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Blog Post




Visit United Nation University’s Water Week page for details on UNU sessions and water-related publicatons. Follow the hashtag #UNU4Water on social media.



World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. It is organized by SIWI. In 2018, World Water Week will address the theme “Water, ecosystems and human development”. 

UNU-INWEH will be participating in the following events:


Sunday 26 August | 9.00-10.30

Using information tools on multifunctional nature-based solutions to achieve SDGs

United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources / United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Heath / Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance at UN-Habitat / Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association / IRIDRA

The implementation of the water- and interrelated SDGs calls for joint action by various stakeholder groups empowered by the provision of data, information and knowledge on Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) through modern easy-to-use information and communication tools.
The objective of the event is to understand how information tools need to be designed to optimize and increase the use of multifunctional nature-based solutions. It will address the design and implementation of online platforms which can support scientists and practitioners in their contributions to the SDGs related to Water & Sanitation, Urban Resilience, Energy, Water & Food Security. It will explore how a Nexus Approach to managing water, soil and waste contributes to achieving interrelated SDGs.

Learn more about the session here.

Sunday 26 August | 16.00-17.30

Water Action Decade Event

UN-Water / United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs / United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Heath

The International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, commenced on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, and aims to accelerate efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods. This session will include presentations from UN-DESA, UNU and other members of the UN-Water Task Force on Decade Implementation, and bring participants up to speed on the current state of the Decade implementation and how to get involved. The event will provide an overview of existing projects and programmes in support of the Decade from Members States, the United Nations, civil society and private sector, and focus on how we can mobilize action to make sure that we meet all the water-related Goals.

Learn more about the session here.

Tuesday 28 August | 09.00-10.30

UN World Water Development Report 2018 “Nature-Based Solutions for Water”

UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme / UN-Water / UN Environment / United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Heath / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / United Nations Development Programme / UNESCO International Hydrological Programme

Water management is still largely dominated by human-built (i.e. ‘grey’) infrastructure, whereas the enormous potential for nature-based solutions (NBS) to address contemporary water management challenges across all sectors, and particularly regarding water for agriculture, sustainable cities, disaster risk reduction and improving water quality remains under-utilized. The 2018 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report aims to encourage policy and decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, to find the most appropriate blend of green and grey investments to maximize benefits and system efficiency while minimizing costs and trade-offs. The session will introduce the main findings of this flagship publication of UN-Water and facilitate a free discussion among the panelists and the audience concerning its policy messages and concrete applications of NBS to achieve the water-related Goal (SDG 6) and Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Learn more about the session here.

Tuesday 28 August | 14.00-15.30

Looking beyond conventional water resources to address global water scarcity

United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Heath / United Nations Office for Sustainable Development / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

While SDG 6 calls for access to safe water for all by 2030, more than two-thirds of the global population is expected to face water scarcity by the same year. Conventional approaches relying on rainfall and river runoff in water scarce areas are not sufficient to meet the human needs. Water-scarce countries, regions and communities need a new water paradigm considering a range of unconventional water resources to narrow the water demand-supply gap for food production, livelihoods, ecosystems, and sustainable development.

Key examples of unconventional water resources are: groundwater confined in deep geological formations; atmospheric moisture harvesting through cloud seeding and fog collection; physical transportation of water through icebergs; micro-scale capture of rainwater where it otherwise evaporates; desalinated water; residual water from urban areas and agriculture. Some are harnessed through nature-based approaches.

Despite demonstrated benefits, the potential of most unconventional water resources is vastly under-explored due to specific barriers, which need to be addressed along with supportive policies and institutions and science-based actions and tools. These aspects are the focus of this event, which starts with an ignite talk followed by moderated panel discussion; open discussion stemming from panelists’ contributions; and conclusions and recommendations.

Learn more about the session here.