Characteristics of an Urban Water Management System

An urban water management system cannot be achieved by a single organization in isolation. It requires the coordinated efforts of the local, provincial and national government agencies as well as NGOs and community organizations.

A sustainable water system will encompass issues such as:

  • watershed protection
  • ecosystem balance
  • waste-water and biosolids
  • sufficient and reliable water supply
  • participation in planning
  • recreational use to water
  • Evolution and diversification
  • Sustainable and long-term growth

Within this overall vision, an urban water management system will require, among other steps, the following action to be taken:

Form Strategic Partnerships
      • national agencies
      • provincial agencies
      • local/city departments
      • non-governmental organizations

Develop alternative water sources
      • reclaimed/treated water
      • desalination
      • rainwater
      • water reuse

Implement new technologies
      • water fees/metering
      • leak detection
      • water auditing systems

Engage the community
      • community education
      • local and regional planning processes
      • outreach to cultural and community groups

Conduct research
      • aquifer monitoring
      • coastal marine environment study
      • supply-demand forecasting
      • pollution prevention

It is within this perspective that we need to ask eight questions to develop a compelling vision for sustainable water supply:
  1. Do we know how our local water resources are created and sustained?
  2. Do we understand howour community uses and impacts our water supply?
  3. Have we conducted a thorough assessment of our existing water supply system?
  4. Do we have a sustainable, long-range water plan?
  5. Have we involved the community appropriately in decisions that affect their water?
  6. Do we understand the technologies available to achieve a sustainable water supply?
  7. Do we have the capacity to drive the changes required by our plans?
  8. Do we have the expertise to operate and continuously improve our water system?

Source: Extracted from brochures of City and County of Honolulu
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