• 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 view of the forthcoming 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.

  • SDG 6 Synthesis Report is out


    In preparation of the up-coming High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July and the comprehensive review of the UN sustainability goals on water (SDG 6), UN-Water has published the “SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation”. Based on data on SDG 6 global indicators the joint position from the United Nations on the progress of reaching the aims of SDG 6 is represented in the report. For the upcoming six months a publicly accessible dialogue process has been initiated.

    The dialogue process consists of three phases: 

    • Collecting overall feedback (2 May – 16 May)
    • Preparing main messages for the HLPF-Meeting (25 June – 9 July)
    • Looking forward and next steps (31 August – 14 September)
  • 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.

  • 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 attracts interest from international stakeholders and environmental organisations


    A short summary of GRoW’s first year paints a positive picture. The research projects have started well and are also attracting a great deal of international attention. They have begun developing partnerships and networks with public and private international stakeholders, and are finding support among global environmental organisations. This keen interest shows that GRoW is doing relevant, topical work – primarily because it is successfully developing local and regional, globally transferrable solutions for protecting water resources.

    Here are a few highlights:

    In Iran, the SaWaM project is receiving support from one of the country’s biggest players in the water and hydropower industries – the Khuzestan Water Authority, which manages over a third of Iran’s water reserves. As well as helping to make the kick-off event in Iran a great success (over 100 people attended), it also took the time to visit key Iranian reservoirs with project participants and to outline local water management solutions. Similarly, iWaGSS has attracted a great deal of interest from the South African water authority, which is helping the project to install measurement stations and providing its own stations.

    Meanwhile, go-CAM is collaborating closely on research with the University of Rhode Island, since sustainably managing coastal aquifers is also raising important research questions across the Atlantic. WANDEL has set up a new partnership with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). The corporation recognized WANDEL as playing a significant, relevant role in the context of the growing tension between energy production and sustainable water management in Brazil.

    The MuDak-WRM project has entered into a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, an international environmental protection organization, also based in Brazil. The partners have already signed a memorandum of understanding. In addition, MuDak-WRM is benefiting from the full support of SANEPAR, a major Brazilian water technology firm. Among other things, it has provided a research ship specifically tailored to the needs of the project. InoCottonGrow has also attracted interest from international environmental organisations and is currently working on a memorandum of understanding with the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan).

    A wide variety of workshops, capacity-building schemes, measurement campaigns, and event visits are planned for 2018. These will provide major support to all the GRoW projects, help them make progress, and strengthen their international impact. 

  • World Economic Forum rates water crises one of the top five global risks for sixth year in a row.


    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. 

    Please visit the website of the World Economic Forums for additional information. The full download can be found here.

  • Science Platform Sustainability 2030 Calls for Systematic Implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy


    In its inaugural publication, the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 has called for a significant increase in efforts to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Germany. To this end, a steering group of representatives from science, business and civil society, which was established at the invitation of the Federal Government, has outlined the platform's positions and tasks vis-à-vis politics and science. The platform, as a space for dialogue and a source of innovative ideas, seeks to generate added value for science as well as for political and societal practice and to make a significant contribution to the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Key elements of its initial programme of work include the establishment of working groups to address the topics of sustainable consumption, the future of work and global commons. Find out more here

  • 2017 Transnational Joint Call presentation: Water resource management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


    In 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 global goals for sustainable development to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030. The Water JPI action IC4WATER focuses in particular on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) related to water challenges for implementing the Water JPI Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA 2.0). It will be implemented through a Joint Call on “Water resource management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. Its aim is to encourage transnational collaborative projects on research and innovation to support the implementation of water policies. This call will cover two topics:

    Multiple pressure effects on ecosystems and ecosystem services as well as effective mitigation – adaptation tools and assessments for implementing the water related targets of the UN SDGs.
    Developing accessible solutions for clean water management to address UN SDG6 targets and associated SDGs.

    The Water JPI 2017 Joint Call is funded by 12 Funding Partner Organisations from 12 countries, for a global estimated budget of 8.55 M€. This Call is for collaborative transnational research proposals. Consortia should include a minimum of 3 partners from 3 different participating countries. Each research Partner in a project must comply with the eligibility criteria and rules of its funding organisation.

    Please search the Website for more information