SWITCH Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrow's Cities' Health

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:           Duration:          Project Type: Concerted Action
Contract Number: 
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Project objectives:
Increasing global change pressures, escalating costs and other risks inherent to conventional urban water management are causing cities to face ever increasing 
difficulties in efficiently managing scarcer and less reliable water resources. As well, satisfying water uses/services and waste water disposal without
creating environmental, social or economic damage is an ever more difficult challenge. The overall goal of the SWITCH project it to catalyse change towards more sustainable urban water management in the “City of the Future”.
Project Summary:
To achieve a sustainable, healthy and safe urban water system,  
SWITCH seeks a Paradigm Shift in water management. Gradual  
development using business-as-usual concepts will not be sufficient to  
respond to pressures of global change, such as:  
climate change and variability  
urbanisation and industrialisation  
population growth  
urban sprawl  
rural-urban migration  
energy demand  
This Paradigm Shift is to be realized by an international consortium  
of 32 partners from 13 countries, led by UNESCO-IHE Institute for  
Water Education. Through effective use of the budget of € 22 million  
in partnership with the Directorate-General Research of the European  
Commission the goal is to achieve a lasting and vital impact on the  
global and local water sectors in European and Southern cities.  
SWITCH (2006-2011) will develop innovative and sustainable urban water  
management approaches, technologies and financing. A combination of  
Research & Technological Development, Training and semi-full scale Demonstration  
activities are planned within a Learning Alliance framework.  
Demonstration cities  
SWITCH demonstration activities will be developed in 9 urban centres in  
Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America: Accra, Alexandria, Beijing, Bello  
Horizonte, Birmingham, Hamburg, Lodz, Tel Aviv and Zaragoza. A key  
proposition is that sustainable urban water management is only possible if  
the entire Urban Water Cycle is managed in a holistic manner, rather than by  
a piecemeal approach. Cross-sectoral co-operation at national and regional  
levels is essential. Most importantly, the urban water system needs to be  
managed in the context of the entire catchment.  
Learning Alliances  
In each demonstration city a Learning Alliance will be established. This  
innovative environment brings together the major stakeholders who can drive  
the research and demonstration activities and disseminate their benefits. The  
Learning Alliance stakeholder platform is designed to break down barriers to  
information sharing, speeding up the process of uptake of innovation and the  
scaling up of research outputs.  
Benefits from the project will include:  
Increased sustainability; including the long term protection of drinking water  
source quality.  
Reduced risks in terms of water related diseases, droughts and flooding events.  
Improved governance of water as a community resource.  
Effective translation of scientific innovation into day-to-day water management in  
Achieved Objectives:

Product Descriptions:
The SWITCH project has 6 thematic themes, each of which has the work defined in work packages. The outputs of the work can be found in the pages under 'publications'. 
 Urban Water Paradigm Shift 1.1 Development of a strategic approach and of indicators for sustainability and risk assessment. 1.2 Modelling of urban water systems and the development of a decision support system. 1.3 Integration of existing infrastructure. 1.4 Strategic planning, implementation and performance assessment. Storm Water Management 2.1 Technological options for storm water control under conditions of uncertainty. 2.2 Decision-making processes for effective urban stormwater management. 2.3 Environmental change studies for stormwater control and reuse options. Efficient Water Supply & Use 3.1 Demand management for optimization of urban water services. 3.2 Safe water reuse. 3.3 Urban water supply and use - other productive reuses. Waste Water 4.1 Eco-sanitation and decentralised waste water management in an urban context. 4.2 Management of industrial emissions. Urban Water Planning 5.1 Urban Waterscapes - Planning and development in urban transformation processes. 5.2 Use of urban water (fresh and wastewater) for urban agriculture and other livelihood opportunities. 5.3 Maximising the use of natural systems in all aspects of the municipal water cycle. Governance & Institutions 6.1 Governance for Integrated Urban Water Management 6.2 Learning alliances (LA) 6.3 Optimising Social Inclusion (SI) 6.4 Financing, Cost Recovery and Institutional Models
Additional Information:

Project Resources:

ECO.swm Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrow s Cities Health - A tool for Life-Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA)
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 6
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  04/06/2007 13:29:00