By 2030, over a billion people will live in approximately 100 very large cities and 60 % of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Today, the urban population ratio in some regions surpasses 70% and it is projected that population growth in the coming decades will be higher in urban centers, and particularly in megacities or metropolitan areas of more than 10 million inhabitants. Megacities are found on all continents except Oceania. They cover diverse geographical areas with a wide range of climates and are generally located close to rivers, lakes or seas (from plains to deserts, from mountains to seashore).
The Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate (MAWaC) aims to provide an international cooperation forum for dialogue on water to help megacities adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. It will involve all stakeholders in the water sector, national and local governance leaders, civil society representatives, researchers, urban planners, decision makers, utility operators and service providers, providing a forum in which they can learn from each other’s experience, exchange best practices, collaborate with technical, academic and financial institutions, and design and implement individual responses to the challenges of climate change and urban growth.
This diversity of intellectual, technical and financial resources components that exist within megacities is an opportunity for mobilizing these resources so that innovative solutions can emerge and guarantee access to water and sanitation for all populations, equality of services, economic viability, resilience of systems, flexibility of solutions, and the protection of the natural environment.