Water for Life: Water Cooperation
The major task, which the international community is facing today in the field of water resources, is the transfer of committed obligations into concrete actions that need to be implemented on the ground for the benefit of people, ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole.
Nurturing the opportunities for cooperation in water management among all stakeholders and improving the comprehension of the challenges and benefits of water cooperation can help build mutual respect, understanding and trust among countries and promote peace, security and sustainable economic growth.
- A multilevel, inclusive approach for water cooperation . Water resources management issues must be addressed at the local, national and at appropriate regional and international levels. All stakeholders, including those in government, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia, should be engaged, paying special attention to the livelihoods of the poor and most vulnerable people. Water management choices must also be consistent with other government policies and vice-versa. All the while, social, political and economic decisions must be made in a way that seeks to balance and fairly distribute the allocation of natural resources while keeping in mind the biophysical limits of the environment.
- Innovative approaches for water cooperation. Mobilizing political will and commitment to address water issues worldwide remains crucial. Equally important are forward thinking and a willingness to consider innovative ways to approach local, regional and international cooperation. Open discussion of the issues shaping our water resources today and strong citizen participation in decision-making (which is key to fostering good governance and a climate of accountability and transparency) can stimulate cooperative action and political commitment. Promoting a culture of consultation and increasing participative capacities will help to deliver benefits in all areas, including collaborative water management.
- The benefits of water cooperation. History has often shown that the vital nature of freshwater is a powerful incentive for cooperation and dialogue, compelling stakeholders to reconcile even the most divergent views. Water more often unites than divides people and societies.