Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 07. 21 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

World Refugee Day

Date: 20 June 2013

World Refugee Day is held every year on 20 June. According to the latest UN Refugee Agency Global Trends Report, 45.2 million people were displaced in 2012, the highest level since 1994. The year 2012 was marked by refugee crises reaching levels unseen in the previous decade. Conflicts such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the border area between South Sudan and Sudan forced more than 1.1 million refugees into neighbouring countries. An average of 3,000 people per day became refugees in 2012, five times more than in 2010.

Timely and adequate provision of clean water and sanitation services to uprooted people is particularly important, given the vulnerability of their situation.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that more than half the refugee camps in the world are not able to provide the recommended minimum daily water requirement of 20 litres per person; while some 30 percent of camps do not have adequate waste disposal and latrine facilities.

>> Access to a selection of UN publications on Water and Refugees >> Access the latest UNHCR Global Trends Report

In the news Forthcoming events
#Water&Energy New edition of ’Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award focuses on water and energy

The 4th edition of the ’Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award opens for applications.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

#UNSGAB UN Secretary-General appoints Prince of Jordan chairman of UNSGAB

On 10 June 2013, UN Secretary-General appointed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).

>> More info

#WaterCooperation Latin American countries express interest in UNECE experience in transboundary water cooperation

Some 100 experts from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss how the region might benefit from the experience and lessons learned in transboundary water cooperation from the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes on 11-12 June 2013. The strong participation from the region proved the importance of this topic, and recognized the need to reinforce cooperation in this field.

>> UNECE press release >> UNECLAC press release and video message from its Executive Secretary >> Presentations and background documents

#Drought More must be done to prepare Pacific small islands for droughts, UN official warns

With thousands of people in the Marshall Islands without access to safe drinking water, the head of the United Nations office for disaster risk reduction warned that Pacific small islands are threatened by drought and need to incorporate mitigation measures into their national planning and risk assessments.

>> Press release

From the Decade’s Programmes
#UNWaterPublications Agreement to improve access to UN publications on water and sanitation

Organized by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), the 6th UN Water Dialogue of Casa Solans concluded with an agreement to facilitate access to UN publications on water and sanitation issues among Spanish environmental information and documentation centres.

>> More info

#WaterCrisis Why a 4-Degrees World Won’t Cause Just One Water Crisis

There is much talk of a water crisis. We who work in water don’t really see just one; we see lots of different water crises already now, getting worse as we move towards 2 and eventually 4 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. Floods in some places, droughts in others, poor operation and maintenance making infrastructure unable to protect citizens in some places, lack of enforcement of rules leading to pollution crises or rampant overuse of groundwater in many others. So there are lots of water crises, some caused by nature, some by humans and most some a combination of the two.
By Julia Bucknall on the World’s Bank Water Blog.

>> Continue reading

#FoodSecurity International Conference on Policies for Water and Food Security in the Dry Areas

Date: 24-26 June 2013
Place: Cairo, Egypt
Organisers: ICARDA, FAO, IFPRI, IWMI, IFAD and others

Sound policies for food security and agricultural water management are critical for national economies ­ and particularly for dryland areas, where water resources are already scarce and declining rapidly. The development of such policies requires an assessment of the current state of knowledge; the lessons learned from research and development programs in different countries; and a better understanding of the inter-relationships between water policies, food security, employment and the environment. The conference will examine the effectiveness of current and alternative water and food policy options, and identify strategies to enhance land and water productivity, food security, employment generation and livelihoods.

>> More info

#Hydrology 49th session of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) Bureau

Date: 25-26 June 2013
Place: Paris, France

This intergovernmental meeting will review the results of IHP-VII activities, the status of UNESCO’s category 1 and category 2 water-related Institutes and centres, recent IHP initiatives including actions in the post-2015 development agenda and the International Year of Water Cooperation, as well as cooperation on freshwater issues with the UN system and other organizations.

>> More info

#MDGs 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 infoAvailable in Spanish

#WaterCooperation High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation

Organizers: Government of Tajikistan in collaboration with UN agencies
Date: 20-21 August 2013
Place: Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The main objective of this conference is to contribute to the improvement of water cooperation, in particular at transboundary level, by promoting successful policies, best practices and wider public participation, and encouraging policy makers to promote water cooperation at all levels in order to achieve internationally agreed goals on water. The conference will also provide an opportunity to discuss and develop new measures aimed at accelerating efforts towards the MDGs and recommendations for further action after 2015.

>> More info

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words

>> World’s Bank water photo gallery on Flickr >> More UN water photobanks and galleries

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?
  • CLAVIM Association, Ville d’Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

From 10 to 30 November 2007, through the initiative "Mal de terre. Mal à l’enfance", CLAVIM (Cultures, Loisirs, Animations de la Ville d’Issy-les-Moulineaux) offered a rich program of shows, events, exhibitions, documentary showings and concerts in many different places throughout Issy in France, with the common thread of water and the aim to raise awareness among the local people of Issy on water-related issues through artistic events. Themes the initiative dealt with were: sustainable development, water scarcity and desertification, agriculture, green energy.

  • India Flint with the initiative ‘watermarks’

India Flint joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade Campaign with the exhibition ’watermarks’, which features natural dyed textiles which only use water and leaves in the dyeing process. The exhibit opened in Sydney, Austraila, and was followed by two other exhibitions, one in the Adelaide Festival Centre Artspace and another one in the Nob Hill Masonic Centre in San Francisco, USA. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue comprising various essays discussing ecologically sustainable dyeing techniques as well as the importance of water and sustainable textile practice. India Flint has published two books on sustainable dye and textile practice (Eco Colour in 2008, Second Skin in 2011] and her simple dye methods are now practiced around the world.

  • Timeless Waters to Waterless Times

The visual artist Namita Kulkarni joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade campaign with a series of paintings themed on the water crisis. Her aim is to raise awareness about the water crisis and the importance of water to humanity.
Contact: Artist’s Facebook page

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