A Platform for Action, sharing all your compelling narratives on water.

The Water as Leverage Approach

The Water as Leverage Approach

Water as Leverage
  • 03 Good Health and Well-being
  • 06 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 09 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 14 Life Below Water
  • 15 Life On Land

Water as Leverage (WaL) is developing an integrated and inclusive methodology for pre-project preparation geared toward readily-implementable solutions.

The methodology has been incorporated as a Best Practice in the UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda and is focused on acheiving three primary goals:

  • Encouraging collaboration between public and private entities in a 'challenge-based' context during the pre-project preparation phase, to increase the allocation and accountability of much-needed funding for water resilience projects
  • Actively identifying and counteracting areas of fragmentation in the project development process
  • Broadening the scope of project development to include project and process and by fostering an enabling environment

By institutionalizing this methodology in cooperation with a growing group of partners including governments, financial institutions, investors and professionals, Water as Leverage aims to inspire transformative, design-driven solutions to urban water and climate challenges in many regions across the globe.

Research by Design

Water as Leverage
  • 03 Good Health and Well-being
  • 06 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 09 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 14 Life Below Water
  • 15 Life On Land
  • 17 Partnerships for the Goals

WaL follows the principles of Research by Design, through which exciting interdependencies between water and urban life are revealed.

Once identified, these connections are analyzed at the city scale to produce accessible material that can be discussed across stakeholder groups. This information can then serve as a critical basis for decisions on long-term sustainable interventions in cooperation with the local community. Designers are in the process of incorporating Water as Leverage at all levels and phases from strategy and program planning to implementation. Innovative project proposals have already been developed that incorporate resilient design strategies (e.g. Building with Nature, Room for the River) and integrate policy, landscape, and urban socio-economic structure in finding solutions.

The Dutch Government is financing the pre-project preparation phase of Water as Leverage. The idea is that this initial investment will lead to the development of visionary projects and proposals that leverage water as a mechanism to design a more resilient future for cities across the world.

Inclusive Approach

Water as Leverage
  • 03 Good Health and Well-being
  • 06 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 09 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 14 Life Below Water
  • 15 Life On Land
  • 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Truly resilient and sustainable solutions can only be achieved through an inclusive project design and development process.

WaL consists of a broad coalition of stakeholders of the public, private and financial sectors, from local communities to international organisations, all involved from the very beginning of this pre-project preparation process. The innovative and integrated climate-adaptive concepts of WaL are designed to build ecological awareness and social cohesion on the community scale. Our goal is to support the formation and strengthening of resilient communities that are better able to cope with diverse climate risks. When especially vulnerable groups are identified in a project area, they are involved from the start in the process of designing and developing interventions that can reduce the level of exposure to climate risks, improve living conditions, and increase their quality of life.

In this regard, collaboration is essential across sectors, levels of government, institutions and stakeholder groups to develop impactful solutions to water resilience challenges.

Financing and Bankability

Water as Leverage
  • 03 Good Health and Well-being
  • 06 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 09 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 14 Life Below Water
  • 15 Life On Land
  • 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Water as Leverage invites participation from the international financial world, development banks, and governments as cooperating partners in the advancement of this original approach to increasing urban resilience to water and climate change.

Using this approach, unique opportunites for collaboration are created between parties that may not normally have the opportunity to interact in the traditional processes of climate infrastructure investment and project development. Coalitions of public and private institutions, financial organizations and stakeholder groups work together to identify bankable and ground-breaking proposals and to develop these into resilient, climate adaptation urban water projects.

The financial organizations involved in Water as Leverage are dedicated to the the programme's success. The AIIB has included upstream processes such as Water as Leverage in its water strategy concept. In Indonesia, the World Bank is actively supporting the city of Semarang in further developing Water as Leverage concepts and is incorporating these principles in its own planning and programming efforts.