Cities Solve, Cities Deliver | How cities are transforming water challenges into resilience building opportunities in Asia Pacific

Written by Resilient Cities Network
Thursday, 16 March 2023

The Cities Solve, Cities Deliver campaign is showcasing inspirational game-changing water resilience initiatives in cities in the lead-up, during, and after the UN 2023 Water Conference. Our water resilience journey travels through Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. 

Scroll down to read more about the initiatives cities in Asia Pacific are working on to transform their water threats into opportunities for building a more resilient future for the city and its communities.

Can Tho

By leveraging community-based solutions, the city of Can Tho in Vietnam has implemented several pilots to improve their flood resilience.

For example, the city built a park along the banks of Ngang Rach, a central public space in the city. The design, incorporating permeable pavements and artificial wetlands, helps to relieve drainage pressure on the sewer system during heavy rainfall thus contributing to flood reduction.

It also provides multiple benefits to the community including increased access to green spaces and improved air quality. The community is also encouraged to participate in the construction, management, and operation of the park, supporting the long-term success of the initiative.


Little Flower Convent

Chennai’s ‘City of 1000 Tanks’ a Water as Leverage initiative, is creating a closed-loop, nature-based water treatment system.

For example, at the Little Flower Convent, a school for the visually and hearing impaired in the city, they have created a Water Balance Pilot to showcase the efficacy of Nature Based Systems to treat wastewater using advanced septic tanks and constructed wetlands. The treated water is then discharged through a network of underground irrigation pipes to recharge and augment the aquifer locally while sustaining gardens that contribute to urban cooling.

The project was a community effort throughout planning and implementation. With this pilot, 800 students will benefit from improved water conditions.

27,000 liters of the wastewater generated by 300 residents are being treated and discharged every day. And an equal amount of rainwater also gets recharged during the yearly rains.

From a waste-to-wealth perspective, the project actively transforms the woes of the past into an asset for their campus.

#ValueWater Campaign

Chennai faces many water-related stresses including water scarcity, inadequate access to water, and wasteful water behavior.

To tackle water consumption issues, Chennai Resilience Centre in association with the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board launched the #ValueWater Campaign to encourage #waterthoughtful behaviors and share examples on how we can all #valuewater. The online campaign shares 10 simple tips on ‘How to Save Water at Home’.

Conserving the city’s water, particularly amongst the middle class and above, creates greater equity. It makes more water available for vulnerable communities who don’t have adequate access to it.

People engaged with the campaign by submitting their own #WaterSaving tips and sharing tips with others on social media. The campaign reached 4.4 million people and engaged with 57,036 people.

The #ValueWater campaign teaches us to be more reflective of our water consumption choices and their consequences, which can have a multiplier effect across communities and generations now and in the future.

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly Aurangabad) is a rapidly growing industrial city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The city faces recurring events of water scarcity and without planning and action, the two seasonal rivers flowing through the city run the danger of going dry.

To turn the city’s challenges into opportunities and to strengthen resilience, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar is restoring the rivers’ ecosystems and integrating river-sensitive planning in any future development in the city.

The initiative is transformative as it also builds meaningful partnerships between government, non-government and community stakeholders. These partners were critical in strategy development and accountability in implementation. This helps to catalyze translating plans into reality.

The city is a member of the River Cities Alliance, an alliance of more than 100 river cities in India established by the National Institute of Urban Affairs and the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

Da Nang

Two main rivers flow through and supply fresh water to Da Nang, Vietnam: Thu Bon River and Vu Gia River.

Due to a change in climate and landscape, water is largely flowing into just one river, causing a dramatic drop in water level and saltwater intrusion from the sea.

To increase and balance the water flow to the city, Quang Nam province and Da Nang city council built temporary weirs or barriers made from sand, rock and wood, which divert water from one river to the other.

In the past, the dry season caused water shortages which required the city to transport freshwater from other regions. Thanks to the weirs, the people of Da Nang now have sufficient access to fresh water for the people, agricultural production and industrial development.

Cities Solve, Cities Deliver

Join us in showcasing how cities contribute to water resilience globally and inspire other cities around the world. Share a water resilience initiative your city is currently developing or implementing to turn water from a threat into an opportunity.

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