News

  • SDG 6 review at the High Level Political Forum 2018

    29/08/2018

    GRoW position paper is well received by participants at HLPF events 

    From 9 to 18 July, the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) convened at the UN Headquarters in New York to conduct and in-depth review of several SDGs, including the SDG for water (SDG 6). GRoW was involved in several events, represented by steering committee member Dr Ursula Eid, who acted as a moderator and keynote speaker.

    In preparation for the HLPF, GRoW prepared a Position Paper on on SDG 6, emphasising the need for an evidence-based approach to achieving SDG 6 and calling for a science platform on water that will bring together relevant actors. The paper and its key recommendations were brought into the discussion at several side events and thereby contributed to the review process. The paper was of particular interest at the side event “Are Women meaningfully involved in implementing SDG 6+ in National Plans?”, during which there was a discussion about data insufficiencies and the need for better empirical data on SDG 6. Consequently, the proposed international science platform was well-received by the audience.

    The GRoW position paper was also introduced at the side event “Sustainable Use of Waters – Precondition for a World without Hunger / The implementation of SDG 6.4 Water use and scarcity and its link to the Human Right to Food”. The session focused on the link between virtual water exports and food security in water-scarce countries. The GRoW research projects working on water footprints therefore played a prominent role in the discussions at this event.

    The HLPF’s Ministerial Declaration adopted at the meeting’s closing identifies water pollution, water scarcity and insufficient financing as key challenges for the water sector. Aiming at successfully implementing SDG 6, the declaration points to the International Decade for Action on Water and Sustainable Development and calls for greater international cooperation among stakeholders, political leadership to raise awareness of the urgency of SDG 6, and concrete actions to meet the global water targets.

  • GRoW publishes position paper on SDG 6

    13/06/2018

    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.

  • SDG 6 Synthesis Report is out

    16/05/2018

    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)
  • Work on the GRoW cross-cutting topics has begun

    14/05/2018

    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.

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

    20/04/2018

    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

    05/04/2018

    World Water Day, which took place on 22 March, saw the launch of the International Decade for Action: "Water for Sustainable Development". The decade will help to improve cooperation and capacity development in the field of water management by encouraging the sharing of good practices and providing a platform for advocacy, networking and partnership-building in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • GRoW at World Water Forum in Brazil

    30/03/2018

    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

    01/03/2018

    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

    28/02/2018

    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. 

Pages