Since 1973, IWRA has held a World Water Congress every three years in various locations around the world.
The objective of the World Water Congress is to provide a meeting place to share experiences, promote discussion, and to present new knowledge, research results and new developments in the field of water sciences around the world. For almost four decades the World Water Congresses have been excellent events for the identification of major global themes concerning the water agenda; and for the bringing together of a large cross-section of stakeholders for the development and implementation of decisions in the field of water.
Over the last thirty years, the debates and discussions about global water issues have become increasingly important in scientific, professional and inter-governmental forums. The United Nations has overseen several conventions regarding water problems such as biodiversity, desertification and the Kyoto protocols. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) have been established in order to plan, evaluate and harmonise development policies around the world. Water has been identified as a cross-cutting issue across the different Objectives and Goals of the MDGs. These conventions, meetings, engagements and debates arise from the shared knowledge and perspectives of the state, usage, key questions, future challenges and potential solutions in the field of fresh water resources. Despite the importance of this knowledge and a strong awareness of the issues, the world is still confronted with water resources issues that are characterised by:
ever more significant water shortages
an incapacity to offer universal access to safe drinking water
a global deterioration in water quality
diminishing financial means for water resources development
a growing vulnerability to climate change and extreme natural events
fragmented water management systems
international legislation that is not well adapted to the resolution of trans-boundary conflicts.
It is established that action must be taken at the local level.
However, concerted efforts are also essential parallel to this at the regional and global level in order to achieve a significant and sustainable impact.
Previous IWRA World Water Congresses:
Dates: 25-29 September, 2011
Theme: "Adaptive Water Management: Looking to the Future"
Dates: 1-4 September, 2008
Theme: "Global Changes and Water Resources"
XIIth World Water Congress in New Delhi, India
Dates: 22-25 November, 2005
Theme: "Water for Sustainable Development, Towards Innovative Solutions "
XIth World Water Congress in Madrid, Spain
Dates: 5 – 9 October, 2003
Theme: "Water Resources Management in the 21st Century"
Xth World Water Congress in Melbourne, Australia
Dates: 12 – 16 Mars, 2000
Theme: "Sharing and Caring for Water"
IXth World Water Congress in Montreal, Canada
Dates: 1 – 6 September, 1997
Theme: "Water Resources Outlook for the 21 st Century: Conflicts and Opportunities"
VIIIth World Water Congress in El Cairo, Egypt
Theme: "Satisfying Future National and Global Water Demands"
VIIth World Water Congress in Rabat, Morocco
Date: 13 – 18 May, 1991
Theme: "Water for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century"
VIth World Water Congress in Ottawa, Canada
Date: 29 May – 3 June, 1988
Theme: "Water for World Development"
Vth World Water Congress in Brussels, Belgium
Date: 9 – 15 June, 1985
Theme: "Water Resources for Rural Areas and their Communities"
IVth World Water Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: 5 – 9 September, 1982
Theme: "Water for Human Consumption: Man and his Environment"
IIIrd World Water Congress in Mexico City, Mexico
Date: 23 April, 1979
Theme: "Water for Human Survival"
IInd World Water Congress in New Delhi, India
Date: 12 – 16 December, 1975
Theme: "Water for Human Needs"
Ist World Water Congress in Chicago, U.S.A.
Date: 24 – 28 September, 1973
Theme: "Importance and Problems of Water in the Human Environment in Modern Times"