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Friday
Dec242010

Water for Cities, Towns, Farms & Animals

 

IWA Cities of the Future Program Spatial Planning and Institutional Reform: Conclusions from the World Water Congress, September 2010

Theme 1 – Liveable and Sustainable Cities

Principle 1: Cities will continue to grow in population but will be increasingly liveable. A feature of cities will be more interconnected communities. Cities are complex, dynamic systems that are likely to become more complex over time. Cities will continue to offer lifestyles – jobs, cultural attractions, recreation and sporting attractions – that will attract people in abundance.

Principle 1 recognises that people value a liveable city that provides the amenity and space to maintain local connections and healthy communities.

Principle 2: Cities of the Future will provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all. The United Nations Development Programme estimates that currently almost 1 billion people lack clean drinking water, 2.4 billion people have no access to hygienic sanitation facilities and 1.2 billion lack any sanitation facilities at all. Although people in developing nations count for most of these statistics, there are sections of the population in developed nations who also lack these basic services. While the technologies exist for providing low cost water and wastewater services, effective water governance is the missing link to achieving more equitable water resource management and service delivery. Principle 3: Sustainable cities will combine a compact footprint with sustainability and liveability. Sustainable Cities of the Future will become more sustainable and liveable by matching higher density living with ‘green urban design’ and by linking spaces toprovide the ability to easily connect with other parts of the city. Lower density living will also be available within the city to provide a range of living options. 5. Principles for a City of the Future Spatial Planning and Institutional Reform Working Group Report 11. More water sensitive cities will be greener and therefore cooler. With lower ‘urban heat island’ effects (the tendency of urban areas to be hotter than their more vegetated surroundings), these cities will be healthier places to live in.

Principle 4: Cities will be resource neutral or generative, combining infrastructure and building design which will harmonise with the broader environment. The urban form will generate water, energy and nutrient by-products that can meet the city’s resource demands in a way which is carbon neutral. Some cities may generate resources in excess of their needs and be able to supply demands in surrounding regions. Cities will also be designed to operate in harmony with the broader environment. Forexample, cities will release water to the environment consistent with natural environmental flow patterns.

Principle 5: Sustainable cities will be part of prosperous, diverse and sustainable regions. Cities will not function as isolated entities. Instead cities will function in harmony with their regional partners by recognising the value of the resources, people and information between the two. Cities themselves will enjoy prosperous economies built upon sustainable communities, and its citizens will act to bring out the best in themselves and their surrounding regions. Suggested actions to progress

theme 1

1. Clarify the vision, definitions and measures of a sustainable city.

2. Develop a city wide urban planning framework and provide planning that clearly establishes minimum liveability objectives and standards.

3. Ensure that integrated planning includes city and regional stakeholders and provides outcomes for these regions as well as waterways and the environment.

4. Establish a comprehensive evaluation framework to assess planning options based on full lifecycle sustainability assessment. Include in this a common understanding of carbon neutrality and prepare guidelines for planners.

5. Develop resource accounts of the city’s assets, resources, open spaces and biodiversity based on the principles of “urban metabolism”. To enable this, develop the tools and mechanisms to collate the necessary data. 12 IWA Cities of the Future Program

6. Develop a preferred model for the density of cities that improves sustainability and provides liveability.

7. Utilise information (analytical and experimental) and demonstration projects to showcase improvements in regulation and the vision of what a more sustainable City of the Future looks like. Theme 2 – The many values of water Principle 6: Sustainable cities will be served by a well managed water cycle that – in addition to public health and water security – provides for healthy waterways, open spaces and a green city. Water will be managed across the water cycle and watershed to deliver economic and social value for the community, and to protect and enhance environmental values and biodiversity.

Principle 7: Sustainable cities will recognise that all water is good water – based on the concept of ‘fit-forpurpose’ use. It will be recognised that water has many different values and ‘fit for purpose’ uses. All water comprising the urban water cycle (including stormwater and wastewater) will be highly valued and managed to deliver optimal environmental and social outcomes. Suggested actions to progress theme 2 1. Clarify the definitions and principles of integrated water management. 2. Establish a comprehensive evaluation framework to assess water management options (including ce

ntralised, decentralised, water efficiency, market basedand water sensitive urban design options).

 3. Clarify roles and responsibilities for integrated water management.

4. Establish, identify and evaluate a portfolio of fit for purpose water services. Develop consistent standards for use of these various sources of water.

5. Increase diversity of water sources to build resilience to climate changeshocks. In doing so, investigate new sources within the city itself based on water sensitive urban design principles that create potential resources by restoring a more natural urban water cycle.

6. Develop a management framework covering risks, planning and decision making for delivering an integrated water management portfolio.

7. Expand pricing regulation emphasis from production and efficiency to also include sustainability and liveability. Broaden the definition of “least cost”assessment to “life cycle” assessment. Take full account of externalities. Spatial Planning and Institutional Reform Working Group Report 13

8. Review urban planning provisions to ensure they create opportunities for new water sensitive urban design and green city features. If necessary undertake rezoning and/or land buy-back programs to achieve these objectives.

 9. Ensure that urban planning integrates objectives of multiple sectors, incorporates information from all components of the water cycle and shares systems across organisational boundaries.

10. Define property rights for non-traditional sources of water and remove barriers to the use of alternative water supplies.

11. Use targets or other means to maximise the ability of water infrastructure to provide multiple community benefits and to improve city sustainability.

12. Utilise the water sector’s technical expertise to define and communicate with the community on the concept of ‘fit for purpose’ water based on different water qualities.

 Theme 3 – Community Choice and Knowledge Sharing

Principle 8: Cities will be served by informed, engaged citizenry and multi scale governance that enables local community choice. Communities place greater value on their resources where they have greater control over them. On this basis, water will be valued and utilised best when its users are informed and able to exercise appropriate levels of local choice. Communities will choose the future of their cities and the way that they live in thesespaces. They will choose the pathways that they take to get to reach these goals.

Principle 9: Customer sovereignty with full environmental and social cost. Citizens – as customers and developers – will be able to pursue their individual choices whilst ensuring sustainable outcomes by bearing the full environmental and social cost of those choices. Being fully informed and bearing the full costs of their decisions will prompt businesses and individuals to demand efficiency and affordability in the actions that shape water consumption (e.g. water sensitive urban design in the case of builders and developers, recycled water systems, water efficient appliances). This also should apply to water imported or exported from a region embedded within products and produce.

14 IWA Cities of the Future Program Citizens will have a well developed sustainability ethic that informs all of their decisions. This will be backed up with appropriate tariffs, transfers and taxes that encourage good behaviour. Proper alignment of economic incentives andenvironmental regulation is essential for creating water sensitive cities.

Principle 10: Accurate and useful information, including smart metering. Informed citizen choice depends upon full knowledge of the resources available, the potential benefits of different options and the evaluation of on-going performance. Cities will draw more fully on intelligent information and management systems across a full range of networks, including smart water system design to provide informationto system managers and users. These systems will synthesise data from across the water cycle and share it across utilities and customers to inform decision making. Suggested actions to progress

theme 3 1. Provide customer and industry-focused information on the economic, social and environmental costs associated with different water supply choices.

2. Develop a local resource and utilities atlas to communicate to customers.

3. Build a sense of urgency for change to more sustainable urban form.

4. Develop pricing principles that cost externalities (including nutrients and energy) to support the different values of various water sources.

5. Create a water pricing strategy that is flexible and adaptive, linked to the availability of the resource. 6. Continue to build on community and stakeholder trust in the water sector (particularly surrounding the use of recycled water) by delivering clear and reliable advice on alternative water sources.

7. Engage with customers to understand their needs for intelligent networks andsmart meters. Explore the opportunities they present.

8. Establish minimum standards for water using appliances and provide customers with information to enable continued efficient water use.

9. Investigate the potential to further develop water markets that might eventually provide greater choice for consumers. Spatial Planning and Institutional

 Reform Working Group Report 15

Theme 4 – Adaptive and collaborative water sector

Principle 11: Sustainable cities will be served by adaptive and integrated approaches to urban development. Sustainable Cities of the Future will be realised when the sectors that supply services to cities work more closely with governments, planners, businesses and the community from the first stages of urban planning. Given the linkages between water, city shape and design and energy consumption, a transformation in these and other sectors to more integrated planning will underpinthe development of resilient cities in the future. This integration will occur at all scales of planning.

 Principle 12 Sustainable cities will be served by a multifaceted water management system. The water sector will become more diverse and dynamic, drawing on integratedsolutions within the water sector, across sectors and including government and the community. The transition of the last two decades in Australia from vertically integrated (dam-todisposal) monopolies to a range of integrated water solution providers will continue in response to the needs of customers. Some water providers may diversify to become multiple utility providers. Others may become total water cycle providers, and othersstill may enter the sector to provide a mix of public and private service providers. Suggested actions to progress

theme 4 1. Better define the respective role of government and the private sector in the provision of water services – for example planning and policy versus service delivery decision-making.

2. Continuously review the best ways to engage local communities and the development industry in planning and decision making.

3. Develop a metropolitan integrated management plan that has objectives and outcomes across multiple sectors.

4. Identify any unnecessary financial and regulatory barriers that might restrict competition in the water sector.

5. Build the capacity of the community, industry and government to make informed choices that test, prove, demonstrate and deliver integrated water management.