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Water and Cooperation – hand in hand for sustainable future


2013 has been announced by the UN as the Inter-national Year of Water Cooperation. The topic puts an accent on raising the awareness of the potential and challenges of water cooperation and facilitating the dialogue among stakeholders and partners in the water sector. Since 1993, on 22nd of March, we are celebrating the World Water Day, which topic this year is also concentrated on water cooperation. The initiative of the World Wa-ter Day has the aim to encourage and show to the society the importance of the water resources.

The key message of the International Year of Water Coopera-tion and the World Water Day 2013 is to show how important water cooperation is, but also that it poses challenges and brings many benefits.

Why is water cooperation so important?

The access to water has been and continues to be a basis of conflicts. Therefore, cooperation on water supply and sanitation and water management of drinking water can help to overcome tensions on social and political levels and to promote peace in regions where water is scarce. Among other benefits, water cooperation is crucial for the economic and living conditions, the sustainability and protection of the environment and the natural resources.

Future need for cooperation

The world population is likely to reach 9,1 billion by 2050. The need for food production will therefore increase tremendously. This will lead to further stress on the available water resources. Only with the strong will for cooperation this challenge can be handled.

Besides water and agriculture, the energy sector appears to be a major challenge for the water management. Johannes Lohaus, Secretary General of EWA, raises awareness for all stakeholders that there is "no water without energy and no en-ergy without water".

Especially Europe meets the problem of aging water infrastructure, where central water and wastewater canalisation exists for more than 100 years. Research and knowledge exchange for management of those challenges is necessary. EWA is an active partner to foster sustainable solutions and innovation.  

Water cooperation in Europe and beyond

For more than 30 years, the European Water Association works hardly to foster the partnership and cooperation among the Eu-ropean countries by being a platform for knowledge and capaci-ty development. By raising the importance of cooperation on international and institutional level, the EWA was able to gain in its network of experts, through its members, more than 55 000 water professionals. An effective cooperation between multiple actors whether on local on international scale is an essential requirement for sustainable water management.

The EWA has cooperation partners on national, European, as well as, on international level. Together with the Japanese Sew-age Works Association (JSWA), the Water Environment Federa-tion (WEF), the EWA organises on a cycle of three years an international conference bringing out information on new tech-nologies, solutions and management in the water and the envi-ronmental sector. For many years, the association works closely with the European Commission, European Parliament and stakeholders involved in the water and environmental policy. Being a platform of knowledge exchange, the EWA aims to help filling the gap between science and policy making.  


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