Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 08. 28 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.

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Every two months, it brings you the latest publications produced by United Nations agencies and programmes on issues related to water and sanitation.


New edition of ’Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award focuses on water and energy

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 information

In the news Forthcoming events
#WaterPost2015 UN-Water launches a web section on Water in the post-2015 process

This new web section describes the role water plays in the post-2015 development agenda and its different components.

>> Visit the web section

#MDGs UN Secretary General will launch MDG report 2013 on the 1st of July

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will launch the 2013 edition of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report at the opening of the high-level segment of the ECOSOC meeting that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, the 1st of July. The report will summarize recent progress made towards the achievement of the MDGs, including target 7.C on water and sanitation.

#Water&Health UNECE launches National Policy Dialogue on water in Kazakhstan

On 21 June 2013 the first meeting of the high-level Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue on water was held in Astana, Kazakhstan. At the meeting, it was agreed to form an expert group to initiate an analysis into the benefits of joining the Protocol on Water and Health to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes — a first considered step towards accession.

>> More info

#Water&Business According to new UN report climate change, water shortages, biodiversity loss will have growing impacts on global business

The future of the private sector will increasingly hinge on the ability of business to adapt to the world’s rapidly changing environment and to develop goods and services that can reduce the impacts of climate change, water scarcity, emissions of harmful chemicals and other environmental concerns. Water scarcity remains a critical challenge for all sectors. These are among the main findings of a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled ’GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on theorporate Sector’.

>> UN Press release >> Access the reportPDF document >> Twitter alert on the latest UN publications on water and sanitation related issues

#Floods Extreme flooding must be ’turning point’ on disaster response — UN official

A United Nations senior official stressed that this year will be a "turning point" in how governments view and respond to extreme weather events, and floods in particular, which are currently affecting several countries across the world. "India, Nepal, Canada and many countries in Europe have experienced huge losses over the last two months due to intense precipitation events which have triggered extreme flooding affecting millions of people’s well-being and livelihoods," said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström. Monsoon rains in India this year are believed to be the heaviest in 80 years, according to media reports, which noted that some 7,000 people are still stranded in the mountains after flash floods and landslides. More than 600 people are confirmed dead so far, while 80,000 have been rescued.

>> Full press release >> Twitter alert on the latest water and sanitation related emergencies reported by the UN system

3 Innovative Ways to Manage Rural Water Supply

With 70% of the world’s extreme poor living in rural areas, and improved water access still lacking for close to 768 million people around the world, investing in safe and sustainable drinking water for rural populations is important to our goal of eradicating extreme poverty within our generation.
By Meleesa Naughton on the World’s Bank Water Blog.

>> Continue reading

From UN Radio

>> Climate change, water shortages, biodiversity loss will have growing impacts on global business: UN report

#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

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

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

#WorldWaterWeek UN-Water agenda at World Water Week

Date: 1-6 September 2013
Place: Stockholm, Sweden

This year the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, will address the theme "Water Cooperation - Building Partnerships" in reflection of World Water Day and the International Year of Water Cooperation. UN-Water will jointly organize and contribute to a series of seminars and events and will also expect you throughout the week at the UN-Water Pavilion in the exhibition area. Some of the events organized include:
Sunday 1 September

  • Seminar’ Triggering Action on Water through the Post-2015 Agenda’

Monday 2 September

  • Side event ’UNSGAB’s Vision through and beyond 2015’
  • Seminar ’Cooperation for Post-2015 Water Targets and their Monitoring’

Tuesday 3 September

  • Side Event ’Progress on Tracking Financing to WASH’

Wednesday 4 September

  • Seminar ’Exploring the Water-Energy Nexus’

Thursday 5 September

  • Seminar ’Water and Energy: Beyond the Nexus’
  • Side Event ’Launch of UN-Water Country Briefs’
  • Seminar ’Broadening Meaning & Practice of Water Operators Partnerships’

>> More info

From the Decade’s Programmes
#WaterCooperation Water cooperation in action: approaches, tools and processes

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) has just released the report ’Water cooperation in action, approaches, tools and processes’. The report summarizes main concepts, challenges, tools and experiences related to water cooperation and highlights key lessons learnt on promoting water cooperation.

>> Access the report

#Drought Capacity development to support national drought management policies: 1st regional workshop for Eastern European countries

Date: 9-11July 2013
Place: Bucharest, Romania

The first regional workshop in the UN-Water initiative on "Capacity Development to Support National Drought Management Policies", established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), will take place in Bucharest, Romania, for countries in the region. This is part of by a series of regional workshops that are taking place throughout 2013 and 2014 in drought-prone regions. The initiative will conclude with a final wrap-up conference in late 2014.

>> More info >> UN-Water Capacity Development Initiative to support National Drought Management Policies

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?

  • Water is life ­ Let’s protect it!

The "Water is Life ­ Let’s protect it!" initiative, implemented by the Slovak Water Research Institute, the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, the Slovak Water Management Enterprise, the Slovak Water Management Construction and the Association of Employers in the Water Sector of Slovakia, has joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade’s Campaign. This initiative aims at promoting knowledge exchange among water experts and public awareness raising. They also promote the ’Water for Life’ Decade’s on a regular basis since 2005, mainly on the occasion of World Water Day, when the national water management conferences take place in Slovakia under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic.

  • EnviroWater

The University Duisburg-Essen and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade’s Campaign with enviroWater 2009, an International Conference and Exhibition on Water in the Environment which took place from 2 to 4 March 2009. The aim of the conference was to provide a forum to facilitate debate and knowledge exchange on water issues among international and regional experts and practitioners. This was a successful conference with 37 oral and 28 poster-presentations. The selected presentations were published in a special issue of the journal "CLEAN" (ISSN 1863-0650, Vol. 37 No. 12, Dec. 2009).

  • 1st edition of the Notte dei Musei 2009, Italy

In the framework of the first edition of the "Notte dei Musei", which took place in Rome, Italy, on 16 May 2009, the Next Generation Act Association, in collaboration with Comune di Roma, Assessorato alle politiche culturali, Assessorato all’ambiente and ACEA, produced and distributed a series of brochures to encourage a wiser use of water. The initiative joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade with an artistic performance "Le dee di Roma e il mito dell’acqua" around the historical meaning of water in the ancient Rome. The initiative also included the installation of water flow reducers in the restrooms of 19 civic museums. These initiatives aimed at raising awareness among the general audience of the meaning and impact of an environmentally friendly use of water.

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