Hull selected for core group of cities working to develop Global Water Resilience Framework

Hull has been selected to contribute to the development of a new City Water Resilience Framework (CWRF). Developed by Arup with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the CWRF will help cities better prepare for and respond to shocks and stresses to their water systems.

Hull is one of five cities selected, the majority of which are members of 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), a global non-profit organisation dedicated to helping cities better prepare for the economic, social and physical challenges that have increasingly become part of 21st century life. Amman, Cape Town, Greater Miami and the Beaches, Mexico City and Hull together represent the range of water challenges facing cities around the world.

Mark Jones, Hull City Council’s Director of Regeneration, said: “We welcome this opportunity, and the vote of confidence in our ability to work on such a crucial project is incredible.

“Hull is a unique city that has utilised water as one of its biggest assets for centuries, boasting a strong maritime history, and we are looking forward to its future as a hub for sustainable green energy. This critical partnership will enhance the work already being done on flood prevention infrastructure, whilst opening up the opportunity for economic growth within the city.

“Water is our past, present and future.”

Councillor Mike Thompson, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Environment, said: “It is another positive step for Hull to be recognised and involved in such a worldwide project with cities around the world.”

Dr Mark Fletcher, Arup Global Water Leader, said: “A changing climate coupled with rapid urbanisation is increasing the frequency of water-related crises facing cities. Increasingly, unpredictable rainfall, flooding and droughts are impacting cities across their water cycle. To develop a global framework, we’ve selected five diverse cities, all facing very different water challenges. By understanding a wide range of issues, being played out in different contexts, we will be able to help all cities to understand how to assess the risks they are facing, and how to prioritise action and investments to become more resilient.”

Andrew Salkin, Senior Vice President of City Solutions at 100 Resilient Cities, said: “There is tremendous opportunity for the cities in this cohort to build their expertise and best practices into a framework for use by peers facing similar challenges around the world.”

As part of their participation in the CWRF, Hull will explore its specific water concerns through field research and stakeholder interviews conducted with Arup. Data and findings will be used to establish qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure city water resilience, for use in any city anywhere. The resulting City Water Resilience Framework will be a global standard for water resilience, which enables cities to diagnose challenges related to water and utilise that information to inform planning and investment decisions.

Hull also recently joined forces with Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to launch a joint initiative called Living with Water.

The collective aim of the group is to transform Hull and neighbouring Haltemprice into an exemplar for resilience by returning the area to its roots as a place that lives in harmony with water.

A Living with Water partnership spokesperson said: “The City Water Resilience Framework is a great chance to showcase internationally how joint-working with the four partners – Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency – brings greater understanding of the challenges for water resilience and the opportunities that working together brings.”