International Training Programme on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning in Cape Town, South Africa, January 23-26, 2017

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India in collaboration with Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa and University of Cape Town (as Technical Research Partners) conducted a four day international training programme on “Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP)” on 23-26th January, 2017.  28 state and non-state practitioners (engineers, consultants, architects, planners and academicians) across seven African countries (South Africa, Lethoso, Tanzania, Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria and Ghana) participated in the training programme to gain understanding and knowledge about establishing WSUDP as an approach in the creation of city’s built environment and delivering more water prudent towns and cities.


The first day of training programme started with brief inaugural by Dr Suresh Rohilla (Programme Director, CSE) and Mr Jay Bhagwan (Executive Manager, WRC) about the collaboration of the two organizations and focused on the need to create a south-south practitioner network to stimulate the capacity of spreading the knowledge worldwide especially in the area of WSUDP. Prof Neil Armitage (UCT) exposed the participants to the issues and challenges in managing water resources in urban areas and solutions of managing storm water at source, local and regional scale. Aiming to reduce velocity and peak flow and improve quality of urban runoff in order to move away from typical victorial drainage design. 

Second day of training was focused on planning, designing and implementation strategies of Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) supported by best management practices and documentary on ‘Rain Catchers’ aiming at community participation. 

Day 3 focused on decentralization of wastewater treatment including reuse as centralized wastewater treatment options have demerits in terms of inadequacies of collection, transport and treatment of wastewater. Participants received hands on experience in designing decentralised waste water treatment system and gained better understanding of the need for decentralised approach. This was followed by a feedback session in order to understand from the participants if the training was useful and its way forward.

The training ended with a field visit to MyCiti bus depot and Green Point Urban Park. The bus depot has provision for 13 source control practices which includes permeable pavements, underground concrete detention tanks, bioretention areas, underground filter, rooftop tanks etc. The Green Point Urban Park has also integrated various WSUDP practices leading towards mainstreaming sustainable water management.


Capacity enhancement of city officials for ‘Integrating water management at the strategic scale of planning and design to achieve sustainable development in towns/cities’.  


  • To provide knowledge, skill development and attitude change of participants towards sustainable water management. 

  • To capacitate participants for planning, designing and implementing low cost decentralised water and wastewater management at different scales. 

  • To share experiences on existing and upcoming policies and practices from International

  • experience on urban water management. 

  • To build south-south network of practitioners (state/non-state) for mainstreaming sustainable water management practices.  


For further details contact: 

Ms. Chhavi Sharda
Programme Officer, CSE

Dr. Mahreen Matto
Programme Manager, CSE

Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla

Programme Director, CSE


List of participants
Booklet South Africa
“The training was on the whole an eye opener and a motivation to work on sustainable water management. Hope to be among the team that will move Nigeria from her present sanitation state to the next level. Thank you CSE for the training.”
- Josephine Akenosi Madaki
Senior Scientific officer Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Nigeria
“Thanks for a great informative course. It will assist with engineering solutions for Master planning, conceptual designs as well as land use planning for future developments.”
- Albie Visser, Civil Engineer ILISO Consulting, South Africa
“Gained more insight into different aspects affecting design / implementation / maintenance. It will be helpful to use water sensitive planning to incorporate into civil engineering designs.”
- Bryony Van Beek, Civil Engineer WSP Group Africa, South Africa
“The training programme consisted of in-depth storm water components and it succeeded in changing mindset of how to reuse water. Recommend it to people who specialize in water and sanitation.” 
- Amina Waggie, Technician WSP Group Africa, South Africa