Training Programme on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning



Date: September 13-15, 2017
Venue: Pretoria, South Africa

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India in collaboration with Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa and Water Research Unit, University of Cape Town conducted a three day international training programme on “Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP)” from 13th to15thJanuary, 2017. 

The 3 day training programme included a mix of theory, practical and was conducted based on state of the art teaching – learning tools consisting of interactive sessions, experiential learning using detailed case studies, working in groups on planning and designing and class room lectures. 

The programme included diverse group of around 30 participants including academicians, practicing engineers, architects and representatives from government and non-government organizations. With a male to female ratio of 3:2, the participating group from varied background was associated with implementation of one or more aspects of water sensitive urban design and planning.

List of participants (click here)



The programme started with introduction session along with representative’s from Water Research Commission, South Africa (Mr. Jayant BhagwanExecutive Manager, Water Use and Wastewater Management) and Centre for Science and Environment (Dr. Mahreen Matto, Programme Manager, Water Unit) who spoke about CSE-WRC and University of Cape Town partnership and work in South Africa. Dr. Matto also gave an overview of the training with the purpose for implementing WSUDP for sustainability in water management and flood mitigation.

Dr. Kirsty Carden (Research Coordinator, Future water research institute Urban Water Management Research Unit, University of Cape Town) 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.Subsequently,Ms. Shivali Jainer (Programme Officer, CSE) and Ms. Chhavi Sharda(Programme Officer, CSE) took sessions that shifted the training focus on Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) and Recycle/reuse of treated wastewater through decentralised wastewater treatment (DWWTs) as part of a water sensitive design

Day 2 started with sessions showcasing case examples of best management practices of various aspects of WSUDP through documentaries. The sessions focused on planning, designing and implementation strategies for sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), RWH and DWWTs.The day ended with a field visit to University of Pretoria. The Engineering department of University of Pretoria showcased an implementation for source control practices which includes underground water storage tanks, bioretention areas, filter strips, concrete detention ponds, etc. The site has integrated various WSUDP practices in order to create and maintain biodiversity and improve micro-climate of the area.

On day 3 the participants received hands-on experience in designing water sensitive areas (including concepts of SUDS, RWH and reuse through DWWT) 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.

CSE Resource persons and course coordinators: 


Ms. Chhavi Sharda
Programme Officer, CSE 

Ms. Shivali Jainer
Programme Officer, CSE 

Dr. Mahreen Matto
Programme Manager, CSE 



Coordinators from WRC and University of Cape Town, South Africa: 


Mr. Jay Bhagwan
Executive Manager, Water Use and Wastewater Management
Water Research Commission


Dr. Kirsty Carden
Coordinator, Urban Water Management Research Unit
Future water research institute 



Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Programme Director
Water Programme
CSE, New Delhi


List of participants

One of the most intaractive courses I have ever attended.

- Michelle Marijnen, Civil Engineer, SCIP, South Africa

The training had more practicals and overall was one of the best training I’ve attended in many years. Well done!!

- Gumani Ramaliba, Specialised Environmental Officer, Water & Sanitation, South Africa

My top most objective is to learn about all the aspects covered during the training for implementation as water resource management. Congratulations a an excellent course

- Wetsche Roets, Specialist Scientist, DWS, South Africa

Thank you. The model of the training was great and innovative, particularly engaging with the participants

- B.V. Twala, Managing Partner, IKAMVA, South Africa-

I would recommend this course to other officials working with the department of water & sanitation. Site visit was good and explained practical aspects of implementation. The information gained can be used to encourage people to use the principles of Water Sensitive Design and Planning. My top most objective is to share practically how to implement RWH as an example. A follow up training would be good as how to mobilize the public to take ownership of such projects.

- Melissa Lintuoor strauss,Control Environmental Officers, Dept. water & Sanitation, South Africa