The IWA will launch the Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities at the IWA World Water Congress on Sept. 19 in Tokyo. Building on the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities, the agenda aims to inform, influence and activate urban stakeholders to protect and invest in water resources, together with basin and catchment organizations. The agenda outlines the rationale for urban stakeholders to lead the way in realizing their role as water stewards and the different pathways and activities toward achieving sustainable water management, including securing water resources, protecting water quality and preparing for extreme events.

The action agenda is directed at water and wastewater utilities, city governments, industry (urban and periurban), policymakers and regulators, basin organizations and water resources agencies.

Growing populations and continued economic development of cities within a catchment area requires water security that ultimately depends on healthy basin ecosystems coupled with effective water governance. Challenges of water quality, quantity and resilience to extreme events cannot be solved by individual entities alone such as water utilities and city governments, as the wider catchment is usually beyond their mandate. Utilities and city governments can play leading roles, but must also engage with stakeholders representing environmental, social and economic interests. Consequently, it is critical to encourage urban leaders to champion water resource protection by connecting in collaboration with basin and catchment organizations, civil society and environmental groups, as well as agricultural, energy and other business interests.

To support the agenda, the IWA has developed and is developing Basin Stories to document some of the best practices and approaches that demonstrate how stakeholders, especially those in urban areas (e.g. city government, water and wastewater utilities, industries), are taking part or contributing to sustainable management of water resources. For example, how the Superintendencia Nacional de Servicios de Saneamiento, the national water regulator in Peru, together with water utilities and other stakeholders are working to introduce principles and practices to create water-wise basins. Or, how a water fund is bringing together major water consumers in Nairobi — companies and government agencies with a vested interest in a high-quality and reliable water supply — and creating linkages to non-urban communities.

This text was provided by the IWA.

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