Urban Water Security Dashboard: systems approach to characterizing the water security of cities

Kees C.H. van Ginkel (Corresponding Author), Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Joost Buurman, Rick J. Hogeboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Urban water security is a major concern in the context of urbanization and climate change. Water security goes beyond having good infrastructure or good governance. Systems thinking can help in understanding the mechanisms that influence the long-term water security of a city. Therefore, we developed a dashboard of 56 indicators based on the pressure-state-impact-response (PSIR) framework. We applied the dashboard to ten cities to capture different characteristics of their water security and ranked the cities based on their overall water security index score. We found the highest levels of water security in wealthy cities in water-abundant environments (Amsterdam and Toronto), in which security is determined by the ability of the city to mitigate flood risks and the sustainability of hinterland dependencies for water supply. The lowest security was found in developing cities (Nairobi, Lima, and Jakarta). Here, the combination of large socioeconomic pressures (e.g., rapid population growth, slums, low GDP, polluting industries) and an inadequate response (weak institutions, and poor planning and operational management) leads to inappropriate fulfilment of all functions of the urban water system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04018075
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of water resources planning and management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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