Water as a global resource

Water as a global resource

Global analyses and local solutions for sustainable water resources management

Population growth, climate change and drinking water scarcity mean that sustainably managing global water resources is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. To help solve the conflicts developing around this “blue gold”, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has initiated the "Water as a global Resource (GRoW)“ funding measure on the basis of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Save the Date: 23.- 24. June 2020

We are happy to announce the GRoW final conference, which will take place in Berlin in June 2020. 

Location: ESMT Berlin, Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany


5/6 Dec: The “Water Footprint" at the Science Platform Sustainability 2030

On 5 and 6 December 2019, the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 held to its first annual conference in Berlin. GRoW presented the ‘water footprint’ concept as a strategy for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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GRoW at the Stockholm World Water Week: a step forward towards achieving the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development

Water is a scarce resource and thus plays a critical role in reaching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without water, life cannot be sustained and without using water in agricultural production, food cannot be produced. However, many people still do not have access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation. Accordingly, the slogan at this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm was: “Leaving no one behind - water and sanitation for everyone”. From 25 to 30 August 2019, scientists, water managers and policy-makers discussed strategies that may contribute to solve the global challenges of unequal distribution of water, lack of drinking water, and insufficient sanitation. Two events highlighted different approaches developed within GRoW to help achieve the SDGs – based on the work of the GRoW cross-cutting topics “SDGs - Hitting the targets” and “Water footprint”.

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GRoW publishes Policy Brief: Advancing the Water Footprint into an instrument to support achieving the SDGs

The water footprint has become a widely used concept to study water use and the resulting local impacts of agricultural and industrial production. Building on recent advances in the water footprint concept, it can be an effective steering tool to advance the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 6.



A number of GRoW research projects are currently applying the water footprint concept and identifying areas where water is used inefficiently. They are also implementing practical measures for improvement. As part of the GRoW cross-cutting topic "Water Footprint", researchers from these projects have developed a policy brief together with GRoWnet and GRoW steering committee member Dr Falk Schmidt (IASS Potsdam). The aim is to raise awareness on the potential of the water footprint concept to inform decision-making in the public and private sectors towards improved water management and achieving the SDGs.

The GRoW Policy Brief will be presented at the World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August 2019. Learn more about the event here.

Download the Policy Brief here.

Facts and figures about GRoW

Duration: I/2017 – III/2020

Joint research projects: 12

Funded partners: 90