January 17, 2019

REPORT Basin-Connected Cities Forum at IWA Congress 2018

Overview – the Basin-Connected Cities Forum

The Basin-Connected Cities Forum followed the launch of the Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities which aims to influence and activates urban stakeholders to protect and invest in water resources with basin and catchment organisations.  The Forum was a mixture of keynote, panels and active roundtable discussions which looked at firstly, the transformation needed to enable basin-connected cities, and secondly the tools for action to make this happen. Common challenges identified include the siloed approach to water and land management, short-term returns prioritized over long-term investments, and sustainable funding mechanisms.

Key recommendations 

  • holistic, integrated approach which considers the whole water cycle – surface water, rain water, groundwater, reused water, etc. Only by having a systems approach can cities work in conjunction with their wider basins to effectively respond to different pressures.
  • Cooperation among stakeholders from catchment to tap for successful transition to Basin-Connected Cities.
  • Communication is the foundation to co-operation across sectors, sharing of information, and creating an environment for inclusive community engagement
  • Effective capacity building through education, awareness and knowledge tools encourages communities to self-organise and take decisions including committing to long term plans to connect with their basins.
  • Proactive rather than reactive response and planning is needed, while recognizing slow and prudent innovation is more deliberate than if it is a response to a crisis or emergency situation.
  • Investment in innovative city-basin connections from government can appear limited; however this is where partnership with the private sector is important.
  • Small amounts of investment in watershed management with urban stakeholders can have impact if spent on the right projects, as they can provide the evidence base for decision makers to scale –up.
  • Space for stakeholders to go beyond their prescribed mandate if needed through flexible policy and regulatory frameworks.


More information here….