Launch of the WWDR1, "Water for People, Water for Life", 22 March 2003
Pradeep Aggarwal, UN-Water Campaign, chaired this session, which opened with a choir service performed by Kyoto Junior Children’s Choir. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, launched the World Water Development Report (WWDR), entitled “Water for People, Water for Life,” and called on all governments to join the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP).
Gordon Young,WWAP Coordinator, said that WWAP’s mandate is to: identify and describe the nature of water crises; assess the coping capacity of societies and the effectiveness of policies; develop indicators to monitor and report progress in reaching targets; and enhance the capacities of participating countries to perform in-country assessments. He explained that the WWDR reviewed progress on 11 challenges, including providing water for basic needs and health, enhancing food security, promoting cleaner industry, developing energy, protecting ecosystems, mitigating risk, and governing water resources.
Praising the report, Klaus Töpfer, UNEP, said that finding solutions to water and environment issues is a precondition for resolving the human dimensions of the water crisis.
Louise Fresco, FAO, discussed data-related issues, and called for better geo-referencing. Kim Hak-Su, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, remarked on the challenge of poverty alleviation.
Hans van Ginkel, UNU, noted the complexity of water problems and the need for education.
Werner Burkart, International Atomic Energy Agency, highlighted the role of the Agency in improving hydrological information and building scientific capacity.
Shoji Nishimoto, UNDP, noted that current levels of action and investment are insufficient to achieve the water-related MDGs.
Salvano Briceño, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, said natural disasters disrupt water supply and impede progress in achieving development targets.
Richard Jolly, WSSCC, praised the WWDR’s coverage of water pricing, governance, health and biodiversity issues.
Young then introduced the WWDR’s pilot case studies.
Arturo Liebers Baldivieso, Bolivian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, described cooperation between Peru and Bolivia in managing the resources of the Lake Titicaca basin area.
Pierre-Alain Roche, Seine-Normandy Water Agency, drew attention to nitrate pollution in the Seine. He noted that although the Seine’s water quality has improved in recent years, it does not yet comply with European Directives.
Harry Liiv, Estonian Ministry of Environment, drew attention to eutrophication in Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe resulting from untreated wastewater. He noted that water quality in this Estonian and Russian transboundary lake will improve as Estonia harmonizes its water laws with those of the EU.
Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, Organization for the Development of the Senegal River, discussed water resource management of the Senegal River, which is shared by Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. He highlighted elements of effective cross-border river basin management, including the development of joint action programmes and legal and institutional frameworks.
K. Imbulana, Sri Lankan Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management, identified threats to ensuring adequate water supply in the Ruhuna basins, including industrial and agricultural pollution and drought. He highlighted the need for capacity building, better water resource management and the introduction of modern technologies for water resources data collection.
Surachai Sasisuwan, Thailand’s Department of Water Resources, spoke on efforts to introduce a new water law and to unify the fragmented water management system in the Chao Phraya River basin.
Corrado Clini, Italian Ministry of Environment, and Margaret Catley-Carlson, GWP, remarked on the challenges of IWRM and praised the WWAP for pointing to the way forward.