Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Integrated urban water management applied to adaptation to climate change


Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) is the holistic management of urban water supply, sanitation, stormwater, and wastewater to achieve sustainable economic, social and environmental objectives. All parts of the urban water cycle are managed together instead of separately. IUWM can be part of the solution for cities facing singular or multiple water management stresses under present and future climates. It has particular advantages for adaptation because it can be implemented over time and space as climate and others conditions change with options preserved for future actions, it contains no-regrets and co-benefits actions, and integrates local stakeholders into the planning process. Research was conducted to qualitatively examine how IUWM can be used to manage multiple urban water stresses under present and future climates and land use conditions upon the built, natural, and social systems of Exeter, New Hampshire, a small town located in a semi-rural area of the northeastern United States. With its emphasis on holistic solutions and systems thinking, it is shown that by looking at Exeter's suite of challenges through the lens of IUWM there are opportunities for integrated strategies that may lower overall adaptation costs and also provide wide-scale multi-criteria benefits.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Urban Climate



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type