WSC II aims to commit cities to science-based targets, to catalyse ambitious city actions through various flood and drought solutions.
Phase one of Water Safe Cities (WSC I) research found that 7.4 million people in the world’s largest cities will be exposed to severe river flooding by 2050. Phase two of the project is targeting interventions such as water permeability and emergency response systems to help save millions of lives.
C40 Cities, a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities, marked the launch of WSC II with a special session at the International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark, which brought together public and private stakeholders to discuss issues of urban water governance, with the aim of safeguarding the water supply for cities of the future.
A key component of WSC II is the creation of a new Water Accelerator for cities to pledge ambitious action to safeguard their water supply. Cities will commit to:
- Raising the ambition on water resilience in cities and supporting this with solid delivery
- Safeguarding cities from water-related climate hazards
- Making water security and safety a core component of cities’ climate strategy following an urban water management approach
WSC II, like WSC I, will be informed by insights from Grundfos.
Kim Nøhr Skibsted, CEO of the Grundfos Foundation, said: “Water Safe Cities I was about researching the global issue of urban flooding and drought; now, the newly launched Water Safe Cities II lays the pathway for action and will explore a solid delivery approach that helps to build water-resilient cities. Water excess and scarcity are among the most urgent challenges of our lifetimes. That is why the Grundfos Foundation and Grundfos are proud to partner with C40 on the Water Safe Cities project.”
Kevin Austen, deputy executive director of C40, added: “The Water Safe Cities II project is urgently needed. Mitigating river flood risks, for instance, would reduce damages across all C40 cities by 13% by 2050, while drought-related solutions could save US$8 billion in damages. This partnership between C40, Grundfos and the Grundfos Foundation should be the starting point for wider collaboration between cities, national governments and the private sector, all of whom have an incentive to protect cities from water risks.”
Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. The current chair of C40 is the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.