GHD, one of the world’s leading engineering consulting firms, has announced the North American launch of the Water Sensitive Cities Index (WSC-I), a benchmarking and diagnostic tool developed to assess the tangible aspects of integrated water management (IWM) services including storm water, flood management, ground water, wastewater, water supply, as well as less tangible concepts like governance and community values.
The WSC-I is designed to benchmark an area’s current performance against seven water sensitivity goals. These goals are ranked against 34 corresponding indicators, which are scored on a 1-5 rating scale through a collaborative workshop process involving engineers, planners and stakeholders, facilitated by an accredited provider. The tool is supported by a web-based platform that can filter the results according to the needs and interests of the end-users and decision makers.
“The WSC-I is an important tool to aid stakeholders, who may not traditionally collaborate, across the water cycle. It helps align strategic planning and break down silos, by bringing together water partners to better understand what their progress is toward being water sensitive,” said Anne Lynch, North America Service Line Lead, Integrated Water Management Services. “In the end, this leads to more integrated solutions and project development.”
The WSC-I was developed and industry-tested by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) in Australia. It allows governments and utilities to evaluate their urban water management systems in relation to other regions, identify priorities for management actions, and learn from other areas experiencing similar challenges.
“There’s growing emphasis around the world on how important urban water services are in enhancing livability, sustainability, resilience and productivity,” said Gemma Dunn, Western Canada Water Market Leader and accredited workshop provider for the Water Sensitive Cities Index. “This goes beyond promoting water-conscious communities—it’s also about overcoming the unprecedented challenges we face, from climate change, pollution and ageing infrastructure, to meeting basic human needs and rapid urbanization.”
Results from WSC-I assessments conducted in more than 50 participating cities have demonstrated the tool can help decision makers identify crucial priorities to accelerate their water sensitive IWM or One Water transition. GHD is the only accredited provider of the WSC-I in North America. Learn more about implementing the WSC-I here.
Effective water management is part of all business, industry, and community life. GHD has a powerful global network of water skills and experience we can apply to local scenarios using an IWM-based approach. We offer a broad range of services covering strategic planning, feasibility studies, planning, design, project management, construction, and asset management services as well as operational optimization. Our people use selective research, perform pilot trials, fine-tune existing systems and transfer technologies from other industries to improve quality and manage asset costs.