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Symposium 2011

Proposal - WWF - Recommendations for future urban planning with regard to water sustainability

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.

Dear Panelists,

I'm looking very much forward to our panel next wednesday. Please allow me as an Executive Officer of WWF to add the following recommendations of WWF for future urban planning with regard to water sustainability:

- Cities must protect and restore ecosystems that are important water sources for surface waters and aquifers. The adoption of a multi-sectoral approach to water and wastewater management at the national level is a matter of urgency.

- Successful and sustainable wastewater management that supports peri-urban agriculture is crucial for reducing water consumption.

- In order to better understand their vulnerabilities, prepare for climate change impacts, and make informed political and financial decisions, cities must conduct vulnerability and water risk assessments covering the core urban and peri-urban areas. Local stakeholder involvement is key to any vulnerability and risk assessment and adaptation strategy development and implementation.

- Innovative financing of water and wastewater infrastructure should take into account livelihoods, involve the private sector and institutionalize payment and cost recovery systems.

- An inventory of critical infrastructure at risk to flooding, droughts, or sea level rise is fundamental to inform longer-term planning, construction, funding, and other resiliency goals.

- The incorporation of green infrastructure and low-impact development, such as rain gardens, capture-and-use systems (rain barrels and cisterns) or urban agriculture, should be encouraged in local planning.

For your further information - maybe you already know them - you can find the three most important studies on the links below:

http://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/pdf_neu/WWF_Big%20Cities_Big%20Water_Big%20Challenges.pdf

http://www.nrdc.org/water/files/thirstyforanswers.pdf

http://www.grida.no/files/publications/blue-cities/RRA_GHBC_screen.pdf

We may talk about concrete questions and points before our panel on wednesday. You can reach me directly via my email account
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I am very much looking forward to an interesting discussion next week.


Best regards,

Marco Vollmar

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