City Water Resilience in Africa

City Water Resilience in Africa


City Water Resilience in Africa (CWRA)

Program Objective

As climate risks continue to increase, access to water has become the defining challenge of our times. Whether challenged by too much, too little or poor-quality water, City leaders in Africa face converging challenges of extending water and sanitation services for rapidly growing and urbanizing populations, managing watershed risks often largely outside city jurisdictions, and designing for climate resilience.

Program Approach

The work involves creating City Characterisation Reports for Addis Ababa and Kigali, together with completing a multi-stakeholder assessment and visioning workshops. From this each City will prepare its City Water Resilience Profile and Action Plan. Documentation is available online for previous cities that have applied the CWRA at various stages. The aim is to build a knowledge base for other cities to access for comparison and insight by sharing all materials.

This program is designed using the CWRA methodology and assessment framework as well as the Our Water governance mapping tool. It incorporates other spatial planning tools and frameworks developed by WRI that allow city-regions to identify, quantify and locate urban water risks (e.g. the Aqueduct database). 

This approach supports taking a comprehensive systems perspective to urban water resilience to inform an integrated ‘one water’ approach that supports the health and wellbeing of the community and protects the natural water cycle. The CWRA at its core helps assess the resilience of the water system a city depends on and includes upstream and downstream catchment issues.



cities with over 3 million residents face extremely high water stress by 2030[1]


people live without readily available, safe water at home[2]


decline in GDP could be seen in water scarce regions by 2050 as a result of climate change[3]


Program Resources

Cities taking action: How 100RC is building urban resilience

Cities taking action: How 100RC is building urban resilience

This 2017 report offers case studies of seven cities' resilience strategies, describing the successful implementation and results of urban resilience measures such as social equity programs and responses to extreme weather events. Each case study is followed by examples of other 100RC cities tackling similar impacts. View More
We cannot afford to wait

We cannot afford to wait

As we fight this pandemic globally, climate change remains one of the world’s top challenges. In a world facing climate change and a global health crisis, clean water, safe sanitation, and improved hygiene has never been more important. View More

City Water Resilience in Africa