Gaan steden goed om met hun water?
City Blueprint offers cities a yardstick
About 90% of world population growth will be taking place in cities. According to the UN, demand for water is accelerating and water scarcity is becoming a global problem. KWR helps cities with a quick scan that shows them where they are managing their water well, and where not so well.
In 2010 start Kees van Leeuwen bij KWR met het onderzoek naar stedelijk water.
In 2010, Kees van Leeuwen starts researching urban water management at KWR. Together with his colleagues, he assesses the sustainability of the urban water cycle (UWC) of the city of Rotterdam – Maastricht and Venlo then follow. He is impressed by the subject as he examines the following international challenges:
- Increasing global urbanisation (in 2050, 87% of the population of developed countries will be living in cities)
- Growing water consumption (water withdrawals have tripled since 1950)
- Forecasts of increasing water scarcity (in 2030, demand will exceed supply by 40%).
The World Economic Forum considers water security to be one of the five greatest challenges facing the planet.
Van Leeuwen has completed City Blueprints for 13 cities – from Oslo to Dar es Salaam. The City Blueprint is an assessment of the sustainability of a city’s UWC based on 24 indicators. His most important conclusion: “The variability in sustainability among the blueprints of cities offers excellent opportunities. Cities can learn a lot from each other. The implementation of best practices leads to truly ‘blue’ cities.” The efforts and involvement of cities’ inhabitants play a key role. “Our research shows that people matter,“ says Van Leeuwen. “People create the problems, but they also are key to providing solutions. Sustainable cities require a proactive civil society and industry. Together with the local authorities, they have to define objectives and share knowledge. Only by doing this and by stimulating innovation, will we be able to cope with the water supply challenges in our urban areas over the next decade or two.” Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé recently put it very clearly: “We will fail to feed the world until we fix the water crisis.”
Partly as a result of the IWA World Water Congress in Busan, KWR is receiving more and more requests from cities, including Melbourne, to make an assessment of their water use.
© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute
Kees van Leeuwen