Adopt IUWM


Over four years from February 2013 to March 2017, the project Adopting Integrated Urban Water Management (AdoptIUWM) guided four cities in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, India, towards adopting integrated urban water management solutions.


AdoptIUWM aimed at building the capacity of Indian local authorities to undertake water sector reforms through the adoption of IUWM principles and practices in their planning and implementation processes. The project had four specific objectives:

  1. Customise an IUWM framework to meet the requirements of Indian local authorities
  2. Test the new Indian IUWM framework and Toolkit by applying it in four project cities in Rajasthan and Maharashtra
  3. Identify and implement a total of eight pilot projects in socio-economically weak wards in the project cities guided by the IUWM planning process
  4. Advocate the integration of the AdoptIUWM Toolkit as an appropriate planning tool in relevant schemes and programmes of the Ministry of Urban Development of the National Government of India

AdoptIUWM is enabling cities across the subcontinent to develop an integrated management approach that answers to their local water challenges, fits their own needs and uses their local capacity in cost-efficient way.

AdoptIUWM joint efforts with programmes and initiatives by the National Government of India. Many of the pilot projects in the four project cities and awareness raising events in Rajasthan and Maharashtra as well as across India and South Asia linked up to the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Joining forces will ensure that the eight pilot projects continue to operate beyond the end of the AdoptIUWM project.

AdoptIUWM in a nutshell

Brochure presenting the AdoptIUWM project.


Results of AdoptIUWM

  • Design of a process support from water testing to enabling local governments to establish and facilitate a process of identifying water challenges, prioritising them and formulating solutions together with the citizenry
  • Capacity building of local governments to integrate IUWM into their planning processes and make it the ‘conventional’ way of planning and developing their cities
  • Development of a comprehensive six-stage Toolkit and training programme that enables cities to step-by-step change their current water management approach into an integrated management concept for their urban water sector
  • Engagement of four project cities in diverse settings to learn how to transform their current water management approach into a holistic one
  • Support of four project cities in implementing pilot projects, improving the quality of life for the local people as well as providing incentives to protect local water and environmental resources and identify economic opportunities
  • Sharing of the idea of IUWM and the guiding material with more than 30 cities as well as state governments in Rajasthan and Maharashtra


AdoptIUWM has promoted the idea of and opportunities IUWM provides for local governments across India. The main activities of the project, which answered to the Ministry of Urban Development’s request to adapt the approach of the European project “SWITCH - Managing Water for the City of the Future” (2006-2011) to the needs of Indian cities, were:

  • Identifying cities looking to transform their water sector and getting their political commitment for the IUWM process
  • Gaining the support of the state governments of Rajasthan and Maharashtra with the support of the Ministry of Urban Development of India
  • Mapping the water loop in the project cities Jaisalmer, Kishangarh, Ichalkaranji and Solapur with local government commissioners and staff as well as relevant actors in the city (e.g. NGOs, community and vulnerable group representatives, businesses)
  • Nominating a local government staff member as convenor of local IUWM process and setting up core team and a stakeholder committee with all relevant actors in the city
  • Assessing water-related challenges and discussing potential solutions
  • Prioritising actions and selecting two as pilot projects of AdoptIUWM
  • Conducting an exposure visit for all four cities, state and national governments to European cities and regions to showcase and exchange on IUWM in practice
  • Implementing all eight pilot projects with local government and designing monitoring and evaluation to understand environmental impact
  • Developing long-term strategy for the continuation of the pilot projects and handing them over to community
  • Informing the state and national governments as well as other cities about the ongoing process in all four project cities continuously through meetings, workshops and newsletters
  • Developing an IUWM Toolkit and webtool as guidance for cities interested in adopting IUWM together with the four project cities and testing it on the ground