Urban Water Reclamation with Resource Recovery as a Cornerstone of Urban Climate Change Resilience

  • Daphne GondhalekarEmail author
  • Mohammed Al-Azzawi
  • Jörg E. Drewes
Reference work entry


With ongoing economic, urban, and population growth, and globalization, demand for natural resources such as water, energy, and food continues to increase, particularly in cities. This overconsumption of resources has contributed to environmental degradation and climatic change. Existing cities, that will see the largest urban growth in coming decades and concomitant challenges, often have limited capacities to address this issue comprehensively and thus tend to fall prey to “business as usual” technological solutions. Particularly in regions where water scarcity is already an issue set to increase with climate change, innovative and practicable integrated urban planning approaches targeting key entry points in cities and using alternative technology solutions that can rend high-impact outcomes are needed. The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus approach offers cities a means to devise alternative and more sustainable development pathways. Within this, urban water reclamation with resource recovery represents a key entry point in cities as it directly links water, energy, and food security. However, so far there are few implemented examples of water reclamation with resource recovery at neighborhood scale that can act as catalyzing alternative technology solutions for developing cities. This chapter presents selected international best practice examples of water reclamation with resource recovery and discusses their application to the context of Leh, a typical rapidly expanding town in the semiarid Ladakh region in the Indian Himalaya as part of a climate change resilience strategy, and the implications of this for cities worldwide.


Integrated urban planning Water conservation Water reclamation with resource recovery Water-energy-food nexus Climate change resilience 



The authors acknowledge Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG), Leh, India, for supporting the project. This research has been supported by the European Commission under the 7th European Community Framework Programme (PIRG06-GA-2009-256555), the German Research Foundation (DFG) (KE 1710/1-1), and is supported by the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection, Munich, Germany.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daphne Gondhalekar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammed Al-Azzawi
    • 1
  • Jörg E. Drewes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of MunichGarchingGermany

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