Freshwater is the most important resource for mankind, cross-cutting all social, economic and environmental activities. It is a condition for all life on our planet, an enabling or limiting factor for any social and technological development, a possible source of welfare or misery, cooperation or conflict.

To achieve water security, we must protect vulnerable water systems, mitigate the impacts of  water-related hazards such as floods and droughts, safeguard access to water functions and services and manage water resources in an integrated and equitable manner. 

UNESCO works to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way through the International Hydrological Programme, through leading the UN-wide World Water Development Report, through the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft in the Netherlands, through over 20 affiliated research centres on water around the world and through a series of water-related Chairs.

Water Cooperation - Building Partnerships

Image courtesy of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

World Water Week in Stockholm 2013

Every year, over 200 collaborating organizations convene events at the World Water Week in Stockholm, which has become a focal point for the globe’s water issues. Individuals from around the world also present their findings at the scientific workshops. This year the week is dedicated to the theme Water Cooperation - Building Partnerships in celebration of the International Year of Water Cooperation. UNESCO, as the lead Agency of the Year, has worked closely with the host and organizer: the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will participate in the Opening Ceremony and a High Level Panel to discuss issues related to the overarching theme, such as how more effective cooperation can enable us to reach “water wise” decisions and goals and thus contribute to sustainable development and peace. Ms Bokova will highlight the messages of the International Year of Water Cooperation on various occasions, including the launching of the Giant Puzzle of Water Cooperation at the UN-Water/UNESCO booth.

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World Water Day: Water Cooperation

In 2013, in celebration of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water. Cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably. Since water cuts across all sectors, stakeholders that are not traditionally considered to be water managers must participate. Water cooperation between different social groups, economic sectors, regional governments, countries, and present and future generations, is crucial not only to ensure the sustainable and equitable use of water but also to create and maintain peaceful relations between people.

The official celebrations of World Water Day will be hosted by the Kingdom of The Netherlands in The Hague. Within the limit of capacity constraints, as wide a variety of key stakeholders as possible, from inside and outside the ‘water box’, have been invited.

Launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. The lauching ceremony took place on 11 February 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris.

World Water Day 2013: Water Cooperation

Celebrations for World Water Day on 22 March 2013 will take place around the world on the theme of water cooperation. UNESCO will lead the coordination of the activities and will encourage stakeholders at international, regional, national and local levels to take action on the topic so as to create a momentum that goes beyond the Year itself.

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20th session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council

Logo, International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

The Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO held its 20th session from 4 to 7 June 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

During this session, the Council examined the relevant outcomes of the 36th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, including the Organization’s Programme and Budget for 2012-2013 (36 C/5), particularly as these relate to the implementation of the Seventh Phase of IHP (IHP-VII, 2008-2013).

The Council also looked into recent institutional developments in IHP, reviewed progress on the implementation of the resolutions and other decisions adopted by the 19th session of the IHP Council (Paris, July 2010), examined the status of UNESCO’s water-related category 1 institute and category 2 centres under its auspices, and reported on the formulation of the Eighth Phase of IHP (IHP-VIII, 2014 – 2021), including the endorsement of its Strategic Plan.

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Groundwater Governance Project

Montevideo is ready to host the first Regional Consultation

The first Regional Consultation of the Groundwater Governance Project, which involves the Latin America and Caribbean region, will be held in Montevideo from 18 to 20 April 2012.

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Increasing demand and climate change threatening world water resources says new UN World Water Development Report

“Freshwater is not being used sustainably, according to needs and demands, states Irina Bokova in the Report’s Foreword. “Accurate information remains disparate, and management is fragmented. In this context, the future is increasingly uncertain and risks are set to deepen.”

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H2Ooooh! initiative

Gruppo Alcuni/UNESCO

An estimated 884 million people worldwide do not have access to safe water. Almost 1.5 million children die every year from water-borne diseases.

Population growth and increasing urbanization, chemical pollution and invasive species are the main factors contributing to the deterioration of water quality. The consequences for the environment and for mankind are considerable.

In the frame of H2Ooooh! initiative, Gruppo Alcuni in collaboration with UNESCO and RAI Fiction has developed this 3-D animated television series with the six Pet Pals as protagonists focusing on the issue of water protection.

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