UNU-IIGH Convenes Session on Systems Perspectives on Urban Water Quality and Health

  • 2015•02•02     Kolkata

    Water is a critical factor in urban lives and livelihoods, shaping the location, size and form of our cities and their citizens. Water affects risk of water-borne infectious disease and the habitat of vectors, and impacts nutrition and development, safety and sanitation, mental health and recreational opportunity. As such, water is intimately linked with urban health. Yet the linkages between water management and health are exceedingly complex. Unprecedented urban populations and densities, intra-urban inequities, and inter-urban mobility pose serious new problems, and climate change adds a novel and uncharted dimension. There is a growing recognition that such complex problems are best managed using systems approaches.

    On 31 January 2015 UNU-IIGH convened a session on Systems Perspectives on Urban Water Quality and Health at the 47th annual Indian Water Works Association (IWWA) annual convention in Kolkata, India. Chaired by Dr. José Siri, Research Fellow in Urban Health, this session featured case studies from a wide range of geographic and socioeconomic contexts from Maputo, Mozambique and Kolkata, India to Vienna, Austria. It explored how interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral approaches can and have been implemented in the context of water management and health, and how systems approaches can help to mitigate and manage the impacts of water on urban health and well-being. Insights from this session are being compiled for a forthcoming journal article.