UNESCO's Urban Water Management Programme is an active and continuously evolving programme aimed at helping countries address water problems in cities and improve water management in urban areas by promoting and disseminating scientifically-sound policy guidelines, scientific knowledge and information on new and innovative approaches, solutions and tools for sustainable urban water management, as well as by providing capacity building support on key urban water issues.
In the 7th phase of IHP-VII (2008-2013), urban water issues are addressed under Focal Area 4.3 “Achieving Sustainable Urban Water Management” of Theme 4 “Water and Life Support Systems.”
In the 6th Phase of the IHP (2002–2007), urban water issues were addressed with a broadened outlook within IHP-VI Focal Area 3.5 “Urban areas and rural settlements” under Theme 3 “Land habitat hydrology”.
Nine projects, addressing various aspects of water resources management in urban areas, were implemented:
- Data requirements management for integrated urban water management
- Processes and interactions in the urban water cycle
- Sustainable urban groundwater management
- Integrated urban water system interactions: complementarity among urban water services
- Integrated urban water modelling and management under specific climates
- Urban water security, human health and disaster prevention
- Urban aquatic habitats in integrated urban water management
- Socio-economic and institutional aspects in urban water management
- Urban water education, training and technology transfer
The UNESCO-IHP Urban Water Series presents the main output of IHP-VI urban water projects. Seven books have been published in the Series, and three more books are in various stages of preparation.
As the concluding event of IHP-VI urban water projects, the International Symposium “New Directions in Urban Water Management” was held at UNESCO in Paris in September 2007, which adopted “The Paris-2007 Statement on New Directions in Urban Water Management”, containing the summary of its main deliberations. The Symposium Proceedings are under preparation.
In the 5th phase of IHP (1996-2001), IHP activities on urban water focused on non-structural measures for flood management, surface and ground water management, and urban drainage modelling in different climates.
To conclude the IHP-V urban water activities, the International Symposium on “Frontiers in Urban Water Management: Deadlock or Hope?” was held in Marseille, France, in June 2001. The Symposium issued “The Marseille Statement”, which put forward what the Symposium participants considered to be the actions needed towards more effective urban water management such as a recommendation to develop educational programmes and establish regional centres of excellence on urban water management. The Proceedings of the Symposium was published with contributions from over 20 international experts.