Governing Urban Waters under Climate Change


Cities are focal points of humankind’s metabolism. It is well known that they account for about three quarters of energy and GHG emissions, but their water resources demand is often neglected, be it their freshwater demand, their pollution impact, or, more hidden, their water footprint. At the same time, the overuse of surface and ground water in urban areas makes them largely dependent on water imports into their territories. This already critical situation may be exacerbated by climate change through direct impacts such as urban droughts or extreme weather events with flash floods.


The session calls for papers and presentations – ideally of generic research – that probe into the link of Climate Change and the urban water cycle. Explicitly invited are presentations that

  • Analyze the management and governance of urban water systems under CC pressures
  • Assess the impacts of climate change upon the urban water systems and the repercussions on society
  • Review the (multi-level) governance of cities and their water systems under the global CC discourse (i.e. NDCs, to local planning)
  • Present the responses of urban planning to expected CC impacts on the urban fabric

All papers should present a conceptual frame under which the case study is evaluated. Also theory-driven papers that shed new light on the relation of urban systems and the water cycle under conditions of climate change are invited in order to trigger meaningful research.

The session will offer also a debate slot to review the presentations and discuss potential research collaboration.


  • Urban planning and governance,
  • urban water cycle,
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation

Hosted by

Johannes Hamhaber

Human Geographer, Professor

Professor for Regional Management, Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, TH Köln

Marcos Algara Siller


Professor researcher at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico