- UNW-DPAC organizes conference on water and the green economy in preparation for Rio+20
- Iraq launches groundwater database to reduce uncertainty in the country’s water supply
- ICQHS prepares conference on traditional knowledge of water resources management
- Joint development of a practical sediment management training course by UNESCO ISI and SedNet
- Climate change, conflict and migration: the water context
UNESCO Water Family (*)
- First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations - Freshwater Governance beyond Rio +20: Meeting the Sustainability Challenge
Featured International Events
- WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene
- OECD Global Forum on Environment: Making Water Reform Happen
- Transforming Landscapes – Transforming Lives: the business of sustainable water buffer management – Frank van Steenbergen, Albert Tuinhof and Lenneke Knoop : 3R Water Secretariat
- Post-doc position available in project on pro-poor sanitation innovations – UNESCO-IHE
Did you know?
Facts and figures about the Cholistan Desert (Pakistan)
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UNW-DPAC organizes conference on water and the green economy in preparation for Rio+20
International UN-Water Conference. Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20.
3-5 October 2011. Zaragoza, Spain
Water contributes to the green economy. It is important for people and for the planet. Building on the results and conclusions of the Official Side Event at the 2nd UNCSD Preparatory Committee (Prepcom 2) "How the Green Economy depends on water", organized by UN-Water and UNSGAB, where a call was made to develop a UN Green Economy Road Map (A/CONF.216/PC/8) and a toolbox or a best practices guide of actions for transforming into a green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the Conference will support the process of moving to action in preparation for Rio+20.
The cases presented in the conference will focus on the use of specific 'tools for change' to help move towards a green growth model. They will demonstrate how investments and appropriate financing models for sanitation, drinking water services, and water resources management can support poverty reduction and growth; how investing and adopting fiscal policies for protecting the environment ensures the provision of ecosystem services that are necessary for economic development and for a more resilient economy; how to generate change through improvements in technology; what types of labour policies and reforms are necessary and what job opportunities exist within an economic model with more efficient household consumption patterns and sustainable production practices from economic sectors.
More information | Conference blog and discussion forum
Iraq launches groundwater database to reduce uncertainty in the country’s water supply
The Government of Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to tackling the ongoing water crisis this month at a national seminar in Baghdad on 3 July 2011, ushering in phase two of the new National Hydrogeological Resources Assessment Network and Database for Iraq, known as geoFIA.
Representatives of the government, academia and the international community recently met at a high-level gathering in Baghdad to inaugurate the country’s first centralized groundwater database and commission the next phase of the multi-million dollar initiative led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The seminar officially revealed positive phase one results of the nationwide initiative launched in 2010 by UNESCO.
GeoFIA was built by Radar Technologies International and Studio Galli Ingegneria and can be used by Iraqi experts to collect, update and analyze information on groundwater on a continual basis, enabling more effective water planning by the government.
The interactive web-based platform will help the Iraqi government to accelerate their efforts in addressing drought and other water-related problems which until now have been hindered by lack of up-to-date information on underground water.
The European Union provided the funding for Phase I of the project. In addition H.E. Jana Hybaskova, Ambassador of the EU praised the efforts of the Government and UNESCO and shared the EU’s intention to continue the support for Phase II.
More information | UNESCO Office for Iraq
ICQHS prepares conference on traditional knowledge of water resources management
The International Centre for Qantas and Hydrological Structures (ICQHS, a UNESCO category 2 centre) is organizing an international conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management (TKWRM) to be held 21-23 Feb 2012 in Yazd, Iran.
The objective of this conference is to bring together leading water management experts from all over the world to:
- Present their findings and lessons learnt from sustainability, adaptation to climate variability and community participation of traditional water management techniques, and discuss how to incorporate such technologies into short-term decision-making and long-term water management and policy-making;
- Exchange ideas and experiences on how learning from traditional knowledge could be systematically incorporated as an integrated element of water related decision-making process and different actors could be identified and involved in the process with emphasis on involvement of and capacity building for the civil society;
- Identify research areas for incorporating modern advancements with traditional knowledge to address evolving global needs and establish links to further pursue these areas; and
- Establish a permanent secretary at ICQHS to network among scientists contributing to understanding of traditional techniques in water resources management and to host the "International Qanats Club".
ICQHS, the organizer, has also called on for paper submissions with below themes:
- Sustainability of Traditional Water Management Systems and Coping with Emerging Challenges (Climate Change & Food Security Issues);
- Traditional Practices in Community Participation and Level of Decision-Making in Water Resources Management; and
- The Role of Culture in Water Resources Management
Dates regarding paper submission are:
- Abstract Submission: 1 September 2011
- Notification of Abstract Acceptance: 30 September 2011
- Full paper submission: 30 November 2011
Joint development of a practical sediment management training course by UNESCO ISI and SedNet
There are no examples yet of the fully fledged integration of sediment management into Integrated Water Resources Management. This was a key driver of the initiation of ISI as well as SedNet.
The International Sediment Initiative (ISI) was launched by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). ISI promotes sustainable sediment management at the global scale in an effort to contribute to sustainable water resources management. The initiative assesses erosion and sediment transport by rivers to lakes, reservoirs and marine environments, aimed at the creation of a holistic approach for the remediation and conservation of surface waters. ISI aims to develop a decision support framework for sediment management, in order to provide guidance on legislative and institutional solutions, applicable to various socio-economic and physiographic settings, in the context of global changes.
SedNet is a leading European network aimed at incorporating sediment issues and knowledge into relevant European and national policies, in order to support the achievement of good environmental status and to develop and facilitate the implementation of new tools for sediment management. SedNet brings together sediment professionals from science, administration, management, NGOs, consultancy and industry.
ISI and SedNet are convinced that a dedicated, practical training course on sustainable sediment management will be an important tool for promoting the further integration of sediment into IWRM. ISI and SedNet – each with their own perfectly complementary perspectives and areas of interest – can bring together the state-of-art in scientific as well as practical knowledge on sustainable sediment management. ISI and SedNet now offer to make that knowledge available for the joint development of such a training course.
A delegation of ISI and of SedNet will meet on 18 and 19 August in Paris at UNESCO HQ to bring this idea to a next level. In the Paris meeting, the delegates will, amongst others, discuss, digest and then propose the potential topics to be addressed in the course and will agree upon a proposed outline for the course. Furthermore, the delegates will refine a roadmap for the development and testing of the training course and will discuss funding possibilities.
Anil Mishra on behalf of UNESCO ISI, and Jos Brils on behalf of SedNet, will keep you informed on the further development of this joint initiative.
Reproduced from www.sednet.org/newsletter/2011-July.htm
Climate change, conflict and migration: the water context
21 September 2011, The Hague - The symposium will serve as a platform to discuss the links between climate change, water stress, migration and conflict from a human security perspective. The discussion will revolve around capacity building and resilience in hotspots, conflict prevention, and a (international) legal framework of protection of environmental migrants. Organized by several international partners and to be held at the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague.
UNESCO Water Family (*)
First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations - Freshwater Governance beyond Rio +20: Meeting the Sustainability Challenge
26-28 October 2011: Bangkok, Thailand
Featured International Events
WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene
9-14 October 2011: Mumbai, India
OECD Global Forum on Environment: Making Water Reform Happen
25-26 October 2011: Paris, France
Access a complete list of water events around the world
Transforming Landscapes – Transforming Lives: the business of sustainable water buffer management
Frank van Steenbergen, Albert Tuinhof and Lenneke Knoop - 3R Water Secretariat
A brand new book about sustainable land management, the development of water buffers and the business case underneath it. As part of the discussion on the green economy it shows that investments in natural resource management make sense business-wise. While the parameters for investments in land, water and vegetation cover may be different – and returns may not always be immediate – both the financial payback and the economic dividend of investments in integrated landscapes, when done properly, are rewarding. As investments in sustainable land and water buffers will transform lives and economies, the social impact will become important. A buffer gives a sense of security and the reassurance that one’s livelihood is secured – something sought-after in a world of growing stress and climate change risks.
Download the book
Post-doc position available in project on pro-poor sanitation innovations – UNESCO-IHE
The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and partners were awarded a US$8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will be used to finance a 5-year capacity building and research project to stimulate local innovation on sanitation for the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
To support the research component of the project, five post‐doc positions for junior researchers are funded by the project. This announcement concerns the position based at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands.
Deadline for application: 15 October 2011
Did you know...? Facts and figures about the Cholistan Desert (Pakistan)
- Cholistan is the largest of four major deserts of Pakistan. It is bordered on the south by the Thar desert in Sindh province and on the east by the Rajasthan desert in India. The Cholistan Desert covers about 26,000 km2, which corresponds to 26% of the 110,000 km2 of the country’s total desert area and 3% of its overall surface area.
- The average annual rainfall in the desert ranges from 100 to 200 mm. Consequently, freshwater availability is very limited. There are no perennial or ephemeral streams, and most of the groundwater is saline with a medium to high range of dissolved solids that make it generally unfit for drinking.
- The only source of freshwater for about 110,000 inhabitants and their approximately 2 million head of subsistence livestock is the occasional rainfall. Fortunately, the average annual potential of 300 million m3 for rainwater harvesting is more than sufficient to satisfy the combined water demand of the people and livestock.
- To make the best use of this potential the herders have found ponds known locally as tobas. These store runoff water for use during the dry periods. Harvested rainwater is also stored for household use in large circular or rectangular tanks called kunds.
- Kunds are concrete structures built to store rainwater for human consumption. There are about 200 kunds in the Cholistan desert. Generally, the stored water stays clean unless there are external contaminants. Analysis of water samples from several kunds showed that water was being polluted by human and livestock waste transported in runoff.
The section "Did You Know…?" is taken from the 3rd World Water Development Report "Water in a Changing World" and its Case Study Volume: Facing the Challenges where you can find out more information about the Cholistan Desert.
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