International Water Association leader to focus on access and resilience

The International Water Association’ newly elected president focused on access to water and sanitation and resilience in her acceptance speech.

Diane d’Arras said “There is a political momentum around water with the launch of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which make a powerful commitment to ensure universal access to water and basic sanitation. We must also focus strongly on building water resilience for communities and cities that are increasingly impacted by climate change and water scarcity. Today we have both the political will and the professional solutions.”

D’Arras is currently executive VP Water Europe, Suez Water Europe and succeeds Professor Helmut Kroiss as IWA president. The not-for-profit IWA said her election highlights its aim to bring the world’s scientists, utilities and water operators closer together to “make a significant global contribution to meeting water needs and protecting ecosystems.”

See Diane d'Arras here

New principles

The IWA has unveiled a collection of principles to guide measures to combat pressure on urban water resources the growing incidence of drought and flooding crises,

The IWA has produced 17 principles to help city leaders to ensure that urban populations have access to safe water and sanitation, and that cities are resilient to flooding, drought and growing water scarcity.

The 17 principles are grouped into four categories each with a strong resilience thread. The IWA’s programme manager for the Cities of the Future Programme, Corinne Trommsdorff, said “Cities are rapidly expanding and water resources are under increasing pressure. We need to find ways to do more with less.”

1.Regenerative water services: including replenishing water bodies and their ecosystems, reducing the amount of water and energy used, recovering energy, nutrients and other materials from water, and increased efficiencies by integrating water services with other services.

2.Water sensitive urban design: including designing urban spaces to reduce flood risks, enhance livability with visible water, and modify and adapt urban materials to minimise environmental impact.

3.Basin connected cities: including planning to secure water resources and mitigate drought, protect the quality of water resources and prepare for extreme events.

4.Water-wise communities: including empowering citizens, increasing professional awareness of water and enabling policy makers to take water-wise action.

Arup, Arcadis, Veolia, Ramboll, Schneider, Suez, Xylem have endorsed the principles.