The world is at a crossroads. We face planetary transformations such as climate change, continuing urbanization, persistent public health challenges, and gaping inequalities in wealth and health. Policymakers have a choice – business as usual, or decisive action for a more sustainable planet.
Water scarcity – a long-standing reality in some parts of the world – is becoming increasingly severe and widespread with climate change, with the overexploitation of available water sources, and with increasing demand. This threatens public health. The idea of ‘healthy dry cities’ represents the intersection of two of the world’s great challenges – urban health in the context of ongoing urbanization, and water resource management in the context of water scarcity. A healthy dry city is one that optimizes its physical and social environments and community resources in the face of water scarcity, to achieve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of all its inhabitants.