A Compendium of the Water Resilient Cities Learning Events 2018-2022

With urban resilience taking centre stage, African cities are increasingly recognising the need to better understand water-related risks. They are also beginning to explore innovative approaches that will enhance and enable their water systems to perform in volatile and unpredictable environments and optimise performance under foreseen and unforeseen changes.


It is in this context that in 2018, the Water Resilient Cities peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform was established by the South African Cities Network (SACN), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the GIZ‘s Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) and the USAID’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene Finance Program (WASH-FIN), with the support of varying partners over the past four years.


The platform was created to encourage and facilitate solution-seeking conversations and bring together key stakeholders in the water sector, including city water managers, policy and decision-makers, technical experts, practitioners, civil society, and communities, around a common purpose.

Over the past four years, since 2018, five Water Resilient Cities Learning


Events have been convened and have become catalysts for:

      • Engagement and effective peer-to-peer knowledge sharing among South African cities, across the
        Southern African region and beyond;
      • Solution-seeking conversations on innovative approaches;
      • Capacity strengthening amongst participating cities; and
      • Innovative responses to water security and resilience challenges.


Each event is guided by participant feedback (from city water managers and practitioners, water specialists in the public and private sectors, civil society organisations as well as regional and international experts) on topics that require further discussion, exploration, and collaboration.


This Compendium provides summaries of the learning events, the key insights, and issues that emerged, the experiences of city water managers and practitioners as well as recommendations from participants on what future events should focus on.


By documenting the lessons from the knowledge-sharing platform and examining the practices, approaches, challenges, and solutions put forward, the partners intend to contribute to transformative ur- ban water resilience approaches on the continent.