The Swedish national research programme “Sustainable Urban Water Management” aims to analyse and assess the sustainability of urban water systems (UWS) covering a range of perspectives. This paper will concentrate on development of tools to assess organisational and household related aspects, being an area with a particular need of development. Incorporated in our definition of UWS, is the condition that the functioning within the system is critical for sustainability as such and three sub-systems are distinguished: households, organisation and technical structure. A point of departure is that functional fit between the sub-systems needs to be high in order to create sustainable UWS.

Organisational capacity, adaptability, motivation, opportunity and ability are used as criteria for comparison of two different technical structures. We can conclude that no straight answer to the question which system to prefer emerge - which is most often the case in reality. The two systems are high on some sub-criteria and low on others. With a combination of internal systems analysis, like this, and impact assessments, it is possible to both increase the quality of the impact assessments and manage to make analysis of organisations and households within their own frames of logic.

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