UNESCO’s work in the water sector is built on three tracks:
- hydrological science for policy relevant advice
- education and capacity building responding to the growing needs of sustainable development
- water resources assessment and management to achieve environmental sustainability
UNESCO’s water family operates as a global network that works together to implement the organization’s strategic goals.
UNESCO hosts the IHP Secretariat and provides seed funding that is multiplied many times over through cooperation with implementing partners. IHP is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, education and capacity building. The IHP Secretariat serves UNESCO’s 190 Member States, through the IHP National Committees, other governmental bodies, and academic and research institutions in the implementation of the programme.
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education – an integral part of UNESCO – is the educational arm.
Twenty-six agencies of the UN system cooperate through the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) to provide an ongoing global assessment of the state of the world’s freshwater resources. The programme is hosted and led by UNESCO.
UNESCO’s Regional and Cluster Offices assist in the implementation of IHP in the regions.
Water-related Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO work on relevant thematic and geographic priorities in their areas of expertise. Since Member States have realized the potential of these centres, the network has been rapidly expanding.
UNESCO’s Water-related Chairs are established as teaching or research positions at universities or research institutes around the world.