Over 1.4 billion people currently live in river basins where the use of water exceeds minimum recharge levels, leading to the desiccation of rivers and depletion of groundwater. Increasing water scarcity and climate change impacts, coupled with rising demand and competition between multiple users such as cities, industry, agriculture and the environment, are putting unprecedented pressure on river basins worldwide.
To address these challenges requires the sustainable management of water to optimize the use of water resources; addressing climate risks to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience; and actions at the catchment level to protect water sources, increase water efficiency and improve water allocation.
The IWA’s Basins of the Future agenda promotes the connection between urban stakeholders and their basins. Building on the Principles for Water Wise Cities, the IWA’s Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities aims to guide cities, industries and their basins in the sustainable planning and management of water resources across scales, from catchment to consumer, meeting growing demands and responding to the challenges of climate variability and change. This is through building partnerships across scales; demonstrating and promoting approaches that work; through international frameworks and agenda-setting guidelines; and through advocacy for improved regulation, policy and financing.
Endorsers of the Principles are encouraged to uptake and apply the Action Agenda to enable them to be better water stewards in their catchments on which they rely for water resources.