As urban populations increase, and climate change places more stress on water availability, finding ways to increase water for residents has never been a more important challenge to address.

A 50% increase in urban water demand is predicted by the World Bank over the next 30 years. If cities cannot meet this demand, they will struggle to create a larger sense of security, sustainable economic development and well-being for their residents.

Transforming water-scarce cities into water-secure cities requires improved water management, increased investment, and a better understanding of the poorest residents.

To place a city’s water supply on a sustainable footing, water resource management needs to be combined with improved service delivery at the citywide level.

Urban water resiliency requires targeted action at every stage from source to settlement.

Water security at the city level

Water-secure cities need to be able to provide equitable access to all its residents, in especially low-income residents who might live in peri-urban areas, inner city settlements, or even in wealthier parts of the city.

Infographic: August 2019 – learn how water flows through cities

Report: August 2018 – Promoting water security at the city level: lessons from Lusaka

Pre-paid dispenser in Lusaka

Stronger utilities

Successful utilities need to be focused on low-income residents as a core customer segment: understanding how to develop and market affordable services, create flexible payment models, and manage complex relationships with communities.

Blog: March 2019 – Our vision for a 21st century water service provider

Report: October 2018 – A journey of institutional change: extending water services to Nairobi’s informal settlements

Aerial footage, Antananarivo

Building resilience against climate change

Water insecurity is rising because of climate change, with water availability becoming more erratic and flooding often contaminating clean water supplies and damaging infrastructure. The poorest are hit hardest by this lack of security.

Video: March 2020 – Bright water, bright future

Learn more about how WSUP’s work helps cities adapt to climate change

Rasoa, resident in Antananarivo

Improving management of sanitation waste

Water security cannot be tackled without improving sanitation in under-served communities. As a result of inadequate sanitation services, waste from toilets ends up in the water system, contaminating water supplies and causing serious public health risks.

Blog: November 2018 – The devastating impact of poor wastewater management