City Water Resilience Approach – Reflections from Bellagio

Between Monday 5 – Friday 9 November 2019, 22 water and resilience practitioners from 19 global organisations convened at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre at Lake Como for a Forum on ‘Improving city water resilience.’ The Forum was convened by Resolute Development Solutions representing The Resilience Shift, Arup, and the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for Water as part of the City Water Resilience Approach initiative.

The City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) has been launched to respond for the demand for tools to diagnose and design for water resilience. It supports cities to build the capacity of city water systems to endure, adapt and transform in the face of shocks and stresses. It is designed to help diverse actors—including city government agencies, civil society, private sector organizations and academic institutions— to better understand the relative strengths and vulnerabilities of water systems, identify opportunities to build resilience into all aspects of water management and chart paths forward for achieving better outcomes.

The CWRA works to strengthen all aspects of the water system, not only physical assets but also including those encompassed by the six capitals (human, social, political, economic, physical and natural). It represents a step forward in helping cities to ensure that their citizens survive and thrive in the face of water-related shocks and stresses, and that water systems can 1) provide access to high quality water resources for all residents, 2) protect residents from water-related hazards and 3) connect residents through water-based transportation networks (“provide, protect, connect”).

This document reports on the discussions from the Bellagio Forum as regarding their advancement of the City Water Resilience Approach initiative.


Publication date: 13 March, 2019
Authors: The CWRA project team includes Pilar Avello (SIWI), George Beane (Arup), Kieran Birtill (Arup), James Bristow (Arup), Alexa Bruce (Arup / The Resilience Shift), Louise Ellis (Arup / The Resilience Shift), Sophie Fisher (Arup), Mark Fletcher (Arup), Caroline Karmann (Arup), Richard Gine (SIWI), Alejandro Jiménez (SIWI), James Leten (SIWI), Kathryn Pharr (Venturi Innovation), Oriana Romano (OECD), Iñigo Ruiz-Apilánez (Arup / The Resilience Shift), Panchali Saikia (SIWI), Martin Shouler (Arup) and Paul Simkins (Arup).