IWRA organises and supports international water congresses and events related to advancing water resources knowledge, policy and management around the world.
About the IWRA World Water Congress
Since 1973, IWRA has held a World Water Congress every three years in various locations around the world.
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 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been established as a plan of action for all countries and all stakeholders, acting in a collaborative approach to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. Water has been identified as a cross-cutting issue across the different 17 SGDs with its own Goal #6 aiming to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. 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. 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 transboundary 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.
XVI World Water Congress in Cancun