WWDR4 Background Preparation Meetings and Workshops

Dialogue with other global environmental assessments via the Integrated Assessment Society (TIAS)

20 April 2009

This dialogue organized by TIAS (Integrated Assessment Society) allowed to identify that the World Water Development Report (WWDR) shares many of the same challenges (and lessons learned) as other global assessments, and that improved coordination among these offers excellent opportunities to strengthen the process, content and messages from each. Ongoing interaction with TIAS and its members is part of the WWDR-4 development process.

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1st meeting of the Interim Core Group for the production of the WWDR4

23-25 April 2009, Paris, France

The WWAP Secretariat and a few key individuals involved in the production of the WWDR3 gathered for a three-day meeting at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to start the production process for the 4th edition of the World Water Development Report.

The objective was to produce options for the structure and content of the WWDR4 and identify possible major themes. Options identified were to be proposed to UN-Water members during the 11th UN-Water meeting taking place at the Stockholm World Water Week in August 2009 for their approval.

Participants reviewed the lessons learned from the process that lead to WWDR3 “Water in a Changing World” and discussed the purpose, format, frequency, thematic focus, and audience of the report along with scenarios and indicators, which will be a fully integrated part of the process.

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2nd Meeting of the Interim Core Group for the production of the WWDR4

© WWAP

21-29 May 2009, Perugia, Italy

Further discussions took place in order to refine the proposal on WWDR4 overarching topic and structure to be presented to UN-Water at the World Water Week 2009. The three building blocks (modules) – Status of Water & Water Futures / Challenges / Knowledge Base – and overarching topic alternatives - Water and Human Well-Being after 2015 / Water: Competition, Cooperation or Conflict? / Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk - were further discussed and defined.

The participants also designed two questionnaires - one for UN-Water and one for stakeholders – for a survey carried out in June 2009.

The resulting proposal for WWDR4 structure and overarching topic was revised based on the results of the survey (June 2009) and the 1st WWDR4 Workshop (14 August 2009) before submission to UN-Water.

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1st Workshop for the production of the WWDR4

14 August 2009 - Stockholm, Sweden



On the occasion of the 2009 Stockholm World water Week, WWAP held a workshop on 14 August during which 39 UN-Water members and partners discussed the recent launch, distribution and reception of the third edition of the UN World Water Development Report as well as plans for preparation of the fourth Report.

WWAP presented for discussion a proposal on the focus, structure and contents for the WWDR4 resulting from a series of meetings and consultations and to be presented during the 11th meeting of UN-Water on 15 August 2009.

Partners and members also considered their potential roles and contributions to the Report, in particular to Challenge Area and Regional Reports (see Structure and Content Development of the report). 

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Issues Workshop for the production of the WWDR4

16-17 November 2009 - Perugia, Italy



Over 40 participants from UN-Water members and partners, as well as other external contributors attended the workshop in order to: 

i) Establish a common understanding and an acceptable definition of ‘Risk and Uncertainty’ in the context of the use and management of water resources, in order to better specify the thematic focus of WWDR4, ‘Managing water under uncertainty and risk’;
ii) Identify relevant issues to be covered under the Report and achieve consensus on the WWDR4’s storyline and preliminary Table of Contents; and
iii) Determine responsibilities and obtain commitments for the contribution of content to be published in the WWDR4, and identification of additional sources of material.

In this framework, a discussion paper on “Identifying uncertainty and defining risk in the context of the WWDR4” commissioned by WWAP was presented and discussed during the workshop.

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Coordination Meeting on Substance

16-17 March 2010 - Perugia, Italy

© UNESCO


© UNESCO


This meeting, attended by twenty international experts representing twenty-seven UN-Water members, focused on Challenge Area and Regional Reports that will be part of the Module 3 of the WWDR4: "Knowledge base and supporting documents" (see Structure of the WWDR4). Lead agencies for the production of those reports were invited to present the status of preparation and discussed with the participants to ensure that there were no gaps or overlaps between the different reports (see Development of Challenge Area and Regional Reports).

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Meeting in Paris, March 2011

Experts from the WWAP Technical Advisory Committee and UN-Water joined WWAP Staff and the Lead Authors and writers of the WWDR4 met at UNESCO’s Head Office to discuss the organization of the vast scope of substantive material already available, to refine the Report’s Table of Content and draft a series of main messages.  Participants agreed on a roadmap for the completion of the report, to be released in March 2012. 

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