Global water scarcity is one of the greatest crises affecting worldwide health and economic development today. While there are enormous water resources in many parts of the continent, there is scarcity in many others. This by-invitation-only Forum will facilitate an open, frank discussion on how governments can work in partnership with international aid organizations, the private water sector and civil society organizations towards a sustainable water supply, while addressing the key issues of financing for water systems and governance.
The International Water Forum 2010 will bring together representatives of international aid agencies, assistance-receivers, and best management practitioners from countries and cities around the world and it will highlight cutting-edge ideas and best practices in integrated water resource management, including thought provoking sessions on the following related topics: governance, technological advances and water treatment, health and sanitation, and climate change and adaptation, among others.
Our desired outcomes are that participants share their successes and approaches; learn from each other; and establish relationships that will enable them to assist each other in solving these problems.
To foster peer-to-peer international cooperation by facilitating the exchange of best practices to help formulate a sustainable action plan for water resource financing and governance in large and growing urban areas.
Participants will also engage in discussions focused on urgent challenges faced by the water community while learning about the following:
- Identification of best practices in water resource governance
- Innovative financing mechanisms to implement best practices in water resource management
- Understanding the potential impact of the global economic crisis
- Advancing the UN Millennium Development Goals
- Managing water related risks and disasters
Following registration, participants will be asked to assess their city’s or organization’s level of competency in sustainable planning for water supply and sanitation issues. This information will assist the organizers, as well as the participants, in identifying the areas where each participant wishes to expand their knowledge, as well as their strengths and expertise that could benefit other cities.
Structure: Best practice sharing through a series of knowledge management exercises, high-level key-note plenary talks by global water experts.
Content and topics:
- Integrated Water Resources Management.
- public-private partnerships
- Managing water related risks
- Health and sanitation
The forum will utilize the methodology and knowledge management tools used by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to foster effective best practice sharing among high level government officials and international experts.
Results from the self assessment process will then be used to pair delegates at the forum for best practice sharing through a series of knowledge management exercises that will encourage thoughtful exchange of ideas and practical guidance in priority areas identified by delegates.
In addition, participants will benefit from high-level key-note plenary talks by global water experts and resources available in Atlanta. Forum participants will be able to use both the formal sessions and the informal time to learn more from each other about how to improve their city’s approach to a sustainable water supply.
Key Methodologies: face to face learning, peer review, self-assessment using applied learning techniques.
More than 40 senior-level water experts and local government officials including mayors, city managers, utility and public works officials and environmental affairs directors are expected to attend. They will represent international water agencies, world-reknowned academic institutions and medium-to large-size cities from the Americas.
Regional Focus: Western Hemisphere, Americas
- Executive level city officials,
- Utility managers,
- International organization representatives
- Industry experts from medium-to large-size cities
The International Water Forum is a yearly joint initiative between the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Veolia Environment and CIFAL Atlanta. The Forum will bring together experts from the private water sector, government, and non-governmental organizations to explore the pathways to a sustainable water supply.