2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Water and Sustainable Development: From Vision to Action. 15-17 January 2015

A Post-2015 Global Goal for Water: Recommendations from UN-Water

The UN-Water (2014) proposed global goal for water “Securing Sustainable Water for All” builds on and extends existing commitments. A global goal for water is fundamental to all other development goals and the proposed framework applies to all countries.

The targets for the goal for water have important explicit and implicit inter-linkages, making them mutually supportive. For example, improving access to drinking water and ensuring it is fairly shared requires good governance, balancing competing demands, and the protection of natural supply systems from pollution and water-related disasters. Furthermore, the goal for water and its targets is of direct importance to addressing other proposed areas within the post-2015 framework, such as health, energy, food, employment, gender equality and environmental sustainability. The water goal and targets thus directly address the development aims of societies, promotes human dignity and ensures achievements are sustainable over the long term leading to the following development outcomes, amongst others. The benefits outweigh by a wide margin the costs they will incur.

These UN-Water suggestions recognize that water needs both a goal in its own right and consideration in the formulation of other goals. Water is much more than a cross-cutting issue - unless the fundamental role of water and the water issues raised in this proposal can be resolved, other important elements of the new development agenda will be unachievable.

Water and water infrastructure is a vital part of the foundations for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and human well-being. The strong interdependencies between water and other fundamentals such as energy and food require clearer recognition. For example, energy production requires water, just as water requires energy for its distribution, treatment and collection. Food production requires both water and energy. At another level, public health or education can only be attained if the water supply and sanitation services of a community operate correctly. Good water management is also a key determinant in eliminating inequalities and gender bias.

The UN-Water paper (A Post-2015 Global Goal for Water: Synthesis of Key Findings and Recommendations from UN-Water. UN-Water, 2014): demonstrates the magnitude and urgency of the task that needs to be accomplished at the global scale. The size of the population without access to clean and safe water and sanitation is measured in billions of people. The demands for freshwater to meet growing human needs, the imperative for wastewater treatment to preserve and protect water quality and action to arrest the impact of nutrient pollution imply a major step change from Business As Usual.

The Conference will deal with some of the main implementation challenges related to some selected topics for each of the five main targets recommended by the UN-Water proposal on the global goal for water. These are:

A. Achieve universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene;
B. Improve by (x%) the sustainable use and development of water resources in all countries;
C. All countries strengthen equitable, participatory and accountable water governance;
D. Reduce untreated wastewater by X%, nutrient pollution by Y% and increase wastewater reuse by Z%;
E. Reduce mortality by (x%) and economic loss by (y%) from natural and human-induced water-related disasters.

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About the Conference

>> Conveners and partners
>> Objectives and expected outcomes
>> Conference flyerPDF Document
>> AgendaPDF Document
>> StructurePDF Document
>> ParticipantsPDF Document


>> Accommodation
>> Travelling to Zaragoza
>> Your stay in Zaragoza
>> Map

The vision

>> Rio+20
>> Water and sustainable development
>> Global commitments on water
>> A post-2015 global goal for water
>> Water and the Open Working Group (OWG)
>> The role of actors involved

The action

>> Capacity development
>> Financing and economic instruments
>> Governance frameworks
>> Technology

Action on…

>> Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
>> Water Resources Management
>> Water Quality
>> Risk management

14 January: Pre-Conference Side events and Technical Visits

>> Technical visit: La Cartuja
>> Technical visit: The Ebro River Basin Authority and its Automatic System for Hydrologic Information (SAIH)
>> Technical visit: Expo + Water Park
>> New sources: Wastewater reuse
>> Local level actions in decentralized water solidarity towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
>> Water Footprint Assessment
>> Technological advances and Water Policy
>> Cultivando Agua Boa Programme
>> CODIA and water and energy in LAC
>> The fulfillment of the human right to water and sanitation

15 January: Setting the scene and the context

>> Achieving sustainable water for all in LAC
>> Achieving water security for Asia and the Pacific
>> Ensuring implementation of the water-related SDGs in Europe
>> Setting the scene

16 January: Whose action?

>> Academia
>> Business
>> Civil society
>> Governments and local authorities
>> Media and Communicators

17 January: Integrating knowledge and the way forward

>> Multi-stakeholder dialogue on tools for implementation


>> Cases
>> Conference daily
>> Conference Communications ReportPDF Document
>> Discussion forum
>> Information briefs on Water and Sustainable Development
>> Interviewing conference participants
>> Overview Papers
>> Presentations from participants
>> Session Reports
>> Tool Papers
>> Toolbox
>> Twitter Activity Report
>> Video recording of sessions
>> Video interviews with conference participants

Promotional materials

>> Conference banners
>> Conference posterPDF document