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No. 3 (174) February 2010


Prof. Dukhovny V.A. took part in the World Water Council Board of Governors (BoG) meeting that was held in Delft, Netherlands, 27-29 January 2010.

The WWC's Board approved the following nominated members of the WWC Bureau:

  • Loic FAUCHON – President, France;
  • Benedito BRAGA – Vice-President, Brazil;
  • Dogan ALTINBILEK – International Hydropower Association, Turkey
  • Eunkyung PARK, Korea Water Forum, Korea;
  • Jerome DELLI PRISCOLI, US Army Corps of Engineers, USA
  • Andras SZOLLOSI-NAGY, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, International

The WWC Secretariat activity for the last period was concentrated on development of directions designated on the WWC General Assembly. The WWC Directorate jointly with IUCN and IWA has organized series of events related to climate change. Particularly a “Water Adaptation Fund” was proposed to establish. Now the relevant documents are being prepared for mailing to the potential founders and donors. One of the conclusions from the work leading up to and at COP15 is that the water sector needs to take more initiative in its own right to work on climate change and variability. This is a key theme (from the WWC's point of view) that now is becoming more important for achieving the MDGs, especially regarding to food security of developing countries.

The Africa programme has priority in the WWC' activity. The Secretariat has prepared a zero draft report on Africa's prospective challenges and opportunities in developing water as part of wider growth and development agendas. During the Africa Water Week strong attention was attracted to involvement of water users and water management organizations into public initiatives on water governance and management.

The Secretariat has prepared the World Water Council Strategy 2010-2012, incorporating the many suggestions and comments received prior to and during the General Assembly.

The WWC Strategy is focused on 4 objectives:

  • Supporting political action to improve water and sanitation services and water management.
  • Deepening the involvement of major water users in solving global water challenges.
  • Strengthening regional cooperation to achieve water security and economic development.
  • Mobilizing citizens and consumers to address the global water crisis.

The Board of Governors has approved these main objectives (as a whole), but made a lot of comments regarding to expected outcomes and results of some topics.

Objective 1: "Supporting political action to improve water and sanitation services and water management" has 3 outcomes:

  • Supporting Mayors' intention to implement the Istanbul Water Consensus of which signing was began during the 5 World Water Forum. It is supposed to form the Working Group from representatives of local organizations (burgomasters, municipalities, etc.) - total 1000 persons - to generalize their experience and more broad involvement of other local authorities in 2010;
  • Supporting Parlamentarians in their efforts to improve water governance at a national level. The target group will develop a guide on control and supervising by the parlamentarians bodies on water policy development, better water legislation, and especially transboundary cooperation. A series of meetings will be organized with regional parlamentarians, possibly resulting in the establishment of the Global Water Parliament. These meetings will form part of the parliamentarian’s work for the 6th World Water Forum;
  • Supporting Ministers in their efforts to participate in elaboration and strengthening global, regional and national water governance capacities. Focus will be given to the recognition of the rights to water, to the realization of the MDGs on water and sanitation, ratification of existing conventions and elaboration of roadmap on political improvement of water governance During discussion Prof. Dukhovny V.A. has suggested to use a positive experience of Cabinet Ministers and their deputies who can assist to determine and put into practice the developed water management policy. Essential role will be given to highlighting successful implementation of agreements between countries related to this activity.

Objective 2: “Deepening the involvement of major water users in solving global water challenges” has 4 outcomes:

  • Establishing the Working Group "Water - Food - Energy" to define principal global interrelations and to help major stakeholders better understand their inter-dependencies and pressing them to participate in this activity; organization of the workshops of that group;
  • Using COP-15 outcomes to develop proposals on strengthening water activity related to climate change adaptation and to disseminate proposals on establishing the "Water Adaptation Fund". Moreover it is planned to prepare recommendations on preventing the critical situations related to climate change (floods, droughts);
  • Preparing "White Book" about better water disposal and sanitation,addressing to developing countries;
  • Creating innovative platforms for discussing the financing of water sector with investors, financial institutions and decision makers.

Objective 3: “Strengthening regional cooperation to achieve water security and economic development” has 4 outcomes:

  • Synthesizing transboundary management information available for all users; defining series of "best practice" cases on transboundary cooperation; developing economical aspects of interrelationships on transboundary waters;
  • Arranging activity of the Working Group on Transboundary Governance, which was formed during the General Assembly in Marseilles; outlining review of the regional problems in the World; creating the website for dialogue between neighboring countries and defining ways for consensus; in preparing for the 6 World Water Forum, promote regional dialogues targeted to create regional "roadmaps". Initial focus areas include river basins in the Himalayan/South-Asia complex, the Mediterranean region, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia;
  • preparing review of the global and regional challenges, and proposals on improving the global and regional mechanism of transboundary governance;
  • analyzing situation in the large federal states where transbooundary problems are being solved by the federal states or provinces; using their experience to solve interstate problems.

The Board mandated to Prof. Dukhovny V.A. to coordinate works on this topics. Members of the Working Group agreed to consider the concept prepared by Prof. Dukhovny V.A. and the Draft Work Plan (will be disseminated among the working group members) until the end of February 2010 The Governors, who are the members of the Working Group, jointly with the Program Director will consider the Work Plan during the next board meeting in April 2010.

Objective 4: Mobilizing citizens and consumers to address the global water crisis. This objective is to raise awareness of global public on growing water challenges and measures to cope with them.It is planned to organize campaign "Water for All!". There will be close cooperation with the program "Live Earth Water"; activity will include organizing the World Water Pavillion at the World Exhibition "Shanghai Expo 2010". It will also support the activities related to a “International Open Water University” and a number of social events (Water Media Centre, TV programs etc.)

The WWC's President assigned the responsible for main directions of WWC's activity:

  • Water Resources and Demands - Xia JUN (IWRA);
  • Water and Food – P. STEDUTTO (FAO);
  • Water and Nature – Karin KRCHNAK
  • Water and Energy – Jinshen JIA (China)
  • Water and Health – Samir BENSAID;
  • Water and Transboundary Rivers – Victor A. DUKHOVNY, Abdel Fattah METAWIE;
  • Membership – Kenneth REID;
  • Finance – Martine VASSAL.

Preparing to the 6 World Water Forum to be held in 2012 in Marseilles was considered. Persons in charge of various preparing activities to 6th WWF are approved. The Organizing Committee is chaired by Ben BRAGA, Vice-President of WWC, and representative of Marseilles administration. The Logistic organization will be formed on a parity basis from representatives of French organizations and the World Water Council.

The next meeting dedicated to 6WWF with official announcement of the Forum's Program will be held on 22-28 April 2010; there will be considered also the Forum preparation events including regional ones.

The Board of Governors was accompanied familiarization with work of Dutch water management organizations.

Two ministries - Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, and Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment - issued the special edition "Dutch Water Sector 2009-2010" where a huge work on development of national and international water sectors is presented.

The Netherlands know all about living with water. Its thousand years of habitation in a delta area close to sea level has produced an ambivalent relationship: they love water and loathe it. Their permanent battle to control the sea and rivers has made them experts in water management. The experience has taught them two fundamental truths: that water management is a process of continuous innovation and that water management has to be a team effort. That’s why the Netherlands possesses both technological expertise and a deep-rooted willingness to cooperate. The Netherlands have government bodies that are geared up to deal with water, a relevant knowledge infrastructure and, last but not least, a strong public awareness of the issue. “And that we need to tackle problems in a holistic, cross-disciplinary way: water and health, water and spatial planning, water and wildlife, water and energy. This approach is paying off.Oil is a fossil fuel, water a source of life. We may think of alternatives for oil, but not for water. So we must do our utmost best to confront our water problems in a sustainable way.”

The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) established over 10 years ago unites both the governmental (5 ministries dealing with water), regional and provincial bodies, and the Water Committees, as well a number of professional water organizations. The Water Committees were established in 13 century and continue to play now the important role in the wastewater treatment, flood protection caused by river and sea. They implement IWRM including land reclamation, coastal protection, maintenance of ports and terminals, construction of dams etc.

The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) promotes Dutch expertise in water world-wide. Particularly the programmes "Partners for Water" are being implemented by the NWP in collaboration with Agency on International Cooperation for Ganges, Mekong, Nile. When Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the land around the lower Mississippi in 2005 and caused large parts of New Orleans to flood, the Dutch government was quick to offer help. Only a year before the hurricane struck, the governments of the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to collaborate on policy and water resources planning and management. This marked a new phase in the long-standing relationship between the Netherlands and the US, creating opportunities to further explore and share common interests. This has led, for example, to the engagement of a Dutch consortium to deliver a conceptual study on the options for providing better flood protection for New Orleans called the Dutch Perspective. This includes two movable storm surge barriers and marshland creation to substantially reduce storm surge and wave levels in and around New Orleans.

The Dutch experience on cooperation, monitoring and operation of large number of water structures is accompanied by innovations and new programs (e.g. delta protection, climate and water change and others). SIC ICWC intends to issue the special edition dedicated to the Dutch expertise in water management.