Cities place enormous pressures on freshwater quality and availability because they are often located some distance from the water sources needed by their populations. This fact compels planners to build infrastructure to divert water from increasingly distant outlying rural areas, thus disrupting their social fabric and environment. In addition, increasing urbanization due to population growth, economic change, and sprawl places huge burdens upon the institutions, as well as the infrastructure, that deliver, protect, and treat urban water. This book assesses the challenges facing the world’s cities in providing reliable, safe, and plentiful supplies through infrastructural, economic, legal, and political strategies.
The book considers engineering, social science, and built environment issues, with close examination of experiences in California and Australia, and their global implications. It addresses urban stream syndrome and related issues’ and includes historical as well as contemporary insights into water sustainability in cities. Conservation, wastewater re-use, green infrastructure innovations, and the water–energy nexus from the vantage point of urban water management are discussed in depth. The authors conclude that while throughout history cities have faced the twin challenges of too much – or too little – water at inopportune times, the impact of climate extremes on cities makes low-impact developments especially relevant.
This comprehensive and timely assessment of the world’s urban water-sustainability challenges will be of great interest to both students and academics in the field as well as urban water professionals and decision-makers.
‘As the world’s cities increasingly face problems of water shortages and degradation of water quality, a new approach is desperately needed. This book sets out a radically different vision for urban water management, but one that is founded on reality. The authors have used their experience and collaborations around the world to identify the best ideas for delivering sustainable urban water systems that benefit the community. They synthesise ideas from engineering, economics and sociology, meaning that practitioners and decision-makers all around the world will find this book invaluable. The world has long-needed a book like this. Now the world needs the ideas in it to be implemented!’
– Tim D. Fletcher, The University of Melbourne, Australia
‘From California to Melbourne, Mexico to Tokyo, Feldman and colleagues draw upon the successes and failures in management in these water-stressed cities to ultimately suggest a path toward The Water-Sustainable City. This fascinating read, written by recognized authorities in the field, tackles the difficult questions, the wicked problems. No stone is left unturned in their search for The Water-Sustainable City. Economic, legal, physical, historical, institutional, environmental, and political factors are all considered, among other things. What makes it unique though is the way in which the authors combine these various considerations, with their sights fixed firmly on The Water-Sustainable City. Perhaps what stands best testament to this book is the fact that the reader is left with the thought that The Water-Sustainable City is possible and is not a mere academic enigma! The only disappointment is that the book isn’t printed on waterproof, plastic paper like children’s books, as reading under a low-flow shower would be most appropriate.’
– Andrew Hamilton, Federation University Australia and The University of Melbourne, Australia
David Lewis Feldman, Professor, Department of Planning, Policy and Design and Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine, US With contributions from Stanley B. Grant, Ashmita Sengupta, Lindsey Stuvick, Neeta Bijoor, Michael Sahimi, Meenakshi Arora, Vincent Pettigrove and Kristal Burry.