Research project


The Water4Change (W4C) research programme addresses the complex challenges to urban water systems faced by fast-growing secondary cities in India and the sustainability transitions that are needed for short- and long-term mitigation of, adaptation to and coping with urgencies and uncertainties. By co-creating a Water Sensitive City Framework and a Fit-for-Purpose Guidelines, W4C aims to enable water sensitive development, accounting for site specificities, knowledge and practices, presenting innovative interventions, practices and design, and policy guidelines.

Contemporary and converging trends, crises and risks, including natural disasters, economic crises, social inequality and climate and demographic change, demand new approaches in managing and using environmental resources. India is a country which is rapidly growing into urban agglomerations showing infrastructure deficits and adaptation gaps in response to current and future climatic, societal and economic change. While key drivers are well understood and technological solutions exist, this will be insufficient to deliver the transformative changes needed to pro-actively deal with and respond to these challenges. Water as a basic necessity for life is both an agent and a catalyst of positive change if managed in a context sensitive way. Therefore, to facilitate long-term sustainability and resilience of urban water systems, a holistic, integrative, fit-for-purpose and socio-ecological approach is required in governance, land-use planning, technology, infrastructure design and societal behaviours. These are dimensions that in combination determine ‘equilibrium’ solutions, sensitive to socio-economic, environmental, technical, and procedural conditions that will continue to change in the future. By synergistically connecting 4 realms for the delivery of change, the programme will develop an integrative and applicable water sensitive design framework for liveable fast growing secondary cities in India.

Partners: In Netherlands, Delft University of TechnologyUniversity of TwenteStichting DeltaresIHE Delft Institute for Water EducationIRC Wash; in India, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)CEPT University, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITG)

Duration of the project: 5 years (2019-2024)

Funding programme: The project is co-funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Indian Government Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Cooperation India – the Netherlands programme.

Funding amount: €1.470.000

Principal investigators: T. Kuzniecow Bacchin, M. Lal Kansal