SWITCH was a major research partnership funded by the European Commission with a budget exceeding €20 million over the period 2006 to 2011. It involved an implementing consortium of 33 partners from 15 countries.
SWITCH involved innovation in the area of sustainable urban water management often also referred to as integrated urban water management (IUWM). This ambitious project looked towards water management in the ‘city of the future’ aimed to challenge existing paradigms and to find and promote more sustainable alternatives to the conventional ways of managing urban water. SWITCH also set out to do things differently by carrying out action-orientated research in cities that was more demand-led reflecting the expressed needs of cities.
The SWITCH project included:
- Cities in four continents and at various stages of development
- All aspects of the water cycle – water, wastewater, stormwater and natural systems
- A wide range of climatic, socio-economic and institutional situations
- Social, economic and environmental perspectives
- Scales ranging from household to city levels
- Water as part of urban planning and the built environment
- From the present time to the ‘City of the Future’
Over the 5 years of SWITCH a wealth of information was produced, which can be accessed through the SWITCH website.