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6th World Water Forum
Home Page  > + Forum Programme  > Sessions > Theme 3

Theme 3: Managing and Protecting Water Resources

3.1 Basin Management and Transboundary Cooperation

3.1.1 Boundless Basins: What are the successes and failures of hydro-solidarity? Reviewing the success stories and shortcomings of local, national and transboundary cooperation can help to reason more broadly and identify applicable contexts. That knowledge and experience can then be shared with others, especially in developing countries that have little room for error, in order to implement the approach with the greatest chance for success.
Contact: Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):  and
International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO): and

3.1.2 How can stakeholder be involved in basin management and Transboundary water cooperation? Experience shows that creating a sense of ownership among stakeholders is a key to the success of a project on the ground. However, determining the appropriate ways for developing wide and effective stakeholder participation in particular situations is still a challenge, especially in transboundary contexts and situation of scarcity.
UNESCO:  and
INBO: and

3.1.3How can cooperation over transboundary surface and groundwater resources be achieved in a sustainable manner? There are more than 263 transboundary river basins around the world and hundreds of transboundary aquifers on which over 3 billion people depend. Since many countries’ development depends on transboundary water resources, countless tools have been developed to improve institutional cooperation. Very few, though, are actually sustainable and equitable.
UNESCO:  and
INBO: and

3.1.4Which are the operational tools that allow achieving transboundary cooperation and sound basin management? It’s ridiculous to try to dig a hole with a saw or pound a nail with a sponge. Appropriate tools are needed to get the job done right. Likewise, effective operational tools are needed to support transboundary cooperation and sound basin management as a whole. Some tools have already proven to be efficient in certain contexts, but what is the bigger picture?
UNESCO:  and
INBO: and

3.1.5 Wrap-up and Synthesis: How can we bridge the divide between various users whose lives depends on common water resources? And how should we just do it! Contact: UNESCO, INBO

3.2 Ensuring Adequate Water Resources and Storage Facilities to meet Agricultural, Energy and Urban Needs

3.2.1Ensuring Adequate Water Resources Development and Management (Quantity and Quality) for Sustainable Development: In 2017, the UN estimates that close to 70% of the global population will have problems accessing freshwater. In 2025, approximately 40% of the world’s population will be living in water-scarce eco-regions. How do we effectively manage the multi-purpose nature of water, ensuring the sufficient quantity and quality of water is available to meet human and environmental needs? Is there a sound framework for determining infrastructure needs?
Contact: Japan Water Agency, DSI, Turkey

3.2.2A Step Ahead: Improving Water Management by Anticipating Change? Meeting Human and Environmental Needs through Integrated Water Resources Management? In the coming decades, management approaches will need to take into account projections for increased demand in water, food, energy, and housing, among other things. In addition, Governmental agencies will need to work transversally across many departments to develop harmonized policies for infrastructure development. How can water managers adapt to these transformative changes that challenge their assumptions and approaches?
Contact: Global Environment Facility, Global Water Partnership, National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA)

3.2.3 Behind a Wall or Beneath the Soil: How to meet our storage needs. While the total storage of reservoirs amounts to approximately 30% of the world’s available water resources, this security does not come without costs and impacts. How can a more holistic approach be adopted to the question of storage, one that includes underground and floodplain storage, and their potential impacts on people, livelihoods and ecosystems? Varying solutions are currently being explored according to circumstances.
Contact: China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research & International Commission on Large Dams

3.2.4Greening Infrastructure: How can engineering protect ecosystems and ensure livelihoods? Innovative engineering and water management techniques are being employed to restore environmental flows on a permanent basis. At the same time, the economic benefits for which these river systems were initially developed are retained. However, can these approaches really restore rivers and get all sides to find a common solution?
Contact: The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tetra Tech

3.2.5 Wrap-up and Synthesis: Contact: ICOLD, TNC

3.3 Preserving Natural Ecosystems

3.3.1Ecosystems for Water, Water for People, Ecosystems for People. Although water-related ecosystems, such as forests, soils and wetlands, are the natural infrastructures for water management providing numerous services such as flood control and local water storage, they are often not sufficiently valued and in addition, threatened by numerous pressures such as climate change. A better integration of different sectoral policies and the use of tools such as economic instruments may help to safeguard vital ecosystems for water.  When changing the paradigm from "water for nature" to "nature for water", which policies and tools can ensure the sustainable use and protection of ecosystems?
Contact: Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, UNECE

3.3.2Spreading the wealth: How to share the benefits of nature? The intrinsic value of water may be impossible to calculate, but economic gains can be made from the way it is managed.  How much should be invested in measures that could increase availability or maintain resilience of ecosystems? What is it worth to us?
Contact: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNEP, Deltas (Dutch Provinces and Egypt)

3.3.3 Acting Locally, Thinking Globally: What actions help preserve ecosystems?
On virtually every street corner, conversations about the weather abound. Indeed, society as a whole is alarmed by too much or too little rainfall, from farmers who need irrigation to produce crops, to downstream water users who are concerned about quantity and quality of what comes through the tap. But what social and institutional changes are required to make sure that everyone’s best interests are served?
Contact: Ramsar Convention

3.3.4 Wrap-up Topic 3.3 - Putting nature first: How to install change to ensure water and environmental security? As the wrap-up session for Topic 3.3, this session will bring together the conclusions and recommendations that come out of the previous Topic 3.3 sessions to address the central question: How  can the preservation of natural ecosystems become a principal objective of land and water management? Contact: Netherlands Ministry LNV
Alterra / Wageningen UR

3.4 Managing and Protecting Surface, Ground, Soil and Rainwater

 3.4.1 A Hidden Resource: Sustainably Managing Groundwater for the Future: The revolution in groundwater access and use has led to critical over-exploitation and pollution in many parts of the world. With some exceptions, most management responses fail to deliver results, as technical know-how, incentives and political decisions do not sufficiently influence the behaviour of the many stakeholders that have (uncontrolled) access. How should non renewable groundwater sources be managed? be done to bridge the divide on managing diverse groundwater interests for development with existing information and technical capcity? The panel will be divided into two sections discussing implications of groundwater management and governance on policy and a discussion on the implementation of groundwater resource management. 
Contact: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), American Water Resources Association (AWRA), Oregon State University - Institute for Water and Watersheds

3.4.2 Strategic Framework for Effective and Sustainable Water Resources Management and Protection: In some countries, economic and social development is highly dependent on effective management of its combined water resources. Associating a range of management approaches related to different sources poses, however, serious challenges. Is managing surface, ground and rain waters in an integrated way a distant dream or a cost-effective way to face rising demand and shortages? The session will seek to define the elements of sustainable and cooperative management of all water resources with a focus on increasing technical, legal and institutional capacities to enforce IWRM. 
Contact: 9 Eylül University, American Water Resources Association (AWRA), Texas A&M University, AgriLife Research

3.4.3 Contemporary issues, public awareness and stakeholder participation for sustainable water resource management. What are the elements for successful sustainable water management?  Given the difference in available financial resources and political access of developed and developing countries, this session will assess requirements of a workable, effective and sustainable solution that can answer the concerns and questions regarding the extent of different stakeholder’s participation for water management in varying economic contexts.  The key question will be to identify how efficient, effective and target oriented use of allocated resources can be obtained for sustainable water resource development that considers the needs of both rich and poor, of industry and society, and of economic growth and water preservation.
Contact: International Network on Participatory Irrigation Management (INPIM ), International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD )

3.4.4 Wrap-up and Synthesis:The need for better management and protection of surface, ground, soil and rain water: Concrete conclusions and recommendations forwarded during the preceding sessions will be presented for further evaluation and debate.  The session seeks to identify common issues in pushing the agenda for managing and developing water storage infrastructures that considers multiple use, value and types of water on the road to water sustainability and security.
Contact: Department of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), American Water Resources Association (AWRA), TNC

Special Focus On: Water management beyond 2020 for a changing world: Contact: Middle East Technical University, International Water Resources Association




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