By Megan Rowling
BARCELONA, Jan 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As drought-hit Cape Town faces the prospect of its faucets running dry when April, it’s linking a job to work out how cities can better prepare water shocks and stresses in the future.
Engineering company Arup and five cities will collaborate this year to come up with a set of practical tools that will help urban areas cope with even or too small water.
The four others will be Amman, Mexico City, Greater Miami and Hull in England.
The intention is to make a manual for cities of all sizes to understand and assess the resilience of their water systems.
“A changing climate combined with rapid urbanisation is increasing the frequency of water-related crises facing cities,” Mark Fletcher, pioneer of Arup’s global water company, said in an announcement.
“Increasingly, erratic rainfall, flood and droughts are impacting cities throughout their water cycle,” he further added.
The cities analyzing the City Water Resilience Framework (CWRF) – that will afterwards be made accessible for others around the world to work with – were selected for their diverse locations, sizes, shapes and water issues.
South Africa’s Cape Town, with a population of 3.7 million, is still suffering from severe drought following three years of low rainfall, threatening water supplies because of its own residents, businesses and tourism market.
Amman, the capital town of Jordan, has no resources of water nearby and frequently experiences drought, even while lower-lying components are overrun when it rains heavily.
Mexico City, a mega-city of 21.3 million individuals, depends on depleting aquifers and dangers running out of water daily. Constructed on land that was once a lake, it’s also prone to flood.
Greater Miami and the Beaches features a high groundwater table and complex canal system, making it particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and tidal flood.
Hull’s porthas recently undergone floods recently, with 90% of the city standing under the high-tide line.
CWRF project director at Arup, Martin Shouler, informed the Thomson Reuters Foundation the new strategy would explore the links between the basins and cities that furnish their water supply that was natural.
“Our clients have begun to understand … that when it comes to water, then you can’t think of a town in splendid isolation – it’s part of its catchment,” he explained. “Vice versa, the town afterward impacts on its catchment when its water discharges back to the ecosystem”
As a part of this wider view, the project will bring in different groups such as farmers whose activities around a town change its water supply, ” he added.
Andrew Salkin of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) reported that, more than 1,000 cities that had applied to join its network to help them tackle modern-day pressures, over 60 percent stated water problems introduced “critical health dangers”.
The five functioning around the new water system in 2018 – four of which belong to 100RC – can share expertise and lessons with ” many cities around the world grappling with water difficulties”, he further added.
Other partners in the project include The Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.
Shouler mentioned mapping water dangers would assist urban planners, town governments and other decision-makers come up with approaches to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from possible crises like water shortages or flooding.
Once cities have identified water-related challenges, they could set priorities, invent solutions and search for investors.
“Once it gets more apparent what these pathways to resilience might be … it could well help bring money into this area,” explained Shouler. (Reporting from Megan Rowling @meganrowling; editing by Alex Whiting. Please charge the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers diplomatic news, climate change, endurance, women’s rights, trafficking and land rights. Go to http://news.trust.org/climate)