- Nominate your best practice for the 2nd edition of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award!
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarded to UNESCO-IHE and partners
- UNESCO-IHP and IAHS organize Symposium on "Water Quality: Current Trends and Expected Climate Change Impacts"
- UNESCO Launches a Comprehensive Project to Strengthen Flood Forecasting and Management Capacity in Pakistan
- UNESCO IHP holds an International Symposium on Modular Curriculum Development for Postgraduate and Technical Education in Integrated Water Resources Management
UNESCO Water Family (*)
- Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20
- HELP International Symposium 2011 "Building Knowledge Bridges for a Sustainable Water Future"
Featured International Events
- Water and Health: Where Science Meets Policy
- International Symposium on Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Arid and Semi-arid Regions
- International Water Week 2011 Amsterdam (IWW 2011 Amsterdam)
- Glossary of Glacier Mass Balance and Related Terms – Technical Document in Hydrology, N°86 / IACS Contribution N°2
- (Senior) Lecturer in Water Supply Engineering – UNESCO-IHE
Did you know?
Facts and figures about the impacts of water use on water systems and the environment
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Nominate your best practice for the 2nd edition of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award!
UN-Water invites you to nominate your best practice for the 2nd edition of the "Water for Life" UN-Water Best Practices Award.
The purpose of the Award is to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The Award recognizes those projects and initiatives displaying outstanding merit and achieving particularly effective results in the field of water management or in communicating, educating, raising awareness and improving participation in water issues. The application period is open from 30 June to 30 September 2011.
Every year, special emphasis is being put on the theme selected for next World Water Day. World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of water resources. In 2012, special focus is given to the topic "Water for Food Security". The prize will be awarded at a special ceremony on World Water Day, 22 March 2012.
More information | Press release
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarded to UNESCO-IHE and partners
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and partners were awarded a US$8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will be used to excel postgraduate sanitation education and research with a focus on solutions for the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. This 5-year capacity building and research project was developed by Prof. Damir Brdjanovic, Professor of Sanitary Engineering at UNESCO-IHE and his team.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this grant at the AfricaSan conference in Rwanda as part of more than $40 million in new investments launching its Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene strategy.
"UNESCO-IHE and our partners: the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand, the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in Indonesia, the International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Burkina Faso, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, Makerere University Institute of Environmental, the Natural Resources (MUIENR) in Uganda, the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil and the Universidad del Valle in Colombia, have been working hand in hand with the Gates Foundation in developing the project ideas and shaping it in a way to address the needs of the 2.6 billion people worldwide who do not have access to improved sanitation," Prof. András Szöllösi-Nagy, Rector at UNESCO-IHE explained.
UNESCO-IHP and IAHS organize Symposium on "Water Quality: Current Trends and Expected Climate Change Impacts"
The International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) jointly organized the Symposium on "Water Quality: Current Trends and Expected Climate Change Impacts" during the XXV IUGG General Assembly "Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet" in Melbourne, Australia, on 4-5 July.
The objective of the Symposium was to bring together scientists from around the world for a dialogue on the evaluation of climate change impacts on a wide range of water quality issues and for sharing research findings in this area with the wider scientific community.
The Symposium attracted many interesting contributions, covering a broad spectrum of water quality issues, in five thematic sessions:
- Seasonality and extreme event effects on water quality
- Effects on groundwater quality
- Climate change and water quality assessment
- Climate change and water temperature
- Climate change and water quality modelling.
The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity for scientific exchange and dialogue on understanding and assessing climate change impacts on water quality. The papers presented in the Symposium have provided valuable scientific information on current trends on water quality changes, their sources and their possible behavior in time and space. Most papers focused on research with local and regional scales with local and short range variations, which may indicate that not much work on climate change impacts on water quality has been done, or the analyses carried out by different groups have not been centered on this perception. The symposium discussions demonstrated interest in further research and study on the subject.
The Symposium concluded that it is time that the international scientific communities in the field of water sciences and hydrology pay special attention on this important area of research, as better understanding of potential impacts of climate change on the quality of water resources will help finding appropriate solutions for adaptation to climate change.
The Symposium is a contribution to the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO, in particular to IHP-VII Focal Area on "Protecting Water Quality for Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction".
UNESCO supported the participation of researchers from developing countries to present their research results in the Symposium by providing travel grants.
UNESCO Launches a Comprehensive Project to Strengthen Flood Forecasting and Management Capacity in Pakistan
Pakistan suffered its most severe floods in living history in 2010. The floods began in late July 2010, following heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan regions of Pakistan. The total number of affected people is estimated at 20.2 million; 1,961 people died; and 1.9 million homes were damaged or destroyed [Source UNOCHA, 13 October 2010].
Under the leadership of Gretchen Kalonji, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO's Natural Sciences Sector has been engaged in a sustained and comprehensive effort, together with Pakistani partners, to implement components of the short, medium and long-term plan first developed in August of last year in immediate response to the disaster. In addition to its staff from both headquarters and field offices, UNESCO has mobilized the support and participation of scientists from the UNESCO water family, specifically from water centres in Japan, Nigeria, China and Iran and from the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.
On 12 July 2011, UNESCO launched a major project in cooperation with the Government of Japan that aims to upgrade the flood forecasting and early warning systems of Pakistan, and to conduct risk mapping of flood plains along the Indus River. The project will be implemented by UNESCO in close collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and in coordination with the Government of Pakistan.
The primary objectives of the proposed project are:
- to reduce the human and socioeconomic impacts of flooding in Pakistan,
- to improve the social, economic, and ecological benefits of floods, and
- to foster safer human settlements near flood plains.
The project will benefit from the technical expertise of the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHARM), which developed a concise flood-runoff analysis system as a toolkit for more effective and efficient flood forecasting in developing countries. This Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) will use high resolution (0.1-deg. Grid, hourly) rainfall information using multi-satellite as well as Geostationary Satellite data for near real time rainfall estimates using the GSMaP_NRT system developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
UNESCO is working actively with several Pakistani ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Water and Power, the Ministry of the Environment, the Federal Flood Commission, the National Disaster Management Authority, the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), and the Global Change Studies Centre of Pakistan.
For more information please contact Mr Shahbaz Khan and Mr Toshihiro Sonoda.
UNESCO IHP holds an International Symposium on Modular Curriculum Development for Postgraduate and Technical Education in Integrated Water Resources Management
An international seminar on "Modular Curriculum Development for Technical Education in Integrated Water Resources Management" held at National Water Resources Institute (NWRI) in Kaduna, Nigeria from 28-30 June 2011. NWRI is hosting the new Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management (RC-IRBM), which has been endorsed by the UNESCO Executive Board to the General Conference to become a category-II centre under the auspices of UNESCO. The participants from a number of African nations (Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sengal and Sudan) recommended accelerated actions towards education for sustainable development for the implementation of integrated water resources management at the river basin level. They called for leadership from lending institutions, national governments, private sector and river basin managers to substantially increase investment and facilitate real-world demonstration and implementation of water education at the tertiary and vocational levels to manage hydrological extremes (floods and droughts) as well as to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation to communities in Africa.
The seminar stressed that a substantial increase in investment in water education at the vocational and tertiary levels is critical, given the realities of: (1) increasing evidence of climate change and associated hydrohazards; (2) increasing demand for water infrastructure development associated with population growth and changing consumption patterns.
These workshop conclusions were based on many case studies, each enabled by leadership from national training institutes, universities, key investors or implementing agencies. A number of these case studies were presented and reviewed during the international seminar. These case studies show that curricula (e.g. national diplomas, higher national diplomas and certificates in engineering as well as new courses in water production, plumbing, water transport and maintenance) developed by NWRI needs to be fully supported to develop critical capacity in managing water resources. Such courses need to be augmented with entrepreneur skills, ICTs and GIS technologies. Such training programs need to clearly demonstrate competence relevant to work to facilitate entry into and progression in employment and continuing/further education and training offered by a recognized body. Competence based training courses must specify the standard of performance in skills, knowledge and understanding along with capability to perform in a number of job related activities in harmonization with National Vocational Quality Frameworks such as the recent work of the Nigerian National Board for Technical Education.
The participants proposed much greater international, national and private sector investments in multilevel capacity building. In this regard the new UNESCO Regional Centre on Integrated River Basin Management (RC IRBM) based at Kaduna can lead modular course development for capacity building in integrated water resources management.
For more information please contact Mr Shahbaz Khan.
UNESCO Water Family (*)
Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20
3-4 October 2011: Zaragoza, Spain
HELP International Symposium 2011 "Building Knowledge Bridges for a Sustainable Water Future"
21-24 November 2011: Panama, Republic of Panama
Featured International Events
Water and Health: Where Science Meets Policy
3-7 October 2011: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
International Symposium on Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Arid and Semi-arid Regions
21-23 October 2011: Xi'an, China
International Water Week 2011 Amsterdam (IWW 2011 Amsterdam)
29 October – 3 November 2011: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Access a complete list of water events around the world
Glossary of Glacier Mass Balance and Related Terms
Technical Document in Hydrology, N°86 / IACS Contribution N°2
"This glossary, produced by a Working Group of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS), is the first comprehensive update of glacier mass-balance terms for more than 40 years. The mass balance of a glacier is a measure of the change in mass of the glacier, or part of it, over a period of time. Mass-balance data help to explain why a particular glacier system may be advancing or retreating and what climate drivers (e.g. decreased snow accumulation; increased surface melt) are responsible for the changes. Fluctuations of the size (most typically length, but also area and/or surface elevation) are observed for several thousand of the well over 100,000 glaciers distributed globally from equatorial mountains to polar ice sheets. However regular annual mass-balance measurements are made on fewer than 200 glaciers. Mass-balance information is essential for defining the links between past, present and future climate changes and changes to glaciers in assessments such as those made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Having a systematic, concise and unambiguous mass-balance terminology is a critical part of this."
Download the document
(Senior) Lecturer in Water Supply Engineering – UNESCO-IHE
- Lecturing in the MSc Programme in Municipal Water and Infrastructure.
- Organization of modules within that programme
- Lecturing in and organization of International Short and Refresher Courses
- Active participation in research, including the mentoring of MSc and PhD students
- Developing new educational materials, including innovative learning products (i-learning)
- Participation in acquisition and execution of capacity building projects
Closing date 24 August 2011.
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Mr. Jan Herman Koster, Head of Department.
Did you know...? Facts and figures about the impacts of water use on water systems and the environment
- On average freshwater species populations were reduced by half between 1970 and 2005, a sharper decline than for other biomes.
- As of 2000 there were more than 50,000 large dams in operation.
- Some 589 large dams were built in Asia from 1999 to 2001.
- Of the world’s 292 largest river systems in 2005 (accounting for 60% of the world’s runoff), more than a third (105) were considered to be strongly affected by fragmentation, and 68 moderately affected.
The section "Did You Know…?" is taken from the 3rd World Water Development Report "Water in a Changing World".
UNESCO's Water Family consists of the following:
- International Hydrological Programme
- World Water Assessment Programme
- UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
- Water-related Institutes and Centres under the Auspices of UNESCO
- UNESCO Water-related Chairs
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