Towards a water-wise world: 2016 World Water Congress & Exhibition

Australia – water partners for development stand

The 2016 World Water Congress & Exhibition (Brisbane, 9 – 14 October 2016) brought together over 5,000 participants from 108 countries to share latest insights and discuss new solutions to the world’s major water challenges.

Under the banner Australia – water partners for development, the Australian Water Partnership participated with key government departments and organisations as joint-principal sponsor, consisting of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and the Australian Water Partnership (representing over 100 Australian public and private sector organisations).

Drawing in dozens of visitors to the stand daily, the joint exhibition and speaking program highlighted Australia’s achievements in water policymaking, weather and water information and forecasting, water resource assessment, and river basin planning and operations. The main goal – to share with the international community the science, tools and services that deliver a reliable picture of Australia’s water resources to inform the development of policies and strategies for effective water resource management.

Dr Ger Bergkamp, Executive Director, the International Water Association (IWA) said, “The World Water Congress & Exhibition provided a unique opportunity to catalyse new actions on realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and put water much higher on the agenda. With seven world-renowned thought leaders as keynote speakers, contributions and messages from Australia’s Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull and H.E. Tshering Tobga, Prime Minister of Bhutan, six exclusive leadership forums, 38 workshops, 86 technical sessions with 344 presentations and over 400 posters there was a wealth of content for water professionals from all backgrounds.”

The top 4 outcomes accomplished towards a water-wise world:

  1. ‘DroughtAction’ initiated: the world’s first action-oriented agenda dedicated to building resilience to water scarcity and drought. Over time, DroughtAction will serve as a catalyst to increase international cooperation and partnerships and create new ways to align public policies and business objectives to help create new investment opportunities. A Summit was held on October 10 at the World Water Congress to initiate DroughtAction. The IWA and AWP convened the Summit of 200 leaders from the public and private sector, who discussed new ways of collaboration between industries and sectors to address the related challenges of water scarcity and drought.
     Video of Keynote Speech by Prof Gary Jones at the Water Scarcity & Drought Summit
     Video on DroughtAction



  1. Water-Wise Cities principles launched: The IWA launched the Principles for Water-Wise Cities to help city leaders ensure that everyone in their cities has access to safe drinking water and sanitation, that their cities are resilient to floods, droughts and the challenges of growing water scarcity, and that water is integrated in city planning to provide increased liveability, efficiencies, and a sense of place for urban communities. The 17 principles are grouped into four categories: regenerative water services, water sensitive urban design, basin connected cities and water-wise communities.
  2. IWA manual on universal access to drinking water and sanitation: The IWA Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners shows service providers and regulators how to meet the drinking water, sanitation and wastewater management targets in the Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Launched new global report that shows huge variations in water use around the world: Household consumption of water around the world varies from 28 to 631 litres per day. This is one of the many findings in the 12th edition of the International Statistics for Water Services 2016. For the first time an interactive statistics portal allows users to graphically compare individual cities’ differences within water abstraction, consumption, tariff structure and regulation of water services.

“As a country where managing drought and water scarcity has always been an absolute necessity, Australia – the host country for the Drought & Scarcity Summit – has had to put into practice the idea that water is a scarce economic good, to be allocated and used efficiently and wisely, for the benefit of all people,” says Gary Jones, Chief Executive, Australian Water Partnership.

Related: The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources perspective on the Congress & Exhibition

Highlights from ‘Australia – water partners for development’

View the short talks by water experts from key Australian government departments and organisations, delivered at the Exhibition:

WWCE_JointSponsorLogos

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