Sustainable Water Management in Cities.

Sustainable Water Management in Cities: Engaging stakeholders for effective change and action. 13-17 December 2010. Zaragoza, Spain

Side events

Water and Development in Asia: Challenges and Good Practices for Urban Water Management in Asian Cities

Date: Thursday 16 December
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Paraninfo of the University of Zaragoza, Plaza Basilio Paraíso, 4. Zaragoza City Centre

Although Asia is home to almost two thirds of the world's population, it only has 36% of the world's freshwater resources. Asia's urban population is likely to increase by a staggering 60% between now and 2025. As population growth and urbanization rates in Asia rise rapidly, stress on the region's water resources is intensifying and water-related problems are particularly acute in Asian cities.

There is an immediate need for local governments in Asia to strengthen their capacities to engage in preventive policies focused on water and to start setting policies and making investments to improve water management. This session aimed to raise the profile of water security on the political and developmental agendas of local governments in Asia and to encourage investment and increased collaboration. The session provided an opportunity for discussing the importance of good governance; appropriate financing and financial planning; and the consideration of different management models for service delivery.


Welcome and Opening.

Soraya Rodríguez, Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Government of Spain.

Josefina Maestu, Director, United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015.

Jesús Sanz, Director General, Casa Asia.


Keynote Speech.

Good Governance in the Water and Sanitation Sector, the case of Asia

Peter P. Rogers, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning, Harvard University.


Roundtable moderated by Antonio Embid, Professor of Water Law at the University of Zaragoza

Arjun Thapan, President's Special Senior Advisor for Infrastructure and Water, Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Roberto Martín-Hurtado, Economist, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Dominique Demessence, Business Development Director, AGBAR.

Alfredo S. Lim, Mayor of Manila, Philippines

Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Chairman Capital Development Authority, Mayor of Islamabad, Pakistan

Mahmadsaid Ubaydulloyev, Mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.


A taste of Spanish Wine, Cocktail.

>>Invitation [JPEG - 169 KB]

Bringing nature back into cities for water

Date: Thursday 16 December
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Paraninfo of the University of Zaragoza, Plaza Basilio Paraíso, 4. Zaragoza City Centre

This side event discussed how "nature" (biodiversity/ecosystems) is highly valuable natural infrastructure which can contribute to achieving water security goals in cities. Its objective was also to identify best practices and partnerships involving local authorities in the sustainable management of watersheds and wetlands for ecosystem services such as water supply and security, encourage the replication of such models and define guidelines for mainstreaming this process.

Natural infrastructure is an integral part of the water cycle and responsible for maintaining not only water quality but also regulating the amount of water available at any given time and place. It is therefore part of the solution to water problems. This infrastructure is being increasingly used by cities to manage water quality problems and to reduce risks from flooding and drought. In many cases the intelligent management of these assets not only provides cost-effective and sustainable economic solutions to water security needs but also multiple benefits beyond the water sector - particularly land management and soil erosion protection, preservation of traditional uses (such as Satoyama and Satoumi), climate/temperature regulation, leisure and culture.

The subject of the side event was briefly introduced by two presenters and thereafter organised as an informal open-dialogue session amongst participants. It focused on identifying how effective change and action can be achieved in order for nature to be brought back into cities so its residents can benefit more from what nature has to offer.


Moving forward towards the implementation of the Plan of Action on Sub-national Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities adopted at COP 10

David Coates, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada


A practical example of using natural infrastructure to address the needs of cities


Open group discussion

Ways and means to achieve effective change and action.



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