World Water Week, which convened this year on the theme 'Energy and Water,' closed with a call for inclusion of a standalone water target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the post-2015 development agenda.
5 September 2014: World Water Week, which convened this year on the theme ‘Energy and Water,’ closed with a call for inclusion of a standalone water target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the post-2015 development agenda.
World Water Week, organized annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on various themes, brought together over 3000 participants from 31 August – 5 September 2014, in Stockholm, Sweden. Key collaborating partners for the meeting included the World Bank, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and IUCN.
The meeting aimed to address issues related to the water-energy nexus, highlighting the inter-relationship between these two sectors, including: the demographic and economic drivers of energy and water demand; ways to balance societal uses of energy and water; energy and water in a vulnerable and changing environment; coordination of energy and water policies and governance; ways to address the economic and financial aspects of water and energy; ways to develop information and decision support systems for energy and water; and ways to bridge the science-policy-people interface for energy and water.
Sessions addressed a variety of issues related to water and energy, inter alia: public private partnerships (PPPs); capacity development; energy and water scarcity; corporate water stewardship; hydropower; regional issues in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Asia; climate change; irrigation subsidies; water and shale energy; green growth; and urban development.
Sessions also addressed non-energy-related water issues including: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); transboundary water cooperation; water in the post-2015 development agenda; gender and water; water diplomacy; and integrated water resources management (IWRM).
During the meeting three prizes were awarded: the Stockholm Industry Water Award was awarded to eThekwini Water and Sanitation, Durban, South Africa; the 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize went to Hayley Todesco, Canada, for developing a sand-filter based water treatment system; and the Stockholm Water Prize was presented to John Briscoe, South Africa, for the contributions made over the course of his career in the fields of water management.
The meeting included the issue of the 2014 Stockholm Statement, which built on the theme of the 2013 Stockholm Statement, which called for an SDG on water. The Stockholm Statement comprises five thematic videos and papers on: health; sustainable growth; agriculture; energy; and climate.
The videos and papers highlight the benefits of a standalone water SDG for each of the themes, emphasizing that: access to safe, affordable water and appropriate sanitation is a human right and universal access should be achieved by 2030; poorly managed water causes serious social and economic challenges, but if managed well can actually be a source of prosperity; to deliver sustainable energy globally, water resources must be managed more efficiently; and a balanced approach to water management must be part of, and integrated into, any strategies to reduce risks for disasters and to mitigate and adapt to climate change. [Conference Website] [SIWI Press Release 1] [SIWI Press Release 2] [SIWI Press Release 3] [SIWI Press Release 4] [UNESCO-IHE Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [UNW-DPAC Press Release] [World Bank Press Release] [SWA Press Release] [WSSCC Press Release 1] [WSSCC Press Release 2]