuisance to be disposed of can lead to more sustainable urban development.
Sustainable stormwater has the potential to provide tangible benefts for a city including
food risk management, environmental protection, urban greening and the provision
of an alternative source of water supply. However, to identify such opportunities local
governments need to be aware of the relationships between stormwater and other
sectors of urban management. Module 4 suggests that by recognising these linkages
and taking advantage of innovative solutions, more sustainable urban drainage can be
achieved while enhancing, rather than restricting, urban development on the whole.
Module 4 is closely related to Modules 3 and 5 which cover a similar practical approach
to water cycle management from the perspective of water supply and wastewater
management respectively.
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

J
o
h
a
n
n
e
s

G
e
r
s
t
e
n
b
e
r
g
8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Learning targets
Module 4 presents an overview of stormwater management and how this infuences and
is infuenced by the urban water cycle and urban development as a whole. It discuses
the limitations associated with a conventional approach to urban drainage and how an
integrated approach, and the selection of alternative solutions, can not only overcome
these but also provide additional benefts. The module is therefore relevant for all cities
regardless of their current drainage situation.
More specifcally, the module will assist users in gaining a solid understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to stormwater management and how
this differs from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can gain by managing stormwater as a
resource rather than as an urban development restriction; and
• the solutions that are available to put a more sustainable approach to stormwater
management into practice, including the use of natural systems.
It should be noted that it is not the purpose of the module to provide the user with the
necessary technical detail to select, design and construct the stormwater management
solutions best suited for their local situation. Users who want to take this next step
towards implementation are rather encouraged to consult the many technical manuals
and guidelines that are readily available for this purpose. Some of these resources are
referred to within the module.
O
figure 1: Stormwater management within the urban water cycle
P
a
v
e
d
s
u
rfa
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O u t d o o r
u s e
I n
d
u
s
t r
i a
l /
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
ra
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
rk
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
i
l
s
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
9
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
9
3. The need for sustainable stormwater management
For most people living in cities, when it rains the biggest concern is to avoid getting wet.
Unless their houses and streets become flooded, few would give much thought to what
happens to the rainfall once it has flowed through their drainpipes, into their gutters and
has saved them the job of watering the garden. However, this is only the beginning of
stormwater management in the urban environment and the tasks that follow are an
essential requirement to maintain a city’s social and economic development.
The overall goal for urban stormwater managers can be described as follows:
The control of stormwater to ensure minimum impacts with regards to flooding, erosion
and the dispersal of pollutants within the urban environment and downstream of it.
The management process to achieve this goal needs to consider the interaction between
the amount of rainfall that falls on a city, the existing natural and man-made
infrastructure through which it flows, and the water bodies into which it ultimately ends
up. Figure # shows a simplification of the flow of stormwater through the urban
environment and the various routes it can take before entering receiving water bodies.
Figure 1: Stormwater flows and the urban environment (note: evapotranspiration has been
excluded from the diagram)
Rainfall
Impermeable surfaces Permeable surfaces
Wastewater
treatment
works
Combined
sewer
overflows
Stormwater
treatment
Surface water bodies Groundwater
Largely unpolluted
stormwater
Stormwater likely to
contain pollutants
Stormwater flows during heavy or
prolonged rainfall only
Roofs Roads & paved
surfaces
Hard-packed
soils &
impermeable rock
Parks,
gardens &
allotments
Unmanaged
vegetation
Combined sewer network Separate surface water
sewer system
The need for sustainable
stormwater management
For most people living in cities, when it rains the biggest concern is to avoid getting wet.
Unless their houses and streets become fooded, few would give much thought to what
happens to the rainfall once it has fowed through their drainpipes, into their gutters
and has saved them the job of watering the garden. However, this is only the beginning
of stormwater management in the urban environment and the tasks that follow are an
essential requirement to maintain a city’s social and economic development.
The overall goal for urban stormwater managers can be described as follows:
The control of stormwater to ensure minimum impacts with regards to fooding, erosion
and the dispersal of pollutants within the urban environment and downstream of it.
The management process to achieve this goal needs to consider the interaction
between the amount of rainfall that falls on a city, the existing natural and man-made
infrastructure through which it fows, and the water bodies into which it ultimately
ends up. Figure 2 shows a simplifcation of the fow of stormwater through the urban
environment and the various routes it can take before entering receiving water bodies.

O
figure 2: Stormwater fows and the urban environment
(note: evapotranspiration has been excluded from the diagram)
10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.1 The conventional approach to stormwater management
The conventional approach to managing urban stormwater is to convey it away from the
city as quickly as possible using drainage channels and underground pipes. Typically this
approach uses a combination of two systems to achieve this aim:
• A combined sewer system in which stormwater is mixed with domestic and
industrial effuent before being treated at a centralised wastewater treatment plant
and scharged to a receiving water body.
• A separate surface water sewer system which collects only stormwater and discharges
it to receiving water bodies with little or no treatment.
These systems are mostly designed based on available historical meteorological data
and predicted urban development patterns. The overriding objective is to reduce the risk
of localised fooding although they are often implemented with little consideration for
downstream impacts.
The infrastructure that is commonly used to collect and convey stormwater under the
conventional approach includes:
Drains: Rainfall runoff from roofs, roads and other impermeable areas fows from drain
pipes and gutters into an underground pipe or channel to ensure rapid removal from the
surface.
Pipelines: Pipelines provide fast and effcient delivery of stormwater fows to point of
discharge.
Concrete drainage channels: Channels with little hydraulic resistance convey stormwater
rapidly to the point of discharge.
Centralised wastewater treatment plant: In combined systems, collected stormwater
is mixed with human and industrial wastewater fows and treated at centralised sewage
treatment works.
Discharge: In separated systems stormwater is discharged directly at high volumes to
receiving water bodies. In combined systems discharges occur as treated effuent from
wastewater treatment plants.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
11
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
3.2 The issues facing conventional stormwater management
Conventional drainage systems remain the most common, and most commonly sought,
method to manage stormwater in cities throughout the world. This is despite a number
of issues that question the sustainability of such systems in the long-term, particularly
their increasing inability to prevent fooding, pollution and environmental damage.
Some of the issues currently confronting urban stormwater management include:
• Combined sewer overfows: Heavy rainfall causes combined sewers to exceed
capacity resulting in overfows of untreated wastewater to the environment.
• Difuse pollution: Non-point source pollutants such as heavy metals and oils from
roofs, roads and car parks, and nutrients, pesticides and herbicides from gardens,
parks and allotments are dispersed by runoff into receiving water bodies.
• Decreased base fow: Increases in impermeable surfaces depletes aquifers by
reducing natural recharge
• Erosion and sedimentation: High velocity runoff causes erosion and increased
sedimentation in receiving streams, rivers and estuaries.
• Costs: End of pipe treatment for stormwater is costly and energy intensive.
• Heat island efect: The rapid removal of stormwater from urban areas reduces
evapotranspiration. When combined with the heating effect of sealed surfaces this
results in a hotter urban microclimate.
• Waste of a valuable resource: The rapid removal of stormwater from urban
areas prevents it from being used for non-potable water supply uses and urban
landscaping.
• Downstream fooding: The rapid collection and disposal of stormwater into receiving
water bodies such as rivers and streams increases the risk of downstream fooding.
Solutions for urban drainage are often selected based on the local priority of removing
stormwater from a defned area. However, such solutions may not consider impacts on
a larger urban scale, such as a lack of sewage capacity elsewhere in the system to cope
with additional fows and the damage caused by increased and possibly polluted runoff
entering rivers and streams.
City management structures are rarely set up to deliver the integrated approach required
for a feld such as stormwater that cuts across many areas of responsibility. Roads,
housing, parks and wastewater treatment are just some of the city departments that
infuence, or are infuenced by, stormwater management but which typically operate
independently. This increases the risk that the management (or mismanagement) of one
area of responsibility causes unintended impacts to another. For example:
• The planning department approves the construction of a new shopping mall.
The resulting stormwater runoff causes erosion in an urban stream and the collapse
of nearby infrastructure.
• The housing department builds a number of new housing estates with stormwater
connections to the city’s combined sewer system. The sewer system is unable to cope
with the additional volumes and overfows from the system become more frequent
causing pollution in the local river.
• The housing department builds a number of new housing estates with stormwater
connections to the city’s combined sewer system. The sewer system is unable to cope
with the additional volumes and overfows from the system become more frequent
causing pollution in the local river.
• The roads department lays impermeable surfaces to improve drainage from
previously unpaved roads. This increases the volume of rainfall runoff from the roads
which disperses traffc pollutants into a local river causing fsh kills.
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Cities are also facing changes that are set to increase the pressure on urban stormwater
management. Formal and informal urban expansion, population dynamics, tougher
legislation on water quality standards and climate change are all increasing the need to
reassess the way that stormwater is managed in urban areas. Some of these pressures
are as follows:
Urbanisation: The expansion of paved areas and packed soils alters the natural
landscape creating higher stormwater runoff peaks and fows as well as an increase in
pollutants being diffused through runoff.
Climate change: Greater variations in rainfall will alter the volumes and intensity of
urban runoff. Current stormwater management infrastructure tends to be designed
based on historical rainfall records and will struggle to cope if these are exceeded (see
box below).
Environmental concerns: Increased recognition of the environmental damage caused
by polluted stormwater entering natural water bodies is resulting in stricter legislation
aimed at preventing uncontrolled discharges.
Inadequate infrastructure: An increase in stormwater runoff through urban expansion
and climate change can lead to problems with the existing infrastructure, such as
erosion of conveyance channels, overfows from combined pipelines and backing up of
fows, resulting in localised fooding.
Climate change and stormwater management
Climate change is expected to
have signifcant impacts on urban
stormwater management. This
is particularly the case in cities
where, due to temperature rise, the
atmosphere’s capacity to hold water
increases causing a greater total
depth of rainfall during storm events.
Under such a scenario conventional
urban drainage systems will struggle
to cope. Designed on the basis
of statistical recurrence criteria
derived from available historical
meteorological data (Picouet, Soutter 2006), the infrastructure may no longer be adequate
and lacks the fexibility to adapt when design parameters are no longer applicable for the
local climate.
Other less obvious impacts of climate change are also relevant. Changes in air temperature
infuence evaporation and transpiration rates thereby altering the water retention capacity
of soils and vegetation. This has a knock-on effect for stormwater as the natural attenuation
and infltration of runoff becomes unbalanced. Similar effects can also be caused by changes
in mean rainfall which lead to differences in soil moisture saturation (Shaw et al 2005).
Conventional stormwater systems are not well suited to the uncertainty of climate change
and in many cities the existing infrastructure may prove to be inadequate. The challenge
facing cities is therefore to somehow adapt the existing infrastructure in a way that it has
the robustness to cope with a wide range of potential scenarios.
For more information on stormwater planning and climate change see the
paper ‘Review of the adaptability and sensitivity of current stormwater control
technologies to extreme environmental and socio-economic drivers – Section
B: The implications of climate change on urban stormwater management:
Scenario building’ (Picouet & Soutter 2006) as well as the SWITCH handbook
'Adapting urban water systems to climate change' (Loftus et al 2011)'.
Both are available at www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
S

G
e
o
l
o
g
i
c
a
l

S
u
r
v
e
y
See also the SWITCH paper
'Review of the adaptability
and sensitivity of current
stormwater control
technologies to extreme
environmental and socio-
economic drivers – Section
C: The impact of changes in
environmental and socio-
economic conditions on
stormwater management
technologies' (Sieker et al
2006)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
13
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
3.3 A more sustainable approach
As well as the problems outlined in Section 3.2, the conventional approach to drainage
also fails to exploit the many benefts that stormwater can bring to a city. By changing
the perception of stormwater from a ‘nuisance that should be removed’, to a ‘resource
that should be utilised’, current problems can be overcome and a range of opportunities
associated with water quantity, water quality, social amenities, biodiversity and water
supply will also become apparent. This fundamental change in mindset is at the core of a
more sustainable approach to urban stormwater management.
The key differences between the conventional approach to stormwater and a more
sustainable one are:
• rapid disposal versus attenuation and reuse;
• hard infrastructure versus green infrastructure;
• centralised versus decentralised control solutions.
Table 1 describes these differences in more detail by comparing the two approaches to
urban drainage.
Table 1: Key diferences between a conventional approach to stormwater
management and a more sustainable one
Aspect of stormwater Conventional approach –
stormwater as a ‘nuisance’
Alternative approach –
stormwater as a ‘resource’
Quantity
Stormwater is conveyed away from urban
areas as rapidly as possible.
Stormwater is attenuated and retained at
source allowing it to infltrate into aquifers
and fow gradually into receiving water
bodies
Quality
Stormwater is treated together with human
waste at centralised wastewater treatment
plants or discharged untreated into
receiving water bodies
Stormwater is treated using decentralised
natural systems such as soils, vegetation
and ponds
recreation and amenity
value
Not considered Stormwater infrastructure is designed to
enhance the urban landscape and provide
recreational opportunities
biodiversity
Not considered Urban ecosystems are restored and
protected through the use of stormwater to
maintain and enhance natural habitats
Potential resource
Not considered Stormwater is harvested for water supply
and retained to support aquifers, waterways
and vegetation
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Whereas the conventional approach is based on one objective – the removal of stormwater
from a defned area – a more sustainable approach tries to identify solutions that achieve
social, economic and environmental benefts while minimising any negative impacts.
For example, the construction of a conventional concrete drainage channel may achieve
the objective of removing runoff from the local area, but could also cause pollution,
erosion and fooding downstream as well as fail to make use of a potential source of
water supply. In contrast, measures to attenuate stormwater can achieve the multiple
objectives of reducing food risk, improving water quality, recharging groundwater and
providing amenity value.
More specifcally, sustainable solutions for stormwater management can achieve one or
many of the following benefts:
Flood control: The attenuation and infltration of stormwater during heavy rainfall events
reduces the speed and quantity of peak runoff. This releases the pressure on the carrying
capacity of drainage channels and receiving water bodies reducing the risk of overfows
locally and downstream.
Pollution control: Depending on land use, stormwater may contain a range of pollutants
such as oils, metals and nutrients. Natural systems such as soils, vegetation and
wetlands have different treatment capabilities and these can be exploited individually or
in sequence to target specifc pollutants. The treatment of stormwater prevents pollution
of natural water bodies thereby protecting ecosystems and reducing treatment costs
where these bodies are used for water supply.
Protection against erosion: The high velocity of peak runoff fows can erode riverbanks
and deposit sediment along river and stream beds causing siltation and environmental
damage. By reducing peak runoff and trapping sediment, fragile aquatic ecosystems are
protected.
Alternative source of water: In areas of water scarcity, the exploitation of stormwater for
reuse can release pressure on existing water supply sources. Stormwater can be collected
and reused either directly for non-potable purposes or, following treatment, for potable
use. Indirect reuse is also possible through the recharge of aquifers from which the water
can be re-abstracted during times of drought.
Amenity value: The construction of ponds and wetlands for the purpose of stormwater
treatment, also have the advantage of creating natural habitats, increasing biodiversity
and providing recreational opportunities.
Climate change adaptation: Many urban drainage systems are designed based on
historical fow records. This may not be suffcient in areas where the intensity of rainfall
events is predicted to increase due to climate change. The use of natural systems to
attenuate runoff, thereby reducing and delaying the discharge of stormwater, provides
greater fexibility to cope with fows from unexpectedly heavy rainfall.
Economic efciency: Many decentralised stormwater solutions are cheap to construct
and maintain in comparison to conventional technologies. Separation of rainfall runoff
from the wastewater sewer network also reduces the cost of wastewater treatment.
The benefts and practicalities
of integrating stormwater
management into the urban
water cycle are discussed in the
SWITCH paper ‘Stormwater as
a valuable resource within the
urban water cycle’ (J. Ellis & M.
Revitt 2010)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
15
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Stormwater in the city
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle
Stormwater management is a fundamental part of the urban water cycle as a whole. The
close relationship between stormwater, water supply and wastewater treatment justifes
the need for cities to integrate the management of urban drainage into all other parts of
the system.
Examples of the links between stormwater management and other areas of the urban
water cycle include:
Water supply: Stormwater can be reused directly for non-potable
purposes such as irrigation and industrial use and is also, following
treatment, a potential source for supplementing a city’s potable water
supplies.
Water treatment: Stormwater entering water supply sources such as
aquifers, rivers and reservoirs infuences the quality of the source.
Pollutants in the runoff such as nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals
increase the treatment requirements and costs for drinking water and
can lead to periods when the source cannot be used.
Wastewater collection: Stormwater collection is linked to wastewater
management through combined sewer networks. Heavy rainfall can
cause overfows from the network releasing untreated sewage into the
environment.
Wastewater treatment: Combining stormwater with wastewater
increases the volume and cost of wastewater treatment. Treatment
measures also need to cope with additional pollutants contained in
stormwater such as heavy metals and oils.
Water quality: Potential pollutants carried in urban stormwater
runoff include phosphorus, nitrogen, detergents, heavy metals, oils,
chemicals, sediment and debris. When entering receiving water bodies
these pollutants cause deterioration in water quality with impacts on
biodiversity, health and aesthetics.
Groundwater recharge: The replacement of natural vegetation with
impermeable surfaces reduces stormwater infltration rates that aquifers
rely on for replenishment. This reduces the volume of groundwater
available for abstraction and can cause springs to run dry.
The above examples of linkages between stormwater management and the urban water
cycle as a whole demonstrate the infuence that stormwater can have on other areas of
urban water management and vice versa. These infuences may be negative, such as
overfows from combined sewer networks, but can also be positive, such as providing
an additional source for water supply in a city. An integrated approach to urban water
management makes it easier to identify and exploit these positive links while minimising
the negative implications throughout the system.
O
The linkages within the urban
water cycle as a whole are
described in more detail in
Module 1
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.2 Linkages between stormwater management and other
urban management sectors
More so than other areas of urban water management, stormwater is hugely infuenced
by urban development. As has been mentioned in Section 3, urbanisation has large
implications for stormwater runoff. The decisions that result in natural landscapes being
converted into buildings, paved surfaces, drainage channels and managed vegetation are
taken by a wide range of stakeholders. Few of these consider stormwater management
to be a priority and legislation, regulation and fnancial incentives are often insuffcient to
persuade them otherwise.
roads and transport:
The construction of roads expands
the area of impermeable paving
causing an increase in surface runoff.
Roads are also a source of stormwater
pollutants such as oils, heavy metals
and sediment.
Waste management:
Urban waste can block
drainage channels creating
localised fooding. Pollutants from
land-fll sites can also be dispersed
through stormwater runoff.
Parks and recreation:
The management of parks and gardens impact on
stormwater quality through the diffusion of fertiliser and
pesticides as well as sediment and organic matter.
Housing:
New residential
developments create
an increase in impermeable
surfaces through roof area
and paving. This alters the
hydrological characteristics
of the site resulting in larger
volumes of rainfall runoff that
need to be managed.
economic
development:
Construction sites, quarrying
and certain types of industry
produce pollutants and high
levels of sediment that are
dispersed into receiving water
bodies through stormwater
runoff.
figure 3: The relationship between stormwater and other urban management sectors
17
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Despite not necessarily being high on a city’s list of priorities, when neglected or badly
managed stormwater can have large implications for urban development. The most
obvious example is through fooding and erosion which can result in considerable
economic damage and, in extreme cases, loss of life. However, there are also the health
risks associated with poor drainage and deterioration of water resources caused by
stormwater pollution.
The opposite is, however, also true and good stormwater management can have a wide
range of positive implications for the quality of urban life. This does not just include
reduced food damage and environmental contamination but also the opportunities that
are presented to enhance urban biodiversity, add aesthetic landscaping to degenerated
urban areas and create recreational facilities.
The above examples show that the integration of stormwater management (and
consequently the urban water cycle as a whole) into city development plans and strategies
is a necessity in order to move towards more sustainable stormwater management and,
conversely, to ensure that stormwater is a beneft to overall urban development rather
than a threat.
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
t
o
c
k
.
x
c
h
n
g
/
s
h
o
r
t
s
a
n
d
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.3 Stormwater management and the urban environment –
Water Sensitive Urban Design
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a concept that aims to integrate urban
water management, particularly stormwater, into modern urban design and landscape
planning. WSUD is a reaction to urban development issues caused by poorly designed or
maintained drainage systems, a lack of urban water features and green spaces, and water
quality deterioration caused by polluted runoff. WSUD aims to promote the potential
of water to improve the function and design of urban architecture and landscapes
thereby achieving social, as well as water management, benefts that urban planning has
neglected in the past.
The concept of WSUD is based on a set of principles. These principles promote water
sensitive architecture and landscaping by guiding urban design and encouraging the
selection of technologies that achieve multiple benefts, are locally appropriate, and are
adaptable to future change.
Key principles for WSUD:
WSUD solutions should…
• bring urban water management closer to the natural water cycle
• provide an aesthetic beneft where possible
• be compatible with the characteristics and culture of the local area
• have the fexibility to adapt to an uncertain future
• have multi-purpose functions
• be selected in consultation with all stakeholders
• be comparable in cost to conventional solutions
• be planned and managed through interdisciplinary cooperation
(adapted from dickhaut, Hoyer & Weber, 2010)
By following these principles, urban planners are more likely to select options that
achieve objectives such as:
Water sensitivity: The WSUD principles encourage urban development that is able to
mimic the natural water cycle of a city as closely as possible. In most cases this involves
incorporating permeable surfaces, natural vegetation and stormwater attenuation
measures into new and restored developments.
Attractiveness: As opposed to concealing stormwater infrastructure from the public eye,
the WSUD principles promote using it as a positive visible design element. The aesthetic
value that streams, ponds and vegetated landscapes bring to an urban environment can
be used as a key design factor when constructing new developments and regenerating
deprived neighbourhoods.
Customised solutions: Rather than opting for standard, pre-designed engineering
options, WSUD solutions are based on site-specifc conditions, feasible maintenance
requirements and the economic and social priorities of the local population. This
ensures that they will perform their intended function and be accepted within the local
environment.
Adaptability: WSUD is long-term and requires the fexibility to adapt to future conditions
that differ from the present. Rather than adopting designs based on the most likely
forecasts, the principles encourage designs that can easily be altered to cope with
unpredictable future change.
See the SWITCH Water
Sensitive Urban Design Manual
(Hoyer et al 2011) for a detailed
explanation of the principles
of WSUD as well as a range
of examples from around the
world.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
19
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Multi-functionality: The WSUD principles promote solutions that combine practical land
uses with sustainable water management. Solutions can incorporate recreational and/
or conservational uses into their design allowing a site to be used (and maintained) for
both runoff control along with, for example, sporting activities, playgrounds and nature
reserves.
Public acceptance: Good urban design is primarily based on the needs of the people for
whom it is created to serve. Where this is not the case new infrastructure and facilities
are likely to be neglected and fall into disrepair. The WSUD principle of multi-stakeholder
involvement at the planning stage aims to ensure that the general public understand the
purpose of new solutions and are in favour of their implementation.

Integrated sectoral collaboration: Cooperation between managers and planners from
a range of disciplines is necessary to identify solutions that achieve synergies between
urban and landscape design, water management, ecological protection and social
enhancement. The cooperation between different urban management sectors such as
water, planning, landscape architecture, etc. not only increases the likelihood of WSUD
solutions being successfully implemented but also paves the way for increased integrated
planning in urban development as a whole.
A major advantage of WSUD is that urban design priorities,
such as functionality and aesthetics, are not compromised as a
consequence of water management needs but rather enhanced by
them. Cutting edge urban architecture and design is increasingly
combining natural features with more common construction
materials to achieve the dual objectives of creating a unique design
and a ‘green’ development. Recent examples include green roofs
on the California Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco,
the construction of ‘living walls’ as part of the Musée du Quai
Branly in Paris, and the use of rainwater and aquatic vegetation
to sustain the canals and ponds that have been incorporated into
the design of the Potsdamer Platz development in Berlin (see box
example on opposite page).
Such examples of globally acclaimed architecture go to show
that improved water management can be a positive side-effect
of urban design rather than the main driver for investment. This
provides alternative incentives for the implementation of more
sustainable urban water management, increasing the likelihood
of wide scale uptake and public acceptance.
The green roof on the California Academy of Sciences, USA
'Living wall' Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
n
h
a
b
i
t
a
t
I
m
a
g
e
:

G
r
e
e
n
r
o
o
f
s
.
c
o
m
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
Largely destroyed during the Second World War
and neglected in divided Berlin, Potsdamer Platz
was granted a new lease of life following German
reunifcation in 1991 when the area became the
focus for comprehensive redevelopment. The
resulting complex of buildings was designed with
the aim of utilising nature, particularly water, to
create a unique landscape where natural features
form part of the urban context. Ponds, cascades,
canals and reed beds fed by a complex rainwater
recycling system interact with the commercial
architecture to create an aesthetically pleasing
urban space where citizens can escape the traffc,
pollution and noise of the city.
Water management in the city also benefts. The
water sensitivity of the design ensures that rainfall
runoff throughout the complex is successfully
managed onsite. The collected rainwater feeds
not only the on-site water features but also
contributes to non-potable water consumption such as toilet fushing and garden irrigation.
In addition, the presence of large surfaces of water provides a natural cooling mechanism
creating a micro-climate with reduced temperatures during the summer.
The incorporation of water sensitive design into the Potsdamer Platz development has
contributed signifcantly to the success of one of the city’s most famous landmarks,
demonstrating that even in the heart of a densely populated city where space is at a
premium, water sensitive urban development is an attractive and viable option.
More information on the water sensitive design of Potsdamer Platz can be found
in the case study section of the SWITCH Water Sensitive Urban Design Manual
(Hoyer et al 2011) www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
I
m
a
g
e
:

G
a
l
i
n
s
k
y
.
c
o
m
21
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
The overall direction:
Stormwater management
and sustainability
5.1 Sustainable stormwater management
Previous sections have shown that stormwater is closely interlinked with many different
areas of water management and urban planning. An integrated approach is therefore
necessary to ensure that the management of one aspect of stormwater does not result in
unexpected problems elsewhere. It can also help to identify and exploit all opportunities
to achieve cross-sectoral benefts.
By holistically reducing problems and increasing long-term benefts, the conclusion is
that an integrated approach results in increased sustainability. This is valid but it is still
necessary to have an agreed set of sustainability criteria against which the direction of
change can be measured and evaluated. This is needed to determine whether the benefts
gained and impacts avoided do indeed result in more sustainable urban development in
the long term.
In brief, sustainable water management may be defned as meeting current social,
economic and environmental needs while creating conditions that allow these needs to
also be met in the future
1
. Figure 4 shows how this can relate to stormwater.
O
Module 1 includes more
detailed information on
sustainability in the context of
urban water management.
1
The World Commission on the environment and development defnes sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1983)
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
figure 4: Sustainable stormwater management
Sustainable
stormwater
management
Society
The use of stormwater to
enhance the quality of life
in the urban environment
while reducing the
risk of fooding to
levels acceptable to all
stakeholders
Space
The consideration for
upstream and downstream
impacts related to
stormwater management
decisions and actions
Time
The consideration for long-
term impacts related to
stormwater management
decisions and actions
Economy
The cost effcient
operation and
maintenance of
stormwater infrastructure
and services
Environment
The maintenance of a
good ecological and
morphological status of
receiving water bodies and
dependent habitats
Moving towards increased sustainability requires that stormwater management decisions
are taken with equal examination of each criterion. Adopting a solution that protects
households from fooding and enhances natural habitats will not be sustainable if the
maintenance costs are unaffordable in the long-term. Likewise a solution to reduce food
risk that is cheap to construct and maintain may end up resulting in a range of unintended
problems if the future environmental consequences have not been accounted for. In
short, if one of the sustainability criteria is not met, the chances of a solution to improve
stormwater management contributing to sustainable development in the long term are
greatly reduced.
Finally any sustainability assessment needs to be backed up by multi-stakeholder
engagement. This ensures that the actions, opinions and needs of all who have an
infuence on and are infuenced by stormwater management are taken into consideration.
Involvement of relevant utilities and departments such as roads and transport, housing
and urban planning as well as the private sector, NGOs and local residents and businesses,
etc. is therefore essential for designing solutions with which stakeholders can identify and
for the direct and indirect impacts of management decisions to be truly understood.
See Module 2 for further
information on the importance
of stakeholder involvement
and the practicalities of such
engagement.
23
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
5.2 Objectives, indicators and targets for stormwater
management
Recognising the linkages between drainage and the rest of the urban water cycle, the
selection of objectives and indicators for stormwater management should ideally be
done as part of a larger IUWM strategic planning process in which an overall vision for
the city has been agreed upon and priority issues identifed.
Whereas objectives for conventional stormwater management tend to focus on one
aspect of stormwater, usually the conveyance of runoff, an integrated approach is likely to
choose objectives covering a range of aspects such as fow control, pollution prevention,
amenity creation, ecological enhancement and recycling measures.
Objectives are chosen based on what is required to move towards the overall goal,
or ‘vision’, for urban water management. The successful achievement of an objective
should therefore result in the city being closer to reaching its overall aim of increased
sustainability. Indicators and targets need to be added to each objective in order to
measure progress and quantify the desired change. These indicators and targets need to
be realistic as well as easily measurable.
Table 2 gives some generic examples of stormwater objectives and the associated
indicators and targets based on an integrated approach to stormwater management.
It should be noted that these objectives have been chosen at random to give an idea
of a range of different areas related to stormwater that might be addressed. In reality
objectives, indicators and targets would be selected based on identifed local priorities
and the required progress to meet overall water management goals for the city.
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Different types of indicators
can be used for different
purposes within urban
water management. Further
information about the use of
indicators, and the associated
targets, can be found in
Module 1.
Table 2: examples of objectives, indicators and targets for urban stormwater management
Examples of stormwater
management objectives
Examples of associated
indicators
Examples of associated targets
reduce the risk of fooding
in vulnerable areas to
levels acceptable to all
stakeholders, even under
future climate change
scenarios
• Flood frequency and depth
• Economic damage (euro/capita/year)
• Flood frequency reduced to a return
period of X by year X
• Damage cost of fooding of less than X
euro per land use area by year X
Protect and enhance the
water quality and ecological
status of urban receiving
waters for both surface and
ground waters
• Level of chemical status in receiving water
bodies
• Level of ecological status in aquatic
habitats
• X % of waters meeting minimum water
quality requirements as specifed in X
legislation by year X
• A river health classifcation of X by year X
Use stormwater to
contribute to the quality
of life in the urban
environment
• Percentage of population valuing local
water bodies for recreational purposes
• Change in local property and land values
• X % of surveyed residents recognising the
value of water in their neighbourhood
• X % increase in rateable value of local
properties and land (independent of
external trends)
Harvest rainwater and
stormwater for non-potable
reuse purposes
• Reduction in potable water demand
• Reduction in stormwater fows from
properties where recycling of stormwater
occurs
• Potable water demand reduced by X % by
year X
• Total runoff from area X reduced by X %
during storms of specifed magnitude by
year X
Utilise stormwater to re-
establish a balanced water
cycle (in conjunction with
landscape development)
• Ratio of recharge / evaporation / storage
/ runoff
• Groundwater levels
• Ratio of recharge / evaporation / storage
/ runoff established to match modelled
Greenfeld situation
• Groundwater recharge rates of X % of
specifed rainfall volumes
(adapted from ellis, Scholes, Shutes & revitt, Middlesex University, 2008)
25
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Putting sustainable
stormwater management
into practice
6.1 Implementation of more sustainable stormwater
management
More sustainable urban drainage requires a change in the mentality of how stormwater
is managed. In practical terms this can occur in a variety of ways, most notably by taking
advantage of opportunities that are presented in the context of urban development and
economic drivers.
Such opportunities range from large scale implementation of non-conventional drainage
systems to small, individual measures that are retroftted into existing infrastructure. On
the city-wide scale a complete shift from conventional urban drainage to one in which
stormwater fows are retained and reused within the local area is a long-term goal that
in many cases could only be achieved through radical redevelopment of infrastructure.
However, progress towards this goal can be achieved without vast fnancial resources and
all cities can make incremental steps by implementing a combination of small and large
scale measures as and when the opportunities to do so arise. Some examples of such
opportunities are listed below:
• Construction: Planning requirements can ensure that new roads, housing projects,
business complexes, industrial estates and other urban infrastructure are constructed
with stormwater management measures in place that treat runoff and maintain a
water balance close to the pre-development conditions.
• Incremental improvements: Identifying locations within the city where an
improvement or change in drainage infrastructure is a planning priority presents the
chance for more sustainable options to be selected ahead of conventional ones.
This could be areas prone to local fooding, sites under redevelopment and other
locations where investment in drainage is an immediate requirement.
• Financial incentives: The cost of managing stormwater is often borne by property
owners through their water and wastewater services bill. Charging a separate fee
for stormwater management (based on area of impermeable surface) provides a
fnancial incentive for property owners, particularly businesses, to reduce the amount
of stormwater runoff generated on their site
• Landscaping and multi-purpose sites: Natural vegetation and water features used for
urban landscaping can easily be adapted to provide stormwater runoff attenuation
and treatment. In addition sites such as playgrounds, sports felds and even
underground parking can be designed to store stormwater temporarily during heavy
rainfall events.
• Exploiting the need for investments in other sectors: Due to its relationship with a
range of other water and urban planning sectors, investments in sustainable
stormwater measures can be applied to address issues in other urban sectors.
Insuffcient wastewater treatment capacity, restoration of natural habitats and
water scarcity are all urban development issues that the sustainable management of
stormwater can help alleviate.
O
For a review of existing design
guidelines for stormwater
management from around the
world see ‘A design manual
incorporating best practice
guidelines for stormwater
management options and
treatment under extreme
conditions, Part A: Review
of design guidelines for
stormwater management in
selected countries' (Scholes et
al. 2008)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
6.2 Barriers to sustainable stormwater management
Opportunities to apply more sustainable stormwater management practices are
guaranteed to exist in all cities. Cheap, accessible and proven technologies are also
available to allow these opportunities to be fully exploited (see Section 7). Nevertheless,
the successful implementation of these solutions will still depend on an accommodating
environment to enable widespread uptake and continued maintenance. Trying to
introduce alternative stormwater solutions into an environment of opposed professional
attitudes, rigid institutional structures, contradictory legislative frameworks and public
opposition is likely to end in failure.
Table 3: examples of barriers to more sustainable stormwater management practices
Barrier Description Consequences
Legislation and
regulation
Much existing legislation, regulation and
standards relating to stormwater management
have been developed for conventional hard
engineered urban drainage systems.
Alternative stormwater management
solutions can face legal challenges as
they may fail to comply with conventional
standards.
Institutional structures The cross-cutting nature of non-conventional
stormwater solutions is not necessarily
compatible with the typical single functional
organisational structures and planning
responsibilities of water authorities and
relevant municipal departments set up to
provide conventional drainage services.
The relationship between urban drainage
and other urban sectors such as land-
use planning is not refected in existing
institutional structures resulting in a
fragmented management approach to
aspects relating to stormwater.
risk aversion Opposition by decision-makers to adopt
innovative solutions due to the perception that
the technologies are untested and the risk of
failure and legal liability unacceptably high.
Continued implementation of conventional
stormwater infrastructure rather than
investment in non-conventional solutions.
Perceived cost The initial capital costs of replacing centralised
drainage systems with non-conventional
solutions, or of including decentralised
solutions in new developments, are considered
too high to justify investment.
Centralised drainage infrastructure continues
to be repaired and extended despite high life
cycle costs.
Professional resistance
to change
Conservative attitudes to stormwater
management and a desire to maintain a
monopoly over drainage services
Reluctance of staff from municipalities
and utilities to learn about and adopt new
technologies.
Public acceptability Public opposition to alternative stormwater
options due to lack of information and
unfounded concerns.
Non-conventional solutions are considered
unacceptable and a waste of money by the
local population resulting in opposition and a
lack of buy-in.
Space requirements Land needs for non-conventional solutions are
diffcult and expensive to acquire in densely
populated areas. The multi-purpose use of
areas such as playing felds for temporary
storage may also be politically contentious.
The necessary land required to implement
alternative solutions is unavailable or to
expensive to acquire.
The legislative and regulatory
issues surrounding non-
conventional stormwater
management are discussed
in the paper 'Evaluation of
current stormwater strategies'
(Ellis et al 2007)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
27
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Many barriers to more sustainable stormwater management can be overcome, but to
do so it is necessary to recognise what these are and how they infuence urban drainage.
Barriers are of course location specifc and tend to arise due to a range of local political,
economic and social factors. However, there are some general aspects to many barriers
that are often applicable to cities throughout the world. Some of these and the implications
they result in are shown in Table 3.
Once identifed, barriers to non-conventional stormwater solutions, such as those shown
in Table 3, are on the whole surmountable. By recognising their existence, measures can
be put in place that mitigate the threat and help to create the best possible conditions
for the widespread uptake of sustainable options. Examples of such measures include:
• Pilot projects to demonstrate evidence of results and feasibility of maintenance:
The effectiveness, reliability and costs of alternative solutions to stormwater
management will inevitably be questioned. Successfully implemented pilot projects
provide the necessary evidence to encourage investments on a larger scale.
• Public engagement: Ignoring public opinion can cause widespread suspicion and
opposition to alternative drainage solutions. Involving the general public early in the
planning stage is important to address local concerns, explain the benefts and
develop a sense of ownership among the local population.
• Institutional coordination: The infuence of numerous public and private sectors
on stormwater management requires the need for a coordination body that has an
overview of urban drainage as a whole. Such a body (which may be established as
part of a larger integration unit for urban water management in general) is able
to bring together decision-makers from what would otherwise be a fragmented
management approach.
• Legislative and regulatory change: Changes to legislation may be necessary to ensure
that alternative solutions are accepted as legal drainage options. Greater regulation,
for example of building standards, can also ensure that planning permission for new
development is dependent on the inclusion of measures that manage stormwater
effectively.
• Market driven changes: Promoting non-conventional solutions for stormwater
management through, for example, the provision of subsidies for certain technologies
creates a market for these products and increases competitiveness in comparison to
conventional solutions. This provides incentives for private developers and
consultants to adopt new technologies and can also encourage households and
businesses to invest in measures such as rainwater harvesting systems.
• Political support: Gaining political support through, for example, the approval of
alternative stormwater management policy by the city council provides a key driver for
the widespread implementation of more sustainable solutions. Raising awareness of
the problems (and costs) associated with conventional drainage approaches as well
as the benefts of an alternative approach can present clear incentives for politicians
to act.
Of the above measures political support is arguably the most important. High level
political backing can bring about institutional reform and the revision of legislation –
signifcant barriers to the implementation of alternative stormwater measures. Once in
place, such changes provide the enabling factors and incentives for planners, practitioners
and developers to approve, invest in and increase their capacity to implement such
solutions on a large scale.
For guidance on identifying the
institutional and governance
structures relevant for
stormwater management
see the SWITCH document
'Guidelines for the preparation
of an institutional map for
cities identifying areas which
currently lack power and/
or funding with regard to
stormwater management' (Ellis
et al 2009)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
Public engagement in
stormwater decision making is
discussed within the SWITCH
paper 'Evaluation of decision
making processes in urban
stormwater management' (Ellis
et al 2009)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
See Module 1 for more
information on institutional
coordination and political
commitment
28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The 'Future Convention for Stormwater in the Emscher Catchment',
Germany
The Emscher Region is an
example of what can be achieved
when there is suffcient political
commitment to support a more
fundamental improvement
of the urban water cycle. As
part of a comprehensive urban
regeneration and river restoration
project, the regional water board
and 17 municipalities within
the Emscher River catchment
agreed upon the need to reduce
the volume of stormwater
entering the local sewer systems.
The 'Future Convention for
Stormwaterin the Emscher
Catchment' was the result.
A voluntary declaration of intent, the convention sets the target of disconnecting 15%
of impermeable surfaces from the sewer system within 15 years to prevent overloading
of wastewater treatment plants and untreated stormwater from entering the river. The
convention was signed by the mayors of all 17 municipalities located in the catchment, as
well as the local water board and the Environment Minister of the state of North Rhine-
Westphalia. Since the convention was signed in 2005, approximately 40km
2
of impermeable
surface has been disconnected from the sewage network (Salian 2011).
For more information on the Emscher Convention and the resulting stormwater
activities in the catchment see the SWITCH case study ‘The Emscher Region - The
opportunities of economic transition for leapfrogging urban water management’
(Salian et al 2011). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

E
m
s
c
h
e
r

G
e
n
o
s
s
e
n
s
c
h
a
f
t
The Emscher near Duisburg
29
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
options for sustainable
stormwater management
7.1 Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP)
The most commonly advocated alternative to conventional stormwater management
techniques is what is known as stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP)
2
. The
concept of stormwater BMP promotes an integrated approach to urban drainage based
on options that retain, treat and reuse runoff. The natural environment plays an important
role in the chosen technology with natural systems such as wetlands, vegetation and soils
being heavily utilised in the various solutions.
As opposed to the conventional approach to urban drainage, stormwater BMP solutions
targets multi-dimensional objectives related to the quantity, the quality and the socio-
economic aspects of stormwater. For example the construction of infltration basins to
collect runoff from roads can reduce stormwater fows from paved surfaces (quantity
control), remove pollutants through natural processes (quality control) as well as
provideattractive roadside features to enhance the aesthetic value of the neighbourhood
(social improvement). Further details concerning the multi-dimensional benefts that
stormwater BMPs can achieve are given in the summaries of individual solutions in
Section 7.2.
The selection of stormwater BMP solutions is highly dependent on local conditions and
requirements. However, the overall concept does follow certain universally applicable
‘codes’ that are essential to consider when putting sustainable stormwater management
into practice. These include:
• Integrated planning: The implementation of many stormwater BMP solutions can
affect a wide range of felds. Flood protection, pollution control, habitat creation,
social amenity and the use of space – and the responsible departments for each of
these – are all areas that may be infuenced by the implementation of just one option.
The existence of these links needs to be acknowledged through integrated planning to
ensure that knock-on effects are well understood and managed accordingly.
• Suitability for local context: Stormwater BMP solutions will only be sustainable if
they are adapted to the local conditions. The choice of solutions must therefore
consider aspects such as space availability, the local climate, soil type, groundwater
levels, topography, building types, land use practices, socio-economic conditions, etc.
Another crucial aspect is, with the exception of the development of previously unused
land, the need to retroft solutions into existing infrastructure.
• flexibility: The management of stormwater is heavily infuenced by urban growth
and climatic conditions – two factors that are diffcult to accurately predict. Flexibility
to adapt to an uncertain future is therefore a fundamental planning criterion of
stormwater BMP solutions. As opposed to conventional drainage systems that have
fxed design parameters, BMP solutions can be designed to serve their purpose under
a range of future scenarios.
• Spatial aspects: Stormwater has to be managed on a variety of different spatial
scales, each of which has to be considered when selecting BMP solutions. Spatial
considerations start at the individual building and expand to include the building plot,
the site, the sub-catchment, the catchment and, ultimately, the entire river basin.
When implemented on larger scales, the impacts of stormwater BMP solutions on
each of these spatial aspects need to be carefully considered.
O
2
also commonly referred to as Sustainable Urban drainage Systems (SUdS)
For a comprehensive collection
of examples of BMPs within
the urban water cycle see
the SWITCH publication ‘A
design manual incorporating
best practice guidelines for
stormwater management
options and treatment under
extreme conditions, Part B: The
potential of BMPs to integrate
with existing infrastructure (i.e.
retro-ft/hybrid systems) and
contribute to other sectors of
the urban water cycle' (Shutes
et al. 2008)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
7.2 Examples of stormwater BMP solutions
Stormwater BMP solutions are designed for a variety of scales depending on the
purpose and local conditions into which they are being implemented. These scales form
a hierarchy of preferable measures starting from proactive preventive measures and
control of rainfall at the source, and increasing in scale to the management of runoff over
a larger geographical area. This hierarchy is shown in Figure 5:
good housekeeping: Non-structural measures to control runoff and prevent pollutants
coming into contact with stormwater through, for example, education and awareness
raising programmes, site planning and litter and land-use management.
Source control: Attenuation and treatment of runoff as close to where rain falls as
possible through, for example, porous paving, water butts, swales and green roofs.
Site control: Attenuation and treatment of runoff from a larger area, such as a housing
estate or retail park, through, for example, detention basins and infltration systems.
regional control: Attenuation and treatment of runoff from a number of sites through,
for example, retention ponds and wetlands.
Although stormwater BMP solutions can be implemented as individual measures at the
different planning scales within the above hierachy, they are ideally adopted in unison,
especially in larger developments. By designing BMP regimes with this interaction in
mind, the different solutions operate together to progressively manage fows and remove
pollutants over an increasing area.
figure 5: The hierachy of stormwater bMP solutions
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y

o
f

A
b
e
r
t
a
y
31
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
An enormous variety of options are available to realise more sustainable stormwater
management. These include:
• Site planning (good housekeeping)
• Porous paving (source control)
• Swales (source control)
• Rainwater harvesting (source control)
• Green roofs (source control)
• Infltration systems (site and regional control)
• Detention ponds and basins (site and regional control)
Each one of the above solutions is described briefy on the following pages. A short
description of the solution is provided followed by the positive contributions that it can
make to urban water management and urban development as a whole. Graphs that show
a simple ranking of these contributions have also been provided. The aim of this ranking
is to give a general indication of the benefts that a solution can potentially deliver to a
city. This is of course highly subjective and in reality the benefts (and costs) of a solution
depend entirely on the local circumstance in which it is implemented.
Some common issues associated with implementation are also listed for each solution.
Once again the type and extent of these considerations are entirely subject to local
circumstances and the list is for general guidance only.
On the whole, the information that follows is intended as a basis for discussion rather
than a detailed analysis of the local suitability of a solution. In most cases a thorough
investigation including stakeholder involvement and a comprehensive study of local
conditions would be necessary to determine whether a solution is both feasible and
desirable. Specialist knowledge is also likely to be required for the design and construction
of the relevant technology.
The Urban Stormwater
Best-practice Environmental
Management Guidelines
produced in Australia by
CSIRO (Commonwealth
Scientifc and Industrial
Research Organisation) provide
detailed technical information
for engineers and local planners
on many BMP options. The
guidelines can be downloaded
free of charge at:
http://www.publish.csiro.au/
pid/2190.htm
CIRIA (Construction Industry
Research and Information
Association) in the UK has
also produced a number
of publications aimed at
practitioners, engineers
and planners that provide
substantial technical detail
on BMP solutions. Some of
these publications can be
downloaded free of charge at:
http://www.ciria.org.uk/suds/
publications.htm
I
m
a
g
e
:

P
r
i
t

S
a
l
i
a
n
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Site planning
Urban development and redevelopment offer the best opportunities to introduce a
comprehensive combination of stormwater quality and quantity control measures. The
identifcation of existing and anticipated stormwater problems on an area of land prior
to development allows measures to be included within the site planning process that
address these issues. This is therefore an ideal opportunity to cost-effectively implement
preventive options that reduce the stormwater impact of the new development.
Stormwater-sensitive site planning means incorporating sustainable drainage into the
planning stage of a new development site rather than designing a drainage system after
the plan is in place. Measures include the locating of land uses that generate concentrated
sources of contaminants away from surface waters, increasing open space between
clusters of developments and making use of existing landscape features and drainage
patterns for treatment and attenuation of runoff. Such measures prevent an increase in
stormwater contamination, volume and velocity from a developed site without the need
to construct costly infrastructure.
Comprehensive site planning can be effective at maintaining a pre-development
stormwater fow regime from the area. Where smart land-use planning and preventive
measures are not suffcient to achieve this goal, the planning stage is also the ideal
time to incorporate structural stormwater BMP solutions such as swales, ponds and
constructed wetlands into the development as part of the landscaping. Doing so at this
stage increases the range of measures to select from and is technically easier and cheaper
than retroftting stormwater BMP measures into the completed development.
figure 6: Positive infuences of site planning on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
33
Figure #.# Positive influences of site planning on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number
of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
The successful design of sustainable drainage for a new site is influenced by a number
of factors. Most important among these is the challenge of ensuring that stormwater is
indeed given due recognition in the planning stage of the site. The level of influence that
stormwater management can assert during the site planning of a new urban
development will determine the extent to which a positive impact can be made on future
drainage from the area. This and other local considerations are described in more detail
below:
 The design of a new site is based on objectives not necessarily related to
stormwater such as profitability of the site, compatibility with adjacent areas and
aesthetics. Stormwater objectives are more likely to be incorporated if their
inclusion does not compromise the primary reasons for the development.
 The focus on stormwater management within the planning stage of the new
development will be more easily accepted if the benefits this brings are clearly
presented and understood. The benefits that sustainable stormwater
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Preventative measures
contain pollutants at the
source and manage
nonpoint sources of
pollution in urban runoff
Site planning
prevents an increase
in runoff volume and
intensity from areas
of new development.
Stormwater sensitive
landscaping emphasises
aesthetic features such as
green surfaces, ponds and
naturalised streams
Reduced drainage
footprint for new
housing
developments
Preventative measures
save on construction,
operation and maintenance
costs of alternative
drainage infrastructure
Preventing the dispersal of
pollutants and incorporating
natural treatment and attenuation
systems into the site protects and
enhances local habitats
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption is not
increased through new
developments.
Development of land for
economic purposes can be
implemented cost effectively
without increasing the risk of
pollution, flood risk and erosion
33
Figure #.# Positive influences of site planning on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number
of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
The successful design of sustainable drainage for a new site is influenced by a number
of factors. Most important among these is the challenge of ensuring that stormwater is
indeed given due recognition in the planning stage of the site. The level of influence that
stormwater management can assert during the site planning of a new urban
development will determine the extent to which a positive impact can be made on future
drainage from the area. This and other local considerations are described in more detail
below:
 The design of a new site is based on objectives not necessarily related to
stormwater such as profitability of the site, compatibility with adjacent areas and
aesthetics. Stormwater objectives are more likely to be incorporated if their
inclusion does not compromise the primary reasons for the development.
 The focus on stormwater management within the planning stage of the new
development will be more easily accepted if the benefits this brings are clearly
presented and understood. The benefits that sustainable stormwater
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Preventative measures
contain pollutants at the
source and manage
nonpoint sources of
pollution in urban runoff
Site planning
prevents an increase
in runoff volume and
intensity from areas
of new development.
Stormwater sensitive
landscaping emphasises
aesthetic features such as
green surfaces, ponds and
naturalised streams
Reduced drainage
footprint for new
housing
developments
Preventative measures
save on construction,
operation and maintenance
costs of alternative
drainage infrastructure
Preventing the dispersal of
pollutants and incorporating
natural treatment and attenuation
systems into the site protects and
enhances local habitats
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption is not
increased through new
developments.
Development of land for
economic purposes can be
implemented cost effectively
without increasing the risk of
pollution, flood risk and erosion
33
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Issues to consider
The successful design of sustainable drainage for a new site is infuenced by a number
of factors. Most important among these is the challenge of ensuring that stormwater is
indeed given due recognition in the planning stage of the site. The level of infuence that
stormwater managers can assert during the site planning of a new urban development
will determine the extent to which a positive impact can be made on future drainage from
the area. This and other local considerations are described in more detail below:
• The design of a new site is based on objectives not necessarily related to stormwater
such as proftability of the site, compatibility with adjacent areas and aesthetics.
Stormwater objectives are more likely to be incorporated if their inclusion does not
compromise the primary reasons for the development.
• The focus on stormwater management within the planning stage of the new
development will be more easily accepted if the benefts this brings are clearly
presented and understood. The advantages of cheap compliance with drainage
planning regulations,aesthetic value and future savings for construction and
maintenance costs of drainage infrastructure, needs to be strongly emphasised.
• Identifying areas and land-uses which pose a risk to stormwater as well as proposed
interventions will require detailed knowledge of the site from a drainage perspective.
Information on rainfall data, topography, geology, soil types, vegetation, natural
habitats, the current hydrological parameters, etc. will all be needed if sustainable
stormwater management practices are to be successfully incorporated into the site.
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y

o
f

A
b
e
r
t
a
y
Site plan for sustainable stormwater management
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Porous paving
One of the largest impacts of increased urbanisation on stormwater management
is the conversion of vegetation and soils to impervious roads, car parks, cycle paths,
pavements and other paved surfaces. The change from a natural permeable surface
to an impermeable one increases the volume and velocity of runoff fows from rainfall
which would otherwise be attenuated and absorbed by vegetation and infltrate into the
ground. Pollutants such as oils and sediment are also dispersed through such runoff
contaminating receiving water bodies.
A solution to this problem is porous or pervious paving. Paved surfaces with gaps in the
interlocking concrete or asphalt blocks allow stormwater to drain through the paving and
infltrate into groundwater or be stored and released slowly through underground collection
pipes. The structures attenuate runoff and can remove typical highway pollutants such as
hydrocarbons and metals through adsorption and fltration mechanisms in the material
between the paving blocks and in the underlying substructure.

Porous paving is a source control option that is designed to manage rainfall landing on
the surface only rather than stormwater collected from a larger area which may contain
high sediment loads. The technology is however able to cope with severe storms and is
therefore applicable for most climatic conditions.
figure 7: Positive infuences of porous paving on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
37
Porous paving
One of the largest impacts of increased urbanisation on stormwater management is the
conversion of vegetation and soils to impervious roads, car parks, cycle paths,
pavements and other paved surfaces. The change from a natural permeable surface to
an impermeable one increases the volume and velocity of runoff flows from rainfall which
would otherwise be attenuated and absorbed by vegetation and infiltrate into the ground.
Pollutants such as oils and sediment are also dispersed through such runoff
contaminating receiving water bodies.
A solution to this problem is porous or pervious paving. Paved surfaces with gaps in the
interlocking concrete or asphalt blocks allow stormwater to drain through the paving and
infiltrate into groundwater or be stored and released slowly through underground
collection pipes. The structures attenuate runoff and can remove typical highway
pollutants such as hydrocarbons and metals through adsorption and filtration
mechanisms in the material between the paving blocks and in the underlying
substructure.
Porous paving is a source control option that is designed to manage rainfall landing on
the surface only rather than stormwater collected from a larger area which may contain
high sediment loads. The technology is however able to cope with severe storms and is
therefore applicable for most climatic conditions.
Figure #.# Positive influences of porous paving on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Common pollutants
contained in runoff from
roads are removed
through adsorption and
filtration
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
37
Porous paving
One of the largest impacts of increased urbanisation on stormwater management is the
conversion of vegetation and soils to impervious roads, car parks, cycle paths,
pavements and other paved surfaces. The change from a natural permeable surface to
an impermeable one increases the volume and velocity of runoff flows from rainfall which
would otherwise be attenuated and absorbed by vegetation and infiltrate into the ground.
Pollutants such as oils and sediment are also dispersed through such runoff
contaminating receiving water bodies.
A solution to this problem is porous or pervious paving. Paved surfaces with gaps in the
interlocking concrete or asphalt blocks allow stormwater to drain through the paving and
infiltrate into groundwater or be stored and released slowly through underground
collection pipes. The structures attenuate runoff and can remove typical highway
pollutants such as hydrocarbons and metals through adsorption and filtration
mechanisms in the material between the paving blocks and in the underlying
substructure.
Porous paving is a source control option that is designed to manage rainfall landing on
the surface only rather than stormwater collected from a larger area which may contain
high sediment loads. The technology is however able to cope with severe storms and is
therefore applicable for most climatic conditions.
Figure #.# Positive influences of porous paving on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Common pollutants
contained in runoff from
roads are removed
through adsorption and
filtration
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
35
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Issues to consider
The technology now exists to construct porous paving in most urban environments and
climates. However, the local setting will play an important role in the type of system that
is selected. Some of the aspects of the location that need to be taken into consideration
include:
• Water infltrates through different soil types at different rates. Soils with low
infltration rates may not be suitable for porous paving and attenuation tanks or pipes
may need to be ftted under the road instead.
• Drainage through paving will not be able to infltrate soils that are saturated due to
a high water table. Collection pipes or tanks can instead be ftted under the road to
attenuate the runoff.
• Porous paving needs to be strong enough to withstand the weight and volume of
traffc that uses the road.
• The main usage of the road will determine the type of pollutants that have to be
managed and the risk that these will pose to underlying aquifers.
• Poorly maintained porous paving can become clogged with sediment resulting in
poor drainage from road surfaces. Concentrations of metals can also build up in the
soils that have to be removed.
• The construction of the porous paving needs to be appropriate for the local weather.
Volume and intensity of rainfall, and variations in temperature will infuence design
specifcations.
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
L
A
S
A
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
L
A
S
A
Examples of pourous paving
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Swales
Runoff from buildings, paths and roads can be attenuated and treated using swales.
Swales are grassy ditches that are designed to infltrate and treat collected runoff. As
stormwater fows through the swale it is naturally treated by the vegetation and sub-soils
as well as partially fltered through to the underlying soil. Compared with a concrete
drainage channel, swales attenuate runoff and are capable of removing organic matter,
sediment and suspended solids as well as, to a lesser extent, heavy metals. Swales infltrate
only some of the water that enters them and additional measures may be necessary to
manage the discharge, particularly under heavy rainfall conditions.
Swales can easily be retroftted into existing urban landscapes to replace more
conventional drainage ditches that convey water from a single site. As well as their value
for runoff attenuation and treatment, swales form attractive features that bring amenity
value to housing estates and roadsides.
figure 8: Positive infuences of swales on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number of
segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
39
Swales
Runoff from buildings, paths and roads can be attenuated and treated using swales.
Swales are grassy ditches that are designed to infiltrate and treat collected runoff. As
stormwater flows through the swale it is naturally treated by the vegetation and sub-soils
as well as partially filtered through to the underlying soil. Compared with a concrete
drainage channel, swales attenuate runoff and are capable of removing organic matter,
sediment and suspended solids as well as, to a lesser extent, heavy metals. Swales
infiltrate only some of the water that enters them and additional measures may be
necessary to manage the discharge, particularly under heavy rainfall conditions.
Swales can easily be retrofitted into existing urban landscapes to replace more
conventional drainage ditches that convey water from a single site. As well as their value
for runoff attenuation and treatment, swales form attractive features that bring amenity
value to housing estates and roadsides.
Figure #.# Positive influences of swales on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number of
segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
On the whole swales are an appropriate solution for source management of stormwater
at most sites. However, local conditions must be factored into the design of the swale to
Some pollutants
contained in runoff from
urban paved areas are
removed
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
runoff from roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
The addition of grass to
housing estates and
other urban
environments provides
amenity value
39
Swales
Runoff from buildings, paths and roads can be attenuated and treated using swales.
Swales are grassy ditches that are designed to infiltrate and treat collected runoff. As
stormwater flows through the swale it is naturally treated by the vegetation and sub-soils
as well as partially filtered through to the underlying soil. Compared with a concrete
drainage channel, swales attenuate runoff and are capable of removing organic matter,
sediment and suspended solids as well as, to a lesser extent, heavy metals. Swales
infiltrate only some of the water that enters them and additional measures may be
necessary to manage the discharge, particularly under heavy rainfall conditions.
Swales can easily be retrofitted into existing urban landscapes to replace more
conventional drainage ditches that convey water from a single site. As well as their value
for runoff attenuation and treatment, swales form attractive features that bring amenity
value to housing estates and roadsides.
Figure #.# Positive influences of swales on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number of
segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
On the whole swales are an appropriate solution for source management of stormwater
at most sites. However, local conditions must be factored into the design of the swale to
Some pollutants
contained in runoff from
urban paved areas are
removed
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
runoff from roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
The addition of grass to
housing estates and
other urban
environments provides
amenity value
37
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Issues to consider
On the whole swales are an appropriate solution for source management of stormwater
at most sites. However, local conditions must be factored into the design of the swale to
ensure that the performance is optimised and maintenance kept to a minimum. Some of
these considerations include:
• Swales are unsuitable for large drainage areas as greater fow volumes and velocities
cause erosion and reduce the attenuation and treatment capacity of the system.
• An area that produces highly contaminated runoff may be unsuitable for the
application of swales due to their limited treatment capabilities. This is particularly the
case where there is a risk of groundwater contamination through infltration.
• Swales are suitable for most soil types although highly impermeable soils can pose a
problem. In such cases a fabricated soil bed and under-drain system can be added.
• A high groundwater table can result in standing water in the swale and also lead to
runoff contaminants entering groundwater untreated.
• There is a limit to the steepness of the swale slopes and surrounding topography. If
these are too steep runoff will enter the swale at a high velocity causing erosion and
reducing the natural treatment potential of the system.
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
Swale in Soweto, South Africa Schematic of a dry swale
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
T
h
e

S
t
o
r
m
w
a
t
e
r

M
a
n
a
g
e
r
'
s

R
e
s
o
u
r
c
e

C
e
n
t
r
e
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
rainwater harvesting
The perception of rainfall runoff as a resource rather than a nuisance is one of the
key differences between a conventional and unconventional approach to stormwater
management. Rainwater harvesting is an obvious example of this alternative perception,
allowing stormwater to be reused for a number of purposes. Rainwater harvesting systems
can range from a simple water butt connected to a drainpipe, to a more complex system
where the collected rainwater is pumped into the water supply network for domestic
and productive uses. The purpose of reuse can be highly localised, such as domestic
collection for toilet fushing, or on a much larger scale, such as for industrial processes
and irrigation for parklands and urban agriculture.
Rainwater is often harvested from roof surfaces. Roofs have the advantage of being an
elevated impermeable surface from which a supply of decent quality water can easily
be collected. Rainwater harvesting systems can be designed on an individual building
scale (including systems that provide basic treatment and pumps to distribute the water
within the building for non-potable use) or on a large scale, capturing rainfall from entire
housing developments, businesses and industrial estates.
Replacing or supplementing treated water of potable quality with collected rainwater goes
a long way in reducing demands on a city’s water supply sources and is therefore an
attractive option in cities that suffer from water scarcity. Along with the water supply
benefts, rainwater harvesting on a large scale also has a positive impact on stormwater
management as the capture and reuse of rainfall from roof surfaces signifcantly reduces
overall urban runoff.
figure 9: Positive infuences of rainwater harvesting on the urban water cycle and urban development.
The number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
41
Rainwater harvesting
The perception of rainfall runoff as a resource rather than a nuisance is one of the key
differences between a conventional and unconventional approach to stormwater
management. Rainwater harvesting is an obvious example of this alternative perception,
allowing stormwater to be reused for a number of purposes. Rainwater harvesting
systems can range from a simple water butt connected to a drainpipe, to a more
complex system where the collected rainwater is pumped into the water supply network
for domestic and productive uses. The purpose of reuse can be highly localised, such as
domestic collection for toilet flushing, or on a much larger scale, such as for industrial
processes and irrigation for parklands and urban agriculture.
Rainwater is often harvested from roof surfaces. Roofs have the advantage of being an
elevated impermeable surface from which a supply of decent quality water can easily be
collected. Rainwater harvesting systems can be designed on an individual building scale
(including systems that provide basic treatment and pumps to distribute the water within
the building for non-potable use) or on a large scale, capturing rainfall from entire
housing developments, businesses and industrial estates.
Replacing or supplementing treated water of potable quality with collected rainwater
goes a long way in reducing demands on a city’s water supply sources and is therefore
an attractive option in cities that suffer from water scarcity. Along with the water supply
benefits, rainwater harvesting on a large scale also has a positive impact on stormwater
management as the capture and reuse of rainfall from roof surfaces significantly reduces
overall urban runoff.
Figure #.# Positive influences of rainwater harvesting on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Attenuation
reduces the
intensity and
volume of urban
rainfall runoff
Rainwater is
reused for
non-potable
purposes
An additional source
of water increases
household security
of supply and
reduces water bills
Pumping and treatment
costs are saved in the
water treatment process
as potable water
demand is reduced
Relieving the pressure
on abstractions from
natural sources for
water supply enhances
aquatic ecosystems
Less energy is used for
water supply purposes, as
well as for wastewater
treatment in combined
sewer systems
A more robust water
supply encourages
sustainable local
economic growth and
investment
Collected rainwater is
a cheap source of
irrigation water for
urban agriculture
Collected
stormwater is a
cheap source of
water for irrigation
41
Rainwater harvesting
The perception of rainfall runoff as a resource rather than a nuisance is one of the key
differences between a conventional and unconventional approach to stormwater
management. Rainwater harvesting is an obvious example of this alternative perception,
allowing stormwater to be reused for a number of purposes. Rainwater harvesting
systems can range from a simple water butt connected to a drainpipe, to a more
complex system where the collected rainwater is pumped into the water supply network
for domestic and productive uses. The purpose of reuse can be highly localised, such as
domestic collection for toilet flushing, or on a much larger scale, such as for industrial
processes and irrigation for parklands and urban agriculture.
Rainwater is often harvested from roof surfaces. Roofs have the advantage of being an
elevated impermeable surface from which a supply of decent quality water can easily be
collected. Rainwater harvesting systems can be designed on an individual building scale
(including systems that provide basic treatment and pumps to distribute the water within
the building for non-potable use) or on a large scale, capturing rainfall from entire
housing developments, businesses and industrial estates.
Replacing or supplementing treated water of potable quality with collected rainwater
goes a long way in reducing demands on a city’s water supply sources and is therefore
an attractive option in cities that suffer from water scarcity. Along with the water supply
benefits, rainwater harvesting on a large scale also has a positive impact on stormwater
management as the capture and reuse of rainfall from roof surfaces significantly reduces
overall urban runoff.
Figure #.# Positive influences of rainwater harvesting on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Attenuation
reduces the
intensity and
volume of urban
rainfall runoff
Rainwater is
reused for
non-potable
purposes
An additional source
of water increases
household security
of supply and
reduces water bills
Pumping and treatment
costs are saved in the
water treatment process
as potable water
demand is reduced
Relieving the pressure
on abstractions from
natural sources for
water supply enhances
aquatic ecosystems
Less energy is used for
water supply purposes, as
well as for wastewater
treatment in combined
sewer systems
A more robust water
supply encourages
sustainable local
economic growth and
investment
Collected rainwater is
a cheap source of
irrigation water for
urban agriculture
Collected
stormwater is a
cheap source of
water for irrigation
A range of different stormwater
reuse options and the benefts
that these provide are discussed
in detail in the SWITCH paper
'Catalogue of options for the
reuse of stormwater' (Scholes
et al 2007)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
39
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Issues to consider
Rainwater harvesting is applicable wherever there are roof surfaces and a demand for
the collected water. There are likely to be few issues with basic technologies where the
only concerns will be whether the collection tank is secure against debris, mosquitoes
and animals. More complex technologies that treat and distribute the collected water do
however need to be selected based on local circumstances and reuse intentions. Some
of the issues that need to be considered include:
• Systems that include basic treatment technologies and pumps require regular
maintenance. Owners must be willing and able to carry out this maintenance if
optimum performance is to be sustained.
• The cost of installing a complex rainwater harvesting system can be considerable.
In cities where water bills are high, the capital and operational costs can be regained
relatively quickly leading to an attractive investment opportunity for businesses
and households. However, where the price of water is low (and energy costs high)
the payback period will be much longer and subsidies to encourage uptake may be
necessary. Economies of scale can also be utilised such as constructing a larger
system that covers an entire housing estate.
• The amount of water collected will depend on roof area and rainfall rates. Investing
in a complex harvesting system will only be worthwhile if supplies are suffcient to
replace the demand for potable mains water signifcantly. Buildings that require large
roof areas such as airports, train stations, arenas and shopping centres are ideal for
the technology.
• Retroftting rainwater harvesting systems (other than water butts) to existing
buildings can be restricted by lack of available space for the tank and the need
to adapt the plumbing system. The refurbishment of old housing stock and offce
buildings can provide the opportunity to carry out these renovations. However, the
incorporation of systems into the design of new housing developments, businesses,
sports stadiums, shopping centres, municipal buildings, airports, etc. is the most
convenient option for implementation.

• Collected rainwater is not necessarily clean and is not recommended for potable
use. Contamination from air pollutants and toxic roof surfaces may result in
the need for treatment for certain uses. An
understanding of the pollutants contained
in the rainwater collected will be necessary
to ensure that the system includes
appropriate treatment measures.
• Depending on the volume of storage
available, rainwater harvesting is vulnerable
to periods of low rainfall and drought. A back
up mains supply is therefore required to
cover shortages.
Aquifers can be artifcially
recharged with collected
rainwater which can then be
re-abstracted for water supply
purposes at a later date. This
solution known as Aquifer
Storage and Recovery (ASR) is
introduced in Module 3.
Plumbing for rainwater reuse, Germany
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
n
g
e
n
i
e
u
r
g
e
s
e
l
l
s
c
h
a
f
t

S
i
e
k
e
r

(
I
P
S
)
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Rainwater harvesting in Beijing
Confronted with severe water
shortages, peri-urban farmers
in Beijing are looking to develop
multifunctional urban farming
systems to deal with the growing
problem of lack of water for
irrigation. As part of SWITCH,
a demonstration project
on greenhouse production
combined with rainwater
harvesting was developed to
achieve this aim.
Involving several institutions
and a vegetable cooperative in
the Huairou district of Beijing,
the project has shown that
rainwater harvesting technology
provides a useful source of water
for intensive agriculture under
greenhouses and is particularly
feasible and proftable if the multiple functions of agriculture are combined. An example
of this is the covered rainwater storage pond used in the demonstration. The pond has the
dual purpose of storing irrigation water for use in the greenhouses as well as generating
humid conditions which are ideal for growing mushrooms thereby providing the farmer with
a higher economic return.
Further information on the use of stormwater and recycled wastewater for
urban agriculture can be found in Module 5 as well as on the RUAF Foundation
(Resources Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security)
website http://www.ruaf.org/
Mushroom cultivation in Beijing
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
W
I
T
C
H

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
41
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
green roofs
As anyone who has seen a gushing drainpipe will testify to, large volumes of runoff are
rapidly discharged from roof surfaces during heavy rainfall. In an urban setting the vast
area of roof space means that this discharge increases the problem of urban stormwater
peak fows and the erosion and fooding that these cause. This problem can be greatly
reduced through the construction of green roofs which attenuate rainwater within roof
top vegetation and soils. When combined with additional measures on the ground, a
green roof can contribute to the complete disconnection of a roof area from a city’s
drainage network.
Green roofs consist of layers of artifcial membranes overlaid with a growing medium
and vegetation. The vegetation may consist of a number of plant species selected due to
their suitability for the local climate, type of roof constructed and desired aesthetic effect.
Rainfall is retained in the soil thereby distributing stormwater runoff over longer periods
and increasing opportunities for evapotranspiration. Depending on design, contaminants
contained in the rainfall may also be removed through natural treatment provided by the
soils and vegetation.
The benefts of green roofs extend beyond the management of stormwater. The layer
of vegetation provides effective insulation of a building, preventing the escape of heat
during cold weather and keeping the interior cool under hot conditions. This reduces the
building’s energy consumption for heating and air conditioner systems. The existence
of green roofs also adds an attractive element to the urban environment through the
extension of vegetated areas, reduce the urban heat island effect, enhance biodiversity
and remove air pollutants.
figure 10: Positive infuences of green roofs on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number
of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
45
Figure #.# Positive influences of green roofs on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number
of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
Green roofs are ideally suited to dense urban areas where limited space exists to
implement alternative stormwater BMP options. They provide multiple possible benefits
but it needs to be recognised that some of these are mutually exclusive and tradeoffs
are therefore necessary when selecting a design. These tradeoffs and other restrictions
that apply to green roofs include:
 Green roofs designed with the main objective of reducing stormwater runoff
require high vegetation cover supported by a fertile soil. This can lead to nitrate
leaching which compromises water quality in the runoff that flows from the roof.
In addition the plant species that are good for attenuation (such as Sedum)
reduce the potential for biodiversity development.
 Depending on climatic conditions, green roofs may restrict the collection and
reuse of rainwater from the roof surface, particularly where the objective is to
attenuate stormwater in soils and plants. Designs can however be chosen that
optimise reuse opportunities by providing natural treatment of rainwater through
soil filtration, although such designs are unlikely to offer the same biodiversity
and aesthetic benefits.
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Removal of
airborne
pollutants from
rainfall runoff
Attenuation and
evapotranspiration
reduces the intensity
and volume of urban
rainfall runoff
Certain green roofs
are designed to treat
rainfall with the aim
of increasing reuse
possibilities
Aesthetic and amenity
value that enhances
architecture and
increases urban
green space
Increased roof
lifespan and
reduced household
energy bills
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
Creation of
urban
ecosystems
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Reduction in the city
‘heat island’ effect
and improvements
to urban air quality
Reduced energy use
for heating and air
conditioning systems
due to improved
building insulation
45
Figure #.# Positive influences of green roofs on the urban water cycle and urban development. The number
of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note: for the
sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Issues to consider
Green roofs are ideally suited to dense urban areas where limited space exists to
implement alternative stormwater BMP options. They provide multiple possible benefits
but it needs to be recognised that some of these are mutually exclusive and tradeoffs
are therefore necessary when selecting a design. These tradeoffs and other restrictions
that apply to green roofs include:
 Green roofs designed with the main objective of reducing stormwater runoff
require high vegetation cover supported by a fertile soil. This can lead to nitrate
leaching which compromises water quality in the runoff that flows from the roof.
In addition the plant species that are good for attenuation (such as Sedum)
reduce the potential for biodiversity development.
 Depending on climatic conditions, green roofs may restrict the collection and
reuse of rainwater from the roof surface, particularly where the objective is to
attenuate stormwater in soils and plants. Designs can however be chosen that
optimise reuse opportunities by providing natural treatment of rainwater through
soil filtration, although such designs are unlikely to offer the same biodiversity
and aesthetic benefits.
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Removal of
airborne
pollutants from
rainfall runoff
Attenuation and
evapotranspiration
reduces the intensity
and volume of urban
rainfall runoff
Certain green roofs
are designed to treat
rainfall with the aim
of increasing reuse
possibilities
Aesthetic and amenity
value that enhances
architecture and
increases urban
green space
Increased roof
lifespan and
reduced household
energy bills
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
Creation of
urban
ecosystems
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is reduced
Reduction in the city
‘heat island’ effect
and improvements
to urban air quality
Reduced energy use
for heating and air
conditioning systems
due to improved
building insulation
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Brown roofs
Brown roofs are a type of green
roof that is designed especially
for the conservation of urban
biodiversity. Although the poten-
tial for stormwater attenuation
is less than other green roof de-
signs, brown roofs do neverthe-
less reduce stormwater runoff
intensity as well as removing
pollutants found in precipita-
tion.
The combination of stormwater
management and the enhance-
ment of urban biodiversity typi-
cally found in brownfeld sites
mean that the construction of
brown roofs are ideal for new
developments, particularly in re-
generated industrial sites.
For a description of the research carried out on brown roofs in Birmingham as part of SWITCH,
see the paper ‘The SWITCH brown roof project, Birmingham, UK: Rationale and experimental
design’ (Bates et al 2007)www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Brown roof in Birmingham, UK
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y

o
f

B
i
r
m
i
n
g
h
a
m
Issues to consider
Green roofs are ideally suited to dense urban areas where limited space exists to
implement alternative stormwater BMP options. They provide multiple possible benefts
but it needs to be recognised that some of these are mutually exclusive and tradeoffs are
therefore necessary when selecting a design. These tradeoffs and other restrictions that
apply to green roofs include:
• Green roofs designed with the main objective of reducing stormwater runoff require
high vegetation cover supported by a fertile soil. This can lead to nitrate leaching
which compromises water quality in the runoff that fows from the roof. In addition
the plant species that are good for attenuation (such as Sedum) reduce the potential
for biodiversity development.
• Depending on climatic conditions, green roofs may restrict the collection and reuse
of rainwater from the roof surface, particularly where the objective is to attenuate
stormwater in soils and plants. Designs can however be chosen that optimise
reuse opportunities by providing natural treatment of rainwater through soil fltration,
although such designs are unlikely to offer the same biodiversity and aesthetic
benefts.
• To achieve stormwater attenuation that is suffcient to allow disconnection from a
larger drainage system, green roofs need to be integrated with other stormwater BMP
options such as infltration basins and ponds.
• In comparison to regular roofng, green roofs may have high capital costs. However a
life cycle analysis of the technology will usually justify this cost through greater life-
span and reliability in comparison to hard roofs as well as the additional energy
savings and environmental gains they provide.
Further detailed information
on green roofs, including
research activities carried out
in SWITCH, see the paper
‘Report on the experimental
arrangement of green roof
mesocosms’ (Bates et al 2006)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
43
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Infltration systems
Infltration systems are trenches or basins that collect stormwater and flter it into the soils
below through a gravel and rock medium. Runoff is treated by the process of fltration
through the stones and gravel that fll the trench or basin and particularly the underlying
soils. Infltration systems are capable of removing a range of pollutants including almost
all organic matter and sediment, suspended solids, heavy metals and nutrients. Unlike a
swale, infltration systems have no outlet so, when well designed, provide high attenuation
rates as runoff seeps into the ground rather than being discharged to other drainage
systems or directly into receiving water bodies.
Infltration systems are most effective when constructed in conjunction with source
control options such as swales, sediment traps or certain types of green roofs. Such pre-
treatment of stormwater before it enters the trench or basin helps prevent clogging of the
flter medium and reduces the risk of groundwater contamination.
figure 11: Positive infuences of infltration systems on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
47
Infiltration systems
Infiltration systems are trenches or basins that collect stormwater and filter it into the
soils below through a gravel and rock medium. Runoff is treated by the process of
filtration through the stones and gravel that fill the trench or basin and particularly the
underlying soils. Infiltration systems are capable of removing a range of pollutants
including almost all organic matter and sediment, suspended solids, heavy metals and
nutrients. Unlike a swale, infiltration systems have no outlet so, when well designed,
provide high attenuation rates as runoff seeps into the ground rather than being
discharged to other drainage systems or directly into receiving water bodies.
Infiltration systems are most effective when constructed in conjunction with source
control options such as swales, sediment traps or certain types of green roofs. Such pre-
treatment of stormwater before it enters the trench or basin helps prevent clogging of the
filter medium and reduces the risk of groundwater contamination.
Figure #.# Positive influences of infiltration systems on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Common pollutants
contained in urban
runoff are removed
through the infiltration
process
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is
reduced
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
runoff from roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Infiltration systems can
be designed as
attractive roadside and
garden features
47
Infiltration systems
Infiltration systems are trenches or basins that collect stormwater and filter it into the
soils below through a gravel and rock medium. Runoff is treated by the process of
filtration through the stones and gravel that fill the trench or basin and particularly the
underlying soils. Infiltration systems are capable of removing a range of pollutants
including almost all organic matter and sediment, suspended solids, heavy metals and
nutrients. Unlike a swale, infiltration systems have no outlet so, when well designed,
provide high attenuation rates as runoff seeps into the ground rather than being
discharged to other drainage systems or directly into receiving water bodies.
Infiltration systems are most effective when constructed in conjunction with source
control options such as swales, sediment traps or certain types of green roofs. Such pre-
treatment of stormwater before it enters the trench or basin helps prevent clogging of the
filter medium and reduces the risk of groundwater contamination.
Figure #.# Positive influences of infiltration systems on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by the option. (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Common pollutants
contained in urban
runoff are removed
through the infiltration
process
Stormwater attenuation
reduces the risk of local
and downstream flooding
and erosion caused by
intense urban runoff
Infiltration of stormwater
recharges underlying
aquifers which can
support sources of water
supply
In combined sewer
systems the cost of
stormwater collection
and treatment is
reduced
In combined sewer
systems the energy
consumption to treat
wastewater is
reduced
Reduced flood risk
and environmental
impacts caused by
runoff from roads
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking can
be constructed without
increased flood risk
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
Infiltration systems can
be designed as
attractive roadside and
garden features
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
Under the right conditions, infltration systems are highly effective at removing stormwater
pollutants and recharging groundwater. Local restrictions, particularly soil type and
stormwater quality, must however be carefully considered to ensure that the solution is
suitable and will not require excessive maintenance. These restrictions include:
• Infltration systems are only suitable for use in soils with the appropriate infltration
capacity. Less permeable soils cause clogging of the systems whereas soils that
are too porous provide less treatment and increase the risk of groundwater
contamination.
• Runoff containing high levels of pollutants can result in groundwater contamination
whereas high sediment loads cause the system to get clogged. Infltration systems
therefore require pre-treatment measures such as source control BMPs and sediment
traps.
• Infltration systems are not suitable in areas of high groundwater tables. A suffcient
depth of soil between the bottom of the trench or basin is necessary to treat the
infltrated stormwater and avoid groundwater contamination.
Innodrain ® infltration system in Birkenstein, Germany
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
e
l
b
o
u
r
n
e

W
a
t
e
r
Infltration system in Melbourne, Australia
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
n
g
e
n
i
e
u
r
g
e
s
e
l
l
s
c
h
a
f
t

S
i
e
k
e
r
45
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
detention ponds and basins
Detention ponds and basins are designed to provide temporary storage during heavy
rainfall. Unlike infltration basins and retention ponds, the detention equivalents do not
necessarily lessen the volume of urban stormwater but rather aim to smooth out high
intensity peak fows through the gradual release of runoff. Multi-functional areas can
therefore be designed that combine stormwater control with other urban uses such as
recreation and transport – an advantage that is particularly attractive to dense urban
areas where available land is in short supply.
Detention ponds and basins are constructed to collect runoff from a wider area such as
a housing estate, car park or commercial development. The outlet is designed to control
the release of water at a volume and velocity that is within the capacities of downstream
infrastructural and natural drainage systems. Depending on the materials used and the
design detention time, some natural treatment of stormwater may occur in the ponds or
basins, particularly the removal of sediment and suspended solids. However, due to the
use of the site during dry weather for alternative purposes this may be neither feasible nor
desirable and the main objective therefore tends to be quantity rather than quality based.
Depending on the local circumstances, additional stormwater BMP solutions that treat
and infltrate stormwater are ideally implemented up and downstream of detention
solutions.
figure 12: Positive infuences of detention ponds on the urban water cycle and urban development. The
number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences.)
49
Detention ponds and basins
Detention ponds and basins are designed to provide temporary storage during heavy
rainfall. Unlike infiltration basins and retention ponds, the detention equivalents do not
necessarily lessen the volume of urban stormwater but rather aim to smooth out high
intensity peak flows through the gradual release of runoff. Multi-functional areas can
therefore be designed that combine stormwater control with other urban uses such as
recreation and transport – an advantage that is particularly attractive to dense urban
areas where available land is in short supply (see box below).
Detention ponds and basins are constructed to collect runoff from a wider area such as a
housing estate, car park or commercial development. The outlet is designed to control
the release of water at a volume and velocity that is within the capacities of downstream
infrastructural and natural drainage systems. Depending on the materials used and the
design detention time, some natural treatment of stormwater may occur in the ponds or
basins, particularly the removal of sediment and suspended solids. However, due to the
use of the site during dry weather for alternative purposes this may be neither feasible
nor desirable and the main objective therefore tends to be quantity rather than quality
based.
Depending on the local circumstances, additional stormwater BMP solutions that treat
and infiltrate stormwater are ideally implemented up and downstream of detention
solutions.
Figure #.# Positive influences of detention ponds and basins on the urban water cycle and urban
development. The number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by
the option. (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Detention ponds and basins
reduce overflows from combined
sewer systems and, depending
on design, can remove some
stormwater pollutants.
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking
can be constructed without
increased flood risk
Detention sites can
be used as
playgrounds and
sports facilities
during dry weather
Encourages
investment in urban
areas that would
otherwise be prone
to flooding
Reduction in the
intensity of
urban rainfall
runoff
Detention sites that are
covered in grass or other
vegetation increase the
amount of urban green
space
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
49
Detention ponds and basins
Detention ponds and basins are designed to provide temporary storage during heavy
rainfall. Unlike infiltration basins and retention ponds, the detention equivalents do not
necessarily lessen the volume of urban stormwater but rather aim to smooth out high
intensity peak flows through the gradual release of runoff. Multi-functional areas can
therefore be designed that combine stormwater control with other urban uses such as
recreation and transport – an advantage that is particularly attractive to dense urban
areas where available land is in short supply (see box below).
Detention ponds and basins are constructed to collect runoff from a wider area such as a
housing estate, car park or commercial development. The outlet is designed to control
the release of water at a volume and velocity that is within the capacities of downstream
infrastructural and natural drainage systems. Depending on the materials used and the
design detention time, some natural treatment of stormwater may occur in the ponds or
basins, particularly the removal of sediment and suspended solids. However, due to the
use of the site during dry weather for alternative purposes this may be neither feasible
nor desirable and the main objective therefore tends to be quantity rather than quality
based.
Depending on the local circumstances, additional stormwater BMP solutions that treat
and infiltrate stormwater are ideally implemented up and downstream of detention
solutions.
Figure #.# Positive influences of detention ponds and basins on the urban water cycle and urban
development. The number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is influenced by
the option. (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences.)
Detention ponds and basins
reduce overflows from combined
sewer systems and, depending
on design, can remove some
stormwater pollutants.
New housing and
accompanying roads,
pavements and parking
can be constructed without
increased flood risk
Detention sites can
be used as
playgrounds and
sports facilities
during dry weather
Encourages
investment in urban
areas that would
otherwise be prone
to flooding
Reduction in the
intensity of
urban rainfall
runoff
Detention sites that are
covered in grass or other
vegetation increase the
amount of urban green
space
Within the water cycle Within urban development in general
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
Detention ponds and basins are applicable to cities which are susceptible to combined
sewer overfows, erosion and localised and downstream fooding during heavy rainfall.
The design of the solution is however heavily dependent on a wide range of local factors
including climatic conditions, location of the site, use of the site during dry weather,
protection of the infrastructure, etc. More specifcally, these considerations include:
• The design of the detention site is dependent on the local rainfall patterns and
hydrology of the area being drained, as well as the characteristics of the stormwater
entering the pond or basin (such as pollutant loads). The design must also be
resilient enough to cope with future uncertainty in weather patterns.
• Densely populated urban areas are unlikely to have readily available space for the
construction of a pond or basin with the sole purpose of stormwater detention. The
option is therefore more typically used in areas where space is more readily available
such as industrial estates and new housing developments. However, dense inner
city areas can also be targeted if the solutions combine stormwater control with dry
weather functions such as sports facilities, playgrounds and car parking.
• Detention ponds and basins should rarely be stand-alone solutions and are likely
to require supporting infrastructure both up and downstream of the site. Depending
on the characteristics of the runoff entering the site, a combination of pollution
and velocity control measures may be necessary to prevent, for example, siltation
and erosion. Likewise, discharge from the site may require further management,
particularly treatment, before entering natural water bodies. Ideally detention
ponds and basins are constructed as a site control measure within a stormwater BMP
hierarchy as described in Section 7.1.
Detention pond in Freiburg, Germany
I
m
a
g
e
:

H
o
l
g
e
r

R
o
b
r
e
c
h
t
Constructed wetlands are
an additional stormwater
control solution. Due to
their additional benefts for
wastewater management,
constructed wetlands are
discussed in Module 5.
However, further information
on their use in the context of
stormwater management can
be found in the SWITCH paper
'Constructed wetalnds for food
protection and water reuse'
(Shutes et al 2010)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
47
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
7.3 Assessment and selection of solutions
Following the principles of IUWM, the selection of stormwater management solutions
should be based on the agreed objectives, indicators and targets, along with the need
to consider all aspects of sustainability as described in Section 5. The assessment of
potential solutions should therefore aim to identify those that can achieve the specifc
goals without compromising the long-term sustainable development of the city as a
whole.
Although an identifed technological solution may theoretically help to achieve the targets
associated with an objective, this does not necessarily mean that the solution itself is a
sustainable one in the context under consideration – cost, social implications, unwanted
side effects and a range of other aspects also need to be assessed.
The installation of rainwater harvesting technology would appear to be an ideal solution
to reduce mains water consumption and stormwater runoff from a new housing
development. But the evaluation of this solution also needs to consider a range of other
factors that will infuence the success or failure of the investment. For example, are there
suffcient fnancial incentives for future home owners to continue to operate and maintain
the systems in the long run? If maintenance costs are high, mains water costs are low and
property drainage costs fxed, the answer may well be negative.
In reality, an option will never be entirely sustainable and trade-offs between benefts and
costs are always necessary. Concessions are therefore inevitable but what is important is
that all sustainability criteria are considered during the selection process to ensure that
these trade-offs can be made with the confdence that the chosen option will, on balance,
nevertheless move the city towards increased sustainability.
Assessing the social, economic and environmental implications over space and time of
a potential solution is not easy. A comprehensive assessment should test an option’s
robustness against a long list of relevant factors. These include future climate scenarios,
life-cycle costs, associated risk, integration with existing infrastructure and interaction
with the urban environment. This can be a complex task and will often require the
assistance of modelling software and detailed comparative analysis. Using generic and
locally specifc sustainability criteria, these tools can manage data in a way that enables
a range of different implications, scenarios and combinations of options to be assessed.
Life-Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA)
Cost is always going to be a key factor in deciding which options to select. Rather than
comparing implementation costs, a true economic value of an option, or group of options,
is only obtained through a comprehensive life-cycle cost analysis. As well as construction
costs this includes operation and maintenance costs, the life time of the option and the
period of investment. Ideally the cost estimates should also factor in the fexibility to change
and environmental and social costs and benefts. The results from an LCCA are usually given
as a Net Present Value (NPV), which allows for easy comparison of alternative solutions.
See Module 6 for further information including details of the SWITCH LCCA
tool. The tool is also available to download along with all SWITCH software at:
www.switchurbanwater.eu/res_software.php
A Multi Criteria Analysis
approach to the selection
of sustainable stormwater
management solutions is
described in the SWITCH
paper 'An Integrated Decision
Support Approach to the
Selection of Sustainable Urban
Drainage Systems (SUDS)'
(Ellis et al 2011)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-
resources
See Module 6 for further
information about integrated
decision making as well as
a number of tools that can
assist with the selection of
stormwater management
solutions.
48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Wrapping-up
This approach has many implications. Increased food risk, riverbank erosion, aquifer
depletion and pollution are just some of the negative impacts of conventional stormwater
management.
Stormwater in the city is typically seen as a restriction and a nuisance. In the past urban
drainage infrastructure has therefore usually been developed with the aim of disposing of
rainfall runoff as rapidly as possible.
Such benefts include urban greening, the availability of an alternative supply of water and
the regeneration of urban landscapes.
To achieve these benefts, innovative options are required such as the use of ponds and
wetlands for stormwater retention, vegetation and soils for attenuation, and aquifers for
infltration and reuse.
By selecting stormwater management objectives based on the needs of the urban water
cycle and city development as a whole, solutions can be identifed that provide multi-
purpose benefts and are less likely to result in unexpected impacts.
An integrated approach treats stormwater not as a nuisance but rather as a resource to
be utilised.
By attenuating, infltrating and reusing stormwater within the city, many of the negative
impacts can be overcome whilst numerous environmental, economic and social benefts
become apparent.
O
49
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
references
bates, a., greswell, r., Mackay, r., donovan, r., Sadler, J. (2007) The SWITCH
brown roof project, Birmingham UK; Rationale and experimental design, University of
Birmingham, UK. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
bates, a., greswell, r., Mackay, r., donovan, r.,Sadler, J. (2006) Report on the
experimental arrangement of green roof mesocosms, University of Birmingham, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J. b., Lundy, L., revitt, M. (2011) An Integrated Decision Support Approach to the
Selection of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J.b., revitt, d.M. (2010) Stormwater as a valuable resource within the urban water
cycle, Middlesex University, UK. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J.b., revitt, d.M., Scholes, L. (2006) Review of the adaptability and sensitivity
of current stormwater control technologies to extreme environmental and socio-
economic drivers – Section A: Identifcation of structural and non-structural stormwater
management approaches from around the world, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J.b., Scholes, L., revitt, d.M. (2009) Evaluation of decision-making processes in
urban stormwater management, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J.b., Scholes, L., revitt, d.M. (2007) Evaluation of current stormwater strategies,
Middlesex University, UK. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
ellis, J.b., Scholes, L., revitt, d.M., Viavattene, C. (2008) Risk assessment and control
approaches for stormwater food and pollution control, Middlesex University, UK
Ellis, J.B., Scholes, L., Shutes, B., Revitt, D.M. (2008) Developing a framework for
sustainable stormwater management, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/GEN_PAP_BH_Session7a_Risk_
assessment.pdf
ellis, J.b., Scholes, Shutes, b., L., revitt, d. M. (2009) Guidelines for the preparation
of an institutional map for cities identifying areas which currently lack power and/or
funding with regard to stormwater management, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
fletcher, T.d., deletic, a.b., Hatt, b.e. (2004) Australian Water Conservation and
Reuse Research Program: A review of stormwater sensitive urban design in Australia,
Monash University, Australia.
http://www.clw.csiro.au/awcrrp/stage1fles/AWCRRP_6_Final_28Apr2004.pdf
Hoyer, J., dickhaut, W., Kronawitter, L., Weber, b. (2011) Water Sensitive Urban Design
– Principles and Inspiration for Sustainable Stormwater Management in the City of the
Future, HafenCity Universität Hamburg (HCU), Germany.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Jeferies, C., dufy, a. (2008) SWITCH Stormwater Online, Abertay University, UK
O
50
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Loftus, a. C., Howe, C., anton, b., Philip, r., Morchain, d. (2011) Adapting urban
water systems to climate change – A handbook for decision makers at the local level,
ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
north Carolina department of environment and natural resources (1998) North
Carolina Stormwater Site Planning Guidance Manual, State of North Carolina, USA.
http://www.p2pays.org/ref/26/25086.pdf
Picouet, C., Soutter, M. (2006) Review of the adaptability and sensitivity of current
stormwater control technologies to extreme environmental and socio-economic drivers
– Section B: The implications of climate change on urban stormwater management:
Scenario building, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
revitt, d.M., Scholes, L., ellis, b. (2006) Review of the adaptability and sensitivity of
current stormwater control technologies to extreme environmental and socio-economic
drivers – Section D: Concluding remarks, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Salian, P., anton, b. (2011) The Emscher Region - The opportunities of economic
transition for leapfrogging urban water management, ICLEI European Secretariat,
Freiburg, Germany. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Scholes, L., ellis, J.b., revitt, d.M. (2007) Drivers for future urban stormwater
management (USWM), Middlesex University, UK. http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/
outputs/pdfs/WP2-1_PAP_Drivers_for_future_USWM.pdf
Scholes, L., revitt, d. M. (2008) A design manual incorporating best practice
guidelines for stormwater management options and treatment under extreme
conditions – Part A: Review of design guidelines for stormwater management in
selected countries, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Scholes, L., Shutes, b. (2007) Catalogue of options for the reuse of stormwater,
Middlesex University, UK. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Shaw, H., reisinger, a., Larsen, H., Stumbles, C. (2005) Incorporating Climate Change
into Stormwater Design – Why and How?, paper for the 4th South Pacifc Conference
on Stormwater And Aquatic Resource Protection (Auckland, May 2005), URS New
Zealand Ltd. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate/stormwater-design-mar05/
stormwater-design-mar05.pdf
Shutes, b., revitt, M., Scholes, L. (2010) Constructed wetlands for food protection
and water reuse, Middlesex University, UK.
http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Shutes, b. (2008) A design manual incorporating best practice guidelines for
stormwater management options and treatment under extreme conditions – Part
B: The potential of BMPs to integrate with existing infrastructure (i.e. retro-ft/hybrid
systems) and contribute to other sectors of the urban water cycle, Middlesex University,
UK. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
51
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
Sieker, H., Helm, b., Winger, J. (2006) Review of the adaptability and sensitivity of
current stormwater control technologies to extreme environmental and socio-economic
drivers – Section C: The impact of changes in environmental and socio-economic
conditions on stormwater management technologies, Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr.
Sieker mbH, Germany. http://www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Sieker, H., bandermann, S., becker, M., raasch, U. (2006) Urban stormwater
management demonstration projects in the Emscher Region, Ingenieurgesellschaft
Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH, Germany. http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/CEMS_
PAP_Urban_stormwater_management_demo_projects_Emscher.pdf
Sieker, H., Peters, C., Sommer, H. (2008) Modelling stormwater and evaluating
potential solutions, Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH, Germany. http://www.
switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/GEN_PAP_BH_Session7a_Modelling_Stormwater.pdf
www.switchtraining.eu
Partners:
ISBN 978-3-943107-06-7 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
Phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Imprint
ICLeI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Ralph Philip (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Claudia Pabon Pereira (Lettinga Associates Foundation and Wageningen University); René van Veenhuizen (ETC Foundation)
Adriaan Mels, Claudia Agudelo (Wageningen University); René van Veenhuizen (ETC Foundation), Diederik Rousseau, Saroj K. Sharma,
Gary Amy (UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education)
Ralph Philip, Barbara Anton, Prit Salian, Anne-Claire Loftus (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Stephan Köhler (ICLeI european Secretariat)
©
2011 ICLeI european Secretariat gmbH, Leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in Module 5 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they
credit the copyright holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Publisher:
Principal author:
Contributing authors:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISbn 978-3-943107-07-4 (Pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material, all of which are
highlighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk website
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUPPorT TooLS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC PLannIng
Preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHoLderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
Learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUPPLy
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / urban stormwater management / urban wastewater management
can beneft from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in
SWITCH and the contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 5: Contents
O Introduction ....................................................................................................
O Learning targets ..............................................................................................
O The need for sustainable wastewater management ..................................
3.1 The conventional approach to wastewater management .......................
3.2 The issues arising from conventional wastewater management ..........
3.3 A more sustainable approach to wastewater management ...................
O Wastewater in the city .....................................................................................
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle .....................................................
4.2 Linkages between wastewater management and other urban
management sectors ...............................................................................
4.3 Wastewater management and urban agriculture ..................................
4.4 Wastewater management and the natural environment ......................
O The overall direction: Wastewater management and sustainability ........
5.1 Sustainable wastewater management .....................................................
5.2 Objectives and indicators for urban wastewater management ............
O Putting more integrated wasterwater management into practice ............
6.1 Implementation of more integrated wastewater management ............
6.2 Barriers to sustainable sanitation ...........................................................
O options for sustainable wastewater management ....................................
7.1 Examples of more sustainable wastewater management options ........
7.2 Selection of options ..................................................................................
O Wrapping up ....................................................................................................
O references .......................................................................................................
7
8
9
11
12
15
18
18
19
20
22
24
24
27
28
29
30
33
35
51
53
54
7
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Introduction
The management of wastewater in cities throughout the world tends to follow a standard
approach. This approach, though complex in technological requirements, is based on the
simple concept that wastewater is an unwanted product that needs to be removed from
the urban environment as safely and effciently as possible.
Module 5 challenges this concept by examining alternatives to urban wastewater
management in which decentralised technologies and natural systems are used to
recycle wastewater and the nutrients and energy it contains. This alternative approach is
based on the recognition that wastewater management is inextricably linked with the rest
of the urban water cycle as well as many other urban management sectors. The module
demonstrates how an integrated approach can be more sustainable than conventional
wastewater management and introduces a number of options to implement tangible
change in this direction.
The overriding message of the module is that by encouraging more integrated urban
wastewater management and promoting the recycling of resources, a city stands to gain a
range of benefts. Not only can they increase the effciency of the day-to-day operation of
wastewater, water supply and drainage services, but also improve other aspects of urban
management such as economic development, environmental protection, food security
and resilience to climate change.
Module 5 is closely related to Modules 3 and 4 which cover a similar practical approach
to water cycle management from the perspective of water supply and urban drainage
respectively.
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

P
r
i
t

S
a
l
i
a
n
8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Learning targets
Module 5 presents an overview of wastewater management and how this infuences and
is infuenced by the urban water cycle and urban development as a whole. It is intended
to give the user knowledge of the limitations associated with a conventional approach
to urban sanitation and how an integrated approach, and the selection of alternative
solutions, can not only overcome these but also provide additional benefts. The module
is therefore relevant for all cities regardless of their current sanitation situation.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• what constitutes a more sustainable approach to wastewater management and
how this differs from a conventional approach;
• the direct and indirect benefts that a city can gain by managing wastewater as a
resource rather than as a waste product; and
• the solutions that are available to put a more sustainable approach to wastewater
management into practice, including the use of natural systems.
It should be noted that it is not the purpose of the module to provide the user with the
necessary technical detail to select, design and construct the wastewater management
solutions best suited for their local situation. Users who want to take this next step
towards implementation are rather encouraged to consult the many technical manuals
and guidelines that are readily available for this purpose. Some of these resources are
referred to within the module.
O
figure 1: Wastewater within the urban water cycle
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
C
L
E
I
P
a
v
e
d
s
u
rfa
c
e
s
Roofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
l
e

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

O u t d o o r
u s e
I n
d
u
s
t
r
i a
l /
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
ra
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
rk
I
m
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
le

r
o
c
k
/
s
o
ils
Rainfall
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
R
i
v
e
r
R
e
c
e
i
v
i
n
g

w
a
t
e
r

b
o
d
y
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
9
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
The need for sustainable
wastewater management
Within the urban water cycle, the management of the wastewater component is often the
most complex. When systems are well designed and maintained the water-based waste
of a city is safely collected, treated and disposed of without impacting on the quality of
urban life. However, when systems are inadequate or non-existent the resulting pollution
leads to diseases and environmental degradation.
Despite its importance in our cities, for most urban dwellers wastewater management,
particularly the human waste aspect, is an unpleasant subject, a cultural taboo and a
topic best ignored. If a system exists that allows users to fush the toilet, take a shower
and wash the dishes without having to think about what happens next there are likely
to be few complaints. Looking beneath the surface, however, there are considerable
requirements concerning the management of the used water fows, to ensure that:
• the threat of contamination and human disease is eliminated; and
• damage to the natural environment is minimised.
The management of urban wastewater involves the collection, conveyance, treatment and
reuse or disposal of various fows differing in composition and treatment and disposal
requirements. These include:
• Faeces: (Semi-solid) excrement without urine or water.
• Urine: Liquid waste produced by the body to rid itself of urea and other waste products.
• Flushwater: Water that is used to transport excreta from the user interface to the
next technology.
• Blackwater: The mixture of urine, faeces and fushwater.
• Greywater: The total volume of water generated from washing food, clothes and
dishware as well as from bathing.
• Stormwater: The general term for the rainfall runoff collected from roofs, roads and
other surfaces before fowing towards low-lying land.
(Source: Tilley, E. et al, 2008)
Each of these elements is made up of different quantities of water, pollutant loads and
nutrient content. The challenge cities are facing is to manage the different elements in
an affordable way with minimal impact on human health and the natural environment.
Figure 2 shows what needs to be managed from a typical residential household alone and
how the different elements vary in volume and content.
O
figure 1: Wastewater within the urban water cycle
10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
figure 2: domestic wastewater streams (source: Wageningen University)
10
Figure 1: Domestic wastewater streams (source: Wageningen University)
Distribution of main contents among the different elements of wastewater (excluding stormwater)
(Approximate proportions only)
Volume of water Pathogen content Nutrient content
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
Faeces:
 50 l/p/yr
 Contains high
pathogen loads
 Few nutrients
Urine:
 ~500 l/p/yr
 Typically
pathogen free but
may contain
pharmaceuticals
 Rich in nutrients
(2-4kg of nitrogen
per year)
Flushwater:
 ~3,000-15,000
litres per person
per year (l/p/yr)
 Typically
potable quality
 No nutrients
Greywater:
 ~35,000-45,000
l/p/yr
 Contains
detergents,
chemicals and
food waste but
few pathogens
 Few nutrients
Stormwater:
 Volume
dependent on
rainfall
 Can contain
chemical
pollutants and
heavy metals
 No nutrients
11
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
3.1 The conventional approach to wastewater management
The conventional approach to urban wastewater management is based on a centralised
system that collects and treats a combined fow of most or all of the wastewater elements
described in Figure 2
This approach dates back to Roman times but was developed in its current format during
the industrial revolution as cities were growing in size, population and density. The
increasing volumes of untreated human waste severely affected the health of inhabitants
resulting in outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. To overcome the problem, water-
based toilets, piped sewer networks and centralised treatment facilities were constructed;
this proved to be an effective solution to prevent the spread of disease through human
contact with wastewater in the city.
Over 150 years later this concept remains the most common and most sought after
approach to urban wastewater management throughout the world. As shown in Figure
3, the system uses a network of sewerage pipes to collect wastewater from individual
households, businesses, industries and, in some cases, rainfall runoff. The pipes convey
the mixed fows to central treatment facilities where the combined effuent is treated and
discharged to surface water bodies.
figure 3: Conventional wastewater management
11
3.1 The conventional approach to wastewater management
The conventional approach to urban wastewater management is based on a centralised
system that collects and treats a combined flow of most or all of the wastewater
elements described in Figure 1.
This approach dates back to Roman times but was developed in its current format during
the industrial revolution as cities were growing in size, population and density. The
increasing volumes of untreated human waste severely affected the health of inhabitants
resulting in outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. To overcome the problem, water
based toilets, piped sewer networks and centralised treatment facilities were constructed
which proved to be an effective solution to prevent the spread of disease through human
contact with wastewater in the city.
Over 150 years later this concept remains the most common and most sought after
approach to urban wastewater management throughout the world. As shown in Figure 2,
the system uses a network of sewerage pipes to collect wastewater from individual
households, businesses, industries and, in some cases, rainfall runoff. The pipes convey
the mixed flows to central treatment facilities where the combined effluent is treated and
discharged to surface water bodies.
Figure 2: Conventional wastewater management
Sludge disposal:
The sludge by-
product may be
disposed of in landfills
or through
incineration although
in some cases it is
reused for agriculture.
Centralised treatment:
Collected wastewater is
treated through a
process that typically
uses a combination of
technological cleaning
measures such as
settling, filtration and
aeration.
Effluent discharge:
The treated effluent is
discharged into local
water bodies such as
rivers, lakes and
coastal waters.
Sewer network:
Mostly gravity fed
systems that convey
wastewater from
source to treatment
plant.
Stormwater collection:
Some systems (known as
combined systems) mix
wastewater with
stormwater during
collection and treatment.
Wastewater
collection:
Wastewater from
showers, sinks and
washing machines
mixed with human
excreta and
transported within the
sewer network.
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.2 The issues arising from conventional wastewater
management
The assumption that successful wastewater management is dependent on a centralised
collection and treatment system is not necessarily true. Although a well designed and
maintained system protects public health and has few environmental consequences, not
all urban settings are compatible with conventional designs and, even in the ones that
are, a range of limitations raise the question of sustainability in the long-term.
Some of the issues with conventional urban wastewater management are as follows:
• Dilution of fows: By combining all wastewater streams, treatment techniques are
required for large volumes of diluted wastewater. This results in an ineffcient
treatment process.
• High water use: Conventional systems require a reliable supply of water to operate
(for the fushing of toilets and conveyance of waste). The water needs for the system
typically account for around a third of a household’s water consumption.
• Pollution risk: When functioning poorly or combined with stormwater collection,
wastewater transportation networks may leak or overfow causing untreated
wastewater to be dispersed to the environment.
• Cost: The cost of constructing, operating and maintaining centralised wastewater
collection and treatment infrastructure is high.
• High energy demand: Conventional centralised wastewater treatment is energy
intensive and therefore requires a reliable and affordable power supply to operate
effectively.

• Waste of a valuable resource: Centralised systems fail to exploit the valuable
resources in human excreta and greywater such as the nutrients and energy
it contains, and the potential for reclaimed water use.
• Nutrient overload: Typical discharges from centralised wastewater treatment plants
contain high levels of nutrients. These cause an increase in algal blooms and a
depletion of oxygen in receiving water bodies.
• Non-fexible: Large wastewater treatment plants have a capacity based on
forecast volumes of wastewater and, in combined systems, the predicted
stormwater runoff rates. These systems are not easily adapted if design specifcations
prove to be too high or too low due to population growth, migration or change in
climate patterns.
• Inappropriate for local conditions: Technology and infrastructure are based on
‘one-size-fts-all-solutions’ which may not be suitable for the needs of the location in
which they are placed.
Conventional wastewater management is a rigid solution and this lack of fexibility makes
it diffcult to adapt to unexpected future change. In cities where sanitation systems are
either non-existent or badly designed and maintained, the ability to keep up with rising
pressures such as rapid urbanisation and population growth is obviously a massive
challenge. But even in cities where effective centralised systems have been in place for
decades, anticipated future developments, such as a changing climate, are raising doubts
over an approach to wastewater management that was previously unquestioned. Figure 4
shows some of the pressures that wastewater management in the city will be increasingly
confronted with in the future.
13
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
figure 4: examples of future pressures on urban wastewater management
Population growth
More people mean more
wastewater to collect and
treat. Expanding conventional
infrastructure to cope with this
increase is a costly process.
Climate change
Combined sewers that collect
and treat both wastewater and
stormwater are vulnerable
to climate change. Increases
in the intensity and duration
of rainfall events cause combined sewers
to overfow more frequently discharging
untreated sewage to the environment.
Future energy costs
Wastewater management relies
on energy for pumping and
treatment. A rapid rise in fuel
costs would therefore have
serious implications on the cost of
wastewater management.
Stricter
environmental
legislation
Increasing awareness
and concern over the
impact of wastewater
discharges on the environment
means that more effcient treatment
processes are legally required.
Urbanisation
Urban sprawl often occurs faster
than centralised wastewater
infrastructure can be built. This can
result in a lack of adequate sanitation
services for large urban populations,
especially in informal settlements.
Deterioration of
infrastructure
As wastewater
infrastructure ages
leakages from the
system and sub-
standard performance become more
likely
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
Adopted in 1991, the European
Urban Wastewater Treatment
Directive (91/271/EEC)
addresses the need to protect
Europe’s groundwater, rivers,
lakes and seas from the
impacts of poorly treated
wastewater. The Directive
requires that all wastewater
generated in areas with a
population equivalent in
excess of 2000 must receive
at least secondary treatment.
In addition, cities identifed
as being in vulnerable, or
‘sensitive’, areas face more
stringent treatment requirements. The Directive is closely related to the European Water
Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) which requires that all waters in the European
Union achieve good ecological status by 2015.
Despite being introduced almost 20 years ago, the Directive continues to pose a
signifcant challenge for cities throughout Europe. In particular the more stringent
treatment requirements for big cities located in ‘sensitive’ areas are still a major
issue and 50% of the load from these cities is still being discharged without adequate
treatment.
(5th Commission Summary on the Implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment
Directive)
Further information on the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive can be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-urbanwaste/index_en.html
I
m
a
g
e
:

G
r
y
a
a
b
Wastewater treatment plant in Gothenburg, Sweden
15
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
3.3 A more sustainable approach to wastewater management
An alternative approach to wastewater management views wastewater not as a problem
that needs to be disposed of but rather as a variety of resources that, when managed
correctly, can be reused.
As shown in Figure 5, conventional wastewater management can be considered a linear
process with inputs (combined wastewater fows) at one end and outputs (downstream
discharges of treated effuent and disposal of sludge) at the other. An integrated approach
that is based on the cyclical processes observed in nature in contrast encourages the
separate collection, treatment and reuse of urine, faeces, greywater and stormwater.
This approach is considered more sustainable as solutions can be applied that improve
treatment performance at less cost and enable resources to be recycled more effciently.
The key differences between the conventional approach and an integrated one are:
• Combination versus separation;
• Centralised versus decentralised collection and treatment;
• Disposal versus reuse.
These differences are described in more detail in Table 1.
figure 5: Linear versus cyclical wastewater management
15
3.3 A more sustainable approach
An alternative approach to wastewater management views wastewater not as a problem
that needs to be disposed of but rather as a variety of resources that, when managed
correctly, can be reused.
As shown in Figure 4, conventional wastewater management can be considered a linear
process with inputs (combined wastewater flows) at one end and outputs (downstream
discharges of treated effluent and disposal of sludge) at the other. An integrated
approach that is based on the cyclical processes observed in nature in contrast
encourages the separate collection, treatment and reuse of urine, faeces, greywater and
stormwater. This approach is considered more sustainable as solutions can be applied
that improve treatment performance at less cost and enable resources to be recycled
more efficiently.
Figure 4: Linear versus cyclical wastewater management















The key differences between the conventional approach and an integrated one are:
 Combination vs. separation.
 Centralised vs. decentralised collection and treatment.
 Disposal vs. reuse.

These differences are described in more detail in Table 1.


Nutrients, water and energy removed
from the local area
Nutrients, water and energy returned to
the local area for reuse
Greywater
Food
User
Water

Energy
Urine

Energy
User

Water Food
Treatment
Diluted
waste water
Treated
effluent
Sludge by-
products
Stormwater
Faeces
Bio-solids
Treatment
Treated
effluent
Biogas
15
3.3 A more sustainable approach
An alternative approach to wastewater management views wastewater not as a problem
that needs to be disposed of but rather as a variety of resources that, when managed
correctly, can be reused.
As shown in Figure 4, conventional wastewater management can be considered a linear
process with inputs (combined wastewater flows) at one end and outputs (downstream
discharges of treated effluent and disposal of sludge) at the other. An integrated
approach that is based on the cyclical processes observed in nature in contrast
encourages the separate collection, treatment and reuse of urine, faeces, greywater and
stormwater. This approach is considered more sustainable as solutions can be applied
that improve treatment performance at less cost and enable resources to be recycled
more efficiently.
Figure 4: Linear versus cyclical wastewater management















The key differences between the conventional approach and an integrated one are:
 Combination vs. separation.
 Centralised vs. decentralised collection and treatment.
 Disposal vs. reuse.

These differences are described in more detail in Table 1.


Nutrients, water and energy removed
from the local area
Nutrients, water and energy returned to
the local area for reuse
Greywater
Food
User
Water

Energy
Urine

Energy
User

Water Food
Treatment
Diluted
waste water
Treated
effluent
Sludge by-
products
Stormwater
Faeces
Bio-solids
Treatment
Treated
effluent
Biogas
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Aspect of
wastewater
management
Conventional approach
(wastewater management as a
linear process)
Integrated approach
(wastewater management as a
cyclical process)
Collection
Faeces, urine, greywater and stormwater
are combined and conveyed through an
expensive sewer network to a centralised
treatment facility.
Faeces, urine, greywater and stormwater are
collected separately and managed close to
the source.
Treatment
Centralised treatment of combined
wastewater elements based on energy-
and chemical-intensive infrastructure and
technology.
Separate wastewater elements are treated
using innovative, decentralised technologies
and natural systems.
Treated efuent
Treated effuent is discharged downstream
to receiving water bodies such as rivers,
lakes and estuaries.
Treated effuent is reused locally for non-
potable water supply purposes.
Nutrients
Nutrients are disposed of in the environment
through discharged effuent and sludge.
Nutrients are recycled and reused locally
through the recycling of urine and creation
of biosolids from faecal sludge.
Sludge by-product
The sludge by-product is disposed of in
landfll or through incineration.
Sludge is digested to create biogas and
converted to biosolids for use as fertiliser
and soil conditioner.
Energy consumption
Large amounts of energy are used for
treatment and pumping.
Energy consumption is minimised through
the use of natural treatment processes.
Table 1: Key diferences between a conventional and an integrated approach to wastewater management
When operating as intended, the conventional approach to wastewater management
prevents disease and environmental pollution – the most important objectives for any
system. But as highlighted above this approach also fails to take advantage of the many
opportunities that exist when wastewater is recognised as more than just a waste product
to be disposed of as effciently as possible.
By adopting an approach to wastewater management that is based on decentralised
solutions for separation and reuse, the key health and pollution control objectives are
achieved as well as the following additional benefts:
• Increased access to sanitation: Decentralised systems can provide low-cost
sanitation at the household and community level in areas where lack of funds and
logistics prevent the provision of centralised infrastructure.
• Water savings: Recycling greywater, stormwater and treated blackwater (water
containing urine and faeces) for irrigation and other non-potable uses reduces
demands on the water supply network. In addition, recycled wastewater can be used
to recharge aquifers during dry periods.
• Flexibility to population growth: Urban population growth challenges the design
capacity of centralised sewers and treatment facilities. Decentralised systems prevent
infrastructure overload by separating greywater and stormwater and managing
human waste at the household and community level.
17
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
• Recycling of plant nutrients: Urine and biosolids from faeces provide a cheap and
environmentally friendly source of fertiliser and soil conditioner for agriculture and
urban greening. The extraction and reuse of nitrogen and phosphorus also prevents
nutrient overload in local water bodies.
• Financial savings: The construction and operation costs of many decentralised
wastewater management options are low compared to centralised systems. Savings
are made through reduced energy and chemical costs, and additional revenue can be
gained through the reuse of wastewater and the nutrients and energy it contains.
• Employment generation: Resource recovery and productive reuse creates additional
employment and may stimulate private (micro-) enterprises.
• Energy recovery: Blackwater can be digested to create biogas. This can be used as a
cheap, renewable source of energy for cooking, electricity generation and vehicle fuel.
• More efcient treatment: The separation of wastewater fows and confnement of
specifc pollutants allows the most effective and cost-effcient treatment techniques
to be employed. Pathogens, heavy metals and micropollutants such as
pharmaceuticals can therefore be isolated and removed more easily than is possible
in diluted fows.
• Urban biodiversity and amenity: The construction of wetlands and other natural
systems for wastewater treatment provides habitats that support biodiversity and
increases the area of green space in a city.
The benefts listed above clearly show that the management of wastewater is closely
linked with other areas of the urban water cycle as well as urban planning as a whole.
Rather than selecting options based on narrowly-defned problems and objectives,
a more sustainable approach can identify multi-purpose solutions that provide urban
benefts within and beyond the sanitation sector. Section 4 explores these linkages in
more detail.
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Wastewater in the city
4.1 Linkages within the urban water cycle
Wastewater management has traditionally been managed independently from other areas
of water management such as stormwater and water supply. This approach neglects the
many linkages between wastewater and the urban water cycle as a whole leading to:
• missed opportunities (for example failing to reuse wastewater for water supply
purposes in water scarce environments);
• unexpected impacts (for example the discharge of treated effuent with a high
nutrient load contaminating a water supply source downstream).
Looking at the urban water cycle holistically helps identify the linkages between wastewater
and other areas of water management. The recognition of these linkages avoids
interventions that provide perceived benefts to one area of urban water management
but which cause damage elsewhere. Greater integration of the urban water cycle therefore
leads to decisions being taken that are more likely to result in more sustainable urban
water management as a whole.
Some of the links that may need to be recognised between wastewater and other areas of
the urban water cycle are shown in Figure 6.
figure 6: examples of how wastewater management is linked to the urban water cycle
O
Wastewater and stormwater management
In many cities stormwater collection is linked to wastewater management through com-
bined sewer systems. Heavy rainfall increases the volume of water needing to be treated
and can result in overfows from the system. This causes untreated sewage to be released
to the environment.
Wastewater and domestic water consumption
Household water use is directly related to the volume of wastewater to be treated. Rising
consumption through the installation of high water use appliances increases the volume
of wastewater to be treated while reducing the concentrations of human waste within it.
Wastewater and water quality
Treated effuent discharged from centralised wastewater treatment works typically
contains high levels of nutrients causing an increase in algal blooms in receiving water
bodies. Poorly treated discharges and overfows of untreated effuent can also cause
severe pollution to ground and surface water resources. In many occasions this same
water is re-abstracted downstream for potable uses.
Wastewater and non-potable water supply
Wastewater (treated and untreated) is a cheap source of non-potable water that may be
used for supply purposes. Greywater and treated effuent can be reused for irrigation,
industrial uses, toilet fushing and to recharge aquifers. Wastewater reuse is particularly
valuable in cities that suffer from water scarcity and drought.
19
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
4.2 Linkages between wastewater management and other
urban management sectors
Wastewater is also closely related to other areas of urban planning. Energy, urban
agriculture, housing, education and health are just some of the sectors that are
infuenced by, or have an infuence on, wastewater management. As with the urban
water cycle, decision makers must also be aware of the linkages between wastewater
and other areas of urban management. This can prevent actions being implemented that
lead to unexpected negative impacts and allows planners to make the most of existing
opportunities and multi-purpose solutions.
Some of the most signifcant linkages between wastewater management and urban
planning and development, including the positive and negative impacts that these can
cause, are shown in Figure 7.
figure 7: examples of how wastewater management is related to other urban management sectors
Urban agriculture:
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus
contained in wastewater can be recycled as
fertiliser for farming purposes. If safely managed,
treated effuent can also be used as a source of
irrigation for crops. The application of sewage
sludge to agriculture also improves the quality and
soil moisture retention of soils (see also Section
4.3).
Environmental
management:
Discharges of poorly treated
wastewater pollutes the natural
environment causing the destruction
of ecosystems. Using natural systems
such as ponds and wetlands to treat
wastewater can however increase
biodiversity in a city.
Education:
Wastewater management is closely
related to human behaviour. Education
has a large role to play in promoting
more hygienic sanitation practices
and encouraging the use of safer
technologies.
Health and poverty alleviation:
Inadequate sanitation is one of the main causes
of disease in developing countries. The relationship
between urban poverty and sanitation-related
disease is strong and improved wastewater
management can go a long way to increase
standards of living.
Housing:
The construction of new housing
developments requires new wastewater
collection infrastructure and expanded
treatment facilities to manage the
increased volumes of wastewater.
Parks and recreation:
Recycled greywater and treated
effuent can be used as a cheap and
reliable source of irrigation for parks,
gardens, golf courses and sports felds.
Energy:
Wastewater treatment can be either
a high energy consuming activity, an
energy neutral activity, or an energy
producing activity. Conventional
wastewater treatment is dependent on
a reliable supply of energy. However,
the digestion of wastewater sludge can
also be used to produce biogas that can
be used as a renewable energy source.
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.3 Wastewater management and urban agriculture
Urban agriculture is the practice of ‘growing plants and raising animals within and around
cities and the related input provision, processing and marketing activities and services’
1
.
Farming in cities is varied and can consist of individual gardens, formal and informal
allotments, and the use of other available urban green space such as parks, river banks,
roof tops and public grounds. Products grown are wide-ranging and depend largely on
the local environment and market demands.
The role of urban agriculture in sustainable urban development is being increasingly
recognised through its contribution to poverty alleviation, food security and nutrition,
employment generation, urban environmental management and climate change
adaptation. Urban agriculture is an integral part of the urban socio-economic and
ecological system due to its relationship with:
• the provision of livelihoods;
• urban resources (land, water and nutrients);
• the urban food system (urban consumers and producers); and
• urban conditions (the infuence of policies, regulations, etc.).
Urban agriculture, including urban greening, creates a market for the reuse of wastewater
and the nutrients within it. This is particularly the case where decentralised wastewater
collection and treatment systems are established. The demand from urban agriculture
for cheap fertiliser, irrigation water and soil conditioner creates a market and incentive for
wastewater reuse. The value of nutrients encourages the separation of urine from faeces,
stormwater becomes a reliable source of crop irrigation and the composting of faeces
provides readily available organic soil improver. The economic value of these products
helps to redefne wastewater as a resource rather than a problem – a crucial requirement
to generate a cyclical process for managing it. In addition, productive use of wastewater
for urban agriculture will help to reduce the demand for freshwater supply as well as to
reduce the volume of discharged wastewater.
Urban agriculture is therefore closely integrated into the wastewater management cycle
and, consequently, urban water management as a whole. However, due to the lack of
formal recognition of the practice the use of wastewater for productive purposes is often
poorly regulated, particularly in cities in developing countries. Uncontrolled collection,
transport and reuse of wastewater products leads to health risks, especially through
human contact with pathogens. These risks can however be overcome through a number
of simple ‘from farm to fork’ precautions. These include:
• Basic treatment measures such as storage and settling in the case of urine;
• Composting at high temperature, long-term storage and avoidance of moisture from
urine in the case of faeces;
• Watering regimes that leave suffcient time between irrigation and consumption of
products;
• Use of equipment that protects against human exposure to pathogens;
1
http://www.ruaf.org/node/512
21
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
• Hygienic preparation of product prior to consumption;
• Education and awareness-raising activities; and
• Acceptance of urban agriculture as a formal land use and the creation of policies and
regulation that recognise it as such.
The RUAF Foundation
(Resources Centre on
Urban Agriculture and
Food Security) provide a
distance learning course on
urban agriculture which is
available free of charge at
http://moodle.ruaf.org
The potential of wastewater reuse for urban agriculture
in Accra, Ghana
It is estimated that up to 90
per cent of fresh vegetable
consumption in Accra comes
from intensive production within
and around the city. To maintain
soil fertility the farmers often use
poultry manure and chemical
fertilisers. However, the high cost
of these fertilisers is increasingly
becoming a constraint to farming
activities in the city, creating a
market for alternative sources of
nutrients.
Around 95% of Accra’s population
uses on-site sanitation facilities,
creating a potential source of nutrients and organic matter for urban agriculture in the city.
For example, many public urinals located in some of the most densely populated residential
areas suffer from inadequate maintenance and management. Consequently, urine is
discharged directly into stormwater drains, causing pollution in receiving water bodies. The
option to collect and reuse urine for urban agriculture therefore provides the dual beneft
of improving wastewater management and reducing the cost of crop production in the city.
For further information on wastewater management in Accra see the paper
‘Inventory of agricultural demand and value of the application of ecosan
fertilizers in SWITCH demonstration cities’ (Tettenborn et al 2009)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Urban agriculture in Accra, Ghana
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
e
n
é

v
a
n

V
e
e
n
h
u
i
z
e
n
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
4.4 Wastewater management and the natural environment
The use of the natural environment in wastewater management is typically to the
detriment of the health of ecosystems. There are many examples throughout the world
where rivers and lakes have been used as conveyors and diluters of wastewater resulting in
the complete destruction of aquatic life within them. Even highly sophisticated treatment
technologies rarely remove all nutrients from mixed wastewater fows causing an increase
of algal blooms and eutrophication in receiving water bodies. Other micropollutants such
as endocrine disruptors and medicine traces have only recently begun to be researched
and are yet to be fully considered in recommended wastewater treatment standards.
However, natural systems can also be used for wastewater management in a more
sustainable way. This requires a redefnition of the role of nature in the management
process. In conventional systems this role is the removal and dilution of effuent as
described above. But a more sustainable approach makes use of natural systems for
treatment purposes, taking advantage of their ability to remove certain pollutants both
cheaply and effectively.
Natural treatment is based on the ability of soils, vegetation and sunlight to treat water
through physical, chemical and biological processes. These techniques are particularly
effective for removing pollutants from greywater and stormwater as well as nutrients,
pathogens and certain micropollutants that standard blackwater treatment techniques
are unable to capture.
An investigation into the
use of natural systems for
wastewater management
in an urban setting can
be found in the paper
‘Application of natural
treatment systems in the
future expansion area of
Cali, Colombia’. (Gaviano et
al 2009).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

W
a
g
e
n
i
n
g
e
n

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y
23
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
The benefts of natural systems for managing wastewater are more than a cheap and low
energy treatment method. Systems such as wetlands, ponds and reed beds, which can
be incorporated into parks or garden landscapes, provide additional benefts to the urban
environment such as:
• Biodiversity: The construction of natural treatment systems provide urban
habitats for fora and fauna.
• Enhanced amenity value: An increase of green space and aquatic environments in the
city improves the quality of life for inhabitants.
• Urban cooling: An increase in water and vegetation in the city reduces the heat island
effect suffered by many cities during hot weather.
• Improved stormwater management: Natural systems such as wetlands and
ponds attenuatestormwater runoff during heavy rainfall, reducing the risk of local and
downstream fooding.
• Additional resource: Plants, such as reeds, that are used to absorb nutrients from
wastewater can be harvested and reused as a source of fertiliser.
More information about some of the different natural solutions available can be found in
Section 7 as well as in the equivalent sections in Modules 3 and 4.
Natural systems also
provide numerous
benefts for stormwater
management and drinking
water treatment. For further
information see Modules 3
and 4.
I
m
a
g
e
:

P
r
i
t

S
a
l
i
a
n
24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The overall direction:
Wastewater management
and sustainability
5.1 Sustainable wastewater management
Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) acknowledges and exploits the linkages
both within the urban water cycle and between water and urban development as a whole.
Decisions taken based on the evaluation of the bigger picture rather than an artifcially
isolated part of it, will therefore lead to greater integration and, consequently, increased
sustainability.
Section 4 has demonstrated the many linkages between wastewater, the urban water
cycle and urban development as a whole. By considering these linkages, the evaluation
of planned interventions and actions is more comprehensive enabling more sustainable
choices to be made. However, taking a decision that will be the optimal one for the city
as a whole requires an agreed understanding of what sustainable urban development
means and how it is specifcally related to wastewater management.
In brief, sustainable water management may be defned as meeting current social,
economic and environmental needs while creating conditions that allow these needs to
also be met in the future
2
. Figure 8 shows how these criteria can be applied to wastewater.
More information on
sustainability and the urban
water cycle can be found in
Module 1
2
The World Commission on the environment and development defnes sustainable development as
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs” (1983)
O
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
25
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
To increase sustainability to the maximum, wastewater management decisions need
to be taken with due consideration for each of the above aspects. Adopting a solution
that improves sanitation coverage and protects the environment will not be sustainable
if the operation and maintenance costs are unaffordable in the long term. Likewise a
solution which is cheap to implement and has environmental benefts will only work if
it is preferable to alternatives for the intended users. In short, if one of the sustainability
criteria is not met, the chances of a solution contributing to sustainable development in
the long term are greatly reduced.
Agreeing on and applying the sustainability dimensions to wastewater management can
help a city refect on the overall direction that wastewater planning should be aiming for.
Finally any sustainability assessment needs to be backed up by multi-stakeholder
engagement. This ensures that the actions, opinions and needs of all who have an infuence
on and are infuenced by wastewater management are taken into consideration. The
involvement of utilities, user groups, agriculture, the private sector, relevant authorities,
NGOs, etc. is therefore essential for designing solutions with which stakeholders can
identify and for the direct and indirect impacts of management decisions to be truly
understood.
More information on
stakeholder engagementcan
be found in Module 2
figure 8: Sustainable wastewater management
Sustainable
wastewater
management
Society
Universal sanitation
coverage that meets user
approval and protects
urban populations from
wastewater contamination
Space
Wastewater management
decisions and actions are
taken with consideration
for upstream and
downstream impacts
Time
Wastewater management
decisions and actions are
taken with consideration
for long-term impacts
Economy
Economically viable
operation and
maintenance of wastewater
infrastructure and services
Environment
Minimised risk of
environmental pollution
from wastewater
discharges and
enhancement of aquatic
ecosystems
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
5.2 Objectives, indicators and targets for urban
wastewater management
In line with an integrated approach to urban water management, the selection of
objectives and associated indicators for wastewater should ideally not be done separately
but rather as part of a larger IUWM strategic planning process in which an overall vision
for the city has been agreed upon and priority issues, such as improved sanitation, have
been identifed.
Bearing in mind the linkages between wastewater, the urban water cycle and other urban
management sectors, an integrated approach is more likely to select multi-purpose
objectives. Whereas a conventional approach to wastewater management tends to have
a narrow range of objectives based on human health and environmental protection, an
integrated approach is likely to look not only at securing hygienic living conditions and
preserving ecosystems but also at reusing wastewater, recycling nutrients, generating
biogas, enhancing biodiversity, reducing energy consumption, etc.
Table 2 gives some generic examples of wastewater objectives that have been formulated
with consideration for urban development beyond the wastewater service sector.
Examples of associated indicators, through which progress is measured, and targets,
which act as the mark to be reached in order to achieve the objective. The fnal column
in the table lists the different urban management sectors that the objective is designed
to infuence.
The selection and use of objectives, indicators and targets are discussed in much greater
detail in Module 1.
See Module 1 for more
information on the use of
objectives, indicators and
targets in the context of a
strategic planning process.
Additional details on the
diferent types of indicators
and their use is available
in the SWITCH manual
'Application of sustainability
indicators within the
framework of strategic
planning for Integrated
Urban Water Management'
(van der Steen 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
27
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Examples of
integrated wastewater
management objectives
Examples of
associated indicators
Examples of associated
targets
Relevant urban
management
sectors
Eliminate the threat of
human contamination
and disease
•Number of reported
cases of diseases caused by
contact with human waste
•Faecal coliform content of
effuent discharges
•Zero cases of disease caused
by inadequate wastewater
management by year X
•Zero releases of effuent with
a faecal coliform count of X
per X
•Wastewater
services
•Health
Minimise non-
renewable energy
consumption in the
management of
wastewater while
maintaining levels of
service
•Measured non-renewable
energy consumption for
pumping and treatment
•Energy expenditure by
wastewater utility
•X% reduction of carbon
emissions for pumping and
treatment by year X
•X% of fnancial savings in
non-renewable energy bills by
year X
•Wastewater
services
•Energy
•Climate change
mitigation
Recycle nutrients from
wastewater for use as
fertiliser for municipal
purposes
•Municipal expenditure on
chemical fertiliser
•Quantity of phosphorus
produced from wastewater
•X% reduction in municipal
expenditure on chemical
fertiliser by year X
•X kg of phosphorus produced
per year
•Wastewater
services
•Parks and
recreation
•Environmental
management
Disconnect stormwater
fows from the
wastewater sewage
system
•Area of roof space
disconnected from
combined sewer systems
•Actual volumes of
wastewater treated in
relation to measured
rainfall rates
•X% of roof area disconnected
from the sewer system by
year X
•X% reduction in volumes
of wastewater treated during
heavy rainfall compared
with past events of equal
magnitude by year X
•Wastewater
services
•Drainage services
•Housing
•Environmental
management
Increase removal
of environmentally
damaging pollutants
through the wastewater
treatment process prior
to discharge to the
environment
•Quantities of target
pollutants present in
discharged effuent
•Change in population
numbers of key species in
a specifed area affected by
target pollutants
•Reduction of target pollutants
to X amount per unit of
treated effuent by year X
•X number of specie X counted
by year X in specifed area
•Wastewater
services
•Environmental
management
Save water supplies
through the reuse of
wastewater for the
irrigation of municipal
gardens and playing
felds
•Quantity of potable water
used for municipal
irrigation purposes
•Quantity of treated
wastewater discharged with
no reuse purpose
•X% reduction of potable water
used for municipal irrigation
•X% decrease in the volume of
treated effuent discharged
with no reuse purpose
•Wastewater
services
•Water supply
•Parks and
recreation
Table 2: examples of objectives, indicators and targets for urban wastewater management
28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Putting more integrated
wastewater management
into practice
6.1 Implementation of more integrated wastewater
management
The practical management of wastewater can be divided into four simplifed components:
• User interface (water-based toilets, dry toilets, urinals, etc);
• Collection, storage, and, if necessary, transport (for example septic tanks, pit latrines,
pipe networks, etc.);
• Treatment (for example fltration, aeration, digestion, etc.); and
• Reuse / disposal (for example nutrient extraction, effuent recycling, discharge to
environment, etc.).
Each of these components links to the overall wastewater management cycle and
intervening in one is likely to have a direct impact on the others. The conventional approach
to wastewater management promotes standard measures to cope with issues that arise
in each individual component, for example the investment in treatment technology to
remove increased concentrations of pollutants in wastewater fows. This approach is
likely to be less sustainable than one that looks across the water cycle (and beyond) to
identify solutions that solve the problem whilst providing the most favourable overall
cost-beneft ratio for urban development as a whole, for example targeting pollutants at
the source.
In practical terms, to make a complete shift from a conventional wastewater management
approach to an entirely new one based on decentralised treatment and reuse is
complicated. Most cities have wastewater infrastructure in place and it is not easy (or
necessarily desirable) to convert a centralised mixed fow system to one in which the
wastewater components are managed separately. Nevertheless plenty of opportunities
exist in urban areas to start implementing more sustainable wastewater management
practices without starting from scratch. These include, but are not limited to:
• New developments: The construction of new housing projects, business complexes
and industrial estates provide the opportunity to cost-effectively install separated
sewer systems and decentralised treatment and reuse facilities.
• Sludge management: The installation of facilities to enable the reuse of the sludge
by-product from wastewater treatment plants – possibly in combination with other
organic wastes – as a replacement for chemical fertilisers and as a source of biogas.
• Incremental improvements: The encouragement of small improvements on a
city-wide scale such as the retroftting of greywater recycling systems into housing
estates and the construction of sustainable urban drainage systems to disconnect
roof surfaces and roads from the sewer system.
O
29
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
• Alternative solutions: The exploration of alternative, multi-benefcial and fexible
solutions to cope with increasing volumes of wastewater and stricter discharge
regulations rather than investing in the expansion of existing infrastructure.
• Market creation: The stimulation of opportunities for small businesses and micro-
enterprises to beneft from wastewater source separation, collection and re-use.
Taking advantage of a combination of practical entry points such as those listed above
helps create a wastewater management system that is better integrated with urban
management as a whole. It also furnishes it with greater fexibility to take advantage of
opportunities and cope with future uncertainties
The book ‘Sustainable
sanitation in cities: A
framework for action’
published by the
Sustainable Sanitation
Alliance (SuSanA) provides
a detailed outline of how
more sustainable urban
sanitation can be achieved
in practice. This book can be
downloaded free of charge
from:
http://www.eawag.ch/
forschung/sandec/
publikationen/
sesp/dl/sustainable_san.pdf
I
m
a
g
e
:

B
a
r
b
a
r
a

A
n
t
o
n
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
6.2 Barriers to sustainable sanitation
The practical solutions associated with a more sustainable approach to wastewater
management are often non-standard. Infrastructure, legislation, regulation and social
attitudes related to sanitation are established in most cities based on a long-held
conception of wastewater as a single waste product rather than a multi-faceted resource.
Due to these factors and restrictions they cause, it may be diffcult to implement non-
standard and innovative solutions.
Such restrictions are varied and highly dependent on local circumstances. However a
number of commonly encountered barriers, relevant in most cities that are looking to
implement innovative wastewater management solutions, can be identifed. Some of
these are listed in Table 3.
Table 3: examples of barriers to alternative urban wastewater management
Barrier Description Consequences
Public acceptance
In many cultures the reuse of human waste, even
when safely treated, is taboo.
No market for recycled products.
Legal restrictions
The assumption that the reuse of wastewater
causes a risk to human health prevents the
development of accommodating legislation and
the necessary regulation.
Limitations on the use of wastewater as a
resource preventing reuse.
Institutional aspects
Conficting objectives and poor coordination
between authorities whose responsibilities are
relevant for wastewater management including
its re-use.
Lack of integrated framework through which
more sustainable options can be identifed
and implemented.
Political motivation
The benefts (and health risk reduction) of good
wastewater management are not widely known
so there is little political mileage to be gained
from an improved service.
Lack of political support for more
sustainable wastewater management
options.
Technical norms
Local engineers and planners have preconceived
ideas concerning wastewater solutions based
solely on conventional infrastructure.
Alternative, more sustainable solutions are
not considered during the planning stage.
Land rights
Unclear land rights in certain urban areas such
as informal settlements restrict investments in
sanitation facilities.
Inability to construct sustainable wastewater
infrastructure in urban areas that may be in
need of it most.
Perceived risk
New approaches and technologies are perceived
as having a high risk of failure as they have yet to
be widely tested on a large scale.
Decision makers, politicians and funders
are unwilling to invest in non-conventional
solutions.
31
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Just as barriers to more sustainable wastewater management are location-specifc, so
too are the measures through which these can be overcome. However, there are some
standard measures that are mostly applicable on a global scale. These include the
following:
• Stakeholder engagement: A more sustainable, cyclical approach to wastewater
management requires the buy-in of many more stakeholders than a conventional,
linear approach. The needs and concerns of utility managers, health offcers, urban
planners, environmentalists, farmers and the local population as a whole must all be
considered to overcome misunderstandings and highlight the benefts at stake.
• Institutional coordination: Wastewater management cuts across a wide range of
local government mandates and responsibilities, especially when managed as a
cycle. Increased coordination and the establishment of common objectives between
wastewater management and other local government departments such as water
supply, health, education, parks and town planning is needed to ensure that conficts
of interest do not arise and synergies are exploited.
• Demonstration projects: Practitioners, decision-makers and politicians may doubt
the feasibility and effectiveness of non-conventional solutions for wastewater
management. The construction of pilot projects to demonstrate the benefts and
provide scientifc evidence of safety helps to reassure those who believe the level of
risk is too high.
• Awareness raising: One of the biggest barriers to more sustainable wastewater
management is the public perception of wastewater as a waste product rather than
a resource. Public education can change this mindset allowing solutions such as
wastewater reuse and nutrient recovery to become more widely practiced and
politically acceptable.
• Creating incentives: Recycling of wastewater and the nutrients and the energy it
contains is a key aspect of increased sustainability. However, to do so there must
be a market for the products generated. If the use of these resources is fnancially
competitive with alternatives then a market will be created that sustains the economic
sustainability of the wastewater management system.
• Political support: A large-scale shift from conventional wastewater management to a
more sustainable approach requires a concrete commitment from the city council
or political body with equivalent power. The top-down creation of policy and
legislation that promotes and enables alternative approaches to wastewater
management will encourage decision makers, developers, consultants and users to
focus on and invest in non-conventional solutions.
See Module 2 for more
information on stakeholder
engagement, institutional
coordination and political
support.
For an investigation
into the drivers and
barriers for scaling up
ecological sanitation, see
Part 2 of the SWITCH
report ‘Cross-country
assessment of the adoption,
operational functioning
and performance of urban
ecosan systems inside and
outside the EU’ (Mels et al
2009).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Overcoming institutional barriers to wastewater reuse in
Lima, Peru
The city of Lima in Peru is
increasingly suffering from water
scarcity due to its desert climate
and rapid population growth.
The reuse of treated wastewater,
particularly for urban agriculture,
is viewed as a viable option
to reduce the pressure on the
city’s scarce water resources.
However, existing national legal
and institutional frameworks
are concerned solely with the
treatment and disposal of
effuent resulting in an absence
of regulation and guidance for
safe reuse.
As part of the SWITCH project,
Lima has drafted political
guidelines to promote the
treatment and reuse of waste water for urban and peri-urban agriculture and green spaces.
Based on research and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, the guidelines seek
to infuence national policy to the extent that wastewater reuse is recognised and promoted
as a resource. In November 2010 the guidelines were formally approved by the Peruvian
Minister for Construction, Housing and Sanitation paving the way for more sustainable
treatment and reuse of wastewater at the local level.
For further information see the Lima case study. In addition, the following
website provides a comprehensive account of the SWITCH activities in Lima
http://www.ipes.org/au/switch/index.html (in Spanish)
Lima, Peru
I
m
a
g
e
:

L
e
t
t
i
n
g
a

A
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
s

F
o
u
n
d
a
t
i
o
n
33
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
options for sustainable
wastewater management
As described in Section 3, a conventional, centralised wastewater management system
is based on the overall aims of combining wastewater streams, transportation through a
piped network, treatment at a centralised treatment works and disposal downstream. The
options that are typically implemented are therefore selected to achieve these particular
aims. Figure 9 gives some examples.
A more sustainable approach on the other hand looks to create a closed loop wastewater
cycle to keep the valuable resources within the local area and avoid the dilution of
pollutants. Alternative treatment options enable this to happen.
figure 9: examples of options for conventional urban wastewater management
figure 10: examples of options that complement a closed loop wastewater cycle
O
34
7. Options for sustainable wastewater management
As described in Section 3, a conventional, centralised wastewater management system
is based on the overall aims of combining wastewater streams, transportation through a
piped network, treatment at a centralised treatment works and disposal downstream.
The options that are typically implemented are therefore selected to achieve these
particular aims. Figure 8 gives some examples.
Figure 8: Examples of options for conventional urban wastewater management
A more sustainable approach on the other hand looks to create a closed loop
wastewater cycle to keep the valuable resources within the local area and avoid the
dilution of pollutants. Alternative treatment options enable this to happen.
Figure 9: Examples of options that complement a closed loop wastewater cycle
Stormwater
Urine
Faeces
Greywater
Separate
collection
Treatment
Reuse
Options include:
 Gravity sewerage
network
Options include:
 Sedimentation
 Flotation
 Activated sludge
 Trickling filters
 Lagoons
 Membranes
 Disinfection
Options include:
 Discharge to rivers, lakes,
estuaries and coastal waters
 Incineration (of sludge by-
product)
 Landfill (of sludge by-
product)
 Reuse of treated sludge
Options include:
 Urine diversion toilets
 Dry toilets
 Low flush toilets
 Separated plumbing system
 Sustainable Urban Drainage
Systems (SUDS)
 Rainwater harvesting
Options include:
 Septic tanks
 Anaerobic biogas reactor
 Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
 Constructed wetlands
 Waste stabilisation ponds
Options include:
 Urine as fertiliser
 Stabilised sludge reuse
(biosolids)
 Greywater treatment
and reuse within the
household
 Greywater treatment
and reuse in nature
(e.g. aquifer recharge)
 Rainwater reuse
 Treated effluent reuse
Combined collection Treatment Disposal
Stormwater
Urine
Faeces
Greywater
34
7. Options for sustainable wastewater management
As described in Section 3, a conventional, centralised wastewater management system
is based on the overall aims of combining wastewater streams, transportation through a
piped network, treatment at a centralised treatment works and disposal downstream.
The options that are typically implemented are therefore selected to achieve these
particular aims. Figure 8 gives some examples.
Figure 8: Examples of options for conventional urban wastewater management
A more sustainable approach on the other hand looks to create a closed loop
wastewater cycle to keep the valuable resources within the local area and avoid the
dilution of pollutants. Alternative treatment options enable this to happen.
Figure 9: Examples of options that complement a closed loop wastewater cycle
Stormwater
Urine
Faeces
Greywater
Separate
collection
Treatment
Reuse
Options include:
 Gravity sewerage
network
Options include:
 Sedimentation
 Flotation
 Activated sludge
 Trickling filters
 Lagoons
 Membranes
 Disinfection
Options include:
 Discharge to rivers, lakes,
estuaries and coastal waters
 Incineration (of sludge by-
product)
 Landfill (of sludge by-
product)
 Reuse of treated sludge
Options include:
 Urine diversion toilets
 Dry toilets
 Low flush toilets
 Separated plumbing system
 Sustainable Urban Drainage
Systems (SUDS)
 Rainwater harvesting
Options include:
 Septic tanks
 Anaerobic biogas reactor
 Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
 Constructed wetlands
 Waste stabilisation ponds
Options include:
 Urine as fertiliser
 Stabilised sludge reuse
(biosolids)
 Greywater treatment
and reuse within the
household
 Greywater treatment
and reuse in nature
(e.g. aquifer recharge)
 Rainwater reuse
 Treated effluent reuse
Combined collection Treatment Disposal
Stormwater
Urine
Faeces
Greywater
Examples of alternative
wastewater management
options in practice can
be found in Part 1 of the
SWITCH report ‘Cross-
country assessment of
the adoption, operational
functioning and
performance of urban
ecosan systems inside and
outside the EU’ (Mels et al
2009).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
In some urban settings the design of a wastewater management system and the options
selected will be most effcient when serving large numbers of people. This allows for
economies of scale, integration with existing infrastructure and the production of large
quantities of resources such as fertiliser and biogas. In others, decentralised options are
preferable particularly where piped collection networks are not feasible or cost effective
and where a local demand exists for resources such as urine, biosolids and greywater.
Regardless of the scale, options should be selected that achieve the overall goal of
retaining the resource locally.
Pharmaceuticals and wastewater management
As healthcare products continue to develop and life expectancy increases, the
consumption of pharmaceuticals is on the rise, resulting in large quantities of
micropollutants entering wastewater systems. The technologies used in most municipal
wastewater treatment plants do not have the capacity to remove many of these
compounds which vary in their physical and chemical characteristics. Consequently they
remain present in treated effuent released to the environment and within the sludge by-
product that may be applied to agricultural land. Such increases in the concentrations
of pharmaceutical compounds can have a range of negative ecological impacts and
pose a potential threat to human health, particularly through contaminated drinking
water supplies.
Upgrading centralised wastewater treatment plants with advanced post-treatment
processes such as oxidation techniques, tight membrane fltration and activated
carbon sorption, can be effective in lowering the concentrations of pharmaceuticals in
treated effuents (Kujawa-Roeleveld 2011). However this is expensive technology that is
ineffcient to operate due to the large wastewater volumes that need to be treated.
The separation of wastewater fows and use of decentralised treatment techniques can
be a preferable option for managing micropollutants. Most pharmaceuticals enter the
wastewater system through the urine and faeces of patients. By separating urine and
blackwater from other wastewater fows, the dilution of micropollutants is prevented
enabling them to be removed more effciently through biological treatment processes
combined with advanced physical-chemical techniques such as oxidation, sorption on
activated carbon and tight fltrations (Kujawa-Roeleveld 2011).
For more information on the removal of pharmaceuticals from separated
wastewater fows, see the conclusions from the SWITCH research on
the subject in the paper ‘Pharmaceutical compounds in environment: Removal of
pharmaceuticals from concentrated wastewater streams in source oriented sanitation’
(Kujawa-Roeleveld 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
35
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
7.1 Examples of more sustainable wastewater management
options
An enormous variety of options are available to assist with the implementation of more
sustainable wastewater management. The few options that are briefy described in this
section have been included with the aim of providing summary information on some of
the more universally-applicable solutions and how these contribute to more sustainable
water management and urban development.
Examples are given of options from the collection, treatment and disposal/reuse
sectors of wastewater management. These are alternatives to conventional wastewater
management solutions, although each of them has the potential to be integrated into
existing infrastructure. The options discussed are as follows:
Collection: Urine Diversion Toilets
Treatment: Soil Aquifer Treatment
Treatment: Constructed wetlands
Treatment: Waste Stabilisation Ponds
Treatment: Biogas production
Reuse: Sludge reuse
Reuse: Greywater reuse
In each case a short description of the option is provided followed by its positive
contributions to urban water management and urban development as a whole. Graphs
showing a simple ranking of these contributions can also be found. The aim of this
ranking is to give a general indication of the extent of benefts that an option can deliver
to a city. This is of course highly subjective and in reality the benefts (and costs) that an
option delivers are entirely dependent on the local circumstance. An option that ticks all
sustainability boxes in one city may do the complete opposite in another.
Local considerations are also listed for each option highlighting some of the common
issues associated with implementation. Once again the type and extent of limitations are
entirely dependent on local circumstances and the list is for general guidance only.
On the whole, the information in this section is intended as a basis for discussion rather
than a detailed analysis of the local suitability of an option. In most cases a thorough
investigation including stakeholder involvement and a comprehensive study of local
conditions would be necessary to determine whether an option is both feasible and
desirable. Specialist knowledge is also likely to be required for the design and construction
of the relevant technology.
The Eawag ‘Compendium
of sanitation systems and
technologies’ provides
detailed information and
analysis of a wide range
of diferent wastewater
management options
for developing countries.
The compendium can be
downloaded free of charge
at:
http://www.eawag.ch/
forschung/sandec/
publikationen/
compendium_e/index_EN
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Urine diversion toilets
Urine is a pathogen-free substance rich in nutrients. In its pure form or mixed with water,
urine can be applied safely as a fertiliser with no prior treatment
3
and is therefore a cheap
and highly effective replacement for its chemical equivalents. However, in most systems
urine is mixed with faeces, fushwater and other wastewater streams during collection
causing dilution and contamination with pathogens and other pollutants. The nitrogen
and phosphorus contained in the urine can still be extracted and safely recycled but only
after what can be a costly treatment process.
Urine diversion toilets make it possible to separate urine from faecal matter and fushwater
at the user interface allowing for easy collection and reuse. The technology can be applied
in both dry and fush toilets through the installation of a separate collection drain at the
front of the toilet bowl. The urine is collected without water in the front while the faecal
matter is removed, either with or without water, through the standard procedure at the
back. Waterless urinals for men achieve the same purpose without the need to separate
faeces.
3
Storage of 2-6 months is recommended depending on temperature and risk of faecal contamination
figure 11: Positive infuences of urine diversion toilets on the urban water cycle and urban development.
The number of segments flled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is infuenced by the option
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
37
Urine diversion toilets
Urine is a pathogen free substance rich in nutrients. In its pure form or mixed with water,
urine can be applied safely as a fertiliser with no prior treatment
3
and is therefore a
cheap and highly effective replacement for the chemical equivalents. However, in most
systems urine is mixed with faeces, flushwater and other wastewater streams during
collection causing dilution and contamination with pathogens and other pollutants. The
nitrogen and phosphorus contained in the urine can still be extracted and safely recycled
but only after what can be a costly treatment process.
Urine diversion toilets enable urine to be separated from faecal matter and flushwater at
the user interface allowing for easy collection and reuse. The technology can be applied
in both dry and flush toilets through the installation of a separate collection drain at the
front of the toilet bowl. The urine is collected without water in the front while the faecal
matter is removed, either with or without water, through the standard procedure at the
back. Waterless urinals for men achieve the same purpose without the need to separate
faeces.
Figure 10: Positive influences of urine diversion toilets on the urban water cycle and urban
development. The number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is
influenced by the option (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)

3
Storage of 2-6 months is recommended depending on temperature and risk of faecal contamination
Promotion of urban agriculture
through the provision of a
cheap and effective source of
fertiliser thereby increasing
urban food security
Source of cheap,
organic fertiliser for
plants in parks and
gardens
Reduced treatment costs
as nutrients no longer
need to be removed during
wastewater treatment
process
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Extraction of
nitrogen and
phosphorus for
use as fertiliser
The separation of urine
reduces the nutrient load
being discharged to surface
water bodies through
wastewater effluent
Reduced energy
use in treatment
process to remove
nutrients from
wastewater
37
Urine diversion toilets
Urine is a pathogen free substance rich in nutrients. In its pure form or mixed with water,
urine can be applied safely as a fertiliser with no prior treatment
3
and is therefore a
cheap and highly effective replacement for the chemical equivalents. However, in most
systems urine is mixed with faeces, flushwater and other wastewater streams during
collection causing dilution and contamination with pathogens and other pollutants. The
nitrogen and phosphorus contained in the urine can still be extracted and safely recycled
but only after what can be a costly treatment process.
Urine diversion toilets enable urine to be separated from faecal matter and flushwater at
the user interface allowing for easy collection and reuse. The technology can be applied
in both dry and flush toilets through the installation of a separate collection drain at the
front of the toilet bowl. The urine is collected without water in the front while the faecal
matter is removed, either with or without water, through the standard procedure at the
back. Waterless urinals for men achieve the same purpose without the need to separate
faeces.
Figure 10: Positive influences of urine diversion toilets on the urban water cycle and urban
development. The number of segments filled indicates roughly the extent to which the sector is
influenced by the option (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)

3
Storage of 2-6 months is recommended depending on temperature and risk of faecal contamination
Promotion of urban agriculture
through the provision of a
cheap and effective source of
fertiliser thereby increasing
urban food security
Source of cheap,
organic fertiliser for
plants in parks and
gardens
Reduced treatment costs
as nutrients no longer
need to be removed during
wastewater treatment
process
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Extraction of
nitrogen and
phosphorus for
use as fertiliser
The separation of urine
reduces the nutrient load
being discharged to surface
water bodies through
wastewater effluent
Reduced energy
use in treatment
process to remove
nutrients from
wastewater
37
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Issues to consider
• The collection and recycling of urine may meet with public opposition resulting in
reluctance to install and use the systems correctly. To achieve user acceptance and
proper use of the facilities, participatory project design along with education and
awareness raising campaigns are necessary.
• Along with the installation of a new toilet, a collection and storage system for the
urine is necessary. Depending on scale, a dual plumbing system might be needed
to collect and store the separated urine. To retroft the systems on a large scale is a
costly process and the technology is therefore best suited to new developments and
the installation of toilets in areas where they did not previously exist.
• A market for the separated urine must be in place to ensure there is a product
driver for the separation of fows. Urban gardens and allotments are ideal for local
use. However, if it is the intention to collect large quantities of urine other options for
reducing its volume and allowing transport might be required.
Roediger No Mix Urine Diversion Toilet
I
m
a
g
e
:

L
.

U
l
r
i
c
h
Urine separation and reuse
I
m
a
g
e
:

F
u
j
i
t
a

R
e
s
e
a
r
c
h
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Decentralised Sanitation and Reuse (DeSAR)
As opposed to centralised treatment
of combined wastewater streams from
toilets, showers, sinks, washing machines
and rooftops, a Decentralised Sanitation
and Reuse (DeSAR) system is based on
the separate collection of blackwater,
greywater, stormwater and kitchen waste
at the household level. The decentralised
system allows the waste to be treated on-
site and maximises the possibilities of
reusing the resources contained within
it locally.
The DeSAR system makes use of low
fush vacuum toilets to maintain a
concentrated fow of faecal matter and
urine. Together with separated organic
kitchen waste the excreta is digested to
produce biogas which is recycled as an
energy source within the household. The
digested material that remains from the
biogas generation process is pathogen-
free, rich in nutrients and can be used
as agricultural fertiliser. Greywater
and stormwater are also collected
separately in order to apply appropriate
decentralised treatment on-site. A
number of different systems are available
to treat greywater (see, for example, constructed wetlands below) whereas stormwater is
typically retained and infltrated into the soil using stormwater Best Management Practices
(see Module 4 for details). Both treated greywater and stormwater can be reused for non-
potable purposes such as garden watering and cleaning.
A range of DESAR options are available for most urban environments and although the
initial cost of implementing the full system can be substantial the investment is likely to be
recovered in the long run through reduced energy costs and water bills.
For further information see: http://www.ete.wur.nl/UK/Projects/DESAR/
I
m
a
g
e
:

L
e
t
t
i
n
g
a

A
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
s

F
o
u
n
d
a
t
i
o
n
DeSAR system in Sneek, the Netherlands, which
treats concentrated wastewater from 32 houses
The DeSAR concept
I
m
a
g
e
:

L
e
t
t
i
n
g
a

A
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
s

F
o
u
n
d
a
t
i
o
n
39
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
Treated wastewater effuent is potentially a valuable resource for the augmentation of
urban water supply. This is particularly the case in water scarce cities where increasing
water demand is causing overexploitation of available supplies. However, in many cases
treated effuent is discharged downstream of a city as well as directly to estuaries or
coastal waters where its value is lost.
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) is a low cost technology for the advanced treatment,
storage and reuse of mixed wastewater fows. Secondary treated effuent is infltrated
through a soil percolation zone into an aquifer where it mixes with existing groundwater.
Contaminants (chemicals and microbes) are removed through physical, chemical and
biological processes that occur in the soil matrix and aquifer itself. The water is then
extracted for reuse through boreholes outside of the aquifer treatment zone.
SAT technology serves the purpose of providing natural treatment of wastewater as well
as replenishing groundwater sources for future water supply abstractions creating a semi-
closed urban water cycle. Depending on wastewater quality, land availability and intended
water supply usage, SAT can be complemented by various pre- and post-treatment
technologies such as biological reactors and nanofltration.
figure 12: Positive infuences of SaT on the urban water cycle and urban development
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
40
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
Treated wastewater effluent is potentially a valuable resource for the augmentation of
urban water supply. This is particularly the case in water scarce cities where increasing
water demand is causing overexploitation of available supplies. However, in many cases
treated effluent is discharged downstream of a city as well as directly to estuaries or
coastal waters where its value is lost.
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) is a low cost technology for the advanced treatment,
storage and reuse of mixed wastewater flows. Secondary treated effluent is infiltrated
through a soil percolation zone into an aquifer where it mixes with existing groundwater.
Contaminants (chemicals and microbes) are removed through physical, chemical and
biological processes that occur in the soil matrix and aquifer itself. The water is then
extracted for reuse through boreholes outside of the aquifer treatment zone.
SAT technology serves the purpose of providing natural treatment of wastewater as well
as replenishing groundwater sources for future water supply abstractions creating a
semi-closed urban water cycle. Depending on wastewater quality, land availability and
intended water supply usage, SAT can be complemented by various pre- and post-
treatment technologies such as biological reactors and nanofiltration.
Figure 11: Positive influences of SAT on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Recycled wastewater
effluent can be used
to irrigate parks,
gardens and sports
fields
Good quality
wastewater effluent for
reuse as a cheap and
reliable source of water
for irrigation
SAT is a low cost
technology
compared with
conventional
treatment techniques
The treated effluent derived
from SAT is stored in
groundwater for re-
abstraction for non-potable
water supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Chemical and microbial
contaminants are
removed from
wastewater through
natural processes
SAT is less energy intensive than
conventional wastewater
treatment techniques (dependent
on treatment technologies used in
conjunction)
Safe reuse of
effluent that
could
otherwise
cause disease
If used to treat
stormwater flows,
SAT can reduce
peak urban runoff
rates
40
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)
Treated wastewater effluent is potentially a valuable resource for the augmentation of
urban water supply. This is particularly the case in water scarce cities where increasing
water demand is causing overexploitation of available supplies. However, in many cases
treated effluent is discharged downstream of a city as well as directly to estuaries or
coastal waters where its value is lost.
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) is a low cost technology for the advanced treatment,
storage and reuse of mixed wastewater flows. Secondary treated effluent is infiltrated
through a soil percolation zone into an aquifer where it mixes with existing groundwater.
Contaminants (chemicals and microbes) are removed through physical, chemical and
biological processes that occur in the soil matrix and aquifer itself. The water is then
extracted for reuse through boreholes outside of the aquifer treatment zone.
SAT technology serves the purpose of providing natural treatment of wastewater as well
as replenishing groundwater sources for future water supply abstractions creating a
semi-closed urban water cycle. Depending on wastewater quality, land availability and
intended water supply usage, SAT can be complemented by various pre- and post-
treatment technologies such as biological reactors and nanofiltration.
Figure 11: Positive influences of SAT on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Recycled wastewater
effluent can be used
to irrigate parks,
gardens and sports
fields
Good quality
wastewater effluent for
reuse as a cheap and
reliable source of water
for irrigation
SAT is a low cost
technology
compared with
conventional
treatment techniques
The treated effluent derived
from SAT is stored in
groundwater for re-
abstraction for non-potable
water supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Chemical and microbial
contaminants are
removed from
wastewater through
natural processes
SAT is less energy intensive than
conventional wastewater
treatment techniques (dependent
on treatment technologies used in
conjunction)
Safe reuse of
effluent that
could
otherwise
cause disease
If used to treat
stormwater flows,
SAT can reduce
peak urban runoff
rates
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• The performance of SAT is closely related to local conditions. The quality of the
infuent wastewater, soil types and purpose of reuse will all determine the feasibility
of the technology and the level of pre- and post-treatment required. Detailed site
investigations and pilot studies are therefore required.
• Typical SAT systems require a large surface area to infltrate the wastewater into the
aquifer. In many cities the required land is costly and often unavailable due to high
population densities. Alternative SAT technologies that require much less space are
however being investigated such as the Short SAT – Nanofltration system in which
less retention time and consequently space is required.
• The suitability of SAT is dependent on the characteristics of the local groundwater.
The use of aquifers of good quality can cause the deterioration of the groundwater
and environmental damage elsewhere in connected aquatic systems. SAT may also
increase the risk of fooding in areas where groundwater levels are high. For information about the
use of SAT in Tel Aviv, Israel,
see the Tel Aviv case study
www.switchtraining.eu
Soil Aquifer Treatment
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
e
k
o
r
o
t

N
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

W
a
t
e
r

C
o
m
p
a
n
y
Infltration felds for SAT at the Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tel Aviv, Israel
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
e
k
o
r
o
t

N
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

W
a
t
e
r

C
o
m
p
a
n
y
41
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Constructed wetlands
Natural wetlands contain a wide range of treatment mechanisms that can remove
contaminants such as organic matter, suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, trace
metals and pathogens. Wetlands based on different water fow characteristics and plant
species can be constructed in cities to treat wastewater from a variety of sources. They
are cheap to build and maintain, and the treated effuent can be reused for non-potable
purposes such as irrigation and toilet fushing.
Constructed wetlands consist of a range of designs that vary according to the way the
fow is directed (i.e. horizontal or vertical) and the water level within the system (i.e.
inundation vs. percolation systems). The appropriateness of the system depends on the
type of pollutants to be removed, the volume of water to be treated, the possibility of
inconvenience to nearby residents (for example through odour and mosquitoes) and the
amount of space available. Wetlands are effective at capturing most pollutants contained
in greywater and stormwater runoff as well as at removing pathogens, nutrients and
micro-pollutants from septic tank outfows and conventional wastewater treatment
discharges. The systems can therefore be used as a decentralised solution to treat
separated wastewater fows as well as an addition to existing centralised wastewater
infrastructure to improve the quality of effuent discharges.
Although wetlands require regular maintenance, this can be done using locally available
skills and through basic training. The simple technology involved and the effectiveness at
removing pollutants from wastewater of widely varying quality mean that wetlands are a
feasible solution in both the developed and developing world.
figure 13: Positive infuences of constructed wetlands on the urban water cycle and urban development
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
42
Constructed wetlands
Natural wetlands contain a wide range of treatment mechanisms that can remove
contaminants such as organic matter, suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, trace
metals and pathogens. Wetlands based on different water flow characteristics and plant
species can be constructed in cities to treat wastewater from a variety of sources. They
are cheap to build and maintain, and the treated effluent can be reused for non-potable
purposes such as irrigation and toilet flushing.
Constructed wetlands consist of a range of designs that vary according to the way the
flow is directed (i.e. horizontal or vertical) and the water level within the system (i.e.
inundation vs. percolation systems). The appropriateness of the system depends on the
type of pollutants to be removed, the volume of water to be treated, the possibility of
inconvenience to nearby residents (for example through odour and mosquitoes) and the
amount of space available. Wetlands are effective at capturing most pollutants contained
in greywater and stormwater runoff as well as at removing pathogens, nutrients and
micro-pollutants from septic tank outflows and conventional wastewater treatment
discharges. The systems can therefore be used as a decentralised solution to treat
separated wastewater flows as well as an addition to existing centralised wastewater
infrastructure to improve the quality of effluent discharges.
Although wetlands require regular maintenance, this can be done using locally available
skills and through basic training. The simple technology involved and the effectiveness
at removing pollutants from wastewater of widely varying quality mean that wetlands are
a feasible solution in both the developed and developing world.
Figure 12: Positive influences of constructed wetlands on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Safe treatment of
effluent, particularly
greywater and
outflows from septic
tanks
Wetlands increase the
amount of urban
green space and
biodiversity improving
quality of city living
Wetlands provide
recreational
facilities for bird
watchers and other
nature enthusiasts
Low operation costs
when compared
with conventional
treatment
techniques
Natural ecosystems
supported by
wetlands increase
the aquatic
biodiversity in cities
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Depending on the type
of plants used,
nutrients can be
recycled from the
wetland vegetation
A wide range of pollutants
including chemicals,
pathogens, and heavy metals
are removed from wastewater
streams entering a wetland
With the exception of
vertical flow designs,
constructed wetlands
require no energy
input
The addition of wetlands
to housing developments
allows greywater and
stormwater to be
managed onsite
Rainfall runoff from
urban landscapes is
reduced through the
attenuation of
stormwater.
Following the
treatment process,
effluent from wetlands
can be reused for non-
potable purposes
Plants in the wetland
can be harvested for
the nutrients they
contain or as animal
feed.
42
Constructed wetlands
Natural wetlands contain a wide range of treatment mechanisms that can remove
contaminants such as organic matter, suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, trace
metals and pathogens. Wetlands based on different water flow characteristics and plant
species can be constructed in cities to treat wastewater from a variety of sources. They
are cheap to build and maintain, and the treated effluent can be reused for non-potable
purposes such as irrigation and toilet flushing.
Constructed wetlands consist of a range of designs that vary according to the way the
flow is directed (i.e. horizontal or vertical) and the water level within the system (i.e.
inundation vs. percolation systems). The appropriateness of the system depends on the
type of pollutants to be removed, the volume of water to be treated, the possibility of
inconvenience to nearby residents (for example through odour and mosquitoes) and the
amount of space available. Wetlands are effective at capturing most pollutants contained
in greywater and stormwater runoff as well as at removing pathogens, nutrients and
micro-pollutants from septic tank outflows and conventional wastewater treatment
discharges. The systems can therefore be used as a decentralised solution to treat
separated wastewater flows as well as an addition to existing centralised wastewater
infrastructure to improve the quality of effluent discharges.
Although wetlands require regular maintenance, this can be done using locally available
skills and through basic training. The simple technology involved and the effectiveness
at removing pollutants from wastewater of widely varying quality mean that wetlands are
a feasible solution in both the developed and developing world.
Figure 12: Positive influences of constructed wetlands on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Safe treatment of
effluent, particularly
greywater and
outflows from septic
tanks
Wetlands increase the
amount of urban
green space and
biodiversity improving
quality of city living
Wetlands provide
recreational
facilities for bird
watchers and other
nature enthusiasts
Low operation costs
when compared
with conventional
treatment
techniques
Natural ecosystems
supported by
wetlands increase
the aquatic
biodiversity in cities
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Depending on the type
of plants used,
nutrients can be
recycled from the
wetland vegetation
A wide range of pollutants
including chemicals,
pathogens, and heavy metals
are removed from wastewater
streams entering a wetland
With the exception of
vertical flow designs,
constructed wetlands
require no energy
input
The addition of wetlands
to housing developments
allows greywater and
stormwater to be
managed onsite
Rainfall runoff from
urban landscapes is
reduced through the
attenuation of
stormwater.
Following the
treatment process,
effluent from wetlands
can be reused for non-
potable purposes
Plants in the wetland
can be harvested for
the nutrients they
contain or as animal
feed.
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• In climates prone to mosquito transmitted diseases, the construction of wetlands
may pose a risk to health. In such settings, wetlands should be designed with sub-
surface fows resulting in no standing surface water to provide breeding grounds for
insects.
• The initial cost of designing and constructing a wetland can be high. However, this is
often a sound investment as operation costs are low.
• Wetlands require a large land area which is not always available in densely populated
urban areas. Different designs, such as vertical fow wetlands and combinations with
other treatment techniques, do exist however and greatly reduce the amount of
space required.
• The maintenance requirements of constructed wetlands are quite high, particularly to
prevent clogging of the flter media. Although the skills needed to maintain wetlands
are likely to be available locally, an effcient regime should be established and adhered
to.
I
m
a
g
e
s
:

e
a
w
a
g

A
q
u
a
t
i
c

R
e
s
e
a
r
c
h
Free-water surface constructed wetland
Horizontal sub-surface fow constructed wetland
Vertical fow constructed wetland
The use of constructed
wetlands in urban
water management
was researched in the
MSc Thesis ‘Possibilities
for recycling domestic
wastewater with vertical
fow constructed wetlands’
(Shrestha 2007).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
43
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP)
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP) are shallow, man-made basins that make use of algae
and bacteria to treat domestic and industrial wastewater. The ponds are often built as
a series of anaerobic, facultative and aerobic maturation ponds which provide different
stages of treatment to remove organic matter and pathogens. WSPs are reliable and
easy to operate, and the treated effuent can be reused in the water cycle for non-potable
purposes and resource recharge.
Although expert design is necessary, WSPs can be constructed and operated cheaply
using local materials and skills. If a number of aerobic ponds have been constructed at
the end of the series, the last of these can also be used for fsh farming. Not only does
this generate local income but the fsh also provide additional treatment by feeding on
the remaining nutrients within the effuent. Similar benefts can be achieved through
the use of the ponds for the cultivation of foating plants. The sludge that is collected at
the bottom of the ponds has to be removed and safely disposed of although this is not
required on a regular basis (typically every 10 to 20 years).
figure 14: Positive infuences of WSPs on the urban water cycle and urban development
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
44
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP)
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP) are shallow, man-made basins that make use of algae
and bacteria to treat domestic and industrial wastewater. The ponds are often built as a
series of anaerobic, facultative and aerobic maturation ponds which provide different
stages of treatment to remove organic matter and pathogens. WSPs are reliable and
easy to operate, and the treated effluent can be reused in the water cycle for non-
potable purposes and resource recharge.
Although expert design is necessary, WSPs can be constructed and operated cheaply
using local materials and skills. If a number of aerobic ponds have been constructed at
the end of the series, the last of these can also be used for fish farming. Not only does
this generate local income but the fish also provide additional treatment by feeding on
the remaining nutrients within the effluent. Similar benefits can be achieved through the
use of the ponds for the cultivation of floating plants. The sludge that is collected at the
bottom of the ponds has to be removed and safely disposed of although this is not
required on a regular basis (typically every 10 to 20 years).
Figure 13: Positive influences of WSPs on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
The treated
effluent can also
be reused for the
irrigation of crops
WSPs can be a source of local
income through fish harvesting
and the cultivation of
economically valuable plants
such as duckweed
WSPs have low
operation costs when
compared with
conventional
treatment techniques
Water in the ponds can be
directly reused for aquaculture.
The treated effluent can be
used for non-potable water
supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
WSPs provide natural
treatment of
wastewater,
particularly the
removal of pathogens
WSPs use natural energy
inputs thereby reducing the
overall energy consumption of
the wastewater treatment
process
Safe removal of
pathogens from
wastewater
44
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP)
Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP) are shallow, man-made basins that make use of algae
and bacteria to treat domestic and industrial wastewater. The ponds are often built as a
series of anaerobic, facultative and aerobic maturation ponds which provide different
stages of treatment to remove organic matter and pathogens. WSPs are reliable and
easy to operate, and the treated effluent can be reused in the water cycle for non-
potable purposes and resource recharge.
Although expert design is necessary, WSPs can be constructed and operated cheaply
using local materials and skills. If a number of aerobic ponds have been constructed at
the end of the series, the last of these can also be used for fish farming. Not only does
this generate local income but the fish also provide additional treatment by feeding on
the remaining nutrients within the effluent. Similar benefits can be achieved through the
use of the ponds for the cultivation of floating plants. The sludge that is collected at the
bottom of the ponds has to be removed and safely disposed of although this is not
required on a regular basis (typically every 10 to 20 years).
Figure 13: Positive influences of WSPs on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note: for
the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
The treated
effluent can also
be reused for the
irrigation of crops
WSPs can be a source of local
income through fish harvesting
and the cultivation of
economically valuable plants
such as duckweed
WSPs have low
operation costs when
compared with
conventional
treatment techniques
Water in the ponds can be
directly reused for aquaculture.
The treated effluent can be
used for non-potable water
supply purposes
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
WSPs provide natural
treatment of
wastewater,
particularly the
removal of pathogens
WSPs use natural energy
inputs thereby reducing the
overall energy consumption of
the wastewater treatment
process
Safe removal of
pathogens from
wastewater
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• As with many natural treatment systems, WSPs require a large land area which is
often a restriction in dense, urban areas. The value of this land can therefore add
considerably to the capital cost of constructing the ponds.
• Maintenance requirements are basic but must be done on a regular basis to ensure
that the ponds remain free of debris and are secured from people and animals.
Vegetation must also be removed from the ponds to ensure that they do not become
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
• WSPs are suitable for most locations but the performance of the systems will vary
depending on the climate (pathogen removal is most effective in warm climates).
Specialist design is therefore required to ensure maximum performance.
For more information on
the design and use of waste
stabilisation ponds see the
paper ‘SWITCH Literature
review on the use of natural
systems for wastewater
treatment’ (UNESCO-IHE
2008).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
N
E
S
C
O
-
I
H
E
Waste stabilisation ponds in Cochabamba, Bolivia
I
m
a
g
e
:

e
a
w
a
g

A
q
u
a
t
i
c

R
e
s
e
a
r
c
h
The different types of waste stabilisation ponds
45
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Biogas production
Wastewater sludge is a potential source of energy which can be digested to create biogas
for cooking, electricity, heat and transport fuel. The generation of biogas can be done on
a large scale using the sludge by-product derived from primary and secondary wastewater
treatment processes or on a neighbourhood or household scale through the digestion of
untreated human and kitchen waste derived directly from the buildings (see also DeSAR
box example above).
The process involves the biological degradation of wastewater sludge within an anaerobic
reactor. As well as generating energy, the reactor also removes some pathogens from the
sludge, enabling it to be used as a soil conditioner
4
. The biogas reactor itself can be a
simple digestion chamber constructed from bricks, concrete or pre-fabricated material,
or a more sophisticated construction using mixing devices and pre-treatment to create a
more effcient process.
figure 15: Positive infuences of biogas production on the urban water cycle and urban development (Note:
for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
4
Pathogens are removed to a limited extent only. depending on the purpose of reuse post-treatment may still
be needed to remove hygiene-related risk
46
Biogas production
Wastewater sludge is a potential source of energy which can be digested to create
biogas for cooking, electricity, heat and transport fuel. The generation of biogas can be
done on a large scale using the sludge by-product derived from primary and secondary
wastewater treatment processes or on a neighbourhood or household scale through the
digestion of untreated human and kitchen waste derived directly from the buildings (see
also DESAR box example above).
The process involves the biological degradation of wastewater sludge within an
anaerobic reactor. As well as generating energy, the reactor also removes some
pathogens from the sludge enabling it to be used as a soil conditioner
4
. The biogas
reactor itself can be a simple digestion chamber constructed from bricks, concrete or
pre-fabricated material, or a more sophisticated construction using mixing devices and
pre-treatment to create a more efficient process.
Figure 14: Positive influences of biogas production on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)

4
Pathogens are removed to a limited extent only. Depending on the purpose of reuse post-treatment may
still be needed to remove hygiene related risk
Safe removal of
pathogens from
wastewater
Compressed biogas can
be used as a renewable
fuel source for private
vehicles and public
transport
Anaerobic treatment of wastewater using
a biogas reactor has low capital and
operating costs and is therefore a cheap
treatment technology in addition to the
economic value of the energy produced
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
The digestion
process is effective
at removing most
pathogens from
wastewater sludge
The nutrients
contained in the
digested sludge
can be reused
as fertiliser
Biogas reactors can be operated
with no energy requirements
thereby reducing the overall
energy consumption of
wastewater treatment
Biogas can be a cheap
and renewable source of
energy for cooking, light
and heating at the
household level
The digested sludge
is of value for
agricultural use as
fertiliser and soil
conditioner
Biogas reactors create
cheap, renewable
energy that can be
used for multiple urban
requirements
46
Biogas production
Wastewater sludge is a potential source of energy which can be digested to create
biogas for cooking, electricity, heat and transport fuel. The generation of biogas can be
done on a large scale using the sludge by-product derived from primary and secondary
wastewater treatment processes or on a neighbourhood or household scale through the
digestion of untreated human and kitchen waste derived directly from the buildings (see
also DESAR box example above).
The process involves the biological degradation of wastewater sludge within an
anaerobic reactor. As well as generating energy, the reactor also removes some
pathogens from the sludge enabling it to be used as a soil conditioner
4
. The biogas
reactor itself can be a simple digestion chamber constructed from bricks, concrete or
pre-fabricated material, or a more sophisticated construction using mixing devices and
pre-treatment to create a more efficient process.
Figure 14: Positive influences of biogas production on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)

4
Pathogens are removed to a limited extent only. Depending on the purpose of reuse post-treatment may
still be needed to remove hygiene related risk
Safe removal of
pathogens from
wastewater
Compressed biogas can
be used as a renewable
fuel source for private
vehicles and public
transport
Anaerobic treatment of wastewater using
a biogas reactor has low capital and
operating costs and is therefore a cheap
treatment technology in addition to the
economic value of the energy produced
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
The digestion
process is effective
at removing most
pathogens from
wastewater sludge
The nutrients
contained in the
digested sludge
can be reused
as fertiliser
Biogas reactors can be operated
with no energy requirements
thereby reducing the overall
energy consumption of
wastewater treatment
Biogas can be a cheap
and renewable source of
energy for cooking, light
and heating at the
household level
The digested sludge
is of value for
agricultural use as
fertiliser and soil
conditioner
Biogas reactors create
cheap, renewable
energy that can be
used for multiple urban
requirements
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• Depending on the size of the biogas reactor and the use of the gas generated, the
capital costs to construct the reactor itself and accompanying infrastructure can
be high. However, the long life span of the infrastructure and the value of the energy
generated means that the payback period tends to be short.
• The natural digestion process is most effective in hot climates as higher temperatures
speed up the process. In colder climates the systems may need to be heated.
• Unless the reactors are heated to over 50°C pathogens may still be present in the
digested sludge. Additional treatment may therefore be required prior to reuse or
disposal.
• Maintenance (i.e. removal of settled solids, scum layer) and correct operation
(i.e. avoiding overloads and abrupt changes in pH which will damage the bacterial
consortia) need to be guaranteed to achieve the optimum effciency.
I
m
a
g
e
:

S
t
o
c
k
h
o
l
m

V
a
t
t
e
n
Biogas powered public transportation in Stockholm, Sweden
Construction of a biogas reactor
I
m
a
g
e
:

M
.

L
e
p
o
f
a
47
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Sludge reuse
Most wastewater treatment processes generate a sludge by-product that needs to be
either disposed of or reused. The quantity and quality of the sludge varies depending
on the treatment process used and the variety of pollutants in the wastewater that was
treated. Typically, much of this sludge ends up in landfll or is incinerated despite the fact
that if treated to suffcient standards it can be used as biosolids for a range of productive
purposes.
Biosolids are made up of the organic matter separated during the wastewater treatment
process. The potential to reuse biosolids is largely dependent on the quality of the product
and public acceptability. Biosolids are widely used in agriculture due to the nutrients they
contain and as a soil conditioner because the organic matter they are made up of helps
soils to retain moisture and nutrients. They are also valued for the same reasons for
forestry use and the landscaping of parks, gardens, golf courses, etc.
The main concern surrounding the use of biosolids centres on those derived from the
treatment of wastewater mixed with industrial and stormwater fows. In such cases
there is a risk that traces of heavy metals and chemicals that the wastewater treatment
process is unable to remove will be transferred to the food products grown. These health
concerns together with potential public opposition to the use of a human waste product
for agricultural purposes has resulted in some countries banning the practice altogether.
The extent of this threat is dependent on the quality of the wastewater prior to treatment.
The risk is therefore considerably reduced if stormwater and industrial waste have not
been mixed with human waste during the treatment process. Where this is the case, or
their impact is minimal, the use of biosolids for agriculture is on the whole considered a
sustainable use of sludge.
In areas where there is less demand for the use of biosolids for land application,
alternatives include the incineration of sludge for energy recovery and the conversion to
alcohol and other fuels. These options provide a useful source of renewable energy for a
city although fail to recycle the nutrients contained within the sludge.
I
m
a
g
e
:

C
i
r
k
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

2
/
1
1
Reuse of sludge for agriculture
48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• Biosolids need to be free of harmful substances prior to reuse. Inadequately treated
sludge and sludge derived from wastewater containing high levels of heavy metals
poses a potential health risk to users and consumers of the related products.
• Health concerns associated with the use of biosolids have resulted in legislation that
bans their use on agricultural land in some countries. In such cases treated biosolids
can instead be reused for purposes not involving the production of food for human
consumption, such as municipal landscaping projects.
• The use of biosolids for agricultural purposes should take into account the quantity of
nutrients that these contain. This allows them to be applied at an effcient rate
without causing nutrient pollution.
figure 16: Positive infuences of the use of biosolids on the urban water cycle and urban development
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
49
Figure 15: Positive influences of the use of biosolids on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Issues to consider
 Biosolids need to be free of harmful substances prior to reuse. Inadequately
treated sludge and sludge derived from wastewater containing high levels of
heavy metals poses a potential health risk to users and consumers of the
products they are being used to produce.
 Health concerns associated with the use of biosolids have resulted in legislation
that bans their use on agricultural land in some countries. In such cases treated
biosolids can instead be reused for purposes not involving the production of food
for human consumption, such as municipal landscaping projects.
 The use of biosolids for agricultural purposes should take into account the
quantity of nutrients that these contain. This enables them to be applied at an
efficient rate without causing nutrient pollution.
Safe removal
of pathogens
from sludge
by-product
Biosolids are of
value for
agricultural use
as fertiliser and
soil conditioner
Due to their nutrient content
and soil improvement potential,
biosolids can be used for turf
growing and landscaping for
parks and gardens
Cost savings can be made
through the value of biosolids
as well as the savings made
through no longer having to
dispose of unwanted sludge
Biosolids can be
applied to forests that
are lacking in
nutrients to enhance
tree growth
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
The treatment of sludge to
enable safe reuse removes
remaining pollutants that might
otherwise be dispersed to the
environment
Biosolids enable
the nutrients
contained in the
treated sludge to be
recycled as fertiliser
Biosolids produced
for public use are a
valuable product
for home
gardening
Biosolids improve the
moisture retention of
soils making them less
vulnerable to erosion
and attenuates rainfall
When not recycled as
biosolids, sludge can be
incinerated for energy
recovery or converted
into biofuels
49
Figure 15: Positive influences of the use of biosolids on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Issues to consider
 Biosolids need to be free of harmful substances prior to reuse. Inadequately
treated sludge and sludge derived from wastewater containing high levels of
heavy metals poses a potential health risk to users and consumers of the
products they are being used to produce.
 Health concerns associated with the use of biosolids have resulted in legislation
that bans their use on agricultural land in some countries. In such cases treated
biosolids can instead be reused for purposes not involving the production of food
for human consumption, such as municipal landscaping projects.
 The use of biosolids for agricultural purposes should take into account the
quantity of nutrients that these contain. This enables them to be applied at an
efficient rate without causing nutrient pollution.
Safe removal
of pathogens
from sludge
by-product
Biosolids are of
value for
agricultural use
as fertiliser and
soil conditioner
Due to their nutrient content
and soil improvement potential,
biosolids can be used for turf
growing and landscaping for
parks and gardens
Cost savings can be made
through the value of biosolids
as well as the savings made
through no longer having to
dispose of unwanted sludge
Biosolids can be
applied to forests that
are lacking in
nutrients to enhance
tree growth
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
The treatment of sludge to
enable safe reuse removes
remaining pollutants that might
otherwise be dispersed to the
environment
Biosolids enable
the nutrients
contained in the
treated sludge to be
recycled as fertiliser
Biosolids produced
for public use are a
valuable product
for home
gardening
Biosolids improve the
moisture retention of
soils making them less
vulnerable to erosion
and attenuates rainfall
When not recycled as
biosolids, sludge can be
incinerated for energy
recovery or converted
into biofuels
49
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Greywater reuse
Greywater consists of wastewater from bathing, kitchens, clothes washing, cleaning and
other domestic water uses other than that of toilets. In households with fush toilets,
greywater can account for over two thirds of the wastewater generated. Common
pollutants in greywater include detergents, chemicals, food particles and cooking oils. It
usually contains few pathogens and also has a low nutrient content.
Despite the relatively low level of harmful pollutants contained in greywater, in many cities
it is nevertheless mixed and treated together with diluted excreta. This greatly increases
the volume of wastewater to be treated and also fails to take advantage of opportunities
to reuse greywater for non-potable uses such as irrigation, toilet fushing and industrial
purposes.
A number of technologies exist for the separate collection, treatment and reuse of
greywater. These can be complex, such as the installation of a system that collects, treats
and pumps greywater for reuse within the household, to more simple diversion devices
in which greywater is treated through natural systems such as constructed wetlands.
Systems range from large scale infrastructures that manage greywater from entire
housing estates or businesses, to individual household installations that collect and reuse
greywater at the source.
figure 17: Positive infuences of the reuse of greywater on the urban water cycle and urban development
(Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct infuences)
50
Greywater reuse
Greywater consists of wastewater from bathing, kitchens, clothes washing, cleaning and
other domestic water uses other than that of toilets. In households with flush toilets,
greywater can account for over two thirds of the wastewater generated. Common
pollutants in greywater include detergents, chemicals, food particles and cooking oils. It
usually contains few pathogens and also has a low nutrient content.
Despite the relatively low level of harmful pollutants contained in greywater, in many
cities it is nevertheless mixed and treated together with diluted excreta. This greatly
increases the volume of wastewater to be treated and also fails to take advantage of
opportunities to reuse greywater for non-potable uses such as irrigation, toilet flushing
and industrial purposes.
A number of technologies exist for the separate collection, treatment and reuse of
greywater. These can be complex, such as the installation of a system that collects,
treats and pumps greywater for reuse within the household, to more simple diversion
devices in which greywater is treated through natural systems such as constructed
wetlands. Systems range from large scale infrastructures that manage greywater from
entire housing estates or businesses, to individual household installations that collect
and reuse greywater at the source.
Figure 16: Positive influences of the reuse of greywater on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Greywater treatment and reuse
prevents the formation of
stagnant pools of water in cities
where greywater is discharged
directly to the streets
Constructed wetlands
for greywater treatment
add green space and
biodiversity to urban
landscapes
Greywater can
be reused for
park, playing
field and golf
course irrigation
Cost savings
through reduced
volumes of
wastewater treated
centrally
Establishment of
aquatic ecosystems
where natural systems
such as wetlands are
used to treat greywater
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Residential potable water
demand is reduced in
systems where greywater is
used to flush toilets and
water gardens
Environmental pollution
can be reduced particularly
in cities where greywater is
discharged untreated to the
streets
Greywater recycling offers an
alternative source of non-potable
household water supply in areas
where water scarcity constrains
new housing developments
Reuse of
greywater for
non-potable
purposes
Greywater is a
source of irrigation
water, particularly
for urban
agriculture
50
Greywater reuse
Greywater consists of wastewater from bathing, kitchens, clothes washing, cleaning and
other domestic water uses other than that of toilets. In households with flush toilets,
greywater can account for over two thirds of the wastewater generated. Common
pollutants in greywater include detergents, chemicals, food particles and cooking oils. It
usually contains few pathogens and also has a low nutrient content.
Despite the relatively low level of harmful pollutants contained in greywater, in many
cities it is nevertheless mixed and treated together with diluted excreta. This greatly
increases the volume of wastewater to be treated and also fails to take advantage of
opportunities to reuse greywater for non-potable uses such as irrigation, toilet flushing
and industrial purposes.
A number of technologies exist for the separate collection, treatment and reuse of
greywater. These can be complex, such as the installation of a system that collects,
treats and pumps greywater for reuse within the household, to more simple diversion
devices in which greywater is treated through natural systems such as constructed
wetlands. Systems range from large scale infrastructures that manage greywater from
entire housing estates or businesses, to individual household installations that collect
and reuse greywater at the source.
Figure 16: Positive influences of the reuse of greywater on the urban water cycle and urban
development (Note: for the sake of simplicity the graphs consider only direct influences)
Greywater treatment and reuse
prevents the formation of
stagnant pools of water in cities
where greywater is discharged
directly to the streets
Constructed wetlands
for greywater treatment
add green space and
biodiversity to urban
landscapes
Greywater can
be reused for
park, playing
field and golf
course irrigation
Cost savings
through reduced
volumes of
wastewater treated
centrally
Establishment of
aquatic ecosystems
where natural systems
such as wetlands are
used to treat greywater
Within the water cycle
Within urban development in general
Residential potable water
demand is reduced in
systems where greywater is
used to flush toilets and
water gardens
Environmental pollution
can be reduced particularly
in cities where greywater is
discharged untreated to the
streets
Greywater recycling offers an
alternative source of non-potable
household water supply in areas
where water scarcity constrains
new housing developments
Reuse of
greywater for
non-potable
purposes
Greywater is a
source of irrigation
water, particularly
for urban
agriculture
An investigation into
the reuse of greywater
for irrigation purposes is
described in the SWITCH
paper ‘Application of
sustainable water system
- the demonstration in
Chengdu, China’ (Qiang et
al 2008).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
50
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Issues to consider
• Although containing few high risk pollutants, greywater is still unsafe for human
consumption. Extra care must be taken to ensure that cross-connections between
potable water and greywater plumbing are avoided. Taps that dispense greywater
must also be clearly marked as non-potable water.
• Depending on the source and user behaviour, greywater may contain traces of
pathogens. Although the impact on human health is likely to be minimal, appropriate
treatment of greywater may be necessary prior to reuse in locations where the risk of
contamination with faecal coliforms exists.
• Untreated greywater should not be stored for more than 24 hours due to the
existence of nutrients and, potentially, pathogens within it.
• The cost of greywater collection and reuse systems are dependent on the system
chosen and the purpose of reuse. However, even sophisticated systems with
high capital costs can have a short payback period when the reduced potable water
consumption and wastewater treatment charges are considered.
The ‘New South Wales
guidelines for greywater
reuse in sewered single
household residential
premises’ provide
detailed information and
direction on the practical
implementation of domestic
greywater reuse systems in
Australia. The guidelines
can be accessed at:
http://www.waterforlife.nsw.
gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_
fle/0018/11808/Greywater_
guidelinesMay2008.pdf
I
m
a
g
e
:

Y
o
u
r

H
o
m
e

T
e
c
h
n
i
c
a
l

M
a
n
u
a
l
,

C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h

o
f

A
u
s
t
r
a
l
i
a
Schematic of a domestic greywater reuse system
I
m
a
g
e
:

R
a
l
p
h

P
h
i
l
i
p
Greywater treatment using constructed wetlands prior to reuse in a housing development in Tel Aviv, Israel
51
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
7.2 Selection of options
In wastewater management and the urban water cycle as a whole, the selection of options
should be based on the agreed objectives, indicators and targets, along with the need
to consider all aspects of sustainability as described in Section 5. Potential options must
therefore be identifed that achieve specifc goals without compromising the sustainable
development of the city as a whole.
Although an identifed technological solution may theoretically help to achieve the targets
associated with an objective, this does not necessarily mean that the solution itself is a
sustainable one in the context under consideration – cost, social implications, unwanted
side effects and a range of other aspects also need to be assessed.
The construction of latrines to serve the inhabitants of an informal settlement is based
primarily on social needs. But if the chosen design lacks consideration for economic and
environmental criteria, unexpected consequences such as high maintenance costs and
contamination of the local water supply may well offset, and ultimately negate, the social
benefts initially gained.
In reality, an option will never be entirely sustainable and trade-offs between benefts and
costs are always necessary. For example, the social and environmental benefts gained by
installing an activated sludge plant where previously wastewater was discharged untreated
are likely to outweigh the negative impact of increased carbon emissions caused by the
operation of the plant. Such concessions are inevitable but what is important is that all
sustainability criteria are considered during the selection process to ensure that trade-offs
can be made with the confdence that the chosen option will, on balance, nevertheless
move the city towards increased sustainability.
Assessing the social, economic and environmental implications over space and time of a
potential option is not easy; particularly when its relationship with planned and existing
infrastructure elsewhere also needs to be understood. Integrated modelling software and
decision support tools can be used to assist in the management and understanding of
this vast amount of information. Using generic and locally specifc sustainability criteria,
these tools can manage data in a way that enables a range of different implications,
scenarios and combinations of options to be assessed.
Sanitation targets
In the developing world, the improvement of urban wastewater management is often
associated with sanitation coverage. Objectives and targets tend to refect this by focusing
on the installation of sanitation facilities in communities where previously these did not
exist. However, increased coverage does not necessarily equal more sustainable wastewater
management and there are many cases where coverage targets have been met with
unhygienic and badly maintained facilities that increase the threat of disease within the
community and pollute the local environment.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the proportion of the population
without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015 is to some extent an example of this.
The target is heavily focused on coverage and does not mention the closely related issues
of hygiene education, social acceptability and safe management of the resulting waste –
essential aspects of sustainable sanitation. The target could therefore arguably be met
through actions that fail to address unhygienic behavior, safely remove excreta and protect
the local environment.
For more information see:
http://tilz.tearfund.org/Publications/Footsteps+71-80/Footsteps+73/Sanitation+and+the+
Millennium+Development+Goals.htm
For further information on
the evaluation and selection
of urban wastewater
management options see
the SWITCH paper ‘Best
practice and a decision-
support system for ecosan
systems’ (Agudelo et al
2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
See Module 6 for details of
the decision-support tools
that are available to assist
with the selection of urban
wastewater management
options
52
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Wrapping up
O
Wastewater is made up of different streams including urine, faeces, fushwater, greywater
and stormwater. These streams are potential sources of nutrients, energy and water
supply and can be recycled for productive use.
Conventional wastewater management, although capable of protecting human health
and the environment, fails to exploit many of these resources due to its centralised
technology and disposal-oriented approach.
In addition the conventional approach is non-fexible and struggles to cope when
confronted with unexpected change such as rapid urbanisation and climate variability.
An integrated approach to wastewater management on the other hand recognises the
links between wastewater, the urban water cycle and city development as a whole.
Such a perspective reveals the benefts of recycling the different wastewater streams
thereby encouraging a cyclical wastewater management process rather than a linear one
based on disposal.
To achieve this, alternative options are required. These are typically fexible, decentralised
solutions many of which make use of natural systems such as ponds, wetlands and soils.
By selecting wastewater management objectives based on the needs of the urban water
cycle and city development as a whole, options are identifed that provide multi-purpose
benefts and are less likely to result in unexpected impacts.
Distribution of main contents among the different elements of wastewater (excluding stormwater)
(Approximate proportions only)
Volume of water Pathogen content Nutrient content
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
Flushwater Greywater
Urine Faeces
11
3.1The conventional approach to wastewater management
The conventional approach to urban wastewater management is based on a centralised
system that collects and treats a combined flow of most or all of the wastewater
elements described in Figure 1.
This approach dates back to Roman times but was developed in its current format during
the industrial revolution as cities were growing in size, population and density. The
increasing volumes of untreated human waste severely affected the health of inhabitants
resulting in outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. To overcome the problem, water
based toilets, piped sewer networks and centralised treatment facilities were constructed
which proved to be an effective solution to prevent the spread of disease through human
contact with wastewater in the city.
Over 150 years later this concept remains the most common and most sought after
approach to urban wastewater management throughout the world. As shown in Figure 2,
the system uses a network of sewerage pipes to collect wastewater from individual
households, businesses, industries and, in some cases, rainfall runoff. The pipes convey
the mixed flows to central treatment facilities where the combined effluent is treated and
discharged to surface water bodies.
Figure 2: Conventional wastewater management
15
3.3A more sustainable approach
An alternative approach to wastewater management views wastewater not as a problem
that needs to be disposed of but rather as a variety of resources that, when managed
correctly, can be reused.
As shown in Figure 4, conventional wastewater management can be considered a linear
process with inputs (combined wastewater flows) at one end and outputs (downstream
discharges of treated effluent and disposal of sludge) at the other. An integrated
approach that is based on the cyclical processes observed in nature in contrast
encourages the separate collection, treatment and reuse of urine, faeces, greywater and
stormwater. This approach is considered more sustainable as solutions can be applied
that improve treatment performance at less cost and enable resources to be recycled
more efficiently.
Figure 4: Linear versus cyclical wastewater management















The key differences between the conventional approach and an integrated one are:
 Combination vs. separation.
 Centralised vs. decentralised collection and treatment.
 Disposal vs. reuse.

These differences are described in more detail in Table 1.


Nutrients, water and energy removed
from the local area
Nutrients, water and energy returned to
the local area for reuse
Greywater
Food
User
Water

Energy
Urine

Energy
User

Water Food
Treatment
Diluted
waste water
Treated
effluent
Sludge by-
products
Stormwater
Faeces
Bio-solids
Treatment
Treated
effluent
Biogas
53
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
references
agudelo, C., Mels, a., braadbaart, o. (2010) Best practice and a decision support
system for ecosan systems, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
bracken, P., Kvarnström, e., Lehn, H., Lüthi, C., norström, a., Panesar, a., ruben,
C., rud, S., Saywell, d., Schertenleib, r., Verhagen, J., Wachtler, a. (2008) SuSanA
– Thematic paper, Sustainable sanitation for cities, version 1.2, Sustainable Sanitation
Alliance. http://www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download/2-103-en-susana-thematic-
paper-wg06-cities-version-12.pdf
Cofe, o., awuah, e. (2008) Technology and Institutional Innovation on Irrigated Urban
Agriculture in Accra, Ghana, Urban Agriculture Magazine: Water for Urban Agriculture
No. 20, Leusden, The Netherlands. http://www.ruaf.org/node/1861
Cofe, o., van Veenhuizen, r. (2008) Sustainable Use of Water in Urban Agriculture,
Urban Agriculture Magazine: Water for Urban Agriculture No. 20, Leusden, The
Netherlands. http://www.ruaf.org
gaviano, a., Zambrano, d. a., galvis, a., rousseau, d. (2009) Application of natural
treatment systems for wastewater pollution control in the expansion areas of Cali,
Colombia, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
He Qiang, Huang Li, Zhai Jun (2008) Application of sustainable water system – the
demonstration in Chengdu (China), Chongqing University, Chongqing, China.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
International Water association (2006) Sanitation 21: Simple Approaches to Complex
Sanitation, A Draft Framework for Analysis, International Water Association, London,
UK. http://www.iwahq.org/Mainwebsite/Resources/Document/Sanitation21.pdf
Ji, W., Cai, J., van Veenhuizen, M. (2010) Effciency and Economy of New Agricultural
Rainwater Harvesting System, Chinese Journal of Population, resources and
Environment Vol. 8 No. 2 March 2010.
Ji, W., Cai, J., van Veenhuizen, r. (2008) Alternative water sources for agricultural
production in Beijing, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, and ETC
Foundation, Leusden, The Netherlands.
Kujawa-roeleveld, K. (2011) Training Material - Pharmaceutical compounds in the
environment: Removal of pharmaceuticals from concentrated wastewater streams in
source oriented sanitation, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Lüthi, C., Panesar, a., Schütze, T., norström, a., McConville, J., Parkinson, J.,
Saywell, d., Ingle, r. (2011). Sustainable Sanitation in Cities – A Framework for Action.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) & International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU),
Papiroz Publishing House, The Netherlands.
http://www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1019
O
54
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Mels, a. et al (2009) Cross-country assessment of the adoption, operational
functioning and performance of urban ecosan systems inside and outside the EU,
Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Merzthal, g., bustamante, e. (2008) Using Treated Domestic Wastewater for Urban
Agriculture and Green Areas; The case of Lima, Urban Agriculture Magazine: Water for
Urban Agriculture No. 20, Leusden, The Netherlands.
http://www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download/2-345-ua-magazine-no20-2008-
water-urban-agriculture-resource-center-food-security-nl-en.pdf
national Technical University of athens (2007) SWITCH Briefng Note: On-site
wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse, NTUA, Athens, Greece.
www.switchurbanwater.eu
national Technical University of athens (2007) SWITCH Briefng Note: Wastewater
treatment and reuse, NTUA, Athens, Greece.
www.switchurbanwater.eu
Sharma, S. K., Harun, C. M., amy, g. (2007) Framework for Assessment of
Performance of Soil Aquifer Treatment Systems, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water
Education, Delft, The Netherlands. http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/WP3-
2_PAP_Framework_for_assessment_of_SAT_systems.pdf
Shrestha, r. (2007) Possibilities for recycling domestic wastewater with vertical
fow constructed wetlands, MSc Thesis ES 07-44, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water
Education, Delft, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Snel, M. (2008) Drivers and barriers for scaling up ecological sanitation, IRC
International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/%23archive_deliverables/WP4-1_DEL_
Scaling_Up_Ecological_Sanitation.pdf
Tettenborn, f., Stoll, n., Wang, S., Winker, M., otterpohl, r. (2009) Inventory of
agricultural demand and value of the application of ecosan fertilizers in SWITCH
demonstration cities - Inventory of agricultural demand in Accra and Beijing, Hamburg
University of Technology, Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Tilley, e. et al (2008) Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies, Swiss
Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Dübendorf, Switzerland.
http://www.eawag.ch/forschung/sandec/publikationen/compendium_e/index_EN
UneSCo-IHe (2008) SWITCH Literature review on the use of natural systems
for wastewater treatment, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The
Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
van der Steen, P. (2011) Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of
Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for
Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
55
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
notes
www.switchtraining.eu
Partners:
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
ISBN 978-3-943107-07-4 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
Phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Imprint
ICleI european Secretariat gmbH | gino Van begin (responsible)
Ralph Philip (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Prit Salian (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Marc Soutter, Colin Schenk (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne); Ray Mackay, Ewan Last (University of Birmingham); Heiko
Sieker, Christian Peters (Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH); Chris Jefferies, Alison Duffy (University of Abertay)
Ralph Philip, Barbara Anton, (ICLEI European Secretariat)
Rebekka Dold | Grafk Design & Visuelle Kommunikation | Freiburg, Germany | www.rebekkadold.de
Front cover image and graphical icons by Loet van Moll - Illustraties | Aalten, Netherlands | www.loetvanmoll.nl
Stephan Koehler (ICLEI European Secretariat)
©
2011 ICleI european Secretariat gmbH, leopoldring 3, 79098 freiburg, germany
The content in Module 6 of the SWITCH Training Kit entitled ‘Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the
Future’ is under a license of Creative Commons specifed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license
allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the training materials for non-commercial purposes, as long as they
credit the copyright holder and license their new creations under the identical terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
The full legal text concerning the terms of use of this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode.
The SWITCH Training Kit was prepared within the framework of the European research project SWITCH (2006 to 2011)
www.switchurbanwater.eu
SWITCH was supported by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme and contributed to the thematic priority area
of “Global Change and Ecosystems” [1.1.6.3] - Contract no. 018530-2.
This publication refects only the authors’ views.
The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information this publication contains.
Publisher:
Principal author:
Contributing author:
Based mainly on the
work of the following
SWITCH partners:
Editors:
Design:
Layout:
Copyright:
Acknowledgements:
Disclaimer:
ISbn ISbn 978-3-943107-08-1 (pdf) | ISbn 978-3-943107-02-9 (Cd-roM)
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
4
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
The SWITCH Training Kit
Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future
The SWITCH Training Kit is a series of modules on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) developed in the frame of
the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’. The Kit is primarily designed for training activities with the
following target groups specifcally in mind:
• Political decision makers from local governments;
• Senior staff of local government departments that:
• are directly in charge of water management,
• are major water users themselves, such as parks and recreation,
• have major impacts on water resources, such as land-use planning,
• have an interest in water use in general, such as environmental departments;
• Water managers and practitioners from water, wastewater and drainage utilities.
All modules are closely linked to one another and these links are clearly indicated throughout. In addition, information contained
in the modules is backed up by a library of online resources, case studies and weblinks to external material all of which are
highlighted where applicable in the text. The following symbols are used to indicate when further information is available:
refers to another SWITCH Training Kit module where more information can be found
refers to additional SWITCH resources available on the SWITCH Training desk website
(www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources)
refers to a case study available on the SWITCH Training desk
refers to information outside the SWITCH Training desk
5
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
SWITCH Training Kit: all modules
The overall SWITCH approach to IUWM
Sustainable solutions
Decision making
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Module 1
STraTegIC plannIng
preparing for the future
Contains an introduction to key challenges
of managing water in urban areas now and
in the future and a step-by-step explanation
on how to develop and implement a strategic
planning process.
Introduces the concept of integrated decision making for urban water management, including details
of a number of decision-support tools such as the SWITCH developed ‘City Water’.
Module 2
STaKeHolderS
Involving all the players
Contains an overview of diferent approaches
to multi-stakeholder involvement – including
learning alliances – and ways and means by
which such an engagement can be efectively
realised for the purposes of IUWM.
Module 3
WaTer SUpply
exploring the options
Module 5
WaSTeWaTer
exploring the options
Module 4
STorMWaTer
exploring the options
describes how urban water supply / stormwater management / wastewater management
can beneft from increased integration including examples of innovative solutions as researched in
SWITCH and the contribution these can make towards a more sustainable city.
6
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Module 6: Contents
 Introduction ....................................................................................................
 learning targets ..............................................................................................
 decision making in urban water management ..........................................
3.1 The issues .................................................................................................
3.2 An integrated approach to decision making ..........................................
3.2.1 A holistic perspective .......................................................................
3.2.2 Flexibility ...........................................................................................
3.2.3 Stakeholder engagement .................................................................
 Sustainability and decision making .............................................................
 decision-Support Systems ............................................................................
5.1 Knowledge base ........................................................................................
5.2 Modelling ..................................................................................................
5.3 DSS output and the use of indicators .....................................................
 putting integrated decision making into practice -
examples of decision-Support Systems ......................................................
6.1 City Water .................................................................................................
6.1.1 Water Information System (CWIS) .................................................
6.1.2 The City Water Simulation Models ................................................
6.1.3 Integration of CWIS and the City Water Models ...........................
6.2 Urban Water Optioneering Tool (UWOT) ............................................
6.3 Aquacycle .................................................................................................
6.4 Eco.SWM – Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) tool .........................
6.5 COFAS – Comparing the Flexibility of Alternative Solutions ...............
6.6 VENSIM-based Water Demand Management Options Model ..........
 Wrapping up ..................................................................................................
 references ......................................................................................................
7
8
9
10
12
13
15
16
17
19
21
22
24
27
28
29
31
34
35
37
39
41
44
46
47
7
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Introduction
The conditions of the urban water cycle are constantly shifting. Changes in population,
urban development, wealth, politics, technology, climate, etc. are continuously impacting
the system in a multitude of different ways. It is known that these changes will alter
present conditions, but to what extent can only be estimated. Water managers therefore
have to take decisions today that are the right ones for coping with future change. This is
a diffcult task for the following reasons:
• Many standard water management technologies are infexible solutions with average
life times of more than 50 years. Decision making must therefore anticipate conditions
many years into the future.
• Due to complex inter-linkages within the urban water cycle, interventions in one area
are likely to have impacts elsewhere. Decision making must therefore have a good
understanding of the cause and effect relationships within the system as a whole.
• Numerous stakeholders infuence, or are infuenced by, urban water management.
Decision making must therefore consider a range of different, and often conficting,
needs and opinions.
Module 6 introduces the concept of integrated decision making, an approach that aims
to address the issues listed above through holistic evaluation and acknowledgement of
future uncertainty. The key message is that by understanding the likely impacts of an
action on all relevant areas of urban development under a range of future scenarios,
decision makers will opt for more sustainable choices. The module also discusses the use
of Decision-Support Systems (DSS) to implement more integrated decision making and
includes summaries of a number of DSS tools that are available for this purpose.
Integrated decision making is strongly linked with strategic planning and stakeholder
engagement. Module 6 is therefore closely related to Modules 1 and 2 which cover these
two aspects of Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) in more detail.

8
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
learning targets
Module 6 aims to demonstrate how an alternative approach to urban water management
decision making, based on holistic evaluation, fexibility and stakeholder engagement,
can lead to more sustainable urban water management interventions. It presents the
user with the concept of integrated decision making as well as providing information on
how this approach can be initiated in practice, particularly through the use of practical
Decision Support Systems; a number of which are introduced.
More specifcally, the module will assist users to gain a better understanding of:
• the way in which integrated decision making utilises information and knowledge to
assess the urban water cycle holistically, manage future uncertainty and promote
multi-stakeholder engagement;
• how Decision Support Systems can be used to handle large quantities of data and
model the impacts of potential strategies and scenarios;
• the use of indicators to evaluate results of data assessment and present complex
output to a wider audience; and
• the practical details of selected tools, including the SWITCH developed City Water.

9
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
decision making in urban
water management
Water management in cities is an ongoing challenge. New policies, regulations and
investments are continuously needed to manage the impacts of population growth,
deteriorating infrastructure, urban sprawl, climate change and many more current and
future pressures.
Water managers, urban planners, politicians and a range of other stakeholders are
therefore required to make decisions on a regular basis that affect, to a greater or lesser
extent, the management of water resources in the city. Such decisions might be, for
example:
• Opting to build a new water supply reservoir to meet a predicted increase in water
demand;
• Implementing regulation that prevents pollution of water bodies;
• Adopting policy that prioritises wastewater recycling;
• Granting planning permission for a new housing development; and
• Approving funds for the development of a climate change adaptation plan.
In most cases such decisions derive from considering a variety of information. For
example:
• Quantifed data – for example economic costs, water availability, historical rainfall
fgures, etc.
• Current issues – for example inadequate water services, pollution, incidence of
fooding, etc.
• Future predictions – for example demographic change, climate scenarios, economic
growth, etc.
• Political mileage to be gained – for example establishing a legacy, satisfying popular
opinion, enforcing regulation, etc.
• Stakeholder interests – for example water demands, housing requirements, business
needs, etc.
Many decisions will have far-reaching consequences, both in the present and the long-
term, and it is therefore imperative that decision makers have access to the necessary
knowledge, data and tools to enable them to make the right choice. Ideally, this information
is suffcient to lead to a comprehensive understanding of a decision’s impacts on all
relevant areas of urban development under a range of future scenarios.

10
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.1 The issues
The consequences of decision making in urban water management are not to be
underestimated. New reservoirs, transfer pipelines, treatment infrastructure, desalination
plants and drainage networks, are all long-term options that have major implications on
water resources for decades to come. It is therefore paramount that the decision to act
is the right one.

In the past many of these decisions have proven to be entirely justifed and citizens of
most developed cities continue to enjoy the benefts of large, long-term investments
such as water supply reservoirs, drainage networks and wastewater treatment plants.
However, this is not always the case and numerous examples exist throughout the world
where investments made in water infrastructure have either failed to achieve the intended
results, or caused indirect costs which outweigh the benefts gained.
Although bad decisions in the water sector are taken for a variety of different reasons, two
fundamental factors stand out. These are:
• Decisions are made based on knowledge that is limited to a particular sector and/or
narrowly defned assessment criteria; and
• Decisions are made based on assumptions of how the future will pan out.
The implications of these factors can be substantial. For example, the decision to
construct drainage pipes to convey stormwater away from a new area of development
may have been taken following an assessment of observed rainfall rates and the fnancial
cost of implementation. However, such limited assessment criteria ignores indirectly
related, but nevertheless important, aspects of the:
• environmental impacts caused by large volumes of potentially polluted stormwater
entering receiving water bodies at high velocity;
• economic impacts of increased incidences of downstream fooding of agricultural
land; and
• social impacts of reduced availability of groundwater for water supply.
In addition, the lack of consideration for future climatic variation may render the chosen
pipe specifcations inadequate for future rainfall events.
The above example demonstrates how the unwillingness, or inability, of decision makers
to consider a wide range of information related to both direct and indirect costs and
benefts can lead to the selection of a solution that is optimal for specifc priorities and
objectives, but which is a poor decision from a holistic perspective.
11
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Reasons for this include:
Lack of data: Extending the range of assessment criteria requires access to, and
interpretation of, increasing amounts of data. This can be a time consuming and costly
exercise.
Fragmentation of the water sector: The different sectors of urban water management
often operate in isolation from one another. This results in a lack of incentive and/or
ability to consider impacts outside of the main area of responsibility.
Limited perception of future variability: The design of most standard water management
interventions rely on assumed future conditions. Decisions are therefore taken based on
a defned range of future variability which is diffcult to predict.
Exclusion of data: Criteria such as construction costs and amount of water delivered are
easy to quantify and make use of in a decision-making process. Indirect criteria such as
environmental and social costs and benefts are more diffcult to put a fgure to which
disguises their true value and reduces their infuence.
Lack of stakeholder engagement: Stakeholder engagement in water management
decision making processes often extends no further than the public announcement of a
decision that has already been taken. Such a failure to engage with those that will be most
affected by a decision limits the understanding of its true impact.
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
S

G
e
o
l
o
g
i
c
a
l

S
u
r
v
e
y
12
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.2 An integrated approach to decision making
A holistic perspective, fexibility and stakeholder engagement are key characteristics of
IUWM. This is refected in integrated decision-making where measures that are most
effective at improving the overall sustainability of the system are sought. Integrated
decision making requires a broad view of all areas that are related, directly or indirectly,
to the aspect of water management under consideration. This includes not only the other
elements of the urban water cycle but also relevant urban management sectors such as
housing, energy, tourism, public health, transport and economic development. An IUWM
approach also acknowledges that the future is uncertain thereby giving a greater weight
of importance to decisions that increase a city’s ability to cope with, or adapt to, a range
of future scenarios.
Table 1 shows the difference between a conventional and an integrated approach to
decision making.
Table 1: Conventional and integrated approaches to decision making
Aspect of decision-making Conventional approach Integrated approach
Decision-making data
Easily quantifable direct costs and
benefts are the basis for taking
decisions.
Direct and indirect costs and benefts are
incorporated into the decision-making
process.
Scope of the
decision-making process
Decisions taken based on the objectives
and priorities of a single management
sector.
Decisions taken based on the objectives
and priorities for urban development as a
whole.
Future uncertainty
The future is predicted as a fxed
scenario and decisions are taken
according to these predictions.
The future is acknowledged as being
uncertain and decisions are taken that have
the fexibility to cope and/or adapt.
Stakeholder involvement
Decisions taken by experts with minimal
stakeholder involvement.
Comprehensive stakeholder engagement
is encouraged as a means of gathering
knowledge and evaluating impact.
Use of indicators
Decisions evaluated against
performance indicators that measure
progress towards a limited set of sector
goals.
Decisions evaluated against sustainability
indicators that measure progress towards
overall urban development goals.
The three key aspects of an integrated decision-making process are:
• evaluation from a holistic perspective;
• the need for fexibility; and
• stakeholder engagement.
13
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
3.2.1 A holistic perspective
The inter-linkages between different areas of the urban water cycle are extremely complex.
This complexity is further multiplied by the manifold additional interactions between
elements of the urban water cycle and other urban management sectors. Achieving a
holistic perspective that is able to take these relationships into account is the challenge
that faces IUWM.
The frst step of an integrated decision-making process is an increased understanding of
a city’s water system and its manifold infuences. This is a complicated task as detailed
knowledge of the cause and effect relationships within and between water related human
activities and natural systems is not easy to establish. However, being aware of these
interactions is essential to avoid taking a decision that results in unexpected knock-on
effects elsewhere in the system.
Figure 1 is a highly simplifed representation of some of the linkages within and beyond
the urban water cycle. In reality numerous additional interactions and infuential elements
would need to be added to generate a true understanding of the cause and effect
relationships within the system. This is where modelling tools such as those discussed
in Section 6 can help.
figure 1: Some of the linkages within and beyond the urban water cycle
Paved
surfaces
R
oofs
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
le

s
u
r
f
a
c
e
s
L
a
k
e
/
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r
R
i
v
e
r A
q
u
i
f
e
r
W
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

D
i s
t r i b
u
t i o
n

n
e
t w
o
r k
L
o
s
s
e
s
O u t d o o r
u s e
I n
d
u
s
t
r
i a
l /
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
i a
l
u
s
e
P
u
b
l
i
c

s
e
r
v
i
c
e
s
u
s
e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e
w
e
r

s
y
s
t
e
m
W
a
s
t
e
w
a
t
e
r

t
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t
S
l
u
d
g
e
T
r
e
a
t
e
d

e
f
f
l
u
e
n
t
D
ra
in
a
g
e

n
e
tw
o
rk
Im
p
e
rm
e
a
b
le

ro
c
k
/s
o
ils
S
e
a
S
lu
d
g
e
C
h
e
m
i
c
a
l s
E
n
e
r
g
y
Inputs to the
system
Flows through
the system
Outputs from
the system
N u
t r
i
e
n
t
s
R
a
i
n
f
a
l
l
E
v
a
p
o
t
r
a
n
s
-
p
i
r
a
t
i
o
n
C
o
m
b
i
n
e
d

s
e
w
e
r

o
v
e
r
f
l
o
w
s
A g r i c u l t u r e
E
c
o
n
o
m
i
c
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
H
e
a
l
t
h
H
o
u
s
i
n
g
P
a
r
k
s

&
g
a
r
d
e
n
s
A
g
r
i
c
u
l
t
u
r
e
W
a
s
te
Forestry
E
n
e
rgy
A
g
r
ic
u
ltu
r
e
P
a
r
k
s

&
g
a
r
d
e
n
s
T
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
H
o
u
s
i
n
g
W
a
s
t
e
Influences on
the system
A
g
r i c
u
l t u
r e
F
i
s
h
e
r
i
e
s
14
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
DPSIR framework
The DPSIR (Driving force – Pressure – State – Impact – Response) framework is a means of
facilitating a multi-dimensional view of human and environmental interaction in relation to
an element of urban water management. The framework encourages stakeholders to take a
broader view of the urban water cycle to gain a better understanding of why problems occur
and which areas of the system need to be addressed to solve these most effectively.
Using the framework as shown below to identify these cause-effect relationships can lead
to a better understanding of the interactions at work within the urban water cycle and is
therefore a useful exercise for decision making purposes.
For further information on the use of the DPSIR framework see the SWITCH
manual ‘Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of
Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water Management’
(van der Steen 2011). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources

Box in section 3.2.1 (page 12)

DPSIR framework
The DPSIR (Driving force – Pressure – State – Impact – Response) framework is a means of facilitating a
multi-dimensional view of human and environmental interaction in relation to an element of urban water
management. The framework encourages stakeholders to take a broader view of the urban water cycle to gain
a better understanding of why problems occur and which areas of the system need to be addressed to solve
these most effectively.
Using the framework as shown below to identify these cause-effect relationships can lead to a better
understanding of the interactions at work within the urban water cycle and is therefore a useful exercise for
decision making purposes.























(Based on OECD 2003)

[SWITCH logo] For further information on the use of the DPSIR framework see the SWITCH manual
‘Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water
Management’ (van der Steen 2011, Resource Ref. #)











DRIVING FORCE
Ultimate causes of change (e.g.
population growth)
PRESSURE
Events and activities that affect
the state of the urban water
system (e.g. potable water
demand)
STATE
Current status of the urban
water system (e.g. groundwater
levels)
IMPACT
Effect of the changed conditions
on human and environmental
conditions (e.g. reduced water
availability)
RESPONSE
Actions implemented to
influence the pressures on, the
state of, or the impacts on the
urban water system (e.g. water
efficiency programmes,
groundwater recharge)
Generate
Influence,
modify
Bring about,
cause
Stimulate,
provoke
Compensate,
mitigate
Restore,
influence
Eliminate,
reduce,
prevent
Modify,
mediate

Box in section 3.2.1 (page 12)

DPSIR framework
The DPSIR (Driving force – Pressure – State – Impact – Response) framework is a means of facilitating a
multi-dimensional view of human and environmental interaction in relation to an element of urban water
management. The framework encourages stakeholders to take a broader view of the urban water cycle to gain
a better understanding of why problems occur and which areas of the system need to be addressed to solve
these most effectively.
Using the framework as shown below to identify these cause-effect relationships can lead to a better
understanding of the interactions at work within the urban water cycle and is therefore a useful exercise for
decision making purposes.























(Based on OECD 2003)

[SWITCH logo] For further information on the use of the DPSIR framework see the SWITCH manual
‘Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water
Management’ (van der Steen 2011, Resource Ref. #)











DRIVING FORCE
Ultimate causes of change (e.g.
population growth)
PRESSURE
Events and activities that affect
the state of the urban water
system (e.g. potable water
demand)
STATE
Current status of the urban
water system (e.g. groundwater
levels)
IMPACT
Effect of the changed conditions
on human and environmental
conditions (e.g. reduced water
availability)
RESPONSE
Actions implemented to
influence the pressures on, the
state of, or the impacts on the
urban water system (e.g. water
efficiency programmes,
groundwater recharge)
Generate
Influence,
modify
Bring about,
cause
Stimulate,
provoke
Compensate,
mitigate
Restore,
influence
Eliminate,
reduce,
prevent
Modify,
mediate
15
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
3.2.2 Flexibility
Conventional water management solutions tend to be infexible. Storage reservoirs,
treatment plants, sewer networks and drainage channels are designed based on the
assumption that the natural and human conditions that they manage do not fuctuate
beyond a defned range of variability. If this assumption proves to be false, a solution
will not achieve its design performance. A storage reservoir will only operate at its full
potential if the design infow continues to be available, or, vice versa, if the predicted
demand for the stored water actually materialises.
More fexible decision making involves the acknowledgement that numerous future
scenarios are a possibility. This approach will naturally favour actions and interventions
that are less vulnerable to future uncertainty. The decision criteria will therefore consider
not just the cost of implementing an option but also its resilience to unexpected change
and the costs of adapting the option should the future not pan out as anticipated. For
example, under such criteria the implementation of stormwater best management
practices (BMPs) to control rainfall runoff from a new urban development may be
selected ahead of the construction of a combined sewer system due to the fact that
BMPs can cope with (or be easily adapted to cope with) a wider range of rainfall runoff
rates than underground drainage pipes with fxed diameters.
figure 2: future uncertainty and ranges of variability
The need for fexibility in
urban water management
is discussed in the context of
climate change adaptation
in the SWITCH publication
‘Adapting urban water
systems to climate change
– A handbook for decision
makers at the local level’
(Loftus et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources .

Uncertainty Limited
range of
variability
Time 
Flexible
range of
variability
16
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
3.2.3 Stakeholder engagement
Although it is the most easily visualised, physical infrastructure is only one aspect of
urban water management. Of equal importance is the social infrastructure. Inhabitants,
businesses, user groups, farmers, tour operators, manufacturers, etc., all have a stake in
the urban water cycle and are affected by decisions taken to manage it. Despite having
consequences for such a wide variety of stakeholders, water management decisions are
often taken with little or no consideration for the opinions, concerns and knowledge of
many of those likely to be most concerned.
The drawback of such an approach is twofold. On the one hand the lack of stakeholder
engagement deprives decision makers of the local knowledge that could be crucial for
making a good choice. On the other, the failure to identify the true needs of those affected
runs the risk of a decision being taken that is ultimately rejected by those who were
expected to beneft. Urban water management stakeholders are numerous. A detailed
stakeholder analysis and comprehensive engagement plan should therefore ideally be a
key aspect of any integrated decision-making process. Figure 3 gives some indication of
the many stakeholder groups likely to have an interest in a water management solution,
in this case for the City of Alexandria in Egypt.
figure 3: Water management stakeholders for the City of alexandria, egypt
(Source: The City Water Information System, epfl)
14

consideration for the opinions, concerns and knowledge of many of those likely to be most
affected.
The drawback of such an approach is twofold. On the one hand the lack of stakeholder
engagement deprives decision-makers of the local knowledge that could be crucial for
making a good choice. On the other, the failure to identify the true needs of those affected
runs the risk of a decision being taken that is ultimately rejected by those who were expected
to benefit. Urban water management stakeholders are numerous. A detailed stakeholder
analysis and comprehensive engagement plan should therefore ideally be a key aspect of
any integrated decision making process. Figure 3 gives some indication of the many
stakeholder groups likely to have an interest in a water management solution, in this case for
the City of Alexandria in Egypt.
Figure 3: Water management stakeholders for the City of Alexandrian, Egypt (Source: The City Water
Information System, EPFL)




Water management
in Alexandria
Egyptian
Environmental
Affairs Agency
Ministry of Water
Resources &
Irrigation
Ministry of
Agriculture
Ministry of Health
Ministry of
Housing, Utilities
& Urban
Communities
Alexandria Local
Council
Fisherman
Authority
Local community
Alexandria
Holding Company
for Sanitary
Drainage
University of
Alexandria
Alexandria
Governorate
Media (lobby
group)
Pioneers of the
Environment
Friends of the
Environment
Alexandria
Holding Company
for Drinking Water
Centre for
Environment &
Development for the
Arab Region &
Europe (CEDARE)
See Module 2 for more
information on stakeholder
engagement in urban water
management.
17
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Sustainability and
decision making
Greater integration in decision making allows decisions that will bring about more
sustainable interventions. This is due to the fact that a holistic perspective results in the
consideration of all aspects of urban development rather than a particular element of it.
It is therefore the most effective means of moving a city towards increased sustainability
1
.
Sustainability is often defned through social, environmental and economic criteria which
are assessed in the context of time and space. A true sustainability assessment of a
preferred intervention would therefore require the consideration of the resulting social,
environmental and economic impacts at different spatial scales both in the present as
well as in the future.
Figure 4 demonstrates the different dimensions of sustainability from the perspective of
decision making in urban water management.

1
Sustainable development may be defned as “development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on the
environment and development, 1983)
Sustainable
decision
Society
Impacts on the quality of
life of all citizens
Space
Impacts upstream and
downstream of area of
interest
Time
Impacts on current and
future generations
Economy
Impacts on the cost-
effciency of water services
Environment
Impacts on the ecological
balance of all natural
systems
figure 4: dimensions of sustainable decision making in urban water management
18
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Progress towards increased sustainability is therefore dependent on how a decision
alters the dimensions displayed in Figure 4. This progress can be measured through
a set of sustainability indicators, the change in which over time informs the city as to
whether strategies and interventions are having, or are likely to have, the desired effect
(see Section 5.3).
In reality urban water management decisions are never likely to be entirely sustainable.
Certain negative impacts are almost inevitable and trade-offs will therefore always be
necessary. However, what is important for the decision maker to know is how a decision
will impact on sustainable development of the city as a whole.
See Module 1 for a more
detailed description of the
concept of sustainable water
management
I
m
a
g
e
:

C
i
t
y

o
f

H
a
m
b
u
r
g
19
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
decision-Support Systems
(dSS)
A DSS is typically an interactive software-based facility that can be used to compile, assess
and present information about a system where human activities and natural processes
interact such as the urban water cycle. A DSS does not make decisions but rather
manages and presents information in a way that supports the judgement of decision
makers allowing them to learn from past actions and explore potential interventions. DSS
can be used for the following purposes within an integrated approach to decision making:
• assessing the impact of different strategies through holistic evaluation of the system;
• optimising potential interventions based on defned criteria;
• analysing the likely response of the system under different future scenarios; and
• providing a data storage facility and source of knowledge.
In order to perform these functions, a DSS will usually consist of the following three
integrated components:
• Knowledge database
• Modelling programmes
• User interface
Together, these three components are able to present a detailed understanding of the
cause and effect relationships that infuence the system under consideration, including
current and future implications. Figure 5 shows this set up:

figure 5: dSS components and data fows
17

5. Decision Support Systems (DSS)  
A DSS is typically an interactive software-based facility that can be used to compile, assess
and present information about a system where human activities and natural processes
interact such as the urban water cycle. A DSS does not make decisions but rather manages
and presents information in a way that supports the judgement of decision makers allowing
them to learn from past actions and explore potential interventions.
DSS can be used for the following purposes within an integrated approach to decision
making:
 Assessing the impact of different strategies through holistic evaluation of the system;
 Optimising potential interventions based on defined criteria;
 Analysing the likely response of the system under different future scenarios; and
 Providing a data storage facility and source of knowledge.
In order to perform this function, a DSS will usually consist of the following three integrated
components:
 A knowledge database
 Modelling programmes
 A user interface
Together, these three components are able to present a detailed understanding of the cause
and effect relationships that influence the system under consideration, including current and
future implications. Figure 5 shows this set up:
Figure 5: DSS components and data flows














When incorporating good quality data and integrated models, a DSS becomes a robust
assessment tool which supports decision-makers and allows them to weigh up the costs and
benefits of different strategic directions and alternative interventions.





Knowledge database

Models

User interface
Input data
Modelling
results
Controls
Data updates
and edits
Strategies Scenarios Knowledge
[margin text]
[SWITCH logo] For a comprehensive discussion of the use of
decision support tools for urban water management see the
PhD Thesis ‘A Systems-Based Generic decision Support
System Application to Urban Water Management’ (Schenk
2010, Resource Ref. #)
When incorporating good quality data and integrated models, a DSS becomes a robust
assessment tool which supports decision makers and allows them to weigh up the costs
and benefts of different strategic directions and alternative interventions.
For a comprehensive
discussion of the use of
decision-support tools for
urban water management
see the PhD Thesis ‘A
Systems-Based Generic
decision Support System
Application to Urban Water
Management’ (Schenk
2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
20
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Using a risk-based decision-support system in Lodz, Poland
As a key aspect of the Lodz Vision
for 2038, the management of
biodiversity and water resources
is high on the city’s agenda.
The municipality was therefore
keen to identify the main drivers
and pressures impacting on
the natural environment in the
city as well as gaining a greater
insight into the factors that will
infuence management decisions
in these areas. Gaining this
knowledge would help the city to
assess the risks associated with
environmental degradation and defne strategies through which these could be managed.
For this purpose, the DAPSET (Drivers and Pressures Strength Evaluation Tool) risk
assessment DSS was utilised.
As part of the assessment process,
the stakeholders of the Lodz SWITCH
Learning Alliance were consulted to
identify the most important factors
infuencing environmental quality in the
city. These were as follows:
• ecological awareness of citizens;
• law execution;
• economic potential of the city; and
• land development.
Based on these factors, questionnaires
were completed by decision makers
from the city with the aim of identifying
the most signifcant associated risks.
This information was then fed into the
tool and evaluated against sustainability
criteria to calculate risk profles for the
four priority areas. The results from the
tool are provided in four categories which indicate the level of action required to manage the
risk posed to the environmental health of the city, ranging from low risk (no need for urgent
action) to high risk (urgent need for action).
Evaluation of the tool output led to the identifcation of a number of risks that could potentially
pose a threat to the natural environment. The most urgent of these were as follows:
• overuse of resources due to high economic development;
• lack of investment in the environment due to low economic development;
• lack of responsibility for the environment due to low citizen awareness; and
• long lasting process of social consultation due to high citizen awareness.
As a result of the evaluation of the DAPSET output, it was agreed that urgent action was
required and that this should be integrated into a trans-sectoral plan for the city as a whole.
The use of DAPSET in Lodz is described in more detail in the SWITCH poster
‘Drivers and pressures of city water resources – a risk-based decision support
system for implementation of the Ecohydrology approach (Krauze 2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Additional information on water management activities in Lodz can be found
in the Lodz case study. www.switchtraining.eu
Ecohydrology in Lodz, Poland
I
m
a
g
e
:

L
o
d
z

S
W
I
T
C
H

L
e
a
r
n
i
n
g

A
l
l
i
a
n
c
e
DAPSET output showing risk profles for
environmental awareness
I
m
a
g
e
:

U
F
Z
21
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
5.1 DSS Knowledge base
Integrated decision making requires the management of large amounts of data and
knowledge. As opposed to conventional decision making, which is often limited to
collecting data on direct costs and benefts, an integrated approach should consider
all information and knowledge that infuences the system under consideration. Some
examples of information types that are likely to be required when populating a DSS for
water management are as follows:
• hydrometeorological, hydrological and geological catchment data
• geographical information
• natural resources data
• water related infrastructure
• relevant legislation and regulation
• historical data associated with past actions and management decisions
• the roles and responsibilities of associated institutions
• the identifcation of, and relationship between, all stakeholders
• details of potential water management options
• etc.
The DSS should be used as a repository of shared knowledge that is updated and added
to on a regular basis. This is not only essential for progressive DSS application but also
enables the monitoring and evaluation of previous decisions and actions. Such refective
learning is one of the most powerful features of a DSS as it provides, when combined
with indicators (see Section 5.3), the basis for progress assessment.
The knowledge base can also be used within a DSS as the source of information needed
to explore different future scenarios. This is done by compiling data that offer variations
on baseline conditions, such as non-average rainfall patterns or alternative population
trends. This allows the user to model the impacts of potential water management
interventions under varying future conditions.
22
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
5.2 Modelling
Many DSS include different types of models. These use the data stored in the knowledge
base to replicate and assess the behaviour of real systems, such as elements of the urban
water cycle. This assessment allows the user to examine how the system responds to
potential interventions and alternative future scenarios. Due to the large amount of
data required to comprehensively explore, for example, rainfall runoff patterns or water
demand infuences, the process can usually only be successfully fulflled using computer
software. This software enables numerous iterations, or modelling runs, to be performed
based on different combinations of input data relating to the changes in the system that
the user wishes to analyse.
Output is in the form of the calculated results of each run, which inform the user of
defned impacts of the proposed changes on the system. The output data may include
different forms of statistical interpretation such as optimisation, sensitivity analysis and
probability distributions.
The main advantage of using different modelling techniques is the opportunity it offers
to simultaneously analyse the complexity of large numbers of cause-effect relationships
within the system in relation to different input parameters. Combinations of different
options can then be analysed simultaneously rather than individual ones in isolation.
Figure 6 shows a simplifed view of the input data that a simulation model would use to
assess the impacts of different intervention strategies under different future scenarios.
figure 6: Input data for a simulation model
19

The knowledge base can also be used within a DSS as the source of information needed to
explore different future scenarios. This is done by compiling data that offer variations on
baseline conditions, such as non-average rainfall patterns or alternative population trends.
This allows the user to model the impacts of potential water management interventions
under varying future conditions.


5.2 Modelling 
Many DSS include different types of models. These use the data stored in the knowledge
base to replicate and assess the behaviour of real systems, such as elements of the urban
water cycle. This assessment allows the user to examine how the system responds to
potential interventions and alternative future scenarios. Due to the large amount of data
required to comprehensively explore, for example, rainfall runoff patterns or water demand
influences, the process can usually only be successfully fulfilled using computer software.
This software enables numerous iterations, or modelling runs, to be performed based on
different combinations of input data relating to the changes in the system that the user
wishes to analyse.
Output is in the form of the calculated results of each run, which inform the user of defined
impacts of the proposed changes on the system. The output data may include different
forms of statistical interpretation such as optimisation, sensitivity analysis and probability
distributions.
The main advantage of using different modelling techniques is the opportunity it offers to
simultaneously analyse the complexity of large numbers of cause-effect relationships within
the system in relation to different input parameters. Combinations of different options can
then be analysed simultaneously rather than individual ones in isolation.
Figure 6 shows a simplified view of the input data that a simulation model would use to
assess the impacts of different intervention strategies under different future scenarios.


Figure 6: Input data for a simulation model














System data
(Baseline)
Strategy data
- Strategy A
- Strategy B
- Strategy C
- Strategy D
Scenario data
- Scenario 1
- Scenario 2
- Scenario 3
- Scenario 4

Simulated system
(Model runs)
23
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Based on user selection of strategies and scenarios, the model is run to calculate the
impacts on the system of different combinations of input data as is shown in the matrix
in Table 2. The comparison of these results can then provide the user with the means to
evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the different strategies.
Decision-support models tend to focus on an area of water management, such as
physical drainage characteristics, water demand, or economic costs. Different models
can however be integrated within the DSS to build up a complete understanding of urban
water management (see City Water in Section 6.1).
Table 2: output data from a simulation model
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
Strategy A
Model run A1 Model run A2 Model run A3 Model run A4
Strategy B
Model run B1 Model run B2 Model run B3 Model run B4
Strategy C
Model run C1 Model run C2 Model run C3 Model run C4
Strategy D
Model run D1 Model run D2 Model run D3 Model run D4
24
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
5.3 DSS output and the use of indicators
Whereas the knowledge base relates to the input to models, indicators are used to make
sense of the output. As described above, models will provide different sets of results in
relation to the consequences of potential interventions under various future scenarios.
The interpretation and dissemination of these results is made easier through the use of
indicators within the DSS.
Indicators are a means of measuring progress towards an objective. For example
if the objective is to reduce potable water demand, the indicator could be per capita
consumption of mains water supply. When measured, the indicator value informs
whether implemented actions are achieving progress towards the objective; in this case
whether per capita consumption is being reduced.
Indicators play an important role in IUWM, particularly in strategic planning where they
are monitored on a regular basis as a means of evaluating the impacts of implemented
actions and measuring progress towards the overall goal, or vision.
Within decision making, the same indicators can be used in more or less the same way by:
• evaluating the success or failure of previous decisions to help inform current ones; and
• making an assessment of the likely impact of potential decisions.
The DSS user interface will often make use of indicators to visualise knowledge and
interpret modelling results. This provides a consistent means of evaluating both the
present situation as well as the impacts of potential interventions and alternative future
scenarios. Indicators are also useful for presenting complex modelling results in a way
that can easily be interpreted by non-specialists thereby increasing the opportunities for
stakeholder engagement in the decision-making process. Figure 7 shows an example of
such a presentation from different modelling runs.
figure 7: Scoring of indicator groups for diferent modelling runs
21



Indicators are therefore used within a DSS to provide a consistent and clear means of
interpreting complex output data. More specifically they are used for the following purposes:
 To assess the impacts of different actions (or combinations of actions) under
different future scenarios;
 To compare actions (or combinations of actions) to determine the optimal solution;
and
 To convey the justification for decisions to all stakeholders in a transparent and
coherent way.
Within an integrated decision making process, the indicators used to present DSS results
would be chosen to cover impacts on the entire urban water cycle and related urban
development sectors. It would therefore be expected that the selection of indicators would
involve contributions from representatives of relevant stakeholders and would consider all
aspects of sustainability as presented in Section 4.
Chosen indicators for IUWM are not necessarily directly related to water management. They
may also include more general quality of life aspects that are influenced by water. It should
be noted that indicators, and the weight of importance assigned to them, are location specific
and will be dependent on a range of local needs and priorities associated with climate,
existing infrastructure, standards of living, etc. – a good indicator for one city is not
necessarily relevant in another.






Health
Cost
Energy
Water use
Water quality
Safe sanitation
Flexibility
Robustness
Equity
Biodiversity
Model Output  A1
Model Output  B1
Model Output  C1
Model Output  D1
[margin text]
[SWITCH logo + arrow] See Module 1 as well as the SWITCH
‘Indicators Manual’ (van der Steen 2011, Resource Ref. #) for
more information on the use of indicators in urban water
management
21



Indicators are therefore used within a DSS to provide a consistent and clear means of
interpreting complex output data. More specifically they are used for the following purposes:
 To assess the impacts of different actions (or combinations of actions) under
different future scenarios;
 To compare actions (or combinations of actions) to determine the optimal solution;
and
 To convey the justification for decisions to all stakeholders in a transparent and
coherent way.
Within an integrated decision making process, the indicators used to present DSS results
would be chosen to cover impacts on the entire urban water cycle and related urban
development sectors. It would therefore be expected that the selection of indicators would
involve contributions from representatives of relevant stakeholders and would consider all
aspects of sustainability as presented in Section 4.
Chosen indicators for IUWM are not necessarily directly related to water management. They
may also include more general quality of life aspects that are influenced by water. It should
be noted that indicators, and the weight of importance assigned to them, are location specific
and will be dependent on a range of local needs and priorities associated with climate,
existing infrastructure, standards of living, etc. – a good indicator for one city is not
necessarily relevant in another.






Health
Cost
Energy
Water use
Water quality
Safe sanitation
Flexibility
Robustness
Equity
Biodiversity
Model Output  A1
Model Output  B1
Model Output  C1
Model Output  D1
[margin text]
[SWITCH logo + arrow] See Module 1 as well as the SWITCH
‘Indicators Manual’ (van der Steen 2011, Resource Ref. #) for
more information on the use of indicators in urban water
management
25
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Indicators are therefore used within a DSS to provide a consistent and clear means
of interpreting complex output data. More specifcally they are used for the following
purposes:
• to assess the impacts of different actions (or combinations of actions) under
different future scenarios;
• to compare actions (or combinations of actions) to determine the optimal solution;
and
• to convey the justifcation for decisions to all stakeholders in a transparent and
coherent way.
Within an integrated decision-making process, the indicators used to present DSS results
would be chosen to cover impacts on the entire urban water cycle and related urban
development sectors. It would therefore be expected that the selection of indicators
would involve contributions from representatives of relevant stakeholders and would
consider all aspects of sustainability as presented in Section 4.
Chosen indicators for IUWM are not necessarily directly related to water management.
They may also include more general quality of life aspects that are infuenced by water.
It should be noted that indicators, and the weight of importance assigned to them, are
location specifc and will be dependent on a range of local needs and priorities associated
with climate, existing infrastructure, standards of living, etc. – a good indicator for one
city is not necessarily relevant in another.
See Module 1 as well as
the SWITCH ‘Indicators
Manual’ (van der Steen
2011) for more information
on the use of indicators in
urban water management.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
26
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Using indicators for the selection of urban sanitation systems
As opposed to conventional wastewater management, the concept of ecological sanitation
is increasingly being promoted as a more sustainable approach. As a result, a large number
of decentralised solutions are now available that are capable of reusing the resources
contained within different wastewater streams. Decision makers are therefore faced with a
wide variety of choice when selecting sanitation technologies.
To assist with decision making in the sanitation sector, Wageningen University has
developed a set of indicators as part of a multi-criteria framework designed to measure
the performance of different technologies. This evaluation methodology is intended to
assist with the comparison of options and provide transparent information that is easily
interpreted for discussion during the decision-making process.
The methodology uses seven key criteria and 22 associated indicators to complete a
comprehensive multi-criteria assessment of different sanitation solutions. Each potential
solution is evaluated using an aggregation of indicator scores for each criterion, the results
of which are displayed as a radar plot. These radar plots provide a visual aid with which
stakeholders can recognise strengths and weaknesses of alternative options and identify
which trade-offs are associated with the different systems.
The methodology deliberately
stops short of providing a single
performance value per solution
based on the aggregation
of criterion scores. Such an
approach would disguise the
different aspects of performance
for each solution, thereby
removing a key decision-making
source of information and
compromising the transparency
of the evaluation process.
The development and use of this methodology is described in detail in the
SWITCH paper ‘Best practice and a decision-support system for ecosan
systems’ (Agudelo et al 2010). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
A more sustainable approach to wastewater management and how this
compares to a conventional one is presented in Module 5
Indicators used for the multi-criteria framework
I
m
a
g
e
:

W
a
g
e
n
i
n
g
e
n

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y
I
m
a
g
e
:

W
a
g
e
n
i
n
g
e
n

U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y
System performance results based on the indicator scores
for the seven criterions
27
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
putting integrated decision
making into practice –
examples of decision-
Support Systems
Numerous DSS are available for urban water managers. Some of these focus on urban
water management as a whole whereas others are designed to address particular
elements of the urban water cycle the results of which can be integrated into the bigger
picture. The following sections provide brief summaries of a number of these tools as
well as details on where these can be accessed and further information gained. The tools
included are as follows:
• City Water: A comprehensive DSS designed to assess the urban water cycle as a
whole.
• Urban Water Optioneering Tool (UWOT): Simulation model to assess and compare
more sustainable water management options.
• Aquacycle: Simulation model to investigate the potential of water recycling.
• Eco.SWM – Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) tool: Calculation tool to carry out life
cycle cost assessments of stormwater management solutions.
• COFAS – Comparing the Flexibility of Alternative Solutions: Tool to calculate the
fexibility of different water management solutions.
• VENSIM-based Water Demand Management Options Model: Modelling tool to
compare the cost effectiveness of water demand management options.

28
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
6.1 City Water
City Water is a DSS that combines a knowledge and information sharing platform with a
suite of simulation models. Developed within SWITCH, City Water is designed to support
more integrated decision making for urban water management by:
• mapping the interrelations between the different elements of the urban water cycle
over space and time;
• linking water with other sectors of urban management such as education, health,
transportation, planning, economic activities, etc.;
• assessing the possible impacts of future uncertainties such as climate change,
population growth, depopulation, increased energy costs, etc.; and
• using indicators to evaluate strategies and solutions that have the potential to achieve
more sustainable urban water management.
(based on Soutter et al 2011)

City Water differs from existing urban water DSS through its ability to incorporate a
variety of direct and indirect factors related to water management - including legislative
frameworks and stakeholder interactions - as well as consider a broad range of time and
space scales. This enables a city to examine the impacts of potential water management
strategies and interventions from a holistic perspective in the context of alternative
future scenarios. It is not a detailed design tool but rather a system that allows users to
assess city-wide impacts. Consequently it does not replace the need for more specialised
engineering tools which will still be required for detailed analysis of potential solutions.
City water consists of a combined knowledge management system that is linked to a set
of simulation models. The system architecture is shown in Figure 8.
See the SWITCH Policy
Briefng Note 3 ‘Decision
Support Tools for Integrated
Urban Water Management
Systems’ for a description of
how City Water differs from
other DSS.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
figure 8: The system architecture of City Water (Source: epfl, lausanne)
24


Figure 9: The system architecture of City Water (Source: EPFL, Lausanne)


6.1.1 City Water Information System (CWIS)
The CWIS consists of two components:
• The City Water database; and
• The user interface.
These components are closely linked to each other and also to the suite of simulation
models that completes the City Water DSS.
The City Water database
Purpose:
To host and provide all the data required to operate the viewing tools of the system user
interface (CWIS) and to run the simulation models.
Description:
City Water is designed to manage a vast amount of information about a city’s water system.
This information is stored in the general database from where it is linked to the user interface
and simulation models. Data can be entered in most formats including:
• Numeric values
• Texts, including links to websites
• Files (pdf files, images, videos, etc.)
• Geometrics (spatial objects)
• Lifetimes
Rather than limiting water management analysis to quantitative frameworks, this flexibility
greatly increases the scope of information that can be explored and incorporated into
modelling simulations.
29
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.1.1 Water Information System (CWIS)
The CWIS consists of two components:
• the City Water database; and
• the user interface.
These components are closely linked to each other and also to the suite of simulation
models that completes the City Water DSS.
The City Water database
Purpose:
To host and provide all the data required to operate the viewing tools of the system user
interface (CWIS) and to run the simulation models.
Description:
City Water is designed to manage a vast amount of information about a city’s water
system. This information is stored in the general database from where it is linked to the
user interface and simulation models. Data can be entered in most formats including:
• numeric values
• texts, including links to websites
• fles (pdf fles, images, videos, etc.)
• geometrics (spatial objects)
• lifetimes
Rather than limiting water management analysis to quantitative frameworks, this fexibility
greatly increases the scope of information that can be explored and incorporated into
modelling simulations.
The more information that is included in the City Water database the greater the basis
for analysis within the viewing tools of the user interface and the modelling simulations.
However, it is possible to set up and use the system with even a minimum amount of
data, which can be added to progressively as more information becomes available and
knowledge is gained.
The CWIS user interface
Purpose:
To support decision making through the:
• facilitation of information and knowledge sharing;
• development and analysis of different future scenarios; and
• evaluation of potential water management strategies and interventions.
Description:
The CWIS user interface brings together the information stored in the City Water database
with the City Water simulation models. The interface consists of a set of interlinked
knowledge management tools that allow data to be viewed in a variety of formats. These
are as follows:
• Geographic viewer – Allows the user to interpret information on a spatial basis, such
as land use, topography, infrastructure, etc.
• Active reporting tool – Allows the user to view all information stored in the database
and convert this for reporting purposes, such as outputs from modelling runs,
indicator values, charts, etc.
More details on setting
up the database and
the accompanying web
server can be found in the
document ‘The City Water
Information System’ (EPFL
2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
30
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
• Systemic viewer – Allows the user to explore non-spatial information on a
systemic basis, such as the relationships between stakeholders, the legal
framework, water governance, etc.
figure 9: The CWIS user interface showing the geographic, reporting and systemic viewing tools (Source:
epfl, lausanne)
Each of the management tools is easily accessible within the general layout of the CWIS
user interface, allowing information to be viewed in visual and textual formats. More
specifcally the interface is used to:
• insert, update and revise inputs to the City Water database, including system
information, alternative scenarios, potential interventions and indicators;
• spatially and systemically analyse the information and knowledge stored in the
database;
• defne inputs (including potential interventions and scenarios) to the modelling tools;
and
• interpret and present modelling results against a set of indicators.
The system is therefore the key facility that brings together all the information stored and
generated in City Water in an accessible format specifcally designed to support decision
making.
Although integrated within the CWIS user interface, the different data management tools
can also be used independently of one another. This allows the user to start using the
CWIS even before a substantial amount of data has been collected.
To view a demonstration of the CWIS user interface and access the viewing tools
themselves, visit: http://www.ipogee.ch/CWIS.
A technical description
of CWIS can be found
in the manual ‘The City
Water Information System
(CWIS)’.
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
To access the tool itself visit:
http://www.ipogee.ch/CWIS
31
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.1.2 The City Water Simulation Models
The City Water DSS consists of a number of modelling tools that are integrated through
the CWIS. These have been developed to better understand the interrelationships within
different aspects of the urban water system and to assess the infuence that potential
future scenarios and interventions are likely to have on the system. The models are
therefore useful tools for evaluating the impacts of different strategies for IUWM.
This section is limited to the description of the following City Water tools:
• City Water Balance
• City Water Economics
Each of these tools is capable of delivering output that can be evaluated against a set of
indicators. This provides a consistent means of assessing a range of model simulations
as well as enabling the integration of results from the different models – a crucial
requirement when exploring the impacts of different water management strategies under
various future scenarios.
City Water Balance (CWB)
Purpose:
To map the water system in a city and explore the consequences of altering this system
under different future scenarios.
Description:
CWB is a daily time-step hydrological model that simulates the impacts that natural and
man-made elements of the urban water system have on the water balance of a city. By
entering information related to alternative land-uses and water management options,
the user gains an understanding of how the quality, quantity, economic costs and energy
consumption within a city’s water system will be affected under different scenarios.
figure 10: output fows from City Water balance
32
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Additional information
on City Water Balance,
including an example of its
use in Birmingham, UK, can
be found in the ‘SWITCH
Transition Manual’ (Jefferies
et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
CWB uses meteorological data and basic land use mapping at different spatial scales to
establish water fow characteristics in a city over space and time. These characteristics
include:
• Rainfall
• Drainage
• Water demand
• Storage
• Treatment
• Reuse
• Energy use
• Cost
By constructing a profle of the urban water balance, CWB is able to evaluate the impacts
of potential interventions such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting and wastewater reuse
as well as analyse how the system behaves under a variety of future scenarios. Model
results are presented as simple performance indicator outputs, such as water supply/
demand ratios, wastewater production, energy use and life-cycle costs.
Korle lagoon, Accra
I
m
a
g
e
:

A
c
c
r
a

S
W
I
T
C
H

L
e
a
r
n
i
n
g

A
l
l
i
a
n
c
e
Exploring alternative water supply options in Accra, Ghana
As water demand from a
growing population places
increasing pressure on limited
water supplies, water scarcity
in the City of Accra in Ghana is
predicted to cause considerable
social and economic restrictions
on the city’s population in
the near future. The use of
alternative sources of supply,
particularly greywater recycling,
for non-potable purposes has the
potential to alleviate this pressure
whilst providing additional
benefts for the city. To further
explore such options, the water
system in the Abelenkpe area of
Accra was modelled using the SWITCH City Water Balance (CWB) tool.
CWB simulated the water balance in the study area based on population growth scenarios
and the availability of greywater for non-potable uses such as toilet fushing and irrigation.
Results showed that imported water could be reduced by around 4%, potentially increasing
to 9% as population grows (Gimba 2009). In addition modelling results also demonstrated
a reduced volume of wastewater that is discharged to the environment.
To view the full results from the study, see the MSc thesis ‘Application of
SWITCH City Water Balance Model to Abelenkpe Area of Accra Ghana’
(Gimba 2009). www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
33
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
City Water Economics (CWE)
Purpose:
To evaluate the impacts of alternative economic options on fnancial sustainability for
urban water services.
Description:
CWE is a scoping tool that analyses the distribution of fnancial costs between different
areas of water services. By allocating costs to the various service elements, the model
becomes a framework for analysing the economics of water supply, wastewater collection
and treatment, and stormwater management. The model considers not only the costs of
service provision, but also the social aspect and the infuence that water pricing has on
social equity.
figure 11: example of output data from City Water economics (Source: Jeferies C., dufy a. 2011)
34
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
CWE can be used to examine the implications of alternative water pricing strategies and
cost recovery possibilities as well as how these will affect lower income groups. Examples
of economic measures that can be analysed by CWE include:
• a variety of tariff schemes for water consumption;
• stormwater drainage charges;
• economic impacts of alternative water management solutions; and
• subsidies for water saving products.
Such economic interventions are evaluated over a defned time period to account for
the long-term impacts that would be anticipated on water demand, service costs and
infrastructure operation. Outputs from the model are formulated as a set of indicators
that relate to the achievement of objectives such as full cost recovery, water pricing equity
and water consumption.
6.1.3 Integration of CWIS and the City Water models
The links between the CWIS user interface, the general database and the City Water
simulation models, enables integrated use of all data including inputs and outputs from
the different models. The fexibility of the CWIS when it comes to data handling also
provides the opportunity to link non-City Water simulation models to the system.
In both cases the process of integrating different models with the CWIS is straightforward.
The relevant data stored in the CWIS is selected by the user and exported into the model
as an xml fle. Having run the model using this input, the results are imported back
into the CWIS where they can be viewed and interpreted using the different viewing
tools within the system. Data can be viewed for numerous modelling runs as well as in
combination with results from other simulation models.
See the CWE user manual
as well as examples of
application in the document
‘City Water Economics
Manual & Application
Cases’ (National Technical
University of Athens 2011)
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
figure 12: overview of how the City Water models are linked with CWIS (Source: epfl)
35
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.2 Urban Water Optioneering Tool (UWOT)
Purpose:
To support decisions related to achieving more sustainable water management in new
and existing urban developments, particularly with regard to effcient use of water and
urban drainage patterns.
Description:
UWOT is a model that simulates the urban water cycle by representing water use and
fows at individual household level as well as the combined effects at the development
scale. UWOT can also be used as an optimisation tool to determine the most sustainable
combination of water management solutions.
The model is run using data from three different spatial levels which is stored in a linked
database:
• Sub-household level (lower level) – Data is included on water and energy use, cost
and technical specifcations of water appliances such as toilets, washing machines,
local treatment units, etc.
• Individual household level and centralised technologies (middle level) – Data is
included on household pipework, impermeable area, occupancy rates, centralised
wastewater treatment facilities, etc.
• The urban development as a whole (higher level) – Data is included on household
numbers and type, drainage characteristics, centralised recycling schemes, etc.
Compiling the data from the different levels gives a detailed simulation of the water
balance of an urban development as well as the associated energy use and costs. The
user can then explore how the implementation of different water management solutions
will infuence the system, giving an indication of the most effective combination of
solutions to achieve specifc objectives such as reduced water consumption and more
sustainable drainage.
figure 13: Input data for UWoT (Source: national Technical University of athens)
36
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
For further information
about UWOT including
examples of its use see the
SWITCH paper ‘Managing
the complete Urban Water
Cycle: the Urban
Water Optioneering Tool’
(Makropolous et al 2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
Examples of areas where UWOT is particularly relevant include:
• the examination of the impacts of water recycling schemes such as rainwater
harvesting and greywater reuse on potable water consumption;
• the water and energy savings of replacing conventional domestic water appliances
with low consumption alternatives; and
• the ability of sustainable urban drainage solutions to restore natural rainfall runoff
patterns in an urban development.
Outputs from UWOT are in the form of assessment indicators. These provide the user
with an understanding of how potential interventions will impact upon key areas of water
management such as water consumption, wastewater discharges, energy use, operating
costs, permeable land area, fexibility, etc. These indicator values are then standardised to
enable the optimal combination of solutions to be calculated by the model.
figure 14: examples of assessment indicators used within UWoT
(Source: national Technical University of athens)
One of the limitations of UWOT is the inability of the model to examine changes in data
such as household numbers, occupancy rates and demand trends over time. However,
a newer version is currently under development that will enable the fexible management
of these characteristics over time. It will also have the ability to integrate with other
hydrological, hydraulic, socio-economic and meteorological models to establish a more
detailed representation of the entire urban water system.
37
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.3 Aquacycle
Purpose:
To investigate the potential of integrating stormwater and wastewater reuse options into
the urban water system as a substitute for potable mains water supplies.
Description:
Aquacycle is designed to integrate the rainfall-stormwater runoff system with the potable
supply-wastewater system of an urban environment. The integration of these different
elements of the urban water cycle allows a comprehensive water balance to be created
that is used as the basis for assessing the impacts of different urban water management
strategies.
figure 15: The structure of aquacycle (Source: Mitchell 2005)
38
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
Aquacycle is a generic model that performs a daily water balance using location-specifc
information relating to water consumption, climate data and physical characteristics of
teh area under investigation. Different water-recycling options are assessed within this
context to measure their impact on potable water consumption, stormwater runoff and
wastewater generation.
Aquacycle can operate at a variety of spatial scales from a single land block through
to an entire urban catchment. This allows a range of solutions to be investigated at
different levels, ranging from individual households to centralised options that serve
entire developments. Examples of alternative options that are included in the model are
rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and aquifer storage and recovery.
Outputs from Aquacycle cover the key aspects of the urban water system under the
scenarios being investigated. These include data on:
• stormwater, wastewater and imported water use;
• stormwater and wastewater yield;
• evapotranspiration;
• storage status; and
• performance of alternative supply sources.
(Taken from Mitchell 2005)
This output is presented as a number of fles that contain information related to the
different spatial scales of the area under investigation. The output can also be specifed
as daily, monthly or yearly time-step fles to gain a comprehensive understanding of the
full implications of various interventions.
To access the Aquacycle software, go to: http://www.toolkit.net.au/tools/Aquacycle
figure 16: Conceptual representation of the urban water cycle in aquacycle (Source: Mitchell 2005)
The user guide for Aquacycle
can be downloaded at:
http://www.toolkit.net.
au/Tools/Aquacycle/
documentation
39
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.4 Eco.SWM – Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) tool
Purpose:
To carry out a comprehensive life-cycle cost calculation of different stormwater
management solutions.
Description:
Eco.SWM is a calculation tool for computing and comparing economic costs through the
use of Net Present Values (NPV); a standard method of discounting future payments to a
present value. The use of NPVs allows the user to analyse the complete fnancial aspects
of different solutions giving a better understanding of the full life-cycle costs. To do this,
the tool calculates NPVs for the following factors:
• implementation costs
• operation and maintenance costs
• life span of the option
• time of investment
• interest rates and infation
The NPV calculations are based on input data entered by the user. This is as follows:
• name of the option
• unit in which the option is measured
• number of options that are being implemented
• initial investment for each single option in €/unit
• year in which the initial investment takes place
• the mean life expectancy for the option
• specifc operation cost for each single option in €/unit/year
• interest rate
• project duration
• infation rate
figure 17: npV calculations for life cycle costs (Source: Ingenieurgesellschaft Sieker)
The use of DSS in
stormwater management
is discussed in the SWITCH
paper ‘An Integrated
Decision Support Approach
to the Selection of
Sustainable Urban Drainage
Systems (SUDS) (Ellis et al
2011)
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
40
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
To support the user in accessing the necessary cost and investment information, the Eco.
SWM calculation tool is linked to an online database where a large quantity of information
is stored on unit prices, operational costs and lifetime expectancies for both conventional
and more innovative stormwater solutions. The information stored in the database allows
the user to consider a wide range of solutions which may otherwise be ignored due to
lack of input data needed to make the calculations. Users are able to enter their own
information into the database and in this way it also functions as a knowledge exchange
facility that is continuously updated with the latest practical information.
To operate the tool, the user enters the relevant information for the different measures
that are being considered. These can be multiple measures for different stormwater
management systems; for example a stormwater sewer and retention pond for a
conventional system, or swales, trenches and infltration basins for a source control
approach. The tool calculates the NPVs of the different options and adds these together
to provide a cost profle of the different approaches. Results can be presented in both
tabular and graphical format.
figure 18: output data from the eco.SWM lCCa calculation tool (Source: Ingenieurgesellschaft Sieker)
The life-cycle cost analysis provided by the tool, is the most appropriate means of
comparing the fnancial implications of different stormwater (and potentially other areas
of water management) solutions and approaches – always a crucial factor in decision
making. What is lacking however, is the ability to assign an economic value to the fexibility
of the different options. To incorporate such costs the user can make use of the COFAS
tool (see Section 6.5).
The Eco.SWM LCCA calculation tool can be accessed free of charge at:
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/res_software.php
For more information on the
Eco.SWM LCCA calculation
tool see the SWITCH paper
‘Development and testing of
a life-cycle cost calculation
tool’ (Sieker et al 2007)
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
41
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
6.5 COFAS – Comparing the Flexibility of Alternative
Solutions
Purpose:
To provide a quantifed comparison of different water management solutions based on
their fexibility to respond to changes in boundary conditions.
Description:
The COFAS method is based on the Utility Value Analysis (UVA) technique, a form of
multi-criteria assessment which uses the sum of weighted indicators (such as cost,
energy emissions, water quality parameters, etc.) to compare alternative products or
solutions. COFAS adds an additional dimension to this technique by assessing the level
of variation associated with these utility values under a variety of conditions.
COFAS does this by using the indicator ‘homogeneity of performance’ to calculate
the fexibility of utility values of different water management solutions under various
future scenarios. A high homogeneity score implies greater fexibility of a solution as
its performance (utility value) remains consistent under a range of future changes. In
contrast, a low homogeneity score suggests that the solution would perform differently
under alternative future scenarios and is therefore sensitive to changes in boundary
conditions.
figure 19: results of a Utility Value analysis (Source: Ingenieurgesellschaft Sieker)
42
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
As fexibility can be considered a combination of a system’s ability to perform under
different future scenarios as well as its capacity to adapt to such change, COFAS takes
these two aspects into account through the measurement of:
• Robustness – ability of a system to cope with different boundary conditions without
modifcations
• Adaptive fexibility – ease with which a system can be adapted to cope with different
boundary conditions
The COFAS tool includes the UVA and the calculation of the homogeneity. Outputs
demonstrate the measurement of fexibility through sector diagrams as well as a
charted sensitivity analysis. These results allow fexibility to be easily and transparently
incorporated into decision making adding a key sustainability criterion to the evaluation
process.
To download the COFAS tool, go to: http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/res_software.php
The COFAS tool is described
in detail in the SWITCH
paper ‘Assessing future
uncertainties associated
with urban drainage using
fexible systems – the
COFAS method and tool’
(Peters et al 2010).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
figure 20: The CofaS method of weighting utility values based on fexibility
(Source: Ingenieurgesellschaft Sieker)
43
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
Using the COFAS method to compare urban drainage systems in
Kupferzell, Germany
Concerned about the impact
of hydraulic stress on water
quality in the River Kupfer, the
municipality of Kupferzell in
south-west Germany was used
as a test case for applying the
COFAS software to compare the
fexibility of different types of
urban drainage systems.
Four potential future scenarios
based on climatic, demographic,
economic, land use and
water management data were
identifed. These were matched
with four drainage system
alternatives for new areas of
development; combined sewer system, separate sewer system, decentralised system and
extended decentralised system.
The 16 resulting combinations were assessed using a rainfall-runoff model with the
performance of each system under the different scenarios being evaluated through a utility
value analysis based on 27 qualitative and quantitative indicators. The results from this
analysis were then assessed using the COFAS method to produce a single value per system
through which the fexibility of the different alternatives could be compared.
The results of both the utility value analysis and the COFAS analysis strongly favoured the
decentralised drainage systems over the conventional options for new developments in
Kupferzell. This refects the overall value that such systems bring to an urban landscape
in terms of environmental, social and economic benefts as well as their ability to adapt to
future changes.
To view the full results of the Kupferzell study, see the report ‘Modelling
stormwater and evaluating potential solutions’ (Sieker et al 2008)
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
See Module 4 for more information on the differences between conventional
and decentralised urban drainage solutions
Residential development in Kupferzell
I
m
a
g
e
:

I
n
g
e
n
i
e
u
r
g
e
s
e
l
l
s
c
h
a
f
t

S
i
e
k
e
r
44
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
More information on the use
of the VENSIM-based Water
Demand Management
Options Model can be found
in Section 4 of the SWITCH
book ‘Water Demand
Management in the City
of the Future - Selected
tools and instruments for
practitioners’ (Kayaga &
Smout et al 2011).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
6.6 VENSIM-based Water Demand Management
Options Model
Purpose:
To compare the cost effectiveness of water demand management options over a long-
term planning horizon
Description:
The Ventana Systems Environment Model (VENSIM, http://www.vensim.com) is a
generic visual modelling tool which has been utilised in the SWITCH project to create
a framework to assess and compare the cost effectiveness of different water demand
management options. The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet based model runs on a set of
input data that is made up of cost and water use values related to individual options, and
location specifc information concerning the details of the target water user groups.
Using this data, the model calculates the Net Present Value (NPV – see Section 6.4 for
further details) of the ‘cost of the programme’ and the ‘water saved’ allowing options to
be evaluated based on their overall cost effectiveness (NPV cost of programme / NPV
water saved).
The model can be used for a variety of water demand management options including:
• water effciency products
• water pricing mechanisms
• rainwater harvesting
• greywater reuse
• behavioural change
The outputs from the model can be displayed in a number of formats that provide a
breakdown of the calculations for individual options as well as a comparative analysis of
all options modelled allowing the user to identify where the potential exist to make large
water savings at relatively low cost.
The model can be adapted for use in any city. However, good quality results are dependent
on good quality input data which limits the model’s value in cities where such data is not
readily available.
To download the Water Demand Management Options Model, go to
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/res_software.php
See the SWITCH paper
‘Agent-Based Modelling
to Estimate Residential
Water Demand and to
Explore Optimal Demand
Side Water Management
Strategies’ (Tsegaye et al
2009).
www.switchtraining.eu/
switch-resources
45
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
figure 21: example of output from the Water demand Management options Model (Source: WedC)
46
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre

Wrapping up
Urban water management decision makers need to make choices today that will have
long-term implications for water management. This is diffcult due to the complexity of
the urban water cycle and the unpredictability of the future.
A conventional approach to water management decision making is sector specifc and
does not consider needs and impacts beyond a defned area of responsibility. It is also
based on future forecasts and assumptions.
In contrast, an integrated approach analyses the urban water cycle as a whole with the
aim of understanding the true impacts of potential interventions. It also acknowledges
that the future is uncertain by favouring fexibility
Multi-stakeholder engagement plays a crucial role in integrated decision making as
interventions in one area of the urban water cycle are likely to infuence interests elsewhere.
Decision Support Systems can help decision makers by managing and assessing large
quantities of data. Accompanying modelling tools allow the impacts of different strategies
and solutions to be examined under changing future scenarios.
Indicators can be used to evaluate modelling results and present complex data analysis
in an accessible format. This allows non-specialists to participate in the decision making-
process.
Paved
surfaces
Roofs
Perm
eable
surfaces
Lake/
R
eservoir
R
i v e
r A
q u i f e r
W
a t e r
t r e a t m
e n t
D i s t r i b u t i o n
n e t w o r k
L o s s e s
O u t d o o r
u s e
I n d u s t r i a l /
C o m m e r c i a l
u s e
P u b l i c
s e r v i c e s
u s e
D o m e s t i c
u s e
S
e w
e
r
s y s t e
m
W
a
ste
w
a
te
r
tre
a
tm
e
n
t
S
l u
d
g
e
Treated
effluent
Drainage
network
Impermeable
rock/soils
Sea
Sludge
C
h
e
m
i c a l s
Energy
Inputs to the
system
Flows through
the system
Outputs from
the system
N u t r i e n t s
R
a
in
fa
ll
E
va
p
o
tra
n
s-
p
ira
tio
n
C
o
m
b
i n
e
d

s e
w
e
r
o
v e
r f l o
w
s
A g r i c u l t u r e
E
c o n o m
i c
d e v e l o p m
e n t
H
e
a l t h
H
o
u
sin
g
P
arks &
g
a
rd
e
n
s
A
griculture
Waste
Forestry
Energy
Agriculture
P
arks &
gardens
T
ra
n
sp
o
rt
H
o
u
s i n
g
W
a s t e
Influences on
the system
A g r i c u l t u r e
Fisheries
14

consideration for the opinions, concerns and knowledge of many of those likely to be most
affected.
The drawback of such an approach is twofold. On the one hand the lack of stakeholder
engagement deprives decision-makers of the local knowledge that could be crucial for
making a good choice. On the other, the failure to identify the true needs of those affected
runs the risk of a decision being taken that is ultimately rejected by those who were expected
to benefit. Urban water management stakeholders are numerous. A detailed stakeholder
analysis and comprehensive engagement plan should therefore ideally be a key aspect of
any integrated decision making process. Figure 3 gives some indication of the many
stakeholder groups likely to have an interest in a water management solution, in this case for
the City of Alexandria in Egypt.
Figure 3: Water management stakeholders for the City of Alexandrian, Egypt (Source: The City Water
Information System, EPFL)




Water management
in Alexandria
Egyptian
Environmental
Affairs Agency
Ministry of Water
Resources &
Irrigation
Ministry of
Agriculture
Ministry of Health
Ministry of
Housing, Utilities
& Urban
Communities
Alexandria Local
Council
Fisherman
Authority
Local community
Alexandria
Holding Company
for Sanitary
Drainage
University of
Alexandria
Alexandria
Governorate
Media (lobby
group)
Pioneers of the
Environment
Friends of the
Environment
Alexandria
Holding Company
for Drinking Water
Centre for
Environment &
Development for the
Arab Region &
Europe (CEDARE)
24


Figure 9: The system architecture of City Water (Source: EPFL, Lausanne)


6.1.1 City Water Information System (CWIS)
The CWIS consists of two components:
• The City Water database; and
• The user interface.
These components are closely linked to each other and also to the suite of simulation
models that completes the City Water DSS.
The City Water database
Purpose:
To host and provide all the data required to operate the viewing tools of the system user
interface (CWIS) and to run the simulation models.
Description:
City Water is designed to manage a vast amount of information about a city’s water system.
This information is stored in the general database from where it is linked to the user interface
and simulation models. Data can be entered in most formats including:
• Numeric values
• Texts, including links to websites
• Files (pdf files, images, videos, etc.)
• Geometrics (spatial objects)
• Lifetimes
Rather than limiting water management analysis to quantitative frameworks, this flexibility
greatly increases the scope of information that can be explored and incorporated into
modelling simulations.
21



Indicators are therefore used within a DSS to provide a consistent and clear means of
interpreting complex output data. More specifically they are used for the following purposes:
 To assess the impacts of different actions (or combinations of actions) under
different future scenarios;
 To compare actions (or combinations of actions) to determine the optimal solution;
and
 To convey the justification for decisions to all stakeholders in a transparent and
coherent way.
Within an integrated decision making process, the indicators used to present DSS results
would be chosen to cover impacts on the entire urban water cycle and related urban
development sectors. It would therefore be expected that the selection of indicators would
involve contributions from representatives of relevant stakeholders and would consider all
aspects of sustainability as presented in Section 4.
Chosen indicators for IUWM are not necessarily directly related to water management. They
may also include more general quality of life aspects that are influenced by water. It should
be noted that indicators, and the weight of importance assigned to them, are location specific
and will be dependent on a range of local needs and priorities associated with climate,
existing infrastructure, standards of living, etc. – a good indicator for one city is not
necessarily relevant in another.






Health
Cost
Energy
Water use
Water quality
Safe sanitation
Flexibility
Robustness
Equity
Biodiversity
Model Output A1
Model Output B1
Model Output C1
Model Output D1
[margin text]
[SWITCH logo + arrow] See Module 1 as well as the SWITCH
‘Indicators Manual’ (van der Steen 2011, Resource Ref. #) for
more information on the use of indicators in urban water
management
47
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
references
agudelo, C., Mels, a., braadbaart, o. (2010) Best practice and a decision support
system for ecosan systems, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
agudelo, C., Mels, a., braadbaart, o. (2007) Multi-criteria framework for the selection
of urban sanitation systems, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/PAP_Multi-criteria_framework_for_
urban_sanitation_systems.pdf
ellis, b., lundy, l., revitt, M. (2011) An Integrated Decision Support Approach to the
Selection of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), Middlesex University, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
gimba, f. a. (2009) Application of SWITCH Cuty Water Balance Model to Abelenkpe
Area of Accra Ghana, MSc Industrial Environmental Management, University of Abertay,
UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
giupponi, C., Camera, r., fassio, a., feás, J., Mysiak, J., rosato, p., Sgobbi, a. (2006)
Modelling and Decision Support in the NetSyMoD Approach, FEEM, Venice, Italy.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=893040
Jeferies, C., dufy, a. (2010) The SWITCH Transition Manual, University of Abertay,
UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Kayaga, S., Smout, I. (2011) Water Demand Management in the City of the Future –
Selected tools and instruments for practitioners, WEDC, Loughborough University, UK.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Krauze, K., Wlodarczyk, r. (2010) Drivers and pressures of city water resources – a
risk-based decision support system for implementation of the Ecohydrology approach,
SWITCH poster, ERCE, Lodz, Poland. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
last, e., Mackay, r. (2007) Developing a new scoping model for urban water
sustainability, The University of Birmingham, UK.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/PAP_Developng_new_scoping_model_
for_urban_water_sustainability.pdf
lekkas, d. f., Manoli, e., assimacopoulos, d. (2007) Integrated urban water modelling
using the Aquacycle model, Global NEST Journal, Vol 10, No 3, pp 310-319, 2008,
National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
http://www.gnest.org/journal/Vol10_No3/310-319_532_LekkasDF_10-3.pdf
loftus, a. C., Howe, C., anton, b., philip, r., Morchain, d. (2011) Adapting urban
water systems to climate change – A handbook for decision makers at the local level,
ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Makropoulos, T. C., rozos, e. (2010) Managing the complete Urban Water Cycle: the
Urban Water Optioneering Tool, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Mitchell, g. (2005) Aquacycle: A daily urban water balance model – User Guide,
Monash University, Australia.
http://www.toolkit.net.au/Tools/Aquacycle/documentation

48
SWITCH Training Kit
InTegraTed Urban WaTer ManageMenT
In THe CITy of THe fUTUre
national Technical University of athens (2011) City Water Economics Manual &
Application Cases, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
peters, C., Sieker, H., Jin, Z. (2010) Assessing future uncertainties associated
with urban drainage using fexible systems – the COFAS method and tool,
Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH (IPS), Hoppegarten, Germany.
www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Sanchez Torres, a., pricem r., Vojinovic, Z. (2011) Exploring Cities Water Future
Infrastructure, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands.
http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/W1-2_GEN_PAP_Exploring_Cities_
Water_Future_Infrastructure.pdf
Schenk, C. (2010) A Systems-Based Generic decision Support System Application
to Urban Water Management, Thèse No 4663 (2010), Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Schenk, C., Soutter, M. (2008) The water dimension of urban and land planning:
review of the relevant water system components and issues, state of the art and
promising research directions towards a more water aware planning process, Swiss
Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.
http://switchurbanwater.eu
Sieker, H., peters, C., Sommer, H. (2008) Modelling stormwater and evaluating
potential solutions, Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH (IPS), Hoppegarten,
Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Sieker, H., Jakobs, f., Jin, Z., peters, C. (2007) Development and testing of a life-cycle
cost calculation tool, Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH (IPS), Hoppegarten,
Germany. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Soutter, M. (2011) The City Water Information System (CWIS), Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
SWITCH policy briefng note 3 (2010) Decision Support Tools for Integrated Urban
Water Management Systems, SWITCH. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
Tsegaye, S., Vairavamoorthy, K. (2009) Agent-Based Modelling to Estimate Residential
Water Demand and to Explore Optimal Demand Side Water Management Strategies,
WEDC, Loughborough University, UK. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
van der Steen, p. (2011) Application of Sustainability Indicators within the framework of
Strategic Planning for Integrated Urban Water Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for
Water Education, Delft, Netherlands. www.switchtraining.eu/switch-resources
49
Module 6
deCISIon-SUpporT ToolS
Choosing a sustainable path
notes
www.switchtraining.eu
Contact:
ICLEI European Secretariat
leopoldring 3
79098 freiburg
germany
www.iclei-europe.org
phone: +49-761/368 92-0
fax: +49-761/368 92-29
email: water@iclei.org
Partners:
The SWITCH project aimed to achieve more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the future”.
a consortium of 33 partner organisations from 15 countries worked on innovative scientifc, technological
and socio-economic solutions with the aim of encouraging widespread uptake around the world.
ISBN 978-3-943107-08-1 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-943107-02-9 (CD-ROM)