Sustainable Water management Improves Tomorrow’s Cities’ Health (SWITCH)

SWITCH is a major research programme, funded by the European Union and involving 32 partner organisations in 15 cities. SWITCH was coordinated by IHE-UNESCO, the Netherlands. RUAF partners IGSNRR, IWMI and IPES implemented research on productive reuse of urban water (including storm and wastewater) in urban agriculture in Beijing (China), Accra (Ghana) and Lima (Peru); RUAF partner ETC (the Netherlands) systematised the results of the three studies.

Duration  5 years
Funding  European Union
Project partners  IHE-UNESCO (Coordination); RUAF Foundation (ETC, IWMI, IPES and IGSNRR). For the 32 other project partners see the SWITCH project website

The SWITCH project established city multi-stakeholder learning alliances that guided and supported SWITCH in the development and implementation of its research and demonstration activities, the implementation of a strategic planning process approaching the urban water cycle in an integrated way and allowing the development of new strategic directions for urban water management.

RUAF Foundation contributed with activities aimed at realizing a paradigm shift in wastewater management and sanitation towards a recycling-oriented closed-loop approach. The activities were focused on three cities: Accra (Ghana), Beijing (China) and Lima (Peru) and included:

  • The identification of opportunities for appropriate productive reuse of urban storm and wastewater for agriculture,
  • Design, implementation and monitoring of pilot projects
  • Facilitating the integration of productive reuse of wastewater in the policy and planning frameworks of these cities.

Results obtained (RUAF-implemented part)

  • An inventory of opportunities and limitations for treatment and reuse of wastewater for urban agriculture.
  • Guidelines for safe reuse of wastewater in urban agriculture.
  • An analysis of the collection, storage and reuse of urine in urban agriculture.
  • A system for rainwater harvesting and use in urban protected horticulture


Final report:

Beijing case study and pilot projects

Accra case study and pilot projects

Lima case study and pilot projects

PDF icon Final Report WP 5.2 Productive Reuse for Urban Agriculture.pdf502.78 KB
PDF icon SWITCH in the city; Putting urban water use to the test, IRC, The Hague, 2011 (407 pages).pdf27.98 MB
PDF icon Sustainable use of water in urban agriculture Editorial UA Magazine 20 (3-6) 2008.pdf234.26 KB
PDF icon The use of treated wastewater for urban agriculture and green areas in Lima, UA Magazine 20 (7-9) 2008.pdf147.7 KB
PDF icon The use of reservoirs to improve the quality of urban irrigation water UA Magazine 20 (10-13) 2008.pdf65.12 KB
PDF icon Adapting to water scarcity Improving watersources and use in Beijing UA Magazine 20 (11-13) 2008.pdf267.89 KB
PDF icon Technological and institutional innovation on irrigated urban agriculture in Accra, Ghana UA Magazine 20 (14-16) 2008.pdf398.87 KB
PDF icon urban agriculture and social inclusion UA Magazine 20 (16-17) 2008.pdf213.9 KB
PDF icon Improving decisionmaking on interventions in the urban water system of Accra, Ghana UA Magazine 20 (19-20) 2008.pdf93.92 KB
PDF icon Design_considerations and constraints for on farm wastewater treatment in Accra.pdf295.67 KB
PDF icon Improving Urban Water Quality for livelihoods enhancement in Accra.pdf2.17 MB
PDF icon Participatory design and construction of on-farm wastewater treatment ponds for reuse in urban agriculture in Accra.pdf2.62 MB
PDF icon Planning urban water- dependent livelihood opportunities for the poor in Accra-Ghana.pdf2.87 MB
PDF icon Pro-poor water supply in Accra-Ghana.pdf603.22 KB
PDF icon Towards integrated urban water management in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area.pdf4.05 MB
PDF icon A handbook on Beijing's rainwater harvesting technology of greenhouse agriculture (in chinese).pdf827.23 KB
PDF icon An overview of water resources situation in Beijing.pdf626.19 KB
PDF icon Beijing- alternative water sources for periurban agriculture.pdf462.93 KB
PDF icon Situation analysis of urban water for urbanagriculture in Beijing.pdf265.96 KB
PDF icon Analysis of water treatment and reuse practices in Lima.pdf3.65 MB
PDF icon Panorama de experiencias de tratamiento y useo de aguas residuales y de agricultura urbana en Lima.pdf3.25 MB
PDF icon Policy guidelines for promoting water treatment systems and irrigation in LIma-Peru .pdf1.08 MB
PDF icon Situation analysis of urban water for urban agriculture in Lima.pdf265.96 KB