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International Virtual Training Programme on ‘City-wide Water and Climate Resilience through Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning’

Dates: Jan. 25, - Feb. 6, 2022 | Platform: Moodle and Zoom

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India in partnership with Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa and the Future Water Institute at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is organizing an international virtual training programme on “City-wide Water and Climate Resilience through Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP)” for African practitioners.

CSE is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi, India. The Centre researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of, development that is both sustainable and equitable. CSE also assists the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India as a Centre of Excellence in the area of sustainable urban water management.The programme aims to share solutions with other countries in the developing world from South America, Africa and Asia that are enjoined in a common struggle to find ways of meeting the needs of urban and rural populations in the current water and wastewater paradigm which are affordable and sustainable.

WRC, South Africa aims to generate new knowledge and to promote the country’s water research purposefully. It actively contributes to South Africa’s water knowledge base by funding fundamental water research, growing scientific capacity and disseminating knowledge to important stakeholders through various formats. The Future Water Institute at UCT is a transdisciplinary research centrewhich seeks to explore integrated sustainable approaches to addressing problems of water management in urban areas.

Increasingly,cities in South Africa face the enormous task of dealing with future growth, water scarcity issues, climate change impacts and equitable access to essential health care and better water management. In addition to this, cities are currently grappling with the widespread impacts of COVID-19. It seems clear that these challenges will forcecities to (re)-think how water (and sanitation) sensitive urban planningcan be integrated into development scenarios.

In August 2021, CSE in partnership with UCT and WRC hosted a virtual roundtable on mainstreaming WSUDP into city planning. Consensus was reached during this meeting on the need to mainstream WSUDP to strengthen urban water infrastructure systems and develop resilience in the wake of the changing climate, and that WSUDP strategies should become an essential component of city resilience strategies in South Africa.

Following the success of our previous face-to-face training programmes on WSUDP (accredited for Continuous Professional Development through the Engineering Council of South Africa), we have beenoverwhelmed with the demand to conduct further training on WSUDPin 2021/22.In acknowledgement of the current Covid-19 related restrictions, we are pleased to announce a virtual training programme to cater to this demand. This programme is based on state-of-art teaching – learning tools consisting of interactive sessions, experiential learning using detailed case studies, working in groups on planning and designing and (online) class room lectures/instructions.

About the Virtual Training
Rapid and unregulated growth of towns and cities is a key reason for unsustainable water management in urban areas. Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the largest numbers of water-stressed countries in the world with South Africa regarded as amongst the top 30 most water stressed countries in the world.At the same time, there is increasing vulnerability to flooding, particularly amongst the urban poor. To meet and adapt to the scale of challenges in the area of urban water and sanitation management and to develop resilience against the impacts of climate change, a cadre of professionals who work in implementing sustainable water management solutions in the urban areas of Africa is needed. This virtual training programme will deliver a range of informative and engaging sessionsto enhance participants’ knowledge on water sensitive planning and design approaches aimed at building city-wide resilience, covering topics ranging from terminology and concepts related to water resilience to discussion on good practices and WSUDP implementation.


Training directors


South Africa

Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Senior Director & Academic Director, School of Water and Waste - AAETI, CSE, India

Jay Bhagwan
Executive Manager:
Water and Wastewater
Water Research Commission, South Africa

For more information, contact the following:


South Africa

Dhruv Pasricha
Programme Officer, Urban Water Unit
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India

A/Prof.Kirsty Carden
Interim Director
Future Water Institute - UCT

Program Design
The WSUDP approach integrates the urban water cycle, water supply, wastewater, stormwater and groundwater management. This approach reduces vulnerability and contributes to sustainability, inclusivity and liveability of towns and cities, particularly when considered part of an overall urban development strategy. WSUDP interventions enhance our resilience to climate change by developing resource sustainability and mitigating impacts of climate change like urban flooding and dwindling water supply.

This training will focus on three main components of WSUDP –Rainwater Harvesting (RWH), Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Wastewater recycling and reuse (e. g. through Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems, DWWTS).

Part 1: Context-setting for WSUDP (Online Platform): 25 Jan., - 1 Feb., 2022 | 12 hours self-study

Part-1 of the training will provide the context for WSUDP in South Africa through pre-training engagement with prescribed online material. It will provide a brief overview of challenges and opportunities in urban water management w.r.t. climate change and urban water resilience, WSUDP concepts, and the framework for implementation in South Africa. In addition to this, the material will provide latest guidance and policies in the WSUDP sector, focussing on the aims, benefits and components of WSUDP for any new developments and redevelopments.

This module will be conducted via an e-learning platform, where participants will be enrolled and provided with 8-10 hour (approx.) reading / audio-visual training material which they are expected to self-study. The platform will also allow participants and trainers to hold discussion threads where necessary.

Part 2: WSUDP Planning and Designing (Virtual Sessions): 2-4 Feb., 2022 | 12 hours facilitated
A facilitated three-day programme will be held virtually via an online video-conferencing platform. Day 1: Scale, data requirements and case studies

The virtual sessions will briefly reflect on Part-1 of the training. The sessions will include introduction to scales of decentralisation, data requirements for planning and designing WSUDP features, and successful case studies. The case studies will exhibit diverse interventions on rain/stormwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment and reuse, specifically w.r.t. new urban design processes aligned for water sensitive design at different scales. The day is divided into a 4-hour lecture session (including short breaks and stretching exercises) and 2-hour session incorporating group exercises.

Day 2: Urban water resilience framework and case studies in South Africa
The 3-hour virtual session will focus on urban water resilience frameworks in South African cities, and explore the opportunity areas of WSUDP implementation under city resilience plans. Guest lectures will be included and case studies from C40 cities and other urban centres will be discussed in detail.

Day 3: Planning and Designing WSUDP features
The virtual session will focus on planning and designing techniques for RWH, SuDS and DWWTS. The session will also provide key design thumb-rules, O&M and stakeholder engagement strategies, and economics of WSD features. A hands-on group exercise for planning and designing will be conducted virtually, followed by a presentation. The day is divided into a 3-hour lecture session (including short breaks and stretching exercises); a 1.5-hour group exercise; a 1-hour presentation session; and 0.5-hour for closing remarks and feedback.
Target Group for training
Architects / landscape architects, planners, engineers and other water and sanitation professionals working with consultancies, design firms, non-profit organisations, government departments & agencies, research institutions and academic centres.


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