World Science Day focuses on science for water cooperation

© DR, Water well

The theme of this year’s World Science Day for Peace and Development on 10 November reflects the theme of the International Year of Water Cooperation, for which UNESCO is lead agency. A poster will be available shortly for downloading or printing by those interested in organizing an event for World Science Day around this year’s theme: science for water cooperation: sharing data, knowledge and innovation. People are also most welcome to use UNESCO stories on different aspects of water cooperation as a resource.

Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have actually outnumbered conflicts by two to one. And there is apparently no evidence of coming water wars, whatever the Cassandras of this world might say. There is thus real cause for celebration. Be it a transboundary river basin or aquifer, or a water pump built for a rural village, examples of cooperation apparently abound. Which is just as well since, with demand for freshwater increasing as a corollary of demographic and economic growth, we shall have to pull together even more in future to ensure that there is enough of this fragile, finite resource to go around. That will also mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. (Read the editorial on this theme from UNESCO’s journal, in EN, ES, FR).

Below, you will find a link to UNESCO stories which provide background information about water cooperation and concrete examples. These stories exist in several languages and are open access.

  • Networking on the Nile (2013, EN, AR), on the work of an informal network of scientists from the Nile Basin, guided by the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
  • Out of Sight, out of Mind? (2013, EN, FR), on the Groundwater Governance Project (2011−2014), which hopes to influence political decision-making by raising awareness of the urgent need to manage groundwater more sustainably
  • The Key to Managing Conflict and Cooperation over Water (2013, EN, ES, FR), introducing key themes of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation led by UNESCO, with case studies
  • Planning for an Uncertain Future (2012, EN, ES, FR), on the difficulties in reconciling supply and demand for an increasingly precious resource: freshwater
  • Learning to Live with Drought in Europe (2009, AR, EN, ES, FR, RU), on moves in Europe to adopt a drought policy and improve river monitoring in light of more frequent periods of drought on the continent

More UNESCO stories on freshwater management

Website of International Year of Water Cooperation

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