Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 3    April 2011

Managing Water for the City of the Future
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Across the world, cities face major challenges in managing scarcer and less reliable water resources.  Another problem they face is disposing of waste water in a safe and economical way.

One program addressing this issue is SWITCH, an action research program by the European Union and world partners. SWITCH's goal is to accelerate changes that support sustainable urban water management for the "City of the Future."

The SWITCH approach to Urban Water Management is aimed at solving water management challenges for the city of the future. The approach consists of:


An inventory of major global change pressures that affect urban water systems.
An overview of strategic issues facing urban water managers for the next several decades; an overview of concrete strategic questions that need answered.
A description of the potential of strategic planning under changing conditions and uncertainty.
A  planning approach directed at creative visioning, scenario identification and strategy development.
A method to implement urban water management plans through government and non-government sectors.
Recommendations for a system to monitor and measure project results for future strategic planning.
Recommendations for a decision support tool to evaluate strategies and options on overall system sustainability.
Recommendations for applying innovative (technological) options in future urban water management schemes.

The SWITCH Consortium represents academics, urban planners, water utilities and consultants. These experts work with civil society through 'learning alliances' in ten global cities. These alliances bring together researchers and city stakeholders (utilities, finance departments etc) to create plans for sustainable water solutions.

Other methods for sharing and adopting successful methods are demonstrations, research, training and knowledge sharing.

SWITCH Project Partners

Research Areas/Cities

Accra - Ghana
Beijing, China
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Birmingham, UK
Cali, Colombia
Chongqing, China
Emscher Region, Germany
Hamburg, Germany
Lima Peru
Lodz, Poland
Tel Aviv, Israel
Zaragoza, Spain


Watch the SWITCH  Video!

External members of the SWITCH Scientific Committee:
  • Prof. David Butler – Exeter University, UK
  • Prof. Pradeep Mujinder – Indian Institute of Science, India
  • Dr. Cyrus Nijru – African Development Bank, Africa
  • Prof. Wolfgang Rauch – University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • Dr. Alberto Tejada-Guibert – UNESCO-IHP, France
  • University of Abertay, Dundee, United Kingdom
  • ARUP, United Kingdom
  • AYTO Municipality of Zaragoza, Spain
  • University of Birmingham, UK
    Rae Mackay * **
  • CEDARE Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe, Egypt
  • CQU Chongqing University, China P.R.
  • EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • ETC-UA Urban Agriculture, Netherlands
  • FHH, Hamburg Municipality, Germany
  • University of Greenwich, United Kingdom
  • HCU HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany
  • HUJI Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    Avner Adin *
  • HWE House of Water and Environment, Palestine
  • ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, European Secretariat, Germany
  • IGSNRR Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources Research, China P.R.
  • IPES Promocion del desarrollo sostenible, Peru
  • IPS Ingeniergesellschaft Sieker, Germany
  • IRC International Water and Sanitation Center, Netherlands
    John Butterworth *
  • IWMI International Water Management Institute, Ghana
  • KNUST Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  • University of Lodz, Poland
  • MEKOROT Israel National Water Company, Israel
  • Middlesex University, United Kingdom
    Mike Revitt * **
  • NTUA National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • PBH Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte, Brasil
  • TUB Technical University Berlin, Germany
  • TUHH Technical University Hamburg-Harburg, Germany
  • UFMG Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil
  • UNAL Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Netherlands
    Gary Amy **, Carol Howe *, Kala Vairamoorthy * **,
    Peter van der Steen *, Meine Pieter van Dijk **
  • UNIVALLE Universidad del Valle, Colombia
  • Wageningen University, Netherlands
    Adriaan Mels *
  • WEDC, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
    Ian Smout *

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