Water wisdom comes with ups and downs

Over the last three months Stef Koop and Kees van Leeuwen have been very busy with a number of City Blueprint activities. The pressure came mainly from a number of unplanned activities: a report for the 8th World Water Forum (WWF8) in Brasilia, and water shortages in Cape Town. So far, we have assessed 70 cities worldwide, including two in China.

WWF8 in Brasilia

In December we wrote a big ‘Water in the City’ chapter for the 8th World Water Forum which will be held on 18-23 March in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia. The report contains a summary of all our (City Blueprint) assessments of cities in Europe. The publication is part of an extensive report that Europe will be contributing to the event.

Cape Town in the Algemeen Dagblad

Together with partners from the Future Water Research Institute of the University of Cape Town, we have completed a study on water management and governance in the South African capital. The timing couldn’t be better, given that Cape Town has been in the headlines because of its extreme drought, which is similar to the one that affected Melbourne ten years ago. A lengthy interview we gave was published on 26 January in the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) in an article on thirsty cities. The most important conclusion of our research is that over the years the management of Cape Town, when it comes to water, has been inadequate. Only at the last moment did a sense of urgency arise, in an effort to respond to the water shortages during the water crisis. Our study also showed that clearly informing the public plays a key role in providing them with details about and stimulating behavioural changes.

City Blueprints in China

We are extremely pleased with the contribution from China. Two Chinese cities – Hohhot and Tianjin – have been assessed by colleagues from Inner Mongolia University and Nankai University. With these cities, the total number of assessed cities worldwide now numbers 70. Currently we are busy working on a publication about water management and governance in 11 cities in Asia.

The wastewater circular economy

What do you do if an old colleague from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management asks you to co-author a paper on the wastewater energy and raw materials factory? Given the subject’s priority at KWR, the answer is obvious: co-author the paper with your colleagues – and here’s the result.