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Mumbai, New Delhi ranked worst among 50 top cities indexed for sustainable water harnessing for future success

Ten worst cities
By Our Representative
Arcadis, a leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, in a new report has ranked Mumbai and New Delhi lowest of the 50 cities it selected for sustainable cities water index in order to identify which cities are best placed to harness water for future success.
Ranking Mumbai 49th and New Delhi 50th in overall water index, higher than Jakarta (47th) and Manila (48th), the report particularly blames “poor sanitation and insufficient treatment of wastewater” as the main reason why these Asia cities “near the bottom”.
Analyzing three main criteria for ranking cities’ water index – resiliency, efficiency and quality –the report finds that New Delhi ranks 46th and Mumbai 50th in resiliency, which is sub-indexed into water stress, green space, water-related disaster risk, flood risk, water balance and water reserves.
Then, under the efficiency criterion, which is sub-indexed into leakage, water charges, service continuity, wastewater reuse, metered water, drinking water and sanitation, Mumbai ranks 49th and New Delhi 50th.
And, under the quality criterion, which sub-indexed into drinking water, sanitation, treated wastewater, water-related disease, water pollution, and threatened freshwater species, the report finds New Delhi ranking 46th and Mumbai 48th.
As for African cities, the report finds, they perform a little better in overall index than the two Indian cities, with Johannesburg ranking 45th and Nairobi 46th. They “perform well when it comes to resiliency due to geographic advantage but are held back by inefficiency and poorer water quality”, it adds.
Ranking the German city Rotterdam as the best, followed by Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin, the report says, “European cities dominate the overall rankings, taking seven of the top ten places.” It adds, “Many of these cities have mature water systems that have been built up over a long period of time, many times in response to challenges they have faced with water.”
“The Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, for example, place at first and third respectively, having overcome challenges such as flooding in the last century. In general, European cities have high water quality through well-established drinking water supply, sanitation and wastewater treatment systems”, the report states.
“Asian cities trail their western counterparts by some distance overall, with Singapore (22nd), Seoul (23rd), Tokyo (26th) and Hong Kong (30th) the highest ranked in the middle order of the Index”, while New Delhi (50th), Mumbai (49th) and Manila (48th) rank “the lowest for resiliency and quality.”
The report says, “In North America, Toronto (6th), Washington DC (13th) and New York (14th) perform well overall. Los Angeles ranks second for efficiency, while Chicago and Philadelphia rank second and third for quality.”
Ten best cities
“Dubai (32nd) is the highest ranked Middle Eastern city, but other cities rank lower due to the many water management challenges in the hot, desert climate”, the report says, adding, “The Australian cities of Sydney (8th) and Melbourne (11th) score well thanks to efficient water systems and investment in desalination that creates better water conditions.”
As for Latin American cities, the report says, they “feature in the bottom half of the Index” with Buenos Aires (33rd) the highest placed in the region, and Rio de Janeiro (44th) placed near the bottom. “New investment is needed to boost water quality, particularly in wastewater treatment and sanitation”, it believes.

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