Τρίτη, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Welcome to the Water Resources Management Sub-Consultation


Introduction to the Water Resources Management Discussion
Over the course of 5 weeks (14 January to 17 February), the Water Resources Management stream will lay out weekly related topics with key questions that we would like you, the viewer, to comment, discuss and debate about in this open platform.  This consultation will provide a contribution to the Thematic Consultation on Water with recommendations on where and how water resources management should it into a post-2015 development agenda.  We look forward to your participation!
Week 1: Water for Energy, Energy for Water (14-21 January) 
Week 2: Climate Change and Water-related Risks (21-28 January)
Week 3: Water for Nature, Nature for Water (28 January - 4 February)
Week 4: Water for Food (4-11 February) 
Week 5: Water for Peace (11-17 February) 
Week 5: Governing,Managing Water Resources for Sustainable Development

Σάββατο, 19 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Host your own #WorldWaterDay event! Here are some ideas:



Host your own #WorldWaterDay event! Here are some ideas:
• Promote and join our official photo competition ( http://www.unwater.org/watercooperation2013/) or organize your own competition on a related topic or on a different scale
• Address water cooperation in your classroom using the official brochure, the FAQ and other resources available on the website. Organize a discussion and maybe a special event – inviting parents.
• Host a drawing or painting contest – we may feature the artwork online!
• Organize your own petition, competition or quiz.
• Clean a river in the area. Perhaps the river runs through different counties, countries or cities and the activity may be coordinated together with others.
• Contact your national UN association and ask them to join the campaign, raising awareness on challenges related to water cooperation in your country.
• Stage a concert, a play or a media debate.
• Write pieces on water cooperation for the media, or to post on your blog or website.
• Host a seminar on water cooperation involving relevant actors from different economic sectors.
• Develop role-plays based on possible water cooperation situations.
• Organize or participate in a walk or a run for water.
• Organize or participate in an art exhibition highlighting the many aspects of water cooperation.
• Create videos and other multimedia materials for information and education purposes, involving your community.
• Organize a radio show on the topic.

Τετάρτη, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Water and Society 2013

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2nd International Conference on Water and Society

4 - 6 September, 2013
New Forest, UK
Submit an Abstract Register PDF Brochure

 Introduction

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Following the success of the first International Conference on Water and Society held in Las Vegas in 2011, it has been decided to reconvene the meeting in the New Forest, UK, a National Park where the Wessex Institute of Technology campus is located.
The conference provides a multi-disciplinary forum for the presentation and discussion of many issues affecting water resources today. The importance of water and its impact on civilisation and mankind are widely recognised. Issues regarding quality, quantity and technology associated with water are quickly becoming acknowledged as impending major issues that will require global involvement and financial support. Aside from mankind's reliance upon water for survival, water touches many different topics and industries.
Mankind has tacitly assumed over the centuries that water is readily available, inexpensive and plentiful. However, more recent times have shown that the abundance of clean, unlimited supplies of inexpensive water is quickly becoming a myth. There is mounting pressure worldwide to develop new strategies and methods to meet the growing demands of water to just maintain our current standards of living. Costs continue to spiral upwards as more demands are made on our available water supplies. In many less developed parts of the world, water is a daily life and death struggle. As developing countries continue to grow and expand, industrialisation and improved standards of living are putting increased demands on water.
Delegates attending Water and Society 2013 will be invited to submit an extended version of their paper for possible publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, one of the Journals edited by the Wessex Institute.
Within the US and most of Europe, ageing infrastructure in water distribution systems and hardware has begun to become problematic, resulting in decreasing access to clean, affordable water. Pollution has also become a serious issue. In many older and larger cities throughout the world, sewer collapses occur routinely and significant quantities of treated water are lost in leakage. Water extracted from aquifers and wells is beginning to dry up, and new locations are now being sought. In some areas, where the population is increasing, desalination - once considered too costly to use - is now the only current option in the foreseeable future for meeting projected water demands.
Policy makers need to be educated and advised on developing policies and regulations that will support the water systems of tomorrow. The role of society and its involvement with water is paramount. To meet the future demands for water, new standards, new training and additional support roles will best be delivered by those knowledgeable of the technology and direction of the industry.
This meeting will encourage trans-disciplinary communication on issues related to the nature of water, and its use and exploitation by society. The conference is motivated by the need to bridge the gap between the broad spectrum of social political sciences and humanistic disciplines and specialists in physical sciences, biology, environmental sciences and health, among others.


 

World Water Week 2013

World Water Week 2013
World Water Week is hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and takes place each year in Stockholm. The World Water Week has been the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues since 1991.
About the World Water Week in Stockholm

About the World Water Week in Stockholm


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World Water Week is hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and takes place each year in Stockholm. The World Water Week has been the annual focal point for the globe's water issues since 1991.

Every year, over 200 collaborating organisations convene events at the World Water Week. In addition, individuals from around the globe present their findings at the scientific workshops.

World Water Week theme
Each year the World Water Week addresses a particular theme to enable a deeper examination of a specific water-related topic. While not all events during the week relate to the overall theme, the workshops driven by the Scientific Programme Committee and many seminars and side events do focus on various aspects of the theme. 2013 theme is Water Cooperation - building partnerships.

Strategy

Strategy


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Building Capacity, Promoting Partnership, Reviewing Implementation

The World Water Week provides a unique forum for the exchange of views, experiences and practices between the scientific, business, policy and civic communities. It focuses on new thinking and positive action toward water-related challenges and their impact on the world's environment, health, climate, economic and poverty reduction agendas by:

  • Linking scientific understanding with policy and decisionmaking to develop concrete solutions to water, environment and development challenges
  • Fostering proactive partnerships and alliances between individuals and organisations from different fields of expertise
  • Highlighting ground-breaking research, best practices and innovative policy work by stakeholders and experts around the world and from multiple disciplines
  • Reviewing the implementation of actions, commitments and decisions in international processes and by different stakeholders in response to the challenges
  • Awarding outstanding achievements.

Thematic Scope

Thematic Scope


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Water Cooperation – building partnerships

2013 has by the UN General Assembly been declared the 'International Year of Water Cooperation'. The questions to be addressed in 2013 include: why do we need to cooperate, on what, for what aim, at what level, with whom and, not least, how?

With an expected world population of more than 9 billion people by 2050, basically depending on the same finite and vulnerable water resource as today for sustaining life and wellbeing, our inter-dependence is growing every day. In 2015 we shall take stock of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a process of developing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has been initiated as an outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 'Rio +20', in June 2012. The Rio +20 outcome document clearly states water as one key area for achieving sustainable development and thus on important part of the upcoming SGDs and post 2015 development framework.

We need to understand how 'my water use' effect everybody else's, and enter into meaningful and informed dialogues with other people and communities of practice, inside and outside the 'water box', engaged in using, or wasting or polluting, our common and shared water resource. In this endeavour we need to engage with groups of people who can help us understand the very essence of cooperation: what is cooperation? What drives people, states and organisations to 'cooperate' rather than 'defect'? What determines the direct and indirect reciprocities that make us cooperate, and the mechanisms of selection of those with whom we want to do so? And how do we identify and measure the quality, aim, benefits and barriers to cooperation, and create an enabling environment for cooperation? How can more effective cooperation enable us to reach future-oriented decisions and force implementation, and how can we best build partnerships among actors to achieve common goals?

In the following thematic scope of the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm in is formulated from the perspective of the 'what's and who's'; but in developing the workshops, seminars and other events the 'how' questions must be central. Each workshop will also review the progress made in water cooperation.

Perspectives for building partnerships, advance future water cooperation and find solutions to the world’s water related challenges will be explored.
Cooperation between actors in different sectors - optimising benefits to water

Cooperation between actors in different sectors is essential for proper water development and management, and water managers need to reach out and work closely with actors in most of sectors of society. Water as an important driver of economic and social development needs to be addressed by people both 'inside and outside of the water box'.

With renewed global focus on the 'green economy', and the challenge of meeting the sharply increasing food and energy demands, the need to address water, energy and food security as a particularly important 'nexus' has been highlighted. This calls for increased cooperation between these fields, with an ecosystems services perspective, sharing water benefits, costs and risks, and cooperating with the stakeholders concerned. A shared understanding and analysis of the economic and financing aspects is a prerequisite for meaningful cooperation.

Ensuring adequate domestic water supply and sanitation, not least in the rapidly growing urban centres, and satisfying the need of other strongly water dependent sectors, such as industry, tourism/recreation and transport, also calls for cross-sectoral collaboration.
Cooperation between stakeholder groups - recognising water as a common good

The right to safe drinking water and sanitation has been recognised as a human right by the UN; for all other uses government has a responsibility to ensure the optimum allocation and management of the water resource for the whole of society. This calls for the involvement of all relevant stakeholder groups, and for getting central and local governments, civil society organisations, private sector, academia and practitioners to the same table.

Taking this involvement 'outside the water box' to a broader group of stakeholders requires working with all actors in the supply chain, referred to as 'field-to-fork', 'field-to-fuel tank', 'cradle-to-grave' etc.

In this process, involvement of civil society organisations, and the general public, is not only a question of information; transparency and inclusiveness in decision-making requires early identification, consultation and involvement of those who will share the benefits, those who 'lose', bear the costs and run the risks. In this context it is important to recognise that cooperation needs to involve all people and cultures, ensure gender equality, work with and build on youth as the foundation of our future, and respect cultural values while bridging to ethnic and tribal groups.

An increasingly important stakeholder group for effective water development and management is the private sector. This includes both large-scale and small-scale enterprises for whom safe access to water, and water efficient production, is important in the face of the challenges of increased water scarcity. Private infrastructure investors and developers share similar concerns, and are faced with increasing demands for achieving environmental and social sustainability of infrastructure developments. Effective public-private-civic partnerships to ensure dialogue, and share benefits, costs and risks, are critical to make this work.

Water is a local resource, but cooperation on water also needs to be global. Enhancing the 'north-south' and 'south-south' cooperation between high income, transitional and low income regions and countries is a continuous challenge. However, the traditional divides between 'north' and 'south' are rapidly changing in a globalising world, and so are the mechanisms of cooperation.
Cooperation across traditional management - from hilltop to ocean

Managing water means different things to different 'water communities': freshwater resources management, often divided into specialties around rivers, lakes, groundwater and glaciers; drinking water and sanitation management; wastewater management; coastal zone management etc. These communities again divide into different communities around the purpose of water development and management, such as different economic use sectors; ecosystems and habitats; climate change, disasters etc. Although all of these communities address water as a vital resource for society, they often live separate lives without much communication between them. Bridging these management divides is a major water cooperation challenge to achieve coherence in policies and practices.

Many such relevant 'management communities' could be mentioned, but some of the more obvious relate to land, ecosystems and oceans, as well as to the linkages to climate change and disaster risk reduction. Land management is critical to water management: managing water with the land from 'green' to 'blue' and 'grey' water, and managing land rights and tenure, land use and management, and land acquisition, as key determinants to water governance. Although the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) explicitly mentions the land-water
linkage, in practice it is often forgotten.

The outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 'Rio +20' states the need to 'significantly reduce water pollution' and 'significantly improve wastewater treatment'. These long neglected issues require significant intersectoral cooperation to address the serious backlog that exists.

Similarly, in a world with increased competition for scarce water, maintaining and developing ecosystem integrity and functions are critical. Ecosystem services for human livelihoods and biodiversity, integrating IWRM and ecosystem approaches, along with environmental flows, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) etc. are all important aspects to include. Relevant ecosystems to water management are terrestrial and aquatic. The continuum of water management from 'hilltop-to-ocean (H2O)', or 'ridge-to-reef', does not always receive the attention required. Bridging the freshwater-coastal-ocean management divide, reconciling and coordinating IWRM and integrated coastal zone management (ICM), is still a major challenge.

Mainstreaming water and disaster management, from 'prevention to cure', learning from the relief phases to establish cooperation for prevention, including through integrated flood management (IFM), integrated drought management (IDM) and coastal flooding preparedness (hurricanes, tsunamis etc.) calls for the two traditionally rather separate communities to come together. Although water related disasters have always been with us, and always will be, indications are that climate change may accelerate both the frequencies and severity of disasters. Considering and mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation is an added dimension of good water governance. This calls for bridging the 'water-climate community' divide, and building water-energy alliances for improved synergies between adaptation and mitigation.
Cooperation between jurisdictions and levels - from village to transboundary basin

Water follows its own hydrologic boundaries, and implementing IWRM principles in practice needs to focus at the basin level by bridging administrative boundaries (districts, municipalities/cities, provinces, states), involving all relevant stakeholder groups, while respecting overall policies, strategies and laws set at the national level. This involves a combination of top-down and bottom-up processes, practicing IWRM thinking in water governance from small watersheds, through sub-basins to basins/tributaries to transboundary basins (rivers, lakes, aquifers), and building sustainable institutions at all levels to do so.

When basins transcend jurisdictional boundaries and become 'transboundary', be they between provinces, states or countries, political dimensions enter into the equation. Managing transboundary waters often start at the technical/scientific level, before moving into political cooperation, and thus 'hydro-diplomacy', with dialogues on the sharing of water and water-related benefits and products, such as food and energy, across boundaries. Evidence suggests that through proper management water can become an economic win-win agent and a 'lubricant of peace'.

Cooperation between jurisdictions and levels calls for collective action and stakeholder negotiations with proper tools and processes to make cooperation actually happen. Such processes need to recognise power perspectives and asymmetries, and the risk of 'hijacking'. This does not always come easily, and the equitability and quality of cooperation, as well as barriers in the form of e.g. corruption and exclusion, are important to consider.
Cooperation between scientists and users - bridging the science-policy gap

Knowledge must be shared based on context and needs of those involved, to develop evidence-based policy, make decisions and raise awareness. Science-policy gaps are common, often with too much 'science-push' and insufficient attention to 'policy pull'.

To respond to the challenge of communicating research findings to decision-makers and practitioners, and ensure the science community responds to policy needs, entails understanding of the latest thinking and understanding of practical solutions to the various obstacles that can impede knowledge sharing and application. This calls for informed dialogue, based on inclusiveness, transparency and access to relevant data and information. Making science relevant to policy-makers, bureaucrats, practitioners, and not least to the public, is a major challenge, as is the clarification by decision-makers of the kind of answers they need from science. From basic to applied science, from short-term solutions to long-term visions, the challenge is to clearly communicate technical and scientific findings to decision-makers and practitioners, 'from bookshelf to policy', from 'models to decision support systems'.

The chain starts with education to form the scientists and politicians that will close this gap in the future, and ends with the development and implementation of policies that will change our behaviour towards a more sustainable world of water.

Τετάρτη, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Water Cycle Poster produced in collaboration with the USGS (United States geological Survey)

'Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen!'

IN FOCUS

International Year of Water Cooperation logo. 

International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013 'Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen!'

Date: 8-10 January 2013
Place: Zaragoza, Spain

In preparation of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, and World Water Day 2013, the 2012/2013 Zaragoza International Annual UN-Water Conference focuses on how to make water cooperation happen. The conference will identify the best approaches to promote effective cooperation at different scales and how we can do 'better' in water cooperation through sharing lessons from experiences, and inspiring participants to do 'better'.
The conference will introduce the key skills required for water cooperation, with particular attention to their important role in the process of negotiation and mediation and with examples of their application in national and international water settings.
Some of the expected outcomes of the conference include:
  • A series of documented case studies that illustrate how different tools and approaches for dispute resolution are implemented in practice;
  • A synthesis of lessons learned on the use of approaches for dispute resolution and how to improve water cooperation;
  • A feedback on the main messages for World Water Day 2013.

Τρίτη, 8 Ιανουαρίου 2013

EEA Highlights Findings of European Year of Water

EEA

27 December 2012: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has issued a press release reflecting on messages and outcomes of the 2012 European Year of Water. Among the key findings is that European waters require protection from increasing pressures.
As part of the European Water Year, EEA and the European Topic Centre (ETC) have released a number of reports, including: European Waters – Assessment of Status and Pressures; Towards Efficient Use of Water Resources in Europe; European Waters in the Context of Vulnerability; European Waters Current Status and Future Challenges; Ecological and Chemical Status and Pressures in European Waters; Hydromorphological Alterations and Pressures in European Rivers, Lakes, Transitional and Coastal Waters; Floods – Vulnerability, Risks and Management; Urban Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe; Territorial Cohesion and Water Management in Europe; 2012 Bathing Water Report; and Hazardous Substances in Europe’s Fresh and Marine Waters – An Overview.
These reports formed the basis for development of a policy response to the challenges presented in the form of the European Commission’s Water Blueprint, which identifies solutions, including improved implementation of existing water policies, integration of water policy imperatives into other sectors and identification of policy gaps.
Lessons identified during the European Water Year include that, by 2015, half of European waters will fail to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD) targets, 40% of rivers and 30% of lakes will be negatively impacted by hydromorphological changes, including dam building that impacts anadromous fish migration, and climate change is expected to exacerbate the trend toward increased drought in Europe. [EEA Press Release]

IDB Finances Environmental Sanitation in Brazil’s Ipojuca River Basin


IDB21 December 2012: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is lending US$200 million to the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco to expand water and sewage services, increase wastewater treatment, and generally improve environmental sanitation in the Ipojuca River basin.
The State of Pernambuco will provide US$130 million in counterpart funds.
The six-year project has three components. The principal element, worth US$264 million, is the financing of the construction of five wastewater treatment plants, and attendant sewage collection networks, to serve the ten municipalities that are the leading sources of water pollution in the basin: Arcoverde, Bezerros, Caruaru, Escada, Gravatá, Pesqueira, Sanharó, São Caetano, Tacaimbó, and Venturosa. It also will fund rehabilitation of water systems for the municipalities of Bezerros and Porto de Galinhas.
Among other things, the second component, for US$15 million, will finance: the rehabilitation of native vegetation on the banks of the Ipojuca River and the surroundings of reservoirs; the installation of a hydro-meteorological monitoring network, and the revamping of the State Environment Agency's (CPRH) water quality monitoring network; and support for a payment for environmental services (PES) system for the basin.
The final component, for US$20 million, will finance improvements in Pernambuco Sanitation Company's (COMPESA) water and sanitation system operations, including its environmental management system.
The project is expected to add continuous water supply service to 63,000 more families, add sewage connection to 143,000 residences to provide sanitation services to some 450,000 inhabitants, and raise the number of water samples in the area meeting national water quality standards from the current 70% to 90%. [IDB Press Release]

UN-Water Newsletter Welcomes New UN-Water Secretary, Highlights Post-2015 Water Dialogue


21 December 2012: The December issue of the UN-Water Newsletter highlights achievements in 2012, including shaping the water debate at the UN Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and in the post-2015 dialogue, improvements to water knowledge bases, awareness raising on the issue of water and food security, and increasing the number of members in UN-WaterIn addition, the Newsletter welcomes incoming Secretary of UN-Water Ndey-Isatou Njie, Chief, Water, Energy and Strategies Branch, Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), who will replace Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson.
It also highlights the e-learning gateway and the virtual learning environment at the UN-Water Activity Information System (UNW-AIS), the first providing a platform for sharing e-learning initiatives conducted by UN-Water members and partners, and the second enabling participation in moderated e-learning courses.
Finally, the newsletter features articles on activities for 2013, including the International Year of Water Cooperation and World Water Day, the ongoing Thematic Consultation on Water for the World We Want 2015 and World Water Week, among others. [Publication: UN-Water Newsletter No. 16]

UNESCO-IHP Book Addresses Water and Cultural Diversity



21 December 2012: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) has released a book linked to its Water and Cultural Diversity project, titled “Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?The book, published by Springer, aims to examine the inseparability of human culture and the environment, in particular the unifying role of water in that relationship by addressing the role of water in sustaining diverse human cultures, the role of diverse human cultures in valuing, managing and using water resources, and the consequences of management decisions in maintaining human communities and the ecosystems they inhabit.
In order to address these issues, the book includes essays divided into five parts. The first part on water and cultural diversity includes case studies on the “culture of water,” aiming to present the breadth of human cultural diversity regarding water. The second part examines the role of traditional livelihoods and knowledge in sustainably managing water resources and the impacts of water degradation on ways of life. The third part presents case studies on existing patterns of water resources management, ways in which water management has detrimentally impacted cultural diversity, and ways in which management has improved “biocultural viability.” The fourth part addresses emerging trends and future potentials, while the fifth part identifies future scenarios and calls for water management approaches that support cultural and biological diversity.
The part on water and cultural diversity features chapters on: water and cultural diversity; placing water and culture; the paradigm shift in India’s river policies; rethinking the role of humans in water management; local water management in the Andes; water in the Jerid Region of Tunisia; and diverting water - cultural plurality and public water features in an urban environment.
The part on culture and water in diverse environments features chapters on: culture and water in diverse environments; understanding and maintaining cultural diversity among South East Alaska natives; indigenous water cosmology and coastal ownership amongst the Yolngu people in Australia; the influence of westernization on water resources use and conservation among the Maasai people of Kenya; groundwater and qanats in Syria; case studies from the Americas; diversity in water governance in the case of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; Tibetan participatory development along the Mekong (Langcangjiang) River, in Yunnan, China; and ecological change and the sociocultural consequences of the Ganges River’s decline.
The part on water value, access, use and control, features chapters on: culture, gender and vulnerability in a Vietnamese refugee community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; water, culture and gender in Bangladesh; privatization and collective stewardship of water resources; and manufacturing water scarcity, generating environmental inequity.
The part on hydrodevelopment, cultural diversity and sustainability features chapters on: water culture and power – hydrodevelopment dynamics; the Lesotho Highlands Water Project; not all dams in Africa are developmental; water, culture and development in the Greater Mekong Subregion; damming China’s angry river – vulnerability in a culturally and biologically diverse watershed; and cultural survival, tribal sovereignty and river restoration on the Central Northwest Coast, North America.
The part on ways forward features chapters on: managing “water traditions” in Uttarkhand, India; community watershed reserves in Intag, Ecuador, and emerging ecological identities; asserting indigenous rights and interests in the waters of the Murray-Darling river system, Australia; a participatory process enabling Maori cultural values to inform flow regime setting; searching for sustainability and common ground in the Arab/Israeli conflict; and “water for life…water for whose life” – water, cultural diversity and sustainable development in the UN. [UNESCO Press Release] [Publication: Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?]