Adopt IUWM

Guidance for cities

The AdoptIUWM Toolkit provides guidance for local government officials on how to apply the principles of integration to manage water in Indian cities more sustainably.

The Toolkit has been developed to provide local governments across India with:

  • Practical advice on how to realise an integrated strategic planning and implementation process
  • Directions on how sectoral integration in the Indian urban water sector (including its interactions with solid waste) can be achieved
  • A basket of technological solutions appropriate to the Indian context in the form of a compendium, including case examples of cities where the technologies have been operationally proven

The AdoptIUWM process includes six stages and is designed as a cyclical process: once the city has completed one cycle of the IUWM process, it is advised to periodically revisit the process (fully or partially) to continuously integrate the urban water sector and strengthen the planning efforts with other urban management sectors.

STAGE I. Process initiation and preliminary assessment of existing level of integration

Starting a process is never easy, but getting it right is very important. IUWM requires that all important actors in a city are on board to support the uptake of the approach. The first step towards adopting IUWM is to establish a multi-stakeholder platform in the city to jointly develop the process and create ownership. A smaller stakeholder committee will continuously provide input and ideas throughout the process, led by the core team of the municipality. The First Integration Assessment Matrix helps cities to understand where they stand in terms of their current level of integration in the water sector. By using it, cities also learn where their strengths and weaknesses lie in the urban water sector. Stage I enables cities to identify which of the urban water sectors – water supply, waste water or storm water management – needs to be addressed first. All stakeholders discuss the management system in place in their city and identify the key roadblocks for integration. Impacts of climate change on water resources area also talked about.

STAGE II. Visioning, formulation of integration targets and understanding the urban water loop

In this stage the urban water sectors are looked at and an IUWM-based water vision for the city is developed, accompanied by the setting of integration targets to achieve it. Undertaking an urban water balance assessment helps demonstrate the benefits of achieving the integration targets. All stakeholders map the urban water loop to understand the flow of water to, within and from the city. This exercise results in knowing where the critical areas as well as areas of improvement are for each target alongside key stakeholders needed to use the potential.

STAGE III. Action planning for integration

In Stage III the multi-stakeholder platform undertakes discussions to develop a long-list of water projects for implementation in the city. Achieving the integration targets guides the selection and prioritisation of projects, which are the result of the Stage II urban water loop mapping exercise. The interlinkages between the water sector and the way land is used are also established here. In this stage the action plan the city produces an action plan.


STAGE IV. Strategic prioritization

This long-list of projects is scrutinized to establish the urgency, technical and financial feasibility and for assess the level of risk that may occur for each shortlisted project. The Project Prioritization Matrix is used to identify projects for implementation. These projects are included in the IUWM Action Plan.


 STAGE V. Community engagement for project implementation

The selected prioritised projects are developed further and responsibilities and financing sources are identified to pave the way for implementing the projects. Local level project committees at neighbourhood level are formed to oversee and support the project implementation.


STAGE VI. Monitoring framework for project sustainability

After project implementation, Stage VI helps to define roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders to carry on the work and maintain the project. Here an operation and maintenance (O&M) plan is developed, which also includes a monitoring process to assess the impact and success of each project. Each project is handed over to the local authority and/or community for maintenance.

AdoptIUWM Toolkit for Indian Cities

Step-by-step guidance for local governments across India.


AdoptIUWM Webtool for Indian Cities

Easy-to-use online tool to support uptake of IUWM for local governments.

Click here (available soon)