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Smart Water Cities: definition and measurements

What are Smart Cities? How do we measure urban “smartness”? In this session we examine different views on urban smartness and argue for a more in-depth analysis of the role of the water sector in urban development

Monica Garcia Quesada



Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 6
International Water Resources Association
Transforming Cities through Innovative Solutions and Technologies
NE 86


Developing Smart Cities is a promising aspiration to deal with the many challenges that cities face today. The use of information and communications technologies and robotics has been seen to provide support to deal with trends such as population growth, climate change and urbanisation. As a result of this focus, standards and indicators to measure smart urban development have been adopted, particularly in the context of “Sustainable Cities and Communities” according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, while smart development has been examined in sectors such as communication, energy, transportation, disasters prevention, etc., the water sector has figured insufficiently in the definition of a Smart City, despite the importance of water for urban development. As a result, limitations exist as to how to examine smart development in the management of urban water resources and water services provision.

K-water, IWRA and AWC have joined forces to develop a global standard framework, KPIs and a certification scheme to measure and compare Smart Water Cities around the world. This Session will examine the challenges to define and to measure smart urban development and will present their collaborative research project “Smart Water Cities”.


This session will provide an excellent chance for an open discussion about how best to define and to measure smart urban development in general, and in the water sector in particular. Attendees will be invited to discuss these concepts and their limitations, and how developing KPIs and certification schemes may help to provide guidance and direction for policy makers worldwide. The presentations and Q&A session will serve to provide feedback for the SWC project and will be fed into the research being produced by IWRA, AWC and K-Water. 

In particular, the event has the following objectives:

  1. To provide a forum to discuss the concept of smart city, and more particularly, smart water city.
  2. To critically examine existing instruments to assess and compare urban smart development, such as Key performance indicators and certification schemes.
  3. To present examples of good practice in smart urban development.
  4. To establish a forum for discussion, exchange and networking to organisations and individuals interested in the topics of integrated urban management.
  5. To share knowledge and experience on the topics, amongst relevant organisations and professionals.

Session speakers

Dr Monica Garcia Quesada
Smart Water Cities roject Officer
Mr. Taiwhan Kim
National Expert
Water Sciences Division, UNESCO
Mr Jeongjin Oh
Senior Manager