The IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities aim to provide the necessary frameworks and principles to assist urban leaders to develop and implement their vision for sustainable urban water, and resilient planning and design in their cities. The ultimate goal of these Principles is to encourage collaborative action, underpinned by a shared vision, so that local governments, urban professionals, and individuals actively engage in addressing and finding solutions on urban water management challenges, driven by three paradigm shifts:
1. Resources are limited: We need to do more with less With increasing numbers of people living in metropolitan areas, resources can no longer be used without due consideration for their renewal. Water, energy and materials need to be used carefully, reused and renewed.
2. City densification is both an opportunity for economic growth and a threat to liveability By 2030, over 6 billion people are expected to live in cities. Cities are becoming denser and are required to host more people and provide more efficient services. Water is a tremendous tool to provide well-being to citizens in this denser population context, and can contribute to making cities safer and more inclusive.
3. An uncertain future underlies the planning of our cities Historical development pathways may no longer be appropriate reference points to plan our water infrastructure as climate change is bringing unpredictable future climatic events. Population growth is another component of uncertainty. Planning secure cities in the context of an uncertain future means increasing modularity and reducing dependencies for a better reactivity to unforeseen trends and events.