SWITCH Case studies

Throughout the world, many cities are already demonstrating how integrated approaches and effective stakeholder engagement in urban water management can be implemented in practice. The SWITCH project, for example, worked with 12 cities, located in many different parts of the world, to put innovative solutions for more sustainable water management to the test.

This page contains case studies of some of these SWITCH cities, but also of other cities that exemplify good practice of the approaches, options and technologies laid out in the SWITCH Training Kit modules.

© iStockphoto/mcveras

Reuse of treated wastewater for urban greening and agriculture in Lima, Peru   

Lima’s wastewater has a strong potential for reuse given Lima’s context of water scarcity and its citizens’ need for green spaces and peri-urban agriculture. Lima has worked with stakeholders to influence national legislation on wastewater reuse and to develop a demonstration project: a multifunctional city park using treated wastewater.     
Click here to access the case study


© Barbara Anton

River restoration as a catalyst for sustainable urban development - Lodz, Poland

Lodz continues to feel the environmental, economic and social impacts of industrialisation and subsequent manufacturing decline. It is focusing its urban regeneration efforts in part on river restoration, which has involved building reservoirs, inventing a stormwater biofiltration system and developing a wider plan for the river valley.    
Click here to access the case study

© iStockphoto/neoellis

The “city as a catchment” approach - Melbourne, Australia

Thanks to the adoption of a “water sensitive city” approach and the implementation of Water Sensitive Urban Design techniques, Melbourne is successfully responding to current problems by reducing its water consumption, exploiting non-conventional sources of water supply and using alternative techniques to manage its stormwater runoff.

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© Malena Karlsson

A vision of Integrated Urban Planning comes to life in Stockholm’s Hammarby Sjöstad district - Stockholm, Sweden

Hammarby Sjöstad’ s holistic environmental vision incorporates aspects relating to waste, energy and water as part of one sustainable system. This vision is encompassed within the “Hammarby Model,” an eco-cycle which promotes the integration of various technical supply systems, so that the waste from one system becomes a resource for another.

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© Mekorot

Treating wastewater for reuse using natural systems - Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv has been treating its wastewater for reuse with Soil Aquifer Treatment for several decades. However, the city has had, for several reasons, to find a more appropriate and compact solution. Tel Aviv has piloted a modified version of the technology which is not only more effective but also uses less land.

Click here to access the case study.

© iStockphoto/michael abril

Reducing water demand and establishing a water saving culture in the City - Zaragoza, Spain

Faced with severe water shortages, an expanding population and deteriorating water infrastructure, Zaragoza has responded by embarking on an ambitious water conservation programme that has succeeded in establishing a ‘water saving culture’ among businesses, industry and the local population.
Click here to access the case study

Case studies in Spanish / Estudios caso en español

Click here to find case studies in Spanish.


Other examples of good practice

Other interesting examples of practical work undertaken at the city level can be found under SWITCH resources.


Adapting to climate change in cities

SWITCH has also developed a handbook on “Adapting urban water systems to climate change”, which includes case studies from ten cities that have already planned for adaptation or implemented specific actions aiming at increasing their resilience to climate change.

Click here to access the SWITCH adaptation handbook case studies.