Water Sensitive Cities: A Global South Framing

March 31, 2023

Cities in developing countries of Asia and Africa are experiencing historically unparalleled rapid urban growth and expansion in an unprecedented unplanned manner (except perhaps in China). Inequity is magnified as never before

  • A vast majority of current and future residents of these cities will reside in congested unauthorized settlements (which are later regularized and then measures are explored to provide them with water supply, sewerage/septage management and storm-water infrastructure and services).
  • Most cities do not have adequate infrastructure for water supply, sewerage/septage management and storm-water drainage. Where such infrastructure exists, its operations and functionality remain a challenge.
  • Cities are precariously poised in terms of addressing their growing dependence on water supply from far-off rivers and reservoirs and addressing the issue of their waterbodies (lakes and rivers) turning into large sewers. Groundwater sources are polluted and drying up at an alarming rate. Small rivers and waterbodies are also drying up on account of increased extraction of water.


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