The United Nations’ World Water Week, takes place on August 23-28, 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme for this years Word Water Week event is “Water for Development.” This annual event is designed to bring awareness to the globe’s water issues. While the event is taking place in Sweden, people around the world are supporting the event. Poverty eradication is intimately connected to water.
The United Nations University (UNU) carries out research and training on numerous water-related issues. Using the latest evidence-based research, our institutes feed into policy planning worldwide. They provide economic, political and social recommendations to help ensure human development, survival and welfare worldwide.
The guiding theme of World Water Week 2015, is of crucial importance to UNU. The use of water for development is a key plank in two projects at UNU-MERIT: one focusing on India, the other on Kenya. The ‘FINISH’ and ‘FINISH-INK’ projects aim to improve not only sanitation but also regional economies: helping local engineers and entrepreneurs design, build and service modern toilets. Working with partners such as NGOs, government agencies and international organisations, including UNICEF, the scope is massive: a toilet is built by FINISH India every 3-4 minutes. The ultimate goal is to build half a million by 2016.
As of 2015, UNU has a total of 60 water projects, based out of institutes like UNU-INWEH in Canada, UNU-INRA in Ghana, and UNU-IAS in Japan, among several others. Of these 60 projects, 24 broadly focus on Asia, 16 on Africa, and eight on the Americas.
Yet water is just one piece of the puzzle for both development and the environment. Hence the ‘Nexus Approach’ designed by UNU-FLORES in Germany, which aims to encourage a more sustainable management of water, soil and waste, while working with partners like UNEP and UNESCO. The approach is based on the understanding that environmental resources are inextricably linked and therefore need to be governed in an integrated way.
Click here to see UNU’s latest policy brief on water-related issues from UNU-FLORES. The document is titled, “The Need for Water as Energy Storage for Better Integration of Renewables”
On Sunday August 23 at 2 PM there will be a session on ‘water storage and hydropower as drivers for sustainable development’. Click here for more details about the event.
World Water Week 2014
The 2014 World Water Development Report (fifth edition): Water and Energy
World Water Week 2013: Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships
World Water Day 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation