Water scarce cities: thriving in a finite world

The report is an advocacy piece to raise awareness around the need to shift the typical way urban water has been managed and to share emerging principles and solutions that may improve urban water supply security in water scarce cities. It aims to promote successes, outline challenges and principles, and extract key lessons learned for future efforts. It builds on the experiences of over 20 water scarce cities and territories from five continents, which represent a diversity of situations and development levels. This report argues that WSS service providers, policy makers, and practitioners should look at their mandate and responsibilities in a new light, and seek to embrace integrated water resources management considerations. Drawing from successful experiences from around the world, it extracts several underlying management principles applied by effective utilities. The report then aims to demystify solutions to address urban water scarcity, comparing and contrasting related institutional, technological, economic and social aspects. It then concludes with cross-cutting considerations relevant to planners, water operators and policy makers of water scarce cities.