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An Engineer's Perspective on Past and Future Urban Water Management Infrastructure Challenges

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While the objectives of urban water management systems including water supply, public health protection, and protection of the environment have remained unchanged, the setting within which these objectives must be met has changed significantly over the past century. The global scope of urban water management has increased dramatically, and resource constraints (including water resources but also other natural resources) have increased dramatically. Fortunately, a “toolkit” of approaches and supporting technologies is available which can be incorporated into systems with more decentralized water management and centralized organic matter and nutrient management to meet evolving needs. The application of knowledge from the business and social science literature indicates that opinion leading early adopters are needed for these higher performing systems. These may include existing utilities and/or new service delivery entities. The emergence of these early adopters is the next step in achieving significantly greater performing urban water management systems.

Keywords: Urban water management; hybrid systems; innovation; trends

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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