- Groundwater Governance Project: Launch of Regional Consultation Workshops
- First National Short Videos and Photographs related to water Contest, Dominican Republic
- IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science and GWP announce International Water Law Scholarship Programme
- Rotary and UNESCO-IHE join forces to educate water professionals
- Reminder and change of registration date! International Water Film Events at the 6th World Water Forum!
- Natural Sciences Sector Topic: The Right to Water
- UNESCO-IHE continues to support Thailand in mitigating the flood crisis
UNESCO Water Family (*)
- Launch of the 4th edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4)
- Africa Water Science, Policy and Management Conference
- International Conference on Freshwater Governance for Sustainable Development
Featured International Events
- Water Management in Europe
- 12th WWW-YES, World Wide Workshop for Young Environmental Scientists
- Climate Change Effects on Groundwater Resources: A Global Synthesis of Findings and Recommendations
Did you know?
Facts and figures about the Hydrological Cycle
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Groundwater Governance Project: Launch of Regional Consultation Workshops
In January 2011, the UNESCO-IHP - together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the World Bank - initiated a new project on "Groundwater Governance: A Global Framework for Country Action". For this three-year project, UNESCO jointly with the partners, is working closely with the Member States, the main actors in the management of groundwater resources. Under the responsibility of the UNESCO-IHP network, the Regional Consultation Workshops (RCW) are a fundamental component of the Groundwater Governance project.
This project is in response to the emerging global concerns over the increasingly unsustainable use of groundwater and the degradation of aquifers. The overall project objective is to increase the awareness of the paramount importance of sound management of groundwater resources in preventing and reversing the global water crisis.
The RCWs seek to encourage discussion about specific regional characteristics, priorities, visions, gaps and challenges. They will also consider 'twinning', i.e. bringing together successful models of groundwater governance for future collaborations. The preparation of a series of RCWs has already begun between UNESCO-IHP in Paris and UNESCO regional offices in different regions. The Regional Consultations will be held in the following regions: Latin America and Caribbean; Africa; Arab Countries; and Asia. The first consultation will start with Latin America and Caribbean and will be hosted in Uruguay from 18th to 20th April 2012. The second is foreseen to be held in Kenya (Africa region) on 24-26 May 2012. The third will be held in Jordan on 8-10 October 2012, and the fourth will be in China in December 2012. The fifth Regional Consultation dedicated to the European region as well as institutions from the private sector will be hosted by the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2013.
The results of the regional consultations will contribute to the preparation of Global Groundwater Governance Diagnostic. It will serve as a technical basis for the visioning process by compiling the best available present scientific and technical knowledge on groundwater resources and their governance, to be accessible to a large public of policy and decision makers across development sectors.
During project formulation and implementation, UNESCO-IHP will collaborate closely with a wide variety of partners - representing all stakeholders at all levels having strong experience in groundwater governance - which will join the Permanent Consultation Mechanism (PCM).
As a final result, the project will develop a global "Framework of Action" (FA), consisting of a set of effective governance tools (policies, laws, regulations and customary practices). The FA will foster the recognition of the value of groundwater as a critically important natural resource, and of the social, economic and ecological opportunities that sustainable groundwater management can provide through interdisciplinary dialogue.
First National Short Videos and Photographs related to water Contest, Dominican Republic
In the framework of the IX Meeting of National Committees and Focal Points of the International Hydrological Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, July, 2011) the call for the National Short Videos and Photographs Contest related to water was launched. The contest was organized by the Centre for the Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Caribbean Island States, under the auspices of UNESCO, at the National Institute of Water Resources (INDRHI) of the Dominican Republic, the European Union and the support of The Water Channel.
It called youths from the Dominican Republic to present short videos and photos aimed at encouraging participation in community awareness of social problems related to water and to raise contributions that contribute to possible solutions. The objective of this initiative has been to show different modalities of social participation and generate a process of awareness and exchange, with the aim of promoting sustainable management of water resources, while encouraging communication skills, expression and creation.
The award ceremony held on 8th September 2011 was an excellent opportunity to show the successful result of the work carried out by the young participants.
IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science and GWP announce International Water Law Scholarship Programme
The Global Water Partnership together with IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, under the auspices of UNESCO, at the University of Dundee, is looking to build on their successful 2011 International Water Law Programme, and offer scholarships for 30 participants to undertake a module in International Water Law, in Dundee 11-29 June 2012.
Scholarship recipients are responsible for all travel (to/from Dundee) and subsistence (food/accommodation) costs. GWP is aiming at providing funding for travel and subsistence for a limited number of successful Scholarship applicants. Even though final funding is pending, GWP and the University of Dundee now invite applications from suitable candidates.
Applications will be accepted from 24 November 2011 to 3 February 2012. Successful candidates will be notified at the beginning of March 2012 to allow as much time as possible to obtain visas, additional funding, etc.
The module is aimed at persons working in water resources who wish to acquire specialist knowledge of international water law, especially as it relates to transboundary water challenges in the GWP regions.
Applicants to the joint GWP-University of Dundee IWL Programme should be from GWP Partner organisations and are required to be proficient in English, either as native speakers, or to a standard of an IELTS score of 6.5. A university degree is required in Hydrology, Environmental Science, Law, Agriculture, or related field.
Read more and apply
Rotary and UNESCO-IHE join forces to educate water professionals
The global humanitarian organization Rotary and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education are teaming up to tackle the world's water and sanitation crisis by increasing the ranks of trained professionals critically needed to devise, plan, and implement solutions in developing countries that bear the brunt of the problem.
Through this new strategic partnership, The Rotary Foundation will provide grants to Rotary clubs and districts to select and sponsor eight students each year for scholarships to any of three Master of Science degree programs at UNESCO-IHE, a United Nations institute in Delft, The Netherlands, that is the world's largest postgraduate water education facility. The school's scholarship-eligible programs are Municipal Water and Infrastructure; Water Management; and Water Science and Engineering.
"This strategic partnership with UNESCO-IHE enables Rotary to work with a globally-recognized leader in the training of water professionals at a time when such experts are desperately needed in many parts of the world," said Rotary Foundation Chair William B. Boyd. "We are delighted to have this new cooperation with Rotary. The task ahead is no less than training the next generation of water leaders to be equipped to deal with the enormous water challenges ahead in the coming decades," said Prof. Andras Szollosi-Nagy, UNESCO-IHE's Rector.
According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, about 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and dysentery, claim nearly 2 million lives a year, most of them children under age five.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, under its new Future Vision plan, seeks to forge strategic partnerships with established organizations with expertise in Rotary's six areas of focus, one of which is water and sanitation. The other focus areas are peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development. UNESCO-IHE scholarship grants are available only to clubs in the 100 Rotary districts piloting Future Vision until the plan is fully implemented July 1, 2013.
UNESCO-IHE is owned by the member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Its mandate is to help meet the water-related capacity-building needs of developing countries and countries in transition.
More information | Full press release
Reminder and change of registration date! International Water Film Events at the 6th World Water Forum!
This is a brief reminder that you can register your film with the International Water Film Events that will take place on the occasion of the 6th World Water Forum. AND, the deadline has been extended to 31 December 2011!!!
Natural Sciences Sector Topic: The Right to Water
Young Iraqi girl filling a can with water piped from a karez opening
In 2001, and taking part in the international efforts to address the major human and environmental crises facing our world, UNESCO stated that ‘non-discriminatory access to water and sanitation is regarded […] as a pre-requisite for the realisation of several other human rights, such as the rights to life, dignity, health, food, and an adequate standard of living and education.’ (1) The organization has played a pioneering role in the intellectual discussions that preceded the international recognition of the human right to clean drinking water and sanitation; and contributed to exploring the legal and technical framework leading its adoption.
UNESCO-IHE continues to support Thailand in mitigating the flood crisis
The recent flooding that occurred last October and November in Thailand was estimated to be one of the worst floods in decades. Thus, the Thai government together with the UNESCO Bangkok office organized a foreign expert mission to assess flood impacts in the Ayutthaya/Bangkok region. Dr Zoran Vojinovic from UNESCO-IHE was invited to join the group of foreign experts for a post-flood facts finding mission at the end of November.
UNESCO Water Family (*)
Launch of the 4th edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4)
12 March 2012: Marseille, France
Africa Water Science, Policy and Management Conference
23-27 April 2012: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
International Conference on Freshwater Governance for Sustainable Development
5-7 November 2012: Drakensberg, South Africa
Featured International Events
Water Management in Europe
22-23 February 2012: Lille, France
12th WWW-YES, World Wide Workshop for Young Environmental Scientists
20-26 May 2012: Paris, France
Access a complete list of water events around the world
Climate Change Effects on Groundwater Resources: A Global Synthesis of Findings and Recommendations
Series: IAH - International Contributions to Hydrogeology, N°27
Published: 02 December 2011 by CRC Press. Hardback. 414 pages. ISBN 9780415689366
Edited By: Holger Treidel, UNESCO, International Hydrological Programme, Paris, France; Jose Luis Martin-Bordes, UNESCO, International Hydrological Programme, Paris, France; Jason J. Gurdak, San Francisco State University, California, USA
Climate change is expected to modify the hydrological cycle and affect freshwater resources. Groundwater is a critical source of fresh drinking water for almost half of the world’s population and it also supplies irrigated agriculture. Groundwater is also important in sustaining streams, lakes, wetlands, and associated ecosystems. But despite this, knowledge about the impact of climate change on groundwater quantity and quality is limited.
Direct impacts of climate change on natural processes may be exacerbated by human activities. Increased groundwater abstraction, for example, may be needed in areas with unsustainable or contaminated surface water resources caused by droughts and floods. Climate change effects on groundwater resources are, therefore, closely linked to other global change drivers, including population growth, urbanization and land-use change, coupled with other socio-economic and political trends. Groundwater response to global changes is a complex function that depends on climate change and variability, topography, aquifer characteristics, vegetation dynamics, and human activities.
This volume contains case studies from diverse aquifer systems, scientific methods, and climatic settings that have been conducted globally under the framework of the UNESCO-IHP project Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC). This book presents a current and global synthesis of scientific findings and policy recommendations for scientists, water managers and policy makers towards adaptive management of groundwater sustainability under future climate change and variability.
Did you know...? Facts and figures about the Hydrological Cycle
- The Earth’s hydrological cycle is the global mechanism that transfers water from the oceans to the surface and from the surface, or subsurface environments, and plants to the atmosphere that surrounds our planet.
- The principal natural component processes of the hydrological cycle are: precipitation, infiltration, runoff, evaporation and transpiration.
- Human activities (settlements, industry, and agricultural developments) can disturb the components of the natural cycle through land use diversions and the use, reuse and discharge of wastes into the natural surface water and groundwater pathways.
- The Earth’s atmosphere contains approximately 13,000 km³ of water. This represents 10% of the world’s freshwater resources not found in groundwater, icecaps or permafrost. However, of more importance is the fact that this vapour cycles in the atmosphere in a ‘global dynamic envelope’, which has a substantive annually recurring volume, estimated to be from 113,500 to 120,000 km³. These large volumes illustrate precipitation’s key role in renewing our natural water resources, particularly those used to supply natural ecosystems and rainfed crops.
- When atmospheric precipitation reaches the ground, it divides into several sections, which pursue the terrestrial part of the hydrological cycle along different paths. Out of a total annual amount of 110,000 km³ of precipitation on the land surface, about 40,000 km³ is converted into surface runoff and aquifer recharge (blue water) and an estimated 70,000 km³ is stored in the soil and later returns to the atmosphere through evaporation and plant transpiration (green water).
- The processes of evaporation and transpiration (evapotranspiration) are closely linked to the water found in soil moisture; these processes act as driving forces on water transferred in the hydrological cycle. Movement through soil and vegetation is large and accounts for 62% of annual globally renewable freshwater.
- About 40% of the precipitation that falls on land comes from ocean-derived vapour. The remaining 60% comes from land-based sources.
- In a temperate climate, 33% of the total precipitation generally either returns by evaporation or evapotranspiration back into the atmosphere, 33% becomes surface water through runoff, and 33% recharges groundwater.
- In a semi-arid climate, 50% of the total precipitation either returns by evaporation or evapotranspiration back into the atmosphere, 30% becomes surface water through runoff, and 20% recharges groundwater.
- In an arid climate, 70% of the total precipitation either returns by evaporation or evapotranspiration back into the atmosphere, 29% becomes surface water through runoff, and only 1% recharges groundwater.
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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