Sustainable Urban Water Management

Sustainable Urban Water Management

Program Description

As urban areas expand worldwide and become densely populated, there is a growing interest in the building of water-wise cities in developed and developing countries alike. This growing interest is driven by the severe limitation of available water resources to meet the rapid urbanization and the need to improve urban liveability. There have been various approaches and conceptual developments for urban water management in various regions and countries, such as Low Impact Developments (LID) in North America, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Europe, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in Australia.

To augment the urban water supply, rainwater harvesting systems like rainwater tanks have been implemented in various countries in urban areas to provide a local, decentralised water source. However, their widespread implementation in urban areas with a centralised water supply is comparatively novel. The importance of these systems in cities has grown as water managers seek to address capacity constraints of current water supply systems as well as increasing resilience to water scarcity and the adverse impacts of climate change. Rainwater tank systems are now implemented under integrated urban water management (IUWM) approach, which takes a holistic view of the urban water system for water supply and stormwater management.

Alongwith the provision of water in sufficient quantities in urban areas, it is also imperative to efficiently use the water. In addition to providing water savings, improved water-use efficiency can deliver environmental benefits by reducing water withdrawals from sources as well as lowering wastewater discharges, thereby decreasing pollution loads in receiving oceans, rivers and streams. Efficient water use also helps to delay the need to invest in costly water supply and wastewater treatment facilities, thus reducing energy demand for pumping and treating. 


  1. To provide a critical review on theoretical developments in sustainable water supply systems and the associated smart water systems, including the key concepts and principles.
  2. To present new thinking on the design and management of sustainable urban water systems of various scales.
  3. To provide a technological package with successful examples of technology selection, integration, and optimization on a ‘fit-for-purpose’ basis.


This course will give an insight into the integrated approach to manage the urban water. Participants will get to know the various streams included in IUWM, their selection criteria for a particular area and technological aspects. Diversification of the urban water supply source mix in order to address water scarcity problems is an important aspect of this course. The program will also be a valuable resource for developers, civil designers and architects seeking to implement sustainable water servicing approaches using rainwater tanks for residential, industrial and commercial developments. And last but not least, the course should also be useful for water professionals who are involved in the strategic water planning for a town or at a larger scale. 

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