IWA Publishing

IWA Publishing

Urban-Water Harmony model to evaluate the urban water management


Water resources in many urban areas are under enormous stress due to large-scale urban expansion and population explosion. The decision-makers are often faced with the dilemma of either maintaining high economic growth or protecting water resources and the environment. Simple criteria of water supply and drainage do not reflect the requirement of integrated urban water management. The Urban-Water Harmony (UWH) model is based on the concept of harmony and offers a more integrated approach to urban water management. This model calculates four dimensions, namely urban development, urban water services, water–society coordination, and water environment coordination. And the Analytic Hierarchy Process has been used to determine the indices weights. We applied the UWH model to Beijing, China for an 11-year assessment. Our findings show that, despite the severe stress inherent in rapid development and water shortage, the urban water relationship of Beijing is generally evolving in a positive way. The social–economic factors such as the water recycling technologies contribute a lot to this change. The UWH evaluation can provide a reasonable analysis approach to combine various urban and water indices to produce an integrated and comparable evaluation index. This, in turn, enables more effective water management in decision-making processes.

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