News archives 2014

2014 edition of UN Water 'Water for Life' Awards goes to India and Singapore!

2014 edition of UN Water 'Water for Life' Awards goes to India and Singapore!

21 March 2014 - The 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award intends to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices which can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets.

The 2014 edition, which focuses on 'Water and Energy', has been awarded on 21 March during the official UN ceremony of World Water Day 2014 taking place at UNU Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. Category 1 'Best water management practices' has been awarded to a project focusing on policy research in co-management of energy and groundwater in India: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Water Policy Programme (ITP). Category 2 'Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices' has been awarded to a project focusing on wide-scale implementation and public engagement plan of reclaimed water in Singapore: the 'NEWater programme'.
>> Full press releasePDF document
>> More information on the Award and finalists


UN expert urges long-term, rights-based approach to water crisis in Jordan

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque

17 March 2014 - Following a six day mission in Jordan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, has stated that "Jordan is at a critical moment, the existing emergency measures to the water scarcity problem are not sufficient or sustainable". Jordan is one of the three most water scarce countries in the world. The severe water scarcity has been exacerbated by drought, depletion of groundwater reserves, population growth, inflow of migrant workers and climate change. This combined with several waves of refugees resulting from conflicts in the region, the latest from Syria, has increased these pressures. The Special Rapporteur will present a formal report on this mission to an upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in September.
>> Full UN News press release
>> Read the end of mission statement by the Special Rapporteur


Apply to the 2nd edition of the online course on International Water Law

UNITAR logo

17 March 2014 - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the University of Geneva through the platform for International Water Law are opening the 2nd edition of their online course, which will take place between 2 June and 4 July 2014. The course aims to provide professionals involved in negotiating or implementing treaties on or related to freshwater resources with an advanced knowledge of the principles and norms that govern the use, sharing, management and protection of water resources. Deadline for application is 11 May 2014.
>> More information


Free online course offers supported learning on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage

Free online course offers supported learning on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage

13 March 2014 - The World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre has launched a series of online courses on water and sanitation. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) series has been created in collaboration with the Swiss University EPFL. The first installment 'Introduction to Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS)' begins 7 April 2014 and will run for 5 weeks. The course, which requires only 6–8 hours per week, will start by looking at the global burden of disease from unsafe drinking water; water contamination – microbial, chemical, physical aspects of water quality; how does drinking water become unsafe?; what is HWTS?; how does HWTS fit in with MDGs and whatever will follow them? In the following weeks, these aspects will be explored more deeply through treatment options, implementation strategies and assessing the impact of HWTS. The course is free of charge and simply requires an internet connection and an interest in drinking water quality. Sign up today!
>> Register for the course


20th edition of Bimonthly Publications Review is online!

20th edition of Bi-monthly Publications Review

6 March 2014 - Every two months, the UNW-DPAC Bimonthly Publications Review brings you the latest publications produced by United Nations agencies and programmes on issues related to water and sanitation. The 20th edition contains 26 publications on a variety of topics including: the Post-2015 process, river basin case studies, guidance manuals, information briefs, tool kits and many more. For useful technical, research or media reference download the bi-monthly now and access the electronic version of these publications from the UN-Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation.
>> Bimonthly publications review 20PDF document


Energy production and water supply interdependent, and both at risk, shows new UN report

World Water Development Report: Water and Energy3 March 2014 - Demand for energy production will increase significantly in coming decades, especially in emerging economies. This may have a negative impact on water resources unless the management and coordination between both domains is dramatically improved. This is one of the key findings of the United Nations World Water Development Report 2014 (WWDR), which will be launched in Tokyo (Japan) on 21 March, World Water Day. The Report is under embargo until 21 March. Advance access is available to the media on demand.
>> More information


2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference will focus on Water and Sustainable Development: from Vision to Action

Water for Life Decade Logo

25 February 2014 - The post-2015 agenda for water will be decided upon in 2015! The 2015 UN-Water International Zaragoza will kick off the year discussing the agenda ahead and its implementation. In preparation for World Water Day 2015, which will focus on 'water and sustainable development,' more than 300 participants from UN agencies and programmes, experts, representatives from business communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations will meet to discuss the steps towards a sustainable post-2015 agenda. The Conference will deal with some of the main implementation challenges related to the five main targets recommended by the UN-Water synthesis document on a Global Goal for Water "Securing Sustainable Water for All"PDF document
>> Download the Conference leafletPDF document


African Ministerial Conference on Green Economy told valuation of ecosystem critical to Africa's growth by UN Environment Programme

African Ministerial Conference on Green Economy told valuation of ecosystem critical to Africa's growth by UN Environment Programme

23 February 2014 - During the African Ministerial Conference on Green Economy which took place from 22 to 23 February in Oran, Algeria, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, told regional leaders of the need to place value on natural resources. Mr Steiner said "An inclusive green economy has the potential to improve human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities." The conference intended to involve the international community in forming a new Post-2015 development agenda to succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
>> Read Achim Steiners full address
>> UN News press release


UN-Water technical advice on a Global Goal for Water delivered at side event during UN General Assembly thematic debate

UN-Water technical advice on a Global Goal for Water delivered at side event during UN General Assembly thematic debate

20 February 2014 - The UN-Water side event organized during the UN General Assembly thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda presented the results of a year-long expert consultation among UN-Water’s 31 UN system Members and 36 international partners. The synthesis report suggested a global goal with five measurable and interlinked targets and was well received by participants, including Member States.
>> Summary of side event
>> Download synthesis of key findings and recommendations for a post-2015 global goal for waterPDF document


Water scarcity among critical food security issues in Near East and North Africa

Water scarcity among critical food security issues in Near East and North Africa

20 February 2014 - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that water scarcity is one of the most urgent food security issues facing countries of the Near East and North Africa, with freshwater availability in the region expected to drop by 50 per cent by 2050. FAO’s warning comes as ministers of agriculture and national officials prepare to tackle the issue at a meeting of the organization’s highest regional governing body beginning next Monday.
>> Full press release


UN General Assembly thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda concludes calling for ambitious Sustainable Development Goals on water and energy

UN General Assembly thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy

19 February 2014 - United Nations officials warned of the importance of the water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises amidst the World’s imminent development challenges during the UN General Assembly debate that urged Member States to initiate integrated policies and innovative strategies in response to these issues. The Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized the importance of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene stating that they “must feature prominently in the post-2015 development agenda.” In addition, the effects of climate change on the water, sanitation and energy nexus were brought into question, in response the UN Secretary General intends to convene a climate Summit on 23 September for global leaders.
>> More information
>> Statements by country representatives and UN Deputy Secretary-General
>> Video recording of Opening segment and Panel 1 "The water and sanitation challenge"
>> Video recording of Panel 2 "The sustainable energy challenge"
>> Video recording of Panel 3 "The water-energy nexus"


Call for papers for the 11th Annual Meeting of the International Water Resource Economics Consortium (IWREC): deadline is 28 February

Call for papers for the 11th Annual Meeting of the International Water Resource Economics Consortium (IWREC): deadline is 28 February

17 February 2014 - In preparation for the IWREC meeting, 7-9 September 2014, to be hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC under the theme “Efficiency and Water Conservation: Methodologies and Case Studies” the organizers are accepting papers until 28 February. Papers submitted must be within the following topics: Water and economic growth, residential water efficiency and conservation, integration of water for energy and energy for water, agricultural water productivity versus efficiency and conservation, water reuse and recycling, climate change and efficiency of water supply and use.
>> More information


Thematic paper for debate of the UN General Assembly “Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the post-2015 development agenda” released

Logo of the United Nations

17 February 2014 - In preparation for the thematic debate that took place at the UN Headquarters, New York, on 18-19 February 2014, a paper detailing the discussions that took place, their proposed outcomes and suggested questions was released. The debate had a look at Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy individually in three roundtable events as well as their inter-linkages. It also discussed how the challenges they propose will be approached through the Post-2015 development agenda. The thematic paper provided each roundtable event with a list of suggested questions to inspire debate as well as a summary of the points to be covered.
>> Thematic paperPDF document


UN-Water presents a synthesis of key findings and recommendations for a post-2015 global goal for water

Synthesis of key findings and recommendations for a post-2015 global goal for water

5 February 2014 - UN-Water has presented a paper summarizing key findings and recommendations for a post-2015 global goal for water. The paper, which was approved at the UN-Water meeting on 27 January 2014, is the result of a broad technical consultation process among UN-Water members and partners, as well as a range of other stakeholders and aims to inform, provide advice and recommendations in support to Member States in their decision-making process on the post-2015 development agenda. It proposes a set of potential targets and indicators to support a dedicated global goal for water and contributes towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) consultation process.
>> Download and share the paperPDF document


Participate in WWD Photo competition! Deadline is 28 February

World Water Day Photo competition

4 February 2014 - How would you best illustrate the challenges of water and energy? In preparation for World Water Day 2014 (WWD2014), a photo competition is being held to provide a visual platform for the discussions. Participate, and not only win the chance to have your photo displayed during the World Water Day celebrations 20-21 March, Tokyo, Japan, but also help create a visual impact for an issue that affects us all. If you have an eye for an image and want to aid a global issue, get snapping!
>> Submission guidelines
>> Participate through Facebook


‘Code for Resilience Hackathon’ launches a call to help reduce disaster risk in Asia

Code for Resilience Hackathon Logo.

4 February 2014 - A ‘hackathon’ is an event in which innovative software and hardware designers approach disaster risk challenges by working on ‘hacks’ using open source software applications, or developing new tools, such as rain gauges outfitted with remote sensing devices. Code for Resilience, a collaborative World Bank initiative, is working with local partners and organizing hackathons in cities across Asia, where high population density and rapid urbanization make communities vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters. Get involved and contribute with your project or sign up for local hackathons events!.
>> Code for Resilience website


Launch of 1st e-discussion on realizing the rights to water and sanitation

UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

29 January 2014 - The UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, launches a round of e-discussions on the Handbook for realizing the rights to water and sanitation. The discussions aim to identify the key barriers, challenges and opportunities that stakeholders encounter in realizing the rights to water and sanitation. This first discussion, which runs from 29 January to 10 February 2014, focuses on general experiences in supporting access to water and sanitation including some of the main challenges of discrimination in service delivery in realizing the rights to water and sanitation. This is an important opportunity to share experiences, good practices and lessons learned on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in ensuring access to water and sanitation, so be sure to participate.
>> Participate in or follow the discussion


Save the date! World Water Development Report 2014 (WWDR2014) on Water and Energy to be launched on 21 March 2014

Save the date! World Water Development Report 2014 (WWDR2014) on Water and Energy to be launched on 21 March 2014

28 January 2014 – Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy and energy is needed at all states of water production. WWDR2014, to be launched during the main World Water Day celebrations in Tokyo, Japan, on 21 March 2014, describes the water-energy interlinkages, constraints, challenges, impacts and opportunities. The report also provides examples of actions and responses that can provide mutually beneficial outcomes and the most recent data on current projected growth in the demand for water and energy.
>> Download Save the Date! card and help promote the message!
>> Visit the WWDR2014 dedicated section


UN-backed website aims to aid ‘Green’-Minded Governments

Green Growth Knowledge Platform logo

22 January 2014 – As the international community lays the groundwork for sustainable development goals after 2015, the United Nations environment agency today 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.
>> Access Green Growth Knowledge Platform


UN-Water Journalist Workshop on Water and Energy: Apply by 10 February 2014!

UN-Water logo

21 January 2014 – World Water Day, celebrated annually on 22 March, is this year dedicated to the theme ‘Water and Energy’. On this occasion, UN-Water is organizing a media workshop aimed at improving journalists’ understanding of water-energy issues and giving a voice to the challenges the world faces. If you feel you have the passion and ability to report and help 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


World Bank releases new ‘Thirsty Energy’ infographics

World Bank releases new ‘Thirsty Energy’ infographics

21 January 2014 – The World Bank has released a set of infographics which demonstrate the energy and water’s interdependencies. The infographics aim to demonstrate some of the facts surrounding the water-energy challenge and hopefully take this information to those that may not be aware of it. The data maps the journey of the water-energy nexus as far as 2050, exploring the global effects of increased demand, how this will impact vulnerable, developing countries, risks for the energy sector and where and how it is already happening.
>> Download the ‘Thirsty Energy’ infographics


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

Water and Sanitation.

20 January 2014 – 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.
>> Participate in the consultation!


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

2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference

2 billion more people will need access to water and energy by 2050.

16 January 2014. – World Water Day, which is 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 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.

Presentations, recordings of sessions and different information materials on water and energy are available on the Conference website.

>> Conference website
>> Press release summarizing main conclusions, 16 January 2014PDF document.



2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy. 13-16 January 2014
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UNW-DPAC. February 2014
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