Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 23. 24 January 2014 
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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Keep contributing to the water and energy debate!
>> Blog on water, energy and partnership

The UN-Water conference in preparation for World Water Day recognizes cooperation between water and energy and with Governments as vital to securing services required in the near future

World Water Day, celebrated annually on 22 March, is this year dedicated to the theme ’Water and Energy.’ In preparation for the event, 9 UN agencies and programmes plus more than 120 experts, representatives of international companies in the water and energy sector, government and non-governmental organizations met from 13 to 16 January 2014 in Zaragoza, Spain, to address the challenges, relationships and joint solutions that arise in ensuring access, efficiency and sustainability in the provision of water and energy.

Input, conclusions and some important questions were delivered through presentations from experts varied backgrounds and experience. The conference took an inclusive media approach with coverage through a live webcast, reported through twitter feeds, a daily summary and information briefs providing a background on some of the issues discussed. All of this information is available now, to help us prepare for World Water Day.

>> Presentations >> Video recording of sessions >> Daily summaries >> Information briefs

In the news Forthcoming events
#GreenEconomy UN-backed website aims to aid ’Green’-Minded Governments

As the international community lays the groundwork for sustainable development goals after 2015, the United Nations environment agency backed a new website that compiles hundreds of technical and policy resources to help decision-makers transition to green economic growth. "The Green Growth Knowledge Platform provides a much needed tool to bridge knowledge gaps, exchange information and deliver policy guidance to accelerate and support the transition towards green economic development," said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The website features a searchable e-library with over 600 technical and policy resources, as well as dashboards with data and policies for 193 countries.
>> UN press release >> Access Green Growth Knowledge Platform

#HumanRight The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation asks for your feedback for a Handbook on realizing the rights to water and sanitation

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Ms Catarina de Albuquerque, has opened consultation sessions for the handbook on realizing the rights to water and sanitation. Ms. de Albuquerque says it will "provide practical guidance to governments and other actors" and has been arranged according to five areas of practice "legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks, financing and budgeting, service delivery, awareness-raising and accountability." The first consultation session, Chapter 1.1 "Incorporating the rights to water and sanitation into legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks" began on 17 January. You are invited to read and contribute to each chapter, the handbook could become "a useful tool for the rights to water and sanitation, making those rights much more tangible and giving more concrete and condensed guidance to States."
>> Participate in the consultation!

From the Decade’s Programmes
#Water&Energy Information briefs on Water and Energy

In support of the 2014 UN-Water Annual International Conference and in preparation for World Water Day 2014, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) has produced a series of information briefs on different issues and tools. The briefs provide detailed investigations into areas such as the relationship between water and energy in ’a tale of two resources’ which demonstrates interdependency, along with the future challenges, efficiency and policy making impacts of both water and energy. The briefs are a valuable source of information and we encourage you to use and share them.
>> Download information briefs

#Mediterranean Panel discussion on Water, based on the strategy for water in Western Mediterranean

Date: 28 January 2014 Time: 11:00-13:00
Place: Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: UN Permanent Missions of Algeria and Spain

Panel discussion on the strategy for water in Western Mediterranean. All permanent missions, permanent observer missions and non-governmental organizations are invited to attend. For further information, please contact the Permanent Mission of Algeria (e-mail; or the Permanent Mission of Spain (e-mail

#Wetlands World Wetlands Day - Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for growth

Date: 2 February 2014
Place: All over the world

In support of the UN International Year of Family Farming, World Wetlands Day looks at the vital connection between wetlands and agriculture. As Christopher Briggs, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention reminds us "all the water we drink comes from wetlands." However, wetlands are often seen as a barrier to agriculture and are drained to make farming land available. World Wetlands Day aims to highlight the essential partnership between wetlands and agriculture and invites you to use the comprehensive range of materials available in launching your own campaign, spreading awareness and educating those unaware of this important relationship.
>> More info

#Post2015 UNGA thematic debate "Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the post 2015 development agenda"

Date: 18 - 19 February 2014
Place: UN headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: Office of the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)

This thematic debate, which will include participation of Member States, observers, UN Agencies and representatives of civil society, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders, intends to identify the main water, sanitation and sustainable energy challenges that hinder achievement of MDGs and discuss how to tackle these challenges in an integrated manner in the post-2015 agenda. Other key issues approached include ’means of implementation and utilization of ecosystem approaches, science and technology know-how and conservation measures.’
>> More infoPDF document

For Media
#MediaWorkshop UN-Water Journalist Workshop on Water and Energy: Apply by 10 February 2014!

World Water Day, celebrated annually on 22 March, is this year dedicated to the theme ’Water and Energy’. Water and Energy inter-linkages have become vital in the global development agenda. Incorporating the water-energy nexus in future policy making is crucial, as by 2050 water demand could exceed 44% of the annual resources and energy demand could experience a 50% increase. UN-Water recognizes the need for action, which is why, on the occasion of World Water Day 2014, it has organized a media workshop aimed at improving journalists’ understanding of water-energy issues, giving a voice to the challenges the world faces. If you feel you have the passion and ability to report and spread awareness of the water and energy issues that impact us all, please submit your application for the World Water Day Media Workshop. Taking place on 20-21 March 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, journalists will receive media and editorial training in water and energy issues and meet and interview experts participating in World Water Day 2014. Some grants are available to journalists from the Asian region.
>> Information on how to apply

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

  • Water and Sustainability Platform

The Observatory of Sustainability (OSE), Spain, in collaboration with the Expo Zaragoza 2008, has developed the Water and Sustainability Platform. Its purpose is to ensure greater information sharing and participation of all stakeholders and the whole society in water management, with the aim of structuring the knowledge on water and sustainability and the mission of disseminating and encouraging debate in society, new trends, behavior and water management. The Platform joined the Water for Life Decade campaign and contributed to the dissemination of successful experiences in the rational use of water and served as a venue for sharing ideas and experiences through the dissemination of information and knowledge.

  • Master of Water Resources and Environment from the University of Malaga

The Master in Water Resources and Environment (RHYMA) from the University of Malaga has as an overall objective to initiate students who might be interested in a research career. This is a PhD Program which teaches methods and trends in water resources and environment research. Another general objective is to train professionals on advanced and multidisciplinary water resource techniques, capable of understanding the function of aquifers and evaluating, protecting and managing water resources from a sustainable point of view. The Master has joined the Water for Life Decade campaign promoting it amongst its students. Information about the master for the academic year 2013-2014.
>> Contact

  • ZINNAE, Urban Cluster for the efficient use of water

ZINNAE was set up with the purpose of consolidating the city of Zaragoza in Spain as a setting for knowledge, demonstrating and experimenting with the efficient use of water, enabling local companies to be more innovative, therefore, more competitive. This enables the city to attract the innovative activity of actors belonging to this sector, from the rest of Spain and the world. ZINNAE is seeking to bring together the main economical agents that are linked with an efficient use of water in the city of Zaragoza. Such as companies from varied backgrounds (water saving technology, water measuring and meter reading technology, companies linked with the water supply, sanitation and treatment, water facilities, etc.), the main research and training centers in the city, as well as all the local public administrations. ZINNAE has joined the Water for Life Decade campaign and, among other activities, has included the Decade’s logo in its promotional video
>> Contact

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