Water Scarce Cities: Thriving in a Finite World


Self-paced e-learning

Other Partner

Offered by

World Bank Group

World Bank Group – Open Learning Campus

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Course details

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2 week
1–2 hours per week

Course summary

The course shares the experiences of cities worldwide that are building resilient water supply systems in increasingly water scarce environments.

About this course

The course starts with an introduction to Water Scarce Cities by way of considering the emerging challenges and threats to water security. Water scarce cities face unprecedented challenges. Rapid urbanization and growth have put pressure on dwindling resources, and cities are further stressed by climate change and conflict shocks. Unsustainable water management practices based on linear, engineering-based approaches lead to depletion of strategic sources. Many urban water utilities, government planners, and others are unaware of how this situation could lead to major water shortages and remain unaware of these challenges.

This course shows pathways that cities, states, and regions facing water scarcity can explore, as well as recommendations for how they can unleash their potential through integrated and systemwide approaches that include technology, economic considerations, and inclusive outreach. The e-learning modules will cover how select global Water Scarce Cities encountered challenges, how they were addressed, and what we can learn from their experiences.

Target audience

  • State/local government and water agency managers with firsthand experience dealing with water scarcity or interest in exploring new approaches;
  • Utility (including private operators) managers with direct experience implementing resilient solutions;
  • Academic institutions and think tanks that are fostering knowledge flows, in order to bring that experience to our regional client countries, cities, and utilities;
  • Development practitioners interested in learning how the Water Scarce Cities Initiative can help address challenges in water systems;
  • Global leaders and policy makers interested in learning more about opportunities to significantly improve water management in water scarce cities, with an integrated framework.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand current trends in water management in urban scarcity contexts, including strategies with integrated water solutions;
  • Describe innovative approaches already implemented — based on cities’ successful responses to water scarcity—to inspire a new kind of urban water security;
  • Evaluate appropriate and sustainable strategies to address the key challenges of water scarcity, including new water management approaches, technological advancements, and political practices;
  • Build effective partnerships that promote innovation, and establish potential linkages between water scarce cities and regions, and members of the constituted network, be it specific technical support or long-term partnerships; Include Water Scarce Cities solutions and strategies in policy dialogue and plan with other stakeholders on water security development goals and priorities.