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World Water Day 2024 – Water for Peace

The motto of this year’s World Water Day on 22 March 2024 is “Water for Peace”.

Water can be a powerful driver of peace when people work together on water-related issues. The  increasing number of extreme hydrological events, such as floods and droughts, or water polution shows just a tiny section of the multitude of global change impacts. These impacts pose numerous risks to humans but also bring opportunities to foster cooperation between different national stakeholders, and maybe even more important transboundary partnership, building towards a peaceful unity.

World Water Day 2024 includes numerous activities to promote this approach, ICWRGC is participating in a number of them.

Social media card for World Water Day 2024

As one main event, the UN World Water Development Report is officially launched on World Water Day at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The German UNESCO Commission launches a German version in parallel, ICWRGC and BfG assisted in the translation of the report.

The German UNESCO Commission additionally organized a panel discussion at its headquarters in Bonn, Germany on 20 March 2024. Harald Köthe (ICWRGC), together with Prof. Dr. Lars Ribbe (Technical University Cologne), Dr. Johannes Cullman (BfG), and  Dr. Irit Ittner (German Institute of Development and Sustainability), debated on the topic “Water and global Solidarity – how can we resolve water use conflicts?”.

Also on 20 March 2024, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal launched three major River Basin Assesment Reports (Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra), prepared in collaboration with the Australian Water Partnership. Dr. Luna Bharati from ICWRGC was invited to join as part of an expert panel during this event. A video of the launch event is available on LinkedIn, the three reports are available online:

In another event, Dr. Stephan Dietrich (ICWRGC) joined Martin Labadz (BfG PR Department)  in a discussion on Water Security for the podcast “GewässerWissen” released by the BfG. The interview highlights current issues of water security, and how ICWRGC with its national and international partners is adressing them. The podcast is available in German on the BfG-Website.

March is also the month for World Women’s day, and history shows that women have profound impact on the successful negotiation and implementation of peace processes ( Taking this into account, gender equality in water partnerships would provide additional support for a more peaceful society, highlighting the strong linkages between UN SDGs 5, 6 and 16. However, under-representation of female professionals remains a pressing challenge in the water sector. In this context, we would like to take this opportunity to emphasize that the research team at ICWRGC is all female. The team is led by Dr. Luna Bharati and includes Dr. Layla Hashweh, Ms. Tinh Vu and Dr. Renee van Dongen. The research covers a range of topics, such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), sediment assessment, early warning systems for drought forecasting, and Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM).