On November 29th, 2020, the Association celebrated its 49th anniversary, been established in 1971 in the United States!
And, as it reached its 50th anniversary in 2021, IWRA was pleased to commemorate this important event again with its members, partners and supporters.
Water academics, experts, practitioners, professionals and students were a fundamental piece in the past year’s IWRA activities and initiatives. In particular, during an unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak that has affected the lives of millions in 2020, and the work of countless organisations, globally.
Today, members, partners and supporters building on these activities and initiatives, continue to play an instrumental role in both the Association’s present and future. Their efforts and commitment helped, and reinforce currently, the long IWRA heritage of publications, events and projects, while creating new opportunities and collaboration towards the sustainable use and management of the world water resources.
In the last 12 months, the crucial role of this vital resource to address the water, sanitation and health challenges posed by, for instance, the coronavirus pandemic, became evident. IWRA acknowledged this, and consequently produced a number of outputs with eight issues of its journal Water International, including a recent COVID-19 Commentary Series (Volume 45, Issue 5), and seven IWRA Policy Briefs, also with a dedicated number on “Covid-19 Challenges the Water Sector”. In addition, it was decided to postpone the XVII World Water Congress to next year, from September 12th to September 16th 2021, to take place in Korea in the same city, Daegu, and the same venue, EXCO. This change in dates was done to ensure firstly, travel arrangements and a healthy and secure environment for participants, and secondly, to provide them with a unique place to network and exchange on Water Security and Resilience, as well as the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, and under the world’s new normal, IWRA has organised its first ever Online Conference on “Addressing Groundwater Resilience under Climate Change” from October 28th to October 30th 2020. This very successful event counted with more than 2650 registered participants from over 130 countries, nearly 100 speakers and moderators, 13 sessions with High-Level Panels, and a diverse list of sponsors and supporters representing Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. As well, we have participated and networked in many international water events and meetings, namely OECD’s Water Governance Initiative, the World Water Council’s Board of Governors and Forum, Human Right 2 Water, SIWI’s Source to Sea Platform and Korea International Water Week 2020. We have organised eight IWRA webinars, including one on “Water & COVID-19”, and launched two new member-led task forces on Groundwater, and Young and Early Career Professionals. More activities and initiatives can be found at www.iwra.org.
Both IWRA Executive Office and the Executive Board, looked forward to continuing to work closely with its membership and the international water community in 2021. In particular, in preparation for the Association’s 50th anniversary the following year!
All members, partners and supporters were, therefore, invited to contact the Association to become more engaged and collaborate in order to further address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and other challenges that lie ahead for the sustainable use and management of the world’s water resources in years to come.