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A landscape architectural approach to securing water supply for cities and their hinterland

As a landscape researcher with a keen interest in water systems and ecology I have been following the news on increasing water shortages (and paradoxically, but not surprisingly often also increased flood risk) in and around cities worldwide with a growing sense of alarm. At the same time wondering what can be done about it with an integrated spatial, landscape ecological/architectural approach. While collaborating in the Home at Work project, a research on improving live- work environment of communities in peri-urban industrial area’s in Bandung Indonesia, I started researching the over exploitation of water resources and declining water supply more intense. In recent years making cities more flood proof has become an important topic for (landscape) architects and planners, but an integrated approach to sustainable fresh water supply and hydrology not yet. In this blog I write about the causes, problems and possible solutions from a landscape architectural and ecological point of view. In particular looking at the spatial dimension of water stress. How can we (re-) shape our cities and landscapes to alleviate water shortages? Sharing our knowledge may help us built water secure livable cities and regenerate our ecosystems.

Just a few numbers on increasing water stress 

  • According to UN research global water demand can outpace supply by 30% in 2030
  • China houses 20% of the world population (with around 50% living in cities) and only 6% of the worlds water supply. (FAQ AQUASTAT, 2008-2012)

  • The Greater Los Angeles watershed is able to support at most 1 million people; the area currently has a population of over 18 million people
  • California only reuses 7% of it’s waste water;  Singapore reuses 30%
  • Andalusie Spain abstracts 64% more groundwater each year than is replenished

water_stress_world_map_large

In upcoming blogs I will elaborate on;

  • Bad practices; water stress in different urban area’s world wide (a.o. Bandung – Indonesia, Hong Kong & Macau / Pearl River Delta – China, California -USA, Andalusia – Spain)
  • Best Practices; Cities with smart fresh water strategies (Singapore, Chennai India)
  • Rainwater harvesting & groundwater recharge systems
  • Learning from the past; Smart ancient fresh water management systems (a.o. rainwater harvesting & groundwater recharge ‘temples’ in Gurajut India)

 

A landscape architectural approach to securing water supply for cities and their hinterland As a landscape researcher with a keen interest in water systems and ecology I have been following the news on increasing water shortages (and paradoxically, but not surprisingly often also increased flood risk) in and around cities worldwide with a growing sense of […]