SWITCH Water Blog

Visit to Essen, Germany, Thursday 10 June

Visit to Groningen, Wednesday 9 June

Visit to Culemborg, Tuesday 8 June

Ecological sanitation cycle

Ecological Sanitation Cycle

Ecological Sanitation Cycle - Source GTZ.de

Start of the Tour – presentations, Monday 7 June

SWITCH kicks-off with final Study Tour

Today, 7 June 2010, the SWITCH Study Tour kicked off at UNESCO-IHE with participants from Poland, Egypt, Ghana, Israel and Colombia. The Study Tour is meant as an exchange of ideas on integrated urban water management.

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The SWITCH interviews are online!

Please see below links to view a series of video interviews Joep Verhagen, Senior Programme Officer at IRC, has done with various attendants of the SWITCH CityWater Futures Summit.

The videos are produced by Willem Thijssen from the Water Site Foundation http://watersite.ning.com and are hosted on TheWaterChannel.tv.

SWITCH Interviews with Participants

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Today’s SWITCH Water Summit Daily

Interview with Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo

Journalist Dzifa Azumah from the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Ghana, interviewed Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo about the Ghana Water Company and water supply in Ghana. Watch the interview on TheWaterChannel.tv

Interview on water supply in Ghana

Interview on water supply in Ghana

Interview with journalists Dzifa and Vishwanath

I talked with journalists Dzifa Azumah and Vishwanath Srikantaiah (a.k.a. Zenrainman) about challenges for the media in reporting on water related issues such as clean water and sanitation in developing countries. Watch the interview on TheWaterChannel.tv.

Talking to media professionals attending the SWITCH Water Summit

Talking to media professionals attending the SWITCH Water Summit

Water problems are a gathering issue

By Mohamed Alareqi, journalist from Al-Thawara Newspaper, in Taiz, Yemen.

From the papers presented and discussed during the last two days of the SWITCH summit, it has been assured that there are common water problems among most of the cities in the world. However, the level of acuteness is different in each city. The issue at hand is that the demand for water is increasing with urbanisation and increase of population by means of immigration from the rural areas to the main cities.

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SWITCH Water Summit Daily

Highlights and discussions of the first day were captured in the form of a small Summit Daily by participants and media attending.

Thursday dinner reception

Urban Water Issues to Dominate 21st Century

Read article by Ghana News Agency Special Correspondent Dzifa Azumah in today’s newspaper (8 Oct).

Journalist Dzifa Azumah from Ghana News Agency in Accra

Journalist Dzifa Azumah from Ghana News Agency in Accra

Dzifa Azumah is on Twitter, follow her news.

“Is there such a thing as sustainable urbanisation?”

This morning Pireh Otieno, Programme Officer for UN Habitat told the audience about how sustainable urbanisation can be fostered. In his presentation Otieno said that today, one in two people on the planet is an urban dweller and that urbanisation is happening in mostly developing countries. Continue reading this entry »

Learning from Durban –How to manage water and sanitation in our cities

The city of Durban has a water supply and sanitation utility run by a company called Ethekwini Water and Sanitation Services. It provides 900 million litres of water per day to around 400,000 connections in the Durban area.  It collects 500 million litres of wastewater per day and treats it all in 29 decentralised wastewater treatment plants. Continue reading this entry »

Welcome Reception

Participants at the Global CityWater Futures Summit welcome reception

Participants at the Global CityWater Futures Summit welcome reception

At the end of the first day of the Summit, after having been inspired by keynote speakers and exchanging ideas through a series of interactive events, participants were happy to be able to mingle during the welcome reception. The refreshments were a welcome aspect as the day’s discussions were continued informally, new professional linkages were made, and old relationships were rekindled.

Key outcomes & discussions

Interesting presentations were held by Kala Vairavamoorthy, SWITCH Scientific Director: “A SWITCH to More Sustainable Urban Water Management”, Paul Reiter , IWA Executive Director: “Water in the city of the Future – Challenges and Opportunities for the Water Industry” and Margaret Pageler, International Executive Committee Member of ICLEI: “City Governments step up to 21st Century Water Imperatives”.

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Durban Integrated Water Management and Ecosan

by @Zenrainman

Twitter Freebies :)

Switch Water Summit Twitter Background

Switch Water Summit Twitter Background

Click on the link to download the SWITCH Global CityWater Futures Summit Twitter background and wallpaper.

To follow the SWITCH summit on Twitter, search for the hashtag #switchsummit.

Use of low cost technology in Durban, South Africa

During the first afternoon, Speedy Moodliar, Senior Manager from Ethekwini Water and Sanitation in Durban, enlightened the audience on innovative, leapfrogging approaches used in South Africa. He explained that due to the apartheid legacy, the current generation is still coping with a lack of basic infrastructure for water and sanitation services. This is especially the case for townships. The Ethekwini Municipality saw it as their responsibility to service the poor and thus is using appropriate low-cost technology to reach some of the poorest people.

Water Dispenser

Water Dispenser

Flipping the #switchsummit

A video about the restoration of a pond in Taiwan by @zenrainman.

Tel Aviv, Israel, plans water management creatively



Tami Gavrieli from the Tel Aviv City Planning Department and David Jackman from the Tel Aviv Water Company explained that the Isreali city used various SWITCH indicators and creativity in planning for better water management. These were used in formulating guidelines for the city planning. Key challenges were identified and addressed, namely keeping centrality and regeneration of the inner city versus suburbanisation.

Also socio-economic disparities, lack of sustainable public transport, environmental nuisances (especially air pollution), preservation vs. development and the quality of green public places was taken into account. Water, however, was never an issue to be discussed at these meetings, because water was perceived as an obvious commodity to most.

Better water management in the Kaoshiun Metropolis, Taiwan

Lei Yang from the NSYSY Centre for Water Resources Research gave a clear overview of Kaoshiun city in Taiwan during his afternoon presentation. Since the city is the most densely populated area in Southern Taiwan, it is very challenging to better manage the water. There is serious flooding during the monsoon season in summer and dry spells during the winter time. The water is of bad quality due to heavy industrialisation and urbanisation in the city. The metropolis is currently working with NGOs and various government organisations to create plans for better water management.

Lodz in Poland uses its water wisely

The Blue-Green Network – Lodz, Poland’s move to sustainability was presented in the afternoon of day one by Iwona Wagner from the UN Centre for Eco-Hydrology. ‘Lodz uses its water wisely’ is a visionary campaign developed by the city Learning Alliance. Application of ecological biotechnologies and the population’s in-depth awareness and knowledge on ecological issues enhances the quality of life.

“Water is life, but it’s also the number one killer!”

During his keynote presentation, Kala Vairavamoorthy, SWITCH Scientific Director and Professor of Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Systems at UNESCO-IHE, said it is quite unfortunate that most scientific research remained on the shelf without being implemented.

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Opening of the SWITCH Summit

UNESCO-IHE Rector Andras Szollosi-Nagy giving an opening presentation

UNESCO-IHE Rector Andras Szollosi-Nagy giving an opening presentation

This afternoon, the launch of the SWITCH Global CityWater Futures Summit was opened with a speech by UNESCO-IHE Rector András Szöllösi-Nagy. Addressing about fifty science experts from around the world in Delft, The Netherlands, he said urban water situations are the results of global water changes.

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Annual Science Meeting

The SWITCH Annual Science Meeting, that precedes the SWITCH Global CityWater Futures Summit, is held from 4 to 7 October. The meeting will bring together all consortium partners to discuss the ongoing research and demonstration activities. Focus of the meeting is on the production of the final products of the project, which is expected to end on 1 February 2011.

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Media Participants

We are very pleased to announce that the following journalists have been chosen to attend the SWITCH CityWater Futures Summit 7-10 October in Delft, the Netherlands.

  1. Dzifa Azuman, Ghana News Agency, Accra
  2. Mohammed Abjulmajed Al-Areki, Al-Thawara Newspaper, Taiz, Yemen
  3. Vishwanath Srikantaiah, Rainwaterclub/Arghyam, Bangalore, India

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