High Level Panel on Water Calls for Water Action
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The High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) released its outcome package, concluding its mandate with a call for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water.

The HLPW's outcome package consists of an open letter to fellow leaders, an outcome document, short summaries of key initiatives undertaken by the Panel, and a “galvanizing” video.

14 March 2018: The High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) released its outcome package, concluding its mandate with a call for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water. Consisting of 11 Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser, the Panel focused on accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), as well as on the other SDGs that rely on the development and management of water resources, especially SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy); SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities); SDG 3 (good health and well-being); SDG 15 (life on land); SDG 2 (zero hunger); SDG 1 (no poverty); and SDG 13 (climate action).

In April 2016, the UN Secretary-General and the World Bank President convened the HLPW to champion a comprehensive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, as well as improving water and sanitation-related services. The Panel presented its outcome package, titled ‘Making Every Drop Count – An Agenda for Water Action,’ to the UN Secretary-General on 14 March 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York, US. The package consists of an open letter to fellow leaders, an outcome document, short summaries of key initiatives undertaken by the Panel, and a galvanizing video.

Through the package, the HLPW advocates for evidence-based policies and innovative approaches at the global, national and local levels to make water management and water and sanitation services attractive for investment and more disaster-resilient. It also calls for policies that will allow for, at least, a doubling of water infrastructure investment in the next five years.

The outcome package calls for policies that will allow for, at least, a doubling of water infrastructure investment in the next five years.

The outcome document presents a summary of the Panel’s findings and recommendations. The text notes that action on SDG 6 is urgent, explaining that gaps in access to water supply and sanitation, growing populations, more water-intensive patterns of growth, increasing rainfall variability, and pollution are combining to make water one of the greatest risks to economic progress, poverty eradication, and sustainable development. The document underscores that if the world continues on its current path, it may face a 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030, with consequences that will be disproportionately felt by the poorest and most vulnerable. Within this scenario: approximately 700 million people are at risk of being displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030; more than two billion people are compelled to drink unsafe water; and more than 4.5 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services.

The Panel stresses the need to invest in data for water management and to strengthen water governance mechanisms. It further calls for: an integrated approach to water management; investing more efficiently in disaster risk reduction and in water-related infrastructure; building sustainable cities and human settlements; and strengthening global and international water cooperation. The HLPW also recommends encouraging innovation, promoting partnerships, and increasing finance and institutional support for water issues. Other recommendations include ensuring universal access to safe water and sanitation, and nurturing environmental water.

The Open Letter highlights that the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development,” will commence on 22 March 2018, and the Heads of State and Government on the Panel ask readers to join with them in “committing to valuing water and taking action to address our water challenge within this decade.” [Publication: Making Every Drop Count – An Agenda for Water Action][HLPW Website][Open Letter to Global Leaders] [ UN Secretary-General Receives HLPW Outcome (Press release)] [HLPW video inspires the world to take action (Video) ]


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