As the world urbanizes, water is increasingly an urban issue. Water security in urban areas is however under threat in many countries due to rapidly increasing demand for water, increased pollution and poor wastewater management, uncontrolled and more frequent floods and droughts enhanced by climate change, and poor planning. Water sector stakeholders are increasingly aware that cities are where the greatest challenges and opportunities for better water management lie.
Cities are complex and water is only one of many perspectives that need to be taken into account in promoting “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” urbanization. Nevertheless, the foundation that sound water management provides for all aspects of sustainable urban development needs to be adequately reflected in the framework that will guide urban development in the coming decades. Water is an engine for development and is essential to the inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities that are called for in the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. To drive this progressive urban agenda, it is critical that water and sanitation services are universally accessible and affordable, in particular for vulnerable populations.
This session will take a holistic water cycle approach to the discussion by integrating the different aspects of urban water management including gender inclusivity and mainstreaming and linking it with the needs of the urban poor and vulnerable groups. Furthermore, the session will focus specifically on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda by linking questions on cities and water and gender inclusivity to the implementation of NUA. Following the session, it will be clear to participants how efficient and sound urban water management will be indispensable to support and lead the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.