The purpose of the Award is to promote efforts to fulfill 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 as contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Agenda 21 an the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Best practices shall be aligned with the Water for Life Decade's objectives. Best practices can focus on a variety of subjects such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), adaptation to climate change in the water sector, improvements in water quality, promotion of water efficiency, improvements in water governance, establishment and management of protected areas, and creation of public awareness.
Every year, special emphasis is being put on the theme selected for next World Water Day. This edition's focus is on Water cooperation. Only best practices/projects which have considered this theme will be eligible.
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.
The award consists of:
The prize is awarded at a special ceremony on World Water Day, 22 March.
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 candidatures must be submitted through an independent nominating organisation in a letter of well reasoned justification, signed and dated by the presenter and accompanied by an application form duly filled. The letter should indicate the reasons why the candidature should be selected, describe background that corresponds to the objectives and criteria of the Award, and provide an assessment of the results achieved. Letters may be submitted in any of the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). Please note that self-nominations and direct approaches to members of the Selection Committee will disqualify any nominee from further consideration.
The nominating organisation can be any organisation with sufficient knowledge about the candidate. You need to state your professional and/or business connection in relation to the best practice to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Submitters are encouraged to include the following supporting materials:
The candidatures (letter and application form) should be submitted to the UN Office to Support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015. An original hardcopy should be mailed to:
Oficina de Naciones Unidas de apoyo al Decenio Intenacional para la Acción "El agua, fuente de vida"
Avda. de Cataluña nº 60
50014 Zaragoza. Spain
The date of the postmark or the date stamp of the delivery company will be considered as the date of submission.
Its content may be sent beforehand as a PDF file by e-mail to the Award Secretariat at email@example.com or by fax to the following number: +34-976-478-349.
All submissions received will be acknowledged and assigned a catalogue number by UNW-DPAC for documentation purposes and for eventual inclusion in the Best Practices Database. UNW-DPAC shall inform all submitters the status of their submission.
UNW-DPAC may contact the submitters who shall provide effective assistance by reviewing the documents submitted with the objective of ensuring their compliance with the criteria as well as the rules and regulations of the award and advise them of any further actions required.
All submissions complying with the reporting format shall be forwarded to an independent international Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for review.This advisory committee will evaluate the submitted best practices based on a set of selection criteria.
The TAC shall review all submissions and prepare a comprehensive report including a description of the selection process. This evaluation report will be forwarded to an international Jury for their assessment and final selection of the Award recipients.
The Best Practices Jury shall review evaluation by the TAC to select those initiatives deserving of the “Water for Life” Best Practices Award.
The decisions of the Jury should normally be taken unanimously; if the Jury does not reach unanimity in favour of any of the candidatures submitted, it should take its decision by a simple majority of the members present. In the event of a tie, the President vote would decide.
All submitters will be notified of their status following the final selection by the Jury.
The TAC will first apply the following general criteria in reviewing applications:
A set of specific selection criteria will then be applied for evaluating candidatures in each Category. For a detailed description of criteria applied for each category, please visit the Categories section of this website.