Water Index: Most cities across world are in need of greater investment

Source(s): ARCADIS - The Netherlands

By Andy Rowlands

Most cities across the world are in need of greater investment and prioritization to improve their resiliency to extreme weather events and unforeseen water shortages, according to the inaugural Sustainable Cities Water Index from Arcadis.

The index, conducted by Arcadis in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) explores the three aspects that make up robust (resiliency), effective (efficiency) and healthy (quality) waterscapes to develop an indicative ranking of 50 leading cities. The report finds that most cities need greater investment when it comes to their ability to withstand natural disasters and drinking water shortages, with climate adaptation and resiliency being the most pressing issue for future city leaders.

Meanwhile, the area in which cities tend to perform best is water quality. Despite some locations having areas of challenge protecting their citizens there is little variation between most of the cities in the top half of the index.

John Batten, Arcadis Global Director of Cities and Water, commented: “Great cities are defined and illuminated by the water that surrounds them or flows through them, and they will continue to be over the coming decades.  Water demand is rising, aquifers are being depleted and the threat of extreme weather is increasingly real, meaning that cities can be overburdened with too much water or stressed without enough.  This report highlights the areas of opportunity for cities, to inform decision-making around how they use and manage water, hopefully making them more sustainable economically, environmentally and for the benefit of their people.”

Cities which carefully and creatively use their water assets for strategic urban advantage will ultimately be more livable, safe and competitive.

Resiliency sub-index

Withstanding natural disasters and unforeseen shortages

Top ten

Bottom ten

1. Rotterdam

41. Doha

2. Copenhagen

42. Jeddah

3. Amsterdam

43. Mexico City

4. Berlin

44. Rio de Janeiro

5. Brussels

45. Johannesburg

6. Toronto

46. Nairobi

7. Frankfurt

47. Jakarta

8. Sydney

48. Manila

9. Birmingham

49. Mumbai

10. Manchester

50. New Delhi


Sustainable Cities Water Index English

Document links last validated on: 16 July 2021

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