Delivering sustainable urban water management: a review of the hurdles we face

Rebekah Brown and Megan Farrelly / National Urban Water Governance Program, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University


This paper is a 2009 international literature review of the barriers to the uptake of sustainable urban water management. The analysis revealed the barriers are largely socioinstitutional rather than technical, reflecting issues related to community, resources, responsibility, knowledge, vision, commitment and coordination. The analysis demonstrated a lack of targeted strategies for overcoming the stated institutional barriers. Evaluation of the typology in relation to capacity building suggests that these systemic issues require a sophisticated programme of change that focuses on fostering social capital, intersectoral professional development, and inter-organisational coordination