• GRoW publishes position paper on SDG 6


    GRoW researchers have identified key challenges to achieving SDG 6

    Agreeing on the SDGs was a tremendous accomplishment for the international community, and continuing on this path is essential for our joint future. To achieve the targets, we will have to make ongoing efforts, adopt new approaches and examine multiple challenges. In preparation of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the in-depth review of SDG 6, the partners in the research program Water as a Global Resource (GRoW) produced a position paper highlighting key scientific challenges to achieving the ambitious SDG 6.

    The GRoW research programme primarily aims to contribute to achieving SDG 6. GRoW brings together more than 90 institutions active in research, business and practice. They are working together in more than 20 countries worldwide to develop new approaches for improving sustainable water resources management and water governance systems. 

    A stronger evidence base for the SDGs

    In its position paper, the GRoW partners emphasise the need to build a better evidence base for achieving and monitoring SDG 6. They call for a global platform that would bring together science, policy and practice to bundle key water topics, consolidate knowledge on achieving the SDGs and thereby strengthen evidence-based decisions.

    Download the position paper here.

  • Work on the GRoW cross-cutting topics has begun


    With a kick-off event in Berlin, the first three cross-cutting topics in the GRoW programme began their work in March. Three days of exciting and insightful discussions resulted in the first concrete results, including a joint GRoW position paper highlighting what the GRoW projects see as the key challenges to achieving SDG 6. This paper has since been channelled into the current political process on SDG 6 monitoring (such as the UN HLPF meeting in July). In addition, two online meetings (on agricultural irrigation and digitalization) allowed a number of colleagues to exchange ideas and possible avenues for further collaboration.  

    Harnessing synergies

    Here’s a little reminder about why GRoW partners also work on cross-cutting topics: Although GRoW covers very diverse research areas, a number of thematic and methodological overlaps exist. The cross-cutting topics therefore allow us to harness synergies and share knowledge across the individual projects. The GRoW steering group has defined three topics so far: 

    • Incentive mechanisms in the context of governance
    • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Hitting the targets
    • Water footprints

    The work on these topics doesn’t drive itself, though. It requires partners who are willing to invest time and energy in them, and who want to engage with fellow researchers. Support from the owner of each topic is therefore crucial to keeping up the momentum.

    The way forward

    A number of online meetings about topics such as digitalization and irrigation agriculture have recently taken place, and the next “real-world” meetings are coming up soon:

    • Water footprints: 27 September, Berlin
    • Incentive mechanisms in the context of governance: 22 October, Frankfurt (tbd)
    • SDGs: Hitting the targets: 11 December, Osnabrück, Germany

    These meetings will focus on potential outputs and end results of the joint work on the respective topic. The results could be manifold and might include joint publications, methodological guidelines, or expert events on topics of broader interest.

    We’re looking forward to welcoming you to these meetings and to continuing our productive discussions.

  • SDG 6 Synthesis Report veröffentlicht


    In Vorbereitung auf das im Juli stattfindende High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) und der umfassenden Untersuchung des UN-Nachhaltigkeitszieles für Wasser (SDG 6), hat UN-Water den „SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation“ veröffentlicht. Basierend auf Daten zu den globalen Indikatoren des SDG 6, repräsentiert der Bericht eine gemeinsame Position der Vereinten Nationen zum derzeitigen Fortschritt der SDG Zielerreichung. Für die kommenden sechs Monate wurde ein öffentlicher Dialogprozess initiiert.

    Der Prozess umfasst drei Phasen:

    • Sammeln von allgemeinem Feedback (2. Mai - 16. Mai)
    • Vorbereitung der Hauptbotschaften für das HLPF-Treffen (25. Juni - 9. Juli)
    • Ausblick und nächste Schritte (31. August - 14. September)

    Hier können Sie sich am Dialogprozess beteiligen.

  • High Level Panel on Water report “Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action” is out


    In March 2018 the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) published its final report „Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action“. The HLPW had been convened by the UN and the World Bank Group to contribute to the achievement of SDG 6 and further important SDGs to counteract a global water crisis. The report stresses the necessity of actions to avoid great water shortage and stresses that water should not be seen as a given any longer. Within three priority levels specific recommendations have been formulated:

    1. A foundation for action based on an increased understanding of water, the improvement of its governance and its social, cultural, environmental and economic valuation.
    2. Leading an integrated agenda at local, national and regional levels to ensure access to water and sanitation and to increase the resilience of societies and economies.
    3. Catalysing change, building partnerships and international cooperation at the global level to be achieved by the promotion of innovations, partnerships and strengthened global water cooperation.

    Addressing governments, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and citizens, the recommendations aim towards achieving a better understanding, valuation and management of water at different scales in order to enable the necessary changes for the implementation of the SDGs. Ongoing initiatives like the OECD Water Governance Initiative, the launch of new cooperative initiatives, the UN High Level Meetings, and the Water Action Decade are suggested to support the implementation of the recommendations by 2030.

    The full outcome report can be downloaded here.

  • The GRoW project “GlobeDrought” investigates drought conditions in Western Cape, South Africa


    The threat of “Day zero”, when taps in the city would run dry in the Western Cape of South Africa, clearly shows the necessity for sustaibable water management.. Even though “day zero” was averted just in time the region remains in a critical situation.

    During this time of major drought, the project team of GlobeDrought acquired data from satellites and field sources which showed the severity of water shortage in this region caused by three years of an ongoing drought. At the time of research, natural water resources were left at its minimum. Water sources of major importance in the Western Cape region, such as the Theewaterskloof Dam, contained only 10.9% of its maximum capacity. The South African Government reacted with water restrictions. Just before “Day Zero” had reached, rain solved the problem for the time being. However long-term solutions need to be developed and put into practice.

    The Team of GlobeDrought aims to develop a global web-based information system to forecast critical water stress situations at early stages by combining different data sources for water balance into one coherent system.

    Within the GroW Initiative further projects - iWaGSS, go-Cam, STEER and WELLE- contribute to developing strategies and tool for sustainable integrated water resource management and adaptation in South Africa. To find out more, visit the Project sites.

    To read more about thethe findings of GlobeDrought, please read the small a status quo report, which shortly summarizes their findings of drought conditions in the West Cape.

  • UN announces Water Action Decade 2018-2028


    On the World Water Day, 22 March 2018 the International Decade for Action: "Water for Sustainable Development" 2018-2028 was launched aiming to further improve cooperation, partnership and capacity development in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    To implement these water-related goals and targets, and building on the achievements of the previous “Water for Life” Decade 2005-2015, the International Decade for Action: "Water for Sustainable Development" 2018-2028 aims to create a solid platform to advance cooperation and partnerships at all levels, and put a greater focus on the integrated management of water resources. The Decade will contribute to the achievement of these goals by facilitating the sharing of good practices and providing a platform for advocacy, networking and partnership-building.

    Also recent milestone agreements, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and the Paris Agreement, have placed water at their heart. Guaranteeing sustainable water management is a vital element to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and other relevant goals in the social, environmental and economic fields.

    The launch of this decade shows: GRoW has its finger on the pulse of the time and contributes with local solutions and an enhanced global understanding of the ressource water to pressing contemporary questions.

    Find out more here.

  • GRoW at World Water Forum in Brazil


    Between 18 and 23 March, water experts from government, science, industry, consultancies and NGOs met at the World Water Forum 2018 in Brazil to discuss potential solutions for key water-related challenges at the global level. Three of the four GRoW projects working in South America were present and jointly featured at the side event “Water scarcity in semi-arid environments of our Earth: Main challenges and recent developments for risk mitigation”, which was organised by the Water Science Alliance. The event focused on practical examples from South America, such as seasonal prediction of water resources, estimation of sediment loads into reservoirs, water quality problems, and efficient irrigation and water use. SaWaM presented an operational hydrometeorological forecasting system for dryland conditions in north-eastern Brazil. WANDEL gave a presentation on the improved water footprint of sugarcane-related energy production, and Trust introduced modular concepts for sustainable water supply and water reuse. SaWaM had the honour of being invited to present its work in the Brazilian pavilion with the Brazilian water authority.

    Further information can be found in the programme.

  • UNESCO co-hosted session on Effective Solutions for Achieving SDG 6


    On 20 February 2018, UNESCO and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission co-hosted an information session entitled “Science for Water: Effective Solutions for Achieving SDG 6 and Water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda” at the UN Headquarters in New York.

    In view of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and sanitation and in the context of the upcoming “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), the session was a platform to discuss the importance of addressing water-management issues, and to inform member states about the collective contributions of UNESCO and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to the implementation of SDG-6 and other water-related targets.

    During the session the need to close the gap between science and policy to achieve water related goals was emphazised. Furthermore a series of science based tools that could be used to guide policy and decision-making on water were presented.

    Find out more here. The full meeting can be watched here.

  • GRoW weckt Interesse bei internationalen Akteuren und Umweltverbänden


    Ein kurzes Resümee des ersten Projektjahres von GRoW zeichnet ein positives Bild. Die Forschungsprojekte sind nicht nur gut angelaufen, sondern finden auch international große Beachtung. Die vergangenen Monate haben viele Partnerschaften und Vernetzungen mit öffentlichen und privatwirtschaftlichen internationalen Akteuren hervorgebracht und die Aufmerksamkeit  internationaler Umweltverbände geweckt. Das rege Interesse zeigt: Die Arbeit von GRoW ist aktuell und relevant – nicht zuletzt aufgrund der Tatsache, dass es GRoW gelingt, lokale und regionale Lösungsansätze für den Schutz von Wasserressourcen zu entwickeln, die global übertragbar sind.

    Im Folgenden einige Schlaglichter: Das Projekt SaWaM erfreut sich im Iran der Unterstützung einer der wichtigsten iranischen Akteure in der Wasserindustrie und Wasserkraft, der Khuzestan Water Authority, die über ein Drittel der iranischen Wasserreserven verwaltet. Diese trug nicht nur zu einer erfolgreichen Kick-off Veranstaltung mit über 100 Teilnehmern im Iran bei, sondern nahm sich auch die Zeit, das Projekt vor Ort zu bedeutenden Staudämmen zu begleiten und lokale Wassermanagement-Lösungen zu erläutern. Ebenso stößt das Projekt iWaGSS bei der südafrikanischen Wasserbehörde auf großes Interesse und viel praktischer Unterstützung bei der Installation von Messstationen und durch die Bereitstellung von Messstationen der Wasserbehörde.

    Indes hat das Projekt go-CAM bereits enge Forschungskooperationen über den Atlantik mit der Universität auf Rhode Island (USA) aufgenommen, da die nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung küstennaher Aquifere auch dort gewichtige Forschungsfragen aufwirft. Das Projekt WANDEL hat derweil die brasilianische Agrarforschungseinrichtung EMBRAPA als neuen Partner gewonnen. Dieses hat die Bedeutung und Aktualität des Projektes vor dem Hintergrund des wachsenden Spannungsfeldes zwischen Energiegewinnung und nachhaltigem Wassermanagement im eigenen Land erkannt.

    Das Projekt MuDak-WRM hat derweil, ebenfalls in Brasilien, die international agierende Umweltschutzorganisation The Nature Conservancy als Partner gewonnen. Ein Memorandum of Understanding ist bereits unterschrieben. Darüber hinaus erfreut sich das Projekt der vollen Unterstützung des großen brasilianischen Wassertechnologie-Unternehmens SANEPAR, das dem Projekt u.a. ein auf die Anforderungen des Projektes abgestimmtes Forschungsschiff zur Verfügung gestellt hat. Auch das Projekt InoCottonGrow hat das Interesse internationaler Umweltverbände geweckt und arbeitet zurzeit an einem MoU mit dem World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Pakistan.

    Für 2018 stehen nun eine Vielzahl von Workshops, Capacity-Building-Maßnahmen, Messkampagnen und Veranstaltungsbesuche an, die die Arbeit aller GRoW-Projekte maßgeblich unterstützen und weiter voranbringen werden. Zugleich wird auf diese Weise die internationale Wirkung der Verbundvorhaben gestärkt. 

  • World Economic Forum stuft Wasserkrisen wiederholt unter den Top 5 globaler Risiken ein!


    Each year the Global Risks Report works with experts and decision-makers across the world to identify and analyze the most pressing risks that we face. The 2018 report also presents the results of our latest Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 experts and decision-makers assess the likelihood and impact of 30 global risks over a 10-year horizon. Since 2012 Water crises are rated in the top 5 of global risks in terms of impact. Interestingly in 2014 the categorization of water crises changed from being considered an environemental risk to a societal one. This illustrates how the impact of water scarcity progressively changes in global perception. 

    As the pace of change accelerates, and as risk interconnections deepen, this year’s report furthermore highlights the growing strain we are placing on many of the global systems we rely on. This year’s report covers more risks than ever, but focuses in particular on four key areas: environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions. 

    Für zusätzliche Informationen besuchen Sie die Homepage des World Economic Forums. Den vollständigen Download finden Sie hier