Water is a critically important element of human life. The best practice of effective water management comes from ancient civilizations that, despite their technologies and practices, were unable to prevent collapse from water scarcity. In the 21st century, in an era of climate change, pollution or population explosion, cities are looking for innovative ways to effectively manage scarce resources for future generations. Which elements should cities of the future follow to avoid water collapse? The following article aims to identify the key elements of effective management and to represent them graphically in the form of a recommended model, which will be verified in the future in Slovakia. The article uses case analysis of best past and current practices, comparison and summarization to identify the elements, creativity, and logic in the development of the model, including induction and deduction. The article serves as a basis for fellow researchers (analyses carried out) and strategic urban management (effective urban water management). The main finding of the article is that ecological change puts pressure on social elements and therefore it is necessary to focus on the area of strategic management. Cities should not only know how to manage resource abundance or short-term scarcity, but also long-term scarcity. They should use elements of trust, awareness and continuous improvement through modern monitoring technologies (UAVs, sensors) and prediction (machine learning). This is the only way to generate water sustainability in the urban concept of the future.
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