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Symposium 2011

Background Paper - Reducing the Water and Waste Footprints of Megacities

The Challenge

The United Nations estimates that the number of megacities with a population of more than 10 million will triple from 20 in 2003 to 61 in 2015. It is estimated that more than nine tenths of urban grow ...

The United Nations estimates that the number of megacities with a population of more than 10 million will triple from 20 in 2003 to 61 in 2015. It is estimated that more than nine tenths of urban growth will occur in developing nations, with four fifths of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa.

Humanity is faced with manifold changes in the global environment that have an impact on the capacity of the earth system to sustain life. These effects are summarised with the term “global change” and include drivers such as population growth, climate change and urbanisation. Urbanisation is one of the main drivers of global change and comprises socioeconomic transformation processes as well as linkages between cities and the environment.