It is a great honour to have been elected as President of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) for the 2022–24 term. It is my privilege to continue to be part of and to lead this outstanding association. I would like to thank IWRA members for placing their confidence in me. I would also like to offer a special thanks not only to previous IWRA presidents over the past decades for their unremitting efforts, but also to the new board members with whom I look forward to working. I’m proud to say that this is one of the most diverse Executive Boards we’ve ever had. Last but not least, I want to offer a big thanks to our outstanding Executive Office team for overseeing IWRA’s daily operations.
This is the first IWRA Update newsletter since the new Executive Board took up its duties at the beginning of this year. We’ve been off to a great start. We held our inaugural meeting in January and our first full Board meeting in March. The new Governance Committee also conducted 2 regular meetings over the past 3 months. We have discussed IWRA’s strategic direction for the 2022-2024 term, focusing on how to improve our current structure and the diversity of the Executive Board–including the delegation of duties for Vice Presidents as well as the development of new Committees, etc.
IWRA is a professional water-related, cross-disciplinary, membership-focused, international association, and it accomplishes its goals through a wide variety of activities. Over the next three years, IWRA will work to enhance our leading roles in the following four aspects: first, IWRA aims to explore and produce more influential knowledge products through Task Forces, research projects, congresses, case studies, master classes, and more. Second, IWRA will keep organizing high-level and influential activities and events, therefore attracting more people across all sectors, scales, and communities at the interface between science and policy. Third, IWRA will continue to contribute meaningfully to the global water agenda through cooperation with world-renowned water resources experts and organizations, through academic conferences, consultations, and through our membership. Finally, IWRA will expand its partnerships, agreements, and collaborations with a wide range of stakeholders to encourage co-operation with other water-related (inter)national organizations, such as UN agencies, national departments, research institutes, universities, multinational banks, and more.
As time marches on, we remember that IWRA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, and has accomplished remarkable achievements over the past five decades–but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. IWRA will make contributions to international water events and projects, such as the World Water Forum, various international water weeks, the UN Water Conference, the COP process, and providing thoughtful leadership to support the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And, of course, we must not forget the upcoming XVIII World Water Congress taking place in September 2023 in Beijing, China. On behalf of IWRA, I would like to express our warm welcome and invitation to all water expert individuals, institutions, and organizations for their support and participation in to the XVIII World Water Congress. I certainly look forward to welcoming you to my city.
In the future, I hope IWRA can continue to be the leading global platform to attract more water researchers, scientists, educators, policy-influencers, decision makers, and managers across a range of professions and academic disciplines. IWRA will put great effort into stimulating and promoting both research and its application, and by so doing, we will strive to contribute to sustainable development for the optimization of the management of the world’s water resources. Therefore, I would like to express my sincere invitation to you to join us to work in collaborative ways, thereby injecting fresh impetus for a brighter shared future for IWRA. We are IWRA, working together.