World Water Week 2019: a step forward towards achieving the Agenda 2030

World Water Week 2019

In Stockholm, adelphi's water team will show how synergies and conflicts between the SDGs can be identified and addressed. We also discuss how the water footprint concept can be used to inform decision-making in the public and private sectors towards improved water management.


Water is a scarce resource and thus plays a critical role in reaching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without water, life cannot be sustained and without using water in agricultural production, food stuffs cannot be produced. However, many people still do not have access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation. Accordingly, the slogan at this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm is: “Leave no one behind — water and sanitation for everyone”. From 25 to 30 August 2019, scientists, water managers and policy-makers are discussing strategies that may help solve the global challenges of unequal distribution of water, lack of drinking water, and insufficient sanitation. 

Three aldephi events: SDGs, water footprint and conflict prevention

Two events of the GRoWnet project are focusing on various approaches to help achieve SDG6. To this end, experts of the GRoW projects are presenting the potential of different approaches and methods to analyse interlinkages across SDGs, focusing particularly on SDG6 and other water-related goals. Moreover, the possibility of improving and expanding the water footprint as an instrument for decision-making is discussed — aiming to explore the potential of applying current water footprint approaches that go beyond expression of liters of water consumed. The third event is offering a framework for discussing early warning systems to detect water conflicts more quickly.

SDG trade-offs and synergies

Sunday, 25 August 2019
14.00-15.30 | Room: L9
Convenors: adelphi, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), International Water Management Institute, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme, Water as a global Resource (GRoW)

Advancement in most of the SDGs and SDG6 in particular has the potential to foster advancement in other SDGs. At the same time, progress in some goals can also obstruct advancement in others, if interventions are not designed carefully. In this context, GRoW, a research program under BMBF, contributes to the development of assessment procedures to evaluate projects or policies and their effects on SDG interactions - at local, regional and global scales.

In the event SDG trade-offs and synergies, experts are presenting new approaches towards assessing and addressing trade-offs and synergies between SDG6 and other SDGs. GRoW scientists are currently developing a procedure to analyse interlinkages between projects on a local, regional and global level, with a particular focus on projects in the water sector. This will be followed by a discussion on potential intervention points for policy-makers to harness synergies and avoid or mitigate potentially conflicting approaches.

Contact: Elsa Semmling

Supporting SDG6 by advancing the water footprint tool

Monday, 26 August 2019
14.00-15.00 | Room: M6
Convenors: adelphi, German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, International Water Stewardship Program, Water as a Global Resource (GRoW)

In this event, we discuss the water footprint as an instrument to inform decision making in the public and private sectors to identify water related hot-spots and discuss potential mitigation measures. Concepts like the water footprint can be helpful in gathering information about local water shortages and inefficient water usage. This may be relevant for corporations and their supply chains. To ensure that the water footprint is used in decision-making, insights will be given into current water footprint methodologies, as well as on how to develop synergies between researchers and practitioners to make better use of these insights.

At this official event the GRoW projects will present their most recent policy brief "Advancing the Water Footprint into an instrument to support achieving the SDGs".

The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) founded the initiative “Water as a global resource” (GRoW) three years ago. This network is made up of 90 organisation working in research, industry and working practically towards SDG 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation".

Contact: Elsa Semmling

Analytical tools for identifying water conflict risks

Thursday, 29 August 2019
09.00-10.30 | Room: M4
Organisers: adelphi, Deltares, German Federal Foreign Office (AA), IHE Delft, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Resources Institute

The side event “Analytical tools for identifying water conflict risks” is focusing on instruments that could help minimise the risks arising from water conflicts. Experts and participants will discuss early warning systems, which will be useful for political decision-making. High-level political decision-makers from defence, development, disaster relief and the diplomatic corps will participate in the event.

Contact: Dr. Benjamin Pohl

More information about the World Water Week in Stockholm.