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“Alone we go fast, together we go further”

– African Proverb

Water Cities is a not for profit business supporting the transition of cities towards a sustainable water management, that empowers them to adapt to their uncertain future and take an active role to protecting our planet.
Our mission is to support urban stakeholders in their actions to transition their cities to being more and more “water-wise” following the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities.

Supporting Decision Makers

Strategic planning

Supporting and guiding strategic planning at different levels, from water and sanitation service providers to municipal authorities to water basin managers.


Convening collaborative workshops to support stakeholders developing a shared water-wise vision and jointly identifying necessary actions to support the transition.

Embracing innovation

Deep dives into innovation topics to support decision makers in their current and future actions.

Transitioning to being more and more Water-Wise

The Principles for water-wise cities were developed in parallel to the SDGs by urban and water thought leaders across the IWA network. They present the actions needed :

to ensure efficient water services that are resilient to changing design variables and respectful of the capacity of the natural environment,

to enhance the well being of citizens,

to ensure water security from too little, too much or too dirty water, and

to create water-wise leaders, technicians and citizens who work in synergy towards a shared goal.

Since the launch in 2016, 32 urban areas have endorsed the Principles, pledging to use them to inspire their future planning and actions.

Learn more about the IWA Principles

Regenerative Water for all

The main goal is to ensure public health while protecting the quality and quantity of water resources for future generations by ensuring the efficient production and use of water, energy and materials. Regenerative water services are an essential component of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies leading to carbon neutrality in cities. Regenerative water systems are underpinned by five principles.

Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Urban Design seeks the integration of urban planning with the management, protection and conservation of the total urban water cycle to produce urban environments that are ‘sensitive’ to water sustainability, resilience and liveability co-benefits. This level of action includes four principles.

Basin Connected City

The city is intrinsically connected and dependent on the water basin it is part of and the surrounding basins. Proactive engagement in managing water resources in the basin aims to secure water, food and energy resources, reduces flood risk and enhances activities contributing to the economic and environmental health of the basin. This level of action includes three principles.

Water-Wise Communities

The implementation of the other three sets of Principles requires a holistic approach and strong partnerships. This fourth level of action is about people building on their existing capacities to govern and plan; professionals becoming more “water-wise” in their area of expertise, so that they can integrate water across sectors, highlighting the co-benefits of integrated solutions to unlock investments. It is also about people becoming “water-wise” in their behaviours as citizens. This level of action is where the transition starts; it is where each stakeholder realises the role they have to play to make a difference. It’s about inspired people instigating the following five key actors of change to transition to these “water-wise” communities. This level includes five principles.