Water Services Management

Environmental Management and Water Services

Increasing urbanization, environmental pollution and climate change greatly impact the quality and quantity of available water resources for the provision of water services. As a result, many water providers in developing countries increasingly face delivery challenges and risks related to the availability and quality of raw water resources used for water supply. With the deterioration of the quality of water sources, water service provisioning increasingly requires a more integrated approach across the urban water cycle, in which protection and management of water resources becomes part and parcel of the service provisioning process. Under this research theme, the WSM Group focuses on the following topics:

  1. Urban water services resilience: adaptation, mitigation and alternative water sources -This theme intends to address the challenges that water utilities face due to climatic and environmental pressures and urbanization. It involves (i) understanding the impact of these increasing pressures on the availability and quality of water resources on which utilities rely for supply; (ii) developing tools to support utilities in the identification, development, and implementation of mitigation practices and opportunities within water systems, e.g. in relation with energy efficiency, water efficiency, recycling, recovery, and reuse, green infrastructure/nature-based solutions; (iii) developing adaptation approaches for utilities to plan for long-term water supply security through the diversification of supply sources and the management of a portfolio of water supply and demand management options; (iv) developing tools for utilities to identify and harness the potential contribution of alternative water supply systems to an urban water security strategy; (v) developing approaches for utilities to finance mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  2. Water Safety Plans (WSPs) and Sanitation Safety Plans (SSPs): water quality management for public health and environmental protection within an integrated approach to urban water cycle management - This focal point investigates the effectiveness and impact of WSPs and SSPs in relation to public health and environmental protection, and the institutional and technical challenges in their implementation. It intends to identify how WSPs and SSPs can form part of an efficient and effective framework to improve resilience of water utilities and services, namely through increased coordination with source and catchment protection efforts. 


Coordinator: Andres Cabrera Flamini