SWITCH: Managing Water for the City of the Future

Managing Water for the City of the Future

Alexandria: A SWITCH Success Story

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In 2008, the EU reviewers asked SWITCH to provide a description of a "SWITCH success story" where all work packages interacted to move the city towards sustainability. Alexandria is one of these success stories.

The Learning Alliance in Alexandria was committed to developing an integrated urban water management plan that followed the National Integrated Water Resource Plan framework, but was tailored to the needs of urban areas. This was a first for Egypt and will likely be mandated throughout the rest of Egypt's urban areas and potentially further. Scenario planning and selection of indicators has already occurred as well as significant work on the urban water balance.

Along with an overall strategic plan the LA also chose a demonstration site in one of the informal settlements within the city. This site has a community run sanitation system that is poorly designed and semi-functional. Social inclusion researchers in SWITCH worked with the community to identify sanitation and demand management options that would be appropriate for conditions in the slum area.

Training was also requested by the LA in demand management and they sought to implement end use analysis and demand management options into their on-going business practices. Climate change is a very significant issue for Alexandria as the city is at serious risk of sea-level rise and inundation. In recognition of this, SWITCH supported the Director of the Alexandria Water Utility to present at Stockholm Water Week on Alexandria, climate and SWITCH. SWITCH also secured additional funding to be part of a documentary on the impact of sea-level rise on New York, Rotterdam, Jakarta and Alexandria. The segment on Alexandria will illustrate the complexity of urban water management issues and how this is compounded by issues like climate change. In Alexandria all SWITCH theme areas except those involved with stormwater and drainage (not priority issues in Alexandria) were involved in bringing together a comprehensive programme of strategic planning, demonstrations, training and dissemination with strong support of the local LA. The figure below identifies the many work packages involved in this city. (Click on the image to view a larger version.)

SWITCH - Alexandria Success Story