Decade's WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 06. 14 June 2013 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week it brings you the latest news from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

Tip of the week

The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) are pleased to announce the opening of the 4th edition of the ’Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award.

The purpose of the Award is to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

The Award is open to projects or programmes achieving particularly effective results in the field of water management or in raising awareness in water issues.

The prize is awarded yearly in two categories, one in ’best water management practices’ and another one in ’best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices’.

This edition’s focus is on Water and Energy as World Water Day 2014 is dedicated to this important issue. Application period is open from 21 June to 15 September 2013.

>> More info
In the news Forthcoming events
#Tourism&Water World Tourism Day Essay Competition

On the occasion of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations on 27 September, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is organizing the first ever WTD Essay Competition! Considering water as both a tourism resource and an asset, the essay should stress the importance of water planning and sustainable management as a powerful instrument for tourism development and green growth in the tourism sector. Furthermore, the essay should target a wide audience and is expected to be easy and engaging to read. Participate! Deadline closes on 30 June 2013.

>> More info

#Water&Population According to new UN report, World’s population is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050

The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the report World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa. The report notes that India is expected to become the world’s largest country, passing China around 2028. Nigeria’s population is expected to surpass that of the United States before 2050. Population growth patterns and its water and sanitation implications will need to be taken into consideration in the Post2015 agenda.

>> Press release >> World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision

#Sanitation Ending Open Defecation, Not by Evidence Alone

Open defecation – going outside without using a toilet or latrine – is one of the most important threats to child health and human capital, period; ending it must be a policy priority. Do you believe us? You should. A diverse, rigorous range of evidence is accumulating, indicating that open defecation kills infants and stunts the growth of young bodies and minds.
By Jaehyang So and Dan Spears on the World’s Bank Water Blog. Jaehyang So participates in session ’Water in a Changing World of Growth Opportunities’ at 6th Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.

>> Continue reading

From the Decade’s Programmes
#Wastewater Safe Use of Wastewater in Agriculture

This project, coordinated by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), brings together the expertise of FAO, WHO, UNEP, UNU-INWEH, IWMI and ICID. In 2012 and 2013, five regional workshops were conducted within the project throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, reaching more than 150 participants from 70 countries, mostly representatives from ministries at various levels. On 26-28 June 2013 the wrap-up of this UN-Water project will take place in Tehran, Iran.

>> More info

#Internships UNW-DPAC internship application period is open

The United Nations Office to support the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), which is located in Zaragoza, Spain, provides opportunities for students enrolled in a Master’s or a post graduate programme to undertake an internship. Interested students who meet the eligibility criteria can submit their application after reading the conditions of the internship programme.

>> More info

#Desertification World Day to Combat Desertification 2013: Don’t let our future dry up!

Date: 17 June 2013

This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification theme is drought and water scarcity. This year’s slogan, "Don’t let our future dry up" calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought. The slogan embodies the message that we are all responsible for water and land conservation and sustainable use, and that there are solutions to these serious natural resources challenges.

>> More info

#Water&Media 6th Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum: The Future of Growth. Economic Values and the Media

Date: 17-19 June 2013 Time: 2pm
Place: World Conference Centre, Bonn, Germany

The 2013 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum will provide the setting to develop and communicate interdisciplinary approaches to building an economy fit for the future. On 18 June, the workshop Water in a Changing World of Growth Opportunities will focus on smart investments in water resources and water services which can drive growth, and reduce poverty and adverse economic impacts.

>> More info

#SDGs Special event "The road to a global goal on water"

Date: 18 June 2013 Time: 08:15am
Place: Conference Room 6. UN Headquarters. New York, USA
Organizers: Steering Committee of the Friends of Water (UN Permanent Missions of Finland, Hungary, Tajikistan and Thailand), UN Permanent Mission of Switzerland

For further information please contact: esther.may(at)

#HumanRight Meeting of Experts on Tariff and Regulatory Policies in the framework of the MDGs and Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Date: 8 July 2013
Place: Santiago, Chile
Organizers: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

The objectives of this meeting are: to analyze current development issues on the water and sanitation sector, including those related to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), regulation and supervision challenges under a public model of water services, regional trends, the state of the art on tariff policies and implications of the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation; exchange experiences between regulatory organisations in the region; and define future working priorities with a focus on new themes.

>> More info

Latest videos

Tajikistan: Water in the Wakhan Valley
A failing irrigation system in the mountains of Tajikistan worries farmers who struggle to protect their land and livelihoods. With the help of a sustainable land management project supported by the United Nations and the Global Environment Facility, a network of canals that connect the water source from the Panj river to the farmlands and orchards have been repaired, allowing the people of the town of Ishkashim to preserve their unique environment.

Indonesia: Surviving the flood
At the beginning of 2013, Lemusa village in Indonesia suffered severe damage from mud when a flood caused a massive landslide. Most people lost their farms - a main source of income. The International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, is helping farmers to diversify their source of income by providing funding to start their own businesses.

>> Videos accessible from the UN water video library

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?
  • Sisters of Charity

The Earth Committee of the organization Sisters of Charity has taken Water as one of the primary issues for education and advocacy over the years. In this matter, the Water for Life Decade logo has been used on website and in newsletters whenever an article about water was published, calling attention to the work of the UN regarding water; on three yearly displays at the yearly NY Catholic Teacher’s Institute; at various environmental fairs.

  • Wyland Foundation

The Wyland Foundation has helped children and families around the US to rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways through public art programs, classroom science education, and live events. The foundation is a non-profit organization and has worked directly with more than one million children since its inception in 1993. The Wyland Foundation joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign by developing the following activities:

  • The Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Center is a bilingual (English/Spanish) travel exhibit on water for schools, events, or community centers.
  • FOCUS is a unique partnership launched on June 11, 2009 between the US Forest Service, national ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Wyland foundation that inspires water conservation and natural resource appreciation from the forest to the sea. It is targeted for young people to become clean water ambassadors working within their communities
  • Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation is a friendly competition between cities locally and across the nation to see who can be the most "water wise". The program provides opportunities for people to participate in localize online pledge drives to save energy, reduce landfill waste, and encourage overall resource conservation by reducing their "water footprint". At the same time, participants have opportunities to win prizes for their city.

  • Hotel Magellan, Paris

The Hotel Magellan has decided to invite its guests to save water every time it is possible during their stay in the hotel. Special measures have been undertaken, such as water saving systems on taps, showers and toilets flushes, as well as information notices in all bathrooms explaining how to use towels and bath linen such as to use it properly and ask for change only when it is really necessary. The hotel has illustrated this information notice with the logo of the Water for Life Decade.

Want to be part of the Decade’s campaign? Join us!