Resilient urban water services
Summary, in English
The sustainable development of cities is threatened by a worldwide water crisis, which puts urban water services (including drinking water, sanitation, and drainage) at increasing risk. Despite a shared understanding of the importance of addressing the issue, there is a peculiar lack of action and resistance at all levels. To make matters worse, risk reduction and resilience building measures seem to be making poor urban populations increasingly vulnerable. Against this background, this chapter provides new knowledge on the interface between risk, vulnerabilities, and the resilience of urban water services, and linkages with social equity. We focus on the approximately 2.8 million people living in Metro Cebu in the Philippines, which is the most populous and fastest-growing urban area outside of the country’s capital Manila. The area is frequently challenged by tropical cyclones, storms and other increasing, climate-related disaster events. The study presented here was conducted during 2014–2017. The results show the need to better link the management of urban risks, urban planning, drainage, sanitation, water resources, and watershed issues. Efforts that have been made so far are siloed and contribute to the erosion of resilience and sustainability. Moreover, several socio-economic challenges bar the way to far-reaching approaches, notably power structures and corruption. We conclude that a more comprehensive understanding of urban water services is needed to address the underlying failures in sustainable development, with a focus on transparency and capacity-building measures in governance and public institutions.