New horizons
for smart urban water
systems

Water-Futures answers the question: “How should the world achieve the provisioning of high-quality water services in the future while facing severe climate, economic and population pressures, under deep uncertainty?”

Nearly 80% of the world’s population is exposed to high levels of threat to water security due to anthropogenic climate change*

*(Vörösmarty, C.J., McIntyre, P.B., Gessner, M.O., Dudgeon, D., Prusevich, A., Green, P., Glidden, S., Bunn, S.E., Sullivan, C.A., Liermann, C.R. and Davies, P.M., 2010. Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Nature, 467(7315), p.555).

Latest studies confirm that considerable changes in freshwater resources have been occurring across the globe, indicating a future in which already limited water resources will become even more precious*

*(Rodell, M., Famiglietti, J.S., Wiese, D.N., Reager, J.T., Beaudoing, H.K., Landerer, F.W. and Lo, M.H., 2018. Emerging trends in global freshwater availability. Nature, 557(7707), p.651).

The continuous expansion of urban footprint means that an estimated 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050*

*(United Nations (UN), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Key Facts. United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, Population Division: New York, NY, USA).

The dramatically increased water demands resulting from this unprecedented urbanization, together with increasingly uncertain climate conditions indicate the need for a holistic, intelligent decision-making framework for managing water infrastructures in the cities of the future.

*(United Nations (UN), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Key Facts. United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, Population Division: New York, NY, USA).

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