EGU2020-6529, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Challenging Drinking Water Affordability and Wastewater Services in Urban Environments

Joost Buurman, Stefanos Xenarios, Eduardo Araral, and Corinne Ong
Joost Buurman et al.
  • National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Institute of Water Policy, Singapore (

The urbanization trend is an undeniable fact worldwide in large and small cities.  This trend demands the allocation of vast amount of water resources in cities for drinking and sanitation purposes to ensure a sustainable living.  The sufficient and good water quality as well as the provision of adequate wastewater services is a core element for the sustenance of urban centers independently of its scale.

Many of the water supply and wastewater authorities (WWS) are currently facing major challenges on the continuous and uninterrupted provision of services.  Rapid urbanization, aged infrastructure, water scarcity, poor water quality and network loses are some of the challenges to be currently met.

The response to many of the above issues demands the increase of operational and maintenance costs that have to be born mostly or entirely by the users. A big debate on the affordability of the urban dwellers to cover the water supply and waste expenditures is currently ongoing.

The current study will assess the affordability of water users in urban centers to cover the basic consumption and secure a minimum amount of water.  Also, the study will investigate water affordability indicators among different cities for the sustainable operation of the WWS in 21st century.

We will assess 5 different type of urban types to better capture the water affordability trends at large. Namely, the following types will be assessed a) New cities with rapid urbanization b) Old cities with existent aged network c) Water scarce cities with difficulty to access water sources d) Hazard prone cities with high vulnerability on water-risk problems e) Water sufficient cities, which however take measures on securitization of water resources. Examples from developing and developed countries will be drawn to examine the affordability issue in context specific and case-specific studies.

How to cite: Buurman, J., Xenarios, S., Araral, E., and Ong, C.: Challenging Drinking Water Affordability and Wastewater Services in Urban Environments , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6529,, 2020

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