Water

Only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater; about two-thirds of it is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps and we have long over-stretched this precious resource.

 

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Water is the source of all life and
needs to be managed carefully

 

for people

+ 50 %

increase in global water demand by 2030

for nature

- 80%

decline in freshwater biodiversity since 1970

for security

90%

of all natural disasters are water-related


How we engage

Our work focuses on water governance that integrates the needs of people and nature, the implementation of sustainable water resource management to secure water-related ecosystem services and conserve freshwater biodiversity, and support increased investment in ecosystems as natural water infrastructure. 


 

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  • In the spotlight:

    Sharing the benefits from the river From theory to practice

    With a growing population and a changing climate, the challenge to fairly share available freshwater needs to be addressed urgently.

    Through the BRIDGE 'Building River Dialogue and Governance' programme, the IUCN Global Water Programme and the IUCN Environmental Law Centre have been working towards improved transboundary water governance for the past ten years. Benefit-sharing of water resources is a major component of this work.

  • In the spotlight:

    Lake Titicaca - Empowering women and improving water governance

    Lake Titicaca was once worshipped by the Incas who proclaimed its deep blue waters were the birthplace of the sun. Today the lake is heavily polluted.

    This visual feature tells the story of how the BRIDGE project is helping to empower women and improve water governance in the Titicaca basin shared between Bolivia and Peru.

    Twitter @IUCN_Water and @UICN_SUR

  • In the spotlight:

    BRIDGE: Hydrodiplomacy in Action

    Globally, over 310 lake and river basins stretch across national borders. Around 60% of those lack any type of cooperative management framework. Good transboundary water management is crucial for peace, security, economic development and environmental sustainability.

     

    Find out what the BRIDGE project is and how it is supporting improved water governance across borders.

     

    Twitter: @IUCN_Water / Facebook: IUCN.Water (#BRIDGE #watergovernance #transboundary)

     

     

  • In the spotlight:

    The Future of Dams - Viable Options or Stranded Assets?

    Since the 1997 IUCN-World Bank study 'Large Dams: Learning from the Past, Looking at the Future' and the subsequent establishment of the World Commission on Dams, IUCN recognises dams are, for better or worse, an integral part of a post fossil-fuel future in which energy needs are met for all.

    This story feature reviews global energy needs and explores the challenges and complexities of dams.

     

  • In the spotlight:

    World Water Week 2019

    In 2019, World Water Week addresses the central theme “Water for society – Including all”. Experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries come to Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the world’s most pressing water-related challenges.

    The conference takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 25 - 30 August 2019.

     

    The Twitter hashtag for the conference is #WWWeek, IUCN will be tweeting live updates via @IUCN_Water.

     

    Check our IUCN Events Calendar at WWW for more information on sessions, seminars and workshops. 

     

News

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Publications

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Wise Up Photo: © shutterstock Vladimir

WISE-UP to Climate

WISE-UP or 'Water Infrastructure Solutions from Ecosystem Services Underpinning Climate Resilient Policies and Programmes'

 

Sugarcane grower, SUSTAIN Initiative, Tanzania Photo: Maria Ana Borges

SUSTAIN

Bridging water security and sustainable development. Building sustainable and inclusive growth to improve water and food security and climate resilience.

 

Cover: Women as change-makers Photo: ©IUCN Water

New report

Women as change-makers in the governance of shared waters

 

BRIDGE basins_alt map_2019 Photo: IUCN Water Programme

BRIDGE

BRIDGE - Building River Dialogue and Governance. This project aims to build water governance capacities through learning, demonstration, leadership, and consensus-building, in particular in transboundary river basins.

 

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands Photo: thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands

Peatlands and climate change

Peatlands are a type of wetlands that occur in almost every country on Earth, currently covering 3% of the global land surface. The term ‘peatland’ refers to the peat soil and the wetland habitat...
Thumbnail_CC and Water issues brief Photo: IUCN

Water and climate change

Water and weather, the delicate balance between evaporation and precipitation, is the primary cycle through which climate change is felt. As our climate changes, droughts, floods, melting glaciers,...
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