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6th World Water Forum
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Theme 3: Managing and Protecting Water Resources and their Supply Systems to Meet Human and Environmental Needs

Topic 3.1: Basin management and transboundary water cooperation

With the growing pressure on water resources and the expected impacts of climate change, improved management and cooperation in transboundary water resource management are becoming essential elements to meet human and environmental needs. What are the success stories and failures of hydro-solidarity and IWRM and what are the associated key actions for basin management, transboundary cooperation and benefit sharing? Legal instruments have been developed at the local, regional and global scales but how effective and resilient are they, especially for transboundary surface and groundwater resources, stakeholder participation, planning, financing and monitoring?

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Topic 3.2: Ensuring adequate water resources and storage infrastructure to meet agricultural, energy and urban needs

Ensuring adequate water resources is important for development and even more so considering the effects of increasing climate variability. This demands adequate storage and infrastructure, both natural and man-made. How can the middle ground be found among many different perspectives on how to protect those resources and their ecosystems, while sufficiently meeting human needs in a sustainable way?

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Topic 3.3: Preserving Natural Ecosystems

For their preservation and for human well-being, natural ecosystems and environmental flows need to become an integral part of land and water management planning, decision-making and implementation processes. What role can existing international laws and conventions play? What can be done in national and local level planning processes to take human needs, as well as local values and conditions into account?

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Topic 3.4: Managing and protecting surface, ground and rainwater

Rainfall is the largest water resource available but its management is the least developed. Groundwater is the most reliable resource but also the most vulnerable to pollution and over exploitation. Despite these facts institutional inertia encourages water management to remain focused on surface water. To protect these different water resources and freshwater eco-systems and to utilise them to their maximum potential in a responsible way, an integrated planning and management approach of surface, ground, soil and rainwater is advocated. What adaptation of legal and institutional frameworks would be required and how can science best inform politicians?

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