15 November 2020 / Vienna, Austria
INBO Webinar “City-Basin Dialogue”: A Roadmap to Future Urban Growth
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
15 November 2020

On 10th November the International Water Association (IWA) and the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) held a webinar, outlining their ambition to create a handbook for “urban actors” who have to solve conflicts between population growth and sustainable water management. IAWD President Walter Kling reported on the situation in the Danube region.

A vast majority of the world's population already lives in cities. By 2050, nearly 6 billion people will dwell in urban areas. This development presents many challenges for making cities sustainable and requires collective intelligence and action for water and environmental security. Urban growth can be an opportunity for economic development. However, as natural resources are limited, it is also a threat to the quality of life.

A challenge for all stakeholders

A growing awareness of these challenges has already brought about frameworks such as the Principles for Water Wise Cities, which emphasizes cost optimization, water resource resilience, conservation of biodiversity, etc., and collaborative action to reconcile the urban water cycle with the wider water cycle, including river and lake basins and aquifers on which cities rely for their water supply. All stakeholders must be involved in identifying and implementing appropriate and sustainable solutions for effective city-basin governance.

A handbook for decision-makers

The International Water Association (IWA) and the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) are currently creating a handbook on this topic, a decision-making tool for connecting and integrating cities with their hydrographic basins. This handbook expands on the Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities which reflects the current and potential issues between cities and their basins and presenting ways forward by identifying the drivers for action (e.g. forseeable risks) and possible solution pathways. Presenting practical case studies, testimonials and recommendations, the handbook will illustrate how the "urban actor" can and must play an active part in the protection of water resources and in the reconnection of basins to their cities.

In a compressed Webinar on “City-Basin Dialogue”, INBO and IWA outlined the ambition of this handbook, targeting both policy makers and technicians, and aims to raise awareness among environmental groups and the civil society in general.

A learning process for the Danube region

Representing the Danube River basin, IAWD President Walter Kling contributed a presentation on the situation in the region, covering the situation of the water sector in 19 nations ranging from Switzerland to Moldavia. Mr.Kling presented the IAWD's 27 years of regional networking and efforts to improve the water sector, including initiatives like the Danube Water Program, the Danube Leaning Partnership, the Utility Benchmarking Program and the State of the Sector report.

Mr.Kling notes that, while these programs have been consistently successful in creating a working platform for the water utility sector, “the Danube region is still in a learning phase regarding the "basin city dialogue" approach.

For more information on this webinar and the topic, please follow the links below.

Webinar Agenda (English)

Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities - International Water Association

The Action Agenda for Basin Connected Cities outlines the rationale for urban stakeholders to lead the way in realising their role as water stewards and ...