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Exploring Water Issues at World Water Week!

This year’s World Water Week will be held in the Waterfront Conference Center in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo Cred: Wojtek Gurak)

How can we solve the world’s most pressing water issues? How can we meet the needs of our population without depleting scare resources? This year, World Water Week will take place in person at the Waterfront Congress Center in Stockholm and online from August 20th to the 24th and will explore these topics. Under the theme Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-wise World, World Water Week brings together experts and practitioners from around the world to define which technologies, governance and finance mechanisms can help solve our most pressing water challenges.

Since 1991, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) has held World Water Week once a year to discuss global water issues and their link to agriculture, energy, transportation, and biodiversity. This conference attracts decision-makers, business leaders, government representatives, public organizers, academics, and activists to exchange knowledge and share expertise. The agenda consists of sessions, scientific seminars, accelerators, and prize ceremonies.

Participants will be able to attend a myriad of inspiring sessions that will cover a variety of innovation-related themes. Some of these focus on specific regions: Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The Inter-American Development Bank is the lead convenor of the Focus on the Americas program, which will be divided into 5 sessions, 2 showcases, 1 talk show, and 1 cocktail. Some of the topics covered include transforming water financing, empowering water utilities, and securing universal water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. In addition, the winners of the IDB-FEMSA water and sanitation award will be announced.

In addition to these sessions, SIWI offers seven seminars (each divided into three sessions) that will explore:

  • Lessons on innovation from other sectors

  • Innovation and the geopolitics of water

  • Innovation for water and climate

  • Harnessing the digital revolution for water innovation

  • Governance: the enabling environment to foster innovation

  • What sparks and fuels innovations in financing water?

  • Purposeful communications and advocacy

These seminars are based on this year’s Thematic Scope developed by the Scientific Program Committee, comprised of water professionals, including scientists, professors, researchers, managers, and consultants. The Thematic Scope emphasizes the need for new incentives and innovations in light of the impacts of climate change and builds on the knowledge generated in previous World Water Weeks. Special emphasis is placed on the commitments made at the United Nation’s Water Conference, which took place in New York in March 2023.

World Water Week will be a perfect opportunity to network. Participating organizations can showcase their flagship projects through exhibition stands both on-site and online. They can also share information through talk shows, workshops, trainings, and schedule closed meetings.

A unique characteristic of World Water Week is the Gold Standard, which emphasizes inclusivity:

  • At least 40 percent of presenters must be women

  • At least one presenter must be under the age of 35

  • The format and design of the session should actively encourage participation

These international conferences provide a space for decision-makers to discover existing solutions and brainstorm on innovative tools that can help them solve local problems. Water professionals can collaborate and learn from other sectors.

Join the conversation! Online sessions are free this year.

About the Author:

Raphaëlle Ortiz is a Consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Water and Sanitation Division. She has a BA in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability from Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. She is a DC native with a long-standing interest in sustainable development and environmental issues.



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