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Since 1973, every three years IWRA organizes and supports events related to advancing water resources knowledge, policy and management around the world.

The World Water Congresses aims to provide a meeting place to share experiences, promote discussion, and present new knowledge, research results and new developments in the field of water policy and science from around the world. For more than four decades, World Water Congresses have been the breeding ground for identification of major global themes concerning the water agenda as well as for bringing together a large cross-section of stakeholders for the development and implementation of decisions in the field of water. 


Overall theme of the XVIth World Water Congress

Bridging Science and Policy


Water is a vital resource for humanity. It is a crosscutting component of all social, economic and environmental activities. It is a condition for all life on our planet, an enabling or limiting factor for any social and technological development, a source of wellbeing and misery, and all-to-often a basis for conflict and cooperation.


While humanity has widely recognized the imperative of water and sharing, it has not always implemented sound approaches to the utilization, conservation, protection, and administration of the resource. One of the key challenges has been the disconnect between scientific knowledge and policy actions, between those making scientific and technological discoveries and advancements, and those who can mobilize governmental and societal adoption and implementation through practical and robust policies.


The objective of the XVIth World Water Congress was to bridge these gaps in knowledge, communication, and coordination. In particular, it aimed to link professionals with information and experiences related to water resources at all levels, with experts working on key global water agendas and strategies. Accordingly, the Congress was targeted at natural and social scientists, practitioners, and technological innovators, as well as policy and decision-makers, financial stakeholders and investors, legal and regulatory specialists, and groups involved in capacity building. Additionally, the Congress was designed to catalyse cooperation and coordination among these professionals in order to facilitate global goals and strategies related to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to water, as well as agreements under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, thematic priorities of past and upcoming World Water Forums, and other water-related programs.


In order for us to achieve solutions for the multiple water challenges facing our world, we must strengthen the linkages between science and policy; we must facilitate active dialogue throughout the water community and learn how to translate across disciplines and professions; and we must find opportunities to align our objectives and approaches toward problem solving. By collaborating and combining all of our efforts, by bridging and fortifying relations among scientists and policymakers, we will ensure a more sound future for the world we leave to our children.

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