What is the Water Sensitive Cities Index?

Moving towards integrated urban water management is a challenge faced by cities around the globe.  While some cities are still grappling with the delivery of essential services like water and sanitation, others are struggling to address and overcome some of the vulnerabilities inadvertently created by their existing water management systems.  Both developed and developing nations are therefore seeking guidance on overcoming existing institutional and infrastructure challenges in order to enable the transition to more water sensitive practices.

Conceptual models or frameworks have been increasingly used in government as a basis for decision-making. Good models can help us articulate goals and targets for service delivery, link actions with outcomes and track progress.

The Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) Index is designed to:

  1. Benchmark and rank cities based on water sensitivity performance;
  2. Set targets and track progress;
  3. Inform management responses to improve water sensitive practices, to enable the transition to a Water Sensitive City; and
  4. Foster industry collaboration.

It will be supported by a web platform with powerful visualisations to enable better understanding and communication of results. Supporting materials will assist self-assessment by a range of end users including policy makers, local and state governments, public agencies, service providers, research organisations, consultancies, land developers and the community.  The application of the Index also relies on cross-organisational knowledge sharing and collaboration that will strengthen industry relationships with progress toward a shared vision. Breaking down silos and opening up communication channels will be part of the greater benefits that come with implementing the Index framework.

The WSC Index critically supports the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities' mission of revolutionising water management to enhance the liveability, sustainability and resilience of our cities.