Towards Water Sensitive Cities for Climate Resilience - Experience of Approach and Practices in India

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Urbanisation trend in developing countries is marked with economic and social inequity, that is visible in the inequity of spatial land use, unequal access to public services(including water supply and sanitation) and a worsening of water supply crisis and waste water generation. Existing urban waterand waste water and storm water drainage systems are under developed to serve the low-income settlements. Functionality of existing systems is compromised by poor O&M, and in the few cities where sewerage systems serve a limited area, there is no separate storm water drainage. Our urban water management systems are not designed for addressing water conservation and re use of treated waste water. The existing urban water crisisis manifested in dwindling water supplies and expunging water demand, is further aggravated by climate change. Climate change essentially intensifies the existing urban water stress, resulting in grave water shortages as well as flooding. 

A water-sensitive urban design and planning (WSUDP) approach is a priority for improving the urban water cycle in ways that contribute toaddressing water conservation, ground water recharge and sustainable re use. Broken down into practical and realistic steps, a water sensitive urban design and planning approach can help city planners and policy makers, administrators and citizens to incorporate measures of rain water harvesting and designing of our waste water treatment systems and storm water drainage, to conserve as much rain water and re use of treated waste water as possible. By carefully identifying areas in a city where these measures are possible and where they are not(in dense unplanned settlements and slums settings), with measures and technologies that are practical, scientific and minimise potential of negative externalities.The WSUDP approach involves intervention at different scales – city, ward/neighbourhood or individual buildings. 

CSE is organizing this webinar is a part of series of activities envisaged under 3-year duration CSE programme – ‘Capacity building initiative focusing on ‘Making Ganga basin cities water sensitive’. Under this initiative series of – webinars, workshops, trainings (online and residential), field exposure visits, knowledge conclaves aimed at engaging 1,300+ state / municipal functionaries and other sector players. The programme is supported by National Mission Clean Ganga and is part of the series of ongoing efforts by NMCG aimed to ensuring convergence of NamamiGange Mission with national flagship urban missions (AMRUT, Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat Mission, HRIDAY, NULM) and other missions (Atal Bhujal Yojana, Jal Jeewan Mission, Jal Shakti Mission) at state /city level across Ganga basin states.

About the Webinar

This webinar will deliver a range of informative and engaging sessions to enhance participants’ knowledge on water sensitive planning and design approaches aimed at building city-wide resilience, and concepts related to water resilience to discussion on good practices and WSUDP implementation. The webinar aims at sensitizing practitioners and advocating for the planning and designing of water-sensitive cities in India, and disseminating the experiences of water-sensitive cities and exemplar projects and programmes from India. 

Key highlights: 

  • Developing an India contextualised WSUDP and Water Sensitive Cities understanding. Identifying tools, techniques and approaches. Learning from exemplar projects and programs that have adopted water sensitive principles and technologies in India.
  • Opportunity to learn from the experience in India, focussing on cities of Odisha, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Kochi – in terms of the research, policy, governance and implementation over the years.

Academic Director

Depinder Singh Kapur
Water Programme, CSE

Webinar Coordinator

Senior Research Associate
Water Programme
Phone: +91-11-40616000 (Ext: 244)
Mobile: 8699770153




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Webinar Recording
Read more
Contextualising WSUDP and Green Infrastructure
By: Veena Srinivasan, ATREE
Learnings from Odisha on WSUDP
By: G. Mathi Vathanan, HUDD Odisha
Stormwater Harvesting in Parks and Open Spaces
By: Dhruv pasricicha, CSE
India's journey of mainstreaming WSUDP
By: Suresh Rohilla, IWA
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Webinar Moderator
Depinder Sngh Kapoor
Director, Water Programme, CSE
Experts for the Webinar
Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Programme Lead
International Water Association (IWA)
G Mathi Vathanan
Principal Secretary
HUDD, Government of Odisha
Veena Srinivasan
Director and Senior Fellow
Shreya Krishnan
Director and Co-Founder
Sponge collaborative
Dhruv Pasricha
Deputy Programme Manager
Water Programme, CSE