Canadian Water and Wastewater Association eBulletin

Urban Water Management Technical Committee: SMART Cities, Security, sustainability, resilience

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According to the UN (2014) ‘Globally, more people live in urban areas than in rural areas, with 54 per cent of the world’s population residing in urban areas in 2014. In 1950, 30 per cent of the world’s population was urban, and by 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be urban. Today, the most urbanized regions include Northern America (82 per cent living in urban areas in 2014), Latin America and the Caribbean (80 per cent), and Europe (73 per cent). 1

As described in the OECD (2015)2 report, ‘Cities are major contributors to national economies and play a key role as nodes in global markets. But cities can only develop sustainably when they provide reliable water supply and sanitation services to city dwellers and manage risks of too much, too little or too polluted water. Cities in OECD countries have not solved water management. While they currently enjoy relatively high levels of protection against water risks, they face disquieting challenges, including the proven difficulty of upgrading and renewing existing infrastructures, and heightened uncertainty about future water availability and quality’.

During the CWWA national workshop : ‘Strategic Visioning of Urban Water Management in 2050’ held on June 4, 2017 in Ottawa, the challenges associated with Urban Water Management were explored. The workshop identified 4 interrelated topics: SMART Cities, Security, Sustainability and Resilience as key areas of concern that will shape the future of Urban Water Management. 

A recommendation emerging from the workshop3 was to establish a National Technical Committee on Urban Water Management under the wings of CWWA. The Technical Committee will be chaired by Dr. Anthony Masys with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). Members interested to work and get actively involved are invited to contact Adrian Toth at



1. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014).
World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/352). 
 2 OECD (2015),Water and Cities: Ensuring Sustainable Futures, OECD Studies onWater, OECD Publishing,
3 Window in Ottawa. 



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