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- Brief Summary Note of 1st “Sherpas”/Advisors Meeting April 13, 2016, Washington DC
- Brief Summary Note of 2nd Sherpas/Advisors Meeting 22-23 May, 2016, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Brief Summary Note of 3rd Sherpas/Advisors Meeting 7-8 July, 2016, New York, UN Headquarters
- Brief Summary Note of 4th Sherpas/Advisors Meeting 8 August 2016, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
- Executive Summary Note of 5th “Sherpas”/Advisors Meeting August 30-31, 2016, Stockholm, Sweden
- Brief Summary Note of 6th “Sherpas”/Advisors Meeting September 21-22, 2016, New York, USA
- Brief Summary Note - Open session and public consultation. World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden
- Statement of the High Level Panel on Water (Cancun, 25 May 2017)
- Australia announced on #WorldWaterDay a water data challenge, to put data into the hands of resource-poor farmers: www.waterdatachallenge.org
- World Water Data Initiative launched
- 4th HLPW Meeting, 25 May, Cancun, Mexico
- Political leadership for a comprehensive approach - technical solutions to many of the world’s water problems already exist but strong and coordinated political leadership is required to make progress;
- A commitment to the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation;
- Transparency and inclusion – all interested organizations shall be given equal chances to engage and contribute;
- Autonomy – organizations need to define, organize and drive their own engagement in support of the agenda – the Panel will set directions and provide momentum;
- Collaboration – having an effective working interface between existing organizations and the Panel is critical. It will include both online and direct interactions with the Panel or their Sherpas;
- Continuous engagement through regular consultations.
- 21 March 2017 - Joint Statement - World Water Day
- 29 November 2016 - Joint Statement - Budapest
- 28 October 2016 - Joint Statement - COP22
- 21 September 2016 - Press release - World Leaders Call for Action on Water
- 21 September 2016 - Joint Statement - Call for Action on Water
- 21 April 2016 - Joint Statement - Launching of the Panel
- Willem Mak, Project Manager Valuing Water, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, The Netherlands
- Richard Damania, Global Lead Economist, Water Practice, The World Bank
Stephan Bachenheimer / World Bank
Most people agree that water is an extremely valuable resource -- for farmers who depend on it to grow crops, for factories that need it to cool machines and spin turbines and, of course for life itself. But unlike most other valuable resources, it’s hard to put a price on water. The very fact that water is so important to people, economies, and the environment means that it is tough to even agree on a common way of valuing it.
No less an economic mind than Adam Smith was stumped by this challenge. As he famously observed, “Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarcely anything. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarcely any use-value; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.”
The problem of valuing water is far from academic. Societies around the globe are increasingly facing the task of difficult tradeoffs between different uses of water. While in most countries the majority of human water use goes to growing crops, cities and ecosystems are getting thirstier as a result of growing populations, economic development, and climate change.
Water quality, too, is deteriorating in many areas because of pollution, and far too many people still lack access to safe and dependable sources of clean water.
Without a common set of principles for valuing the contribution that water makes to both people and the planet, it’s hard to tackle these challenges.
Last week, the United Nations High Level Panel on Water gathered a group of experts to chart a path towards agreeing on a set of common principles for valuing the world’s most precious resource. The Panel, co-convened the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the World Bank Group, is charged with mobilizing action to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, many of which depend on managing water more effectively. The Panel recognizes that action is critical, and aims to build momentum toward a common vision for better stewardship of our water.
Participants agreed that valuing water is an important part of that vision—but that previous attempts to value water more effectively have encountered a number of challenges, including the difficulty of capturing its importance to so many different sectors, activities, and species. The meeting concluded that valuing water effectively means developing an inclusive, consultation-driven process to articulate a set of principles for how to capture the many different values of water, including for economies, ecosystems, cultures, and religions. It also means building on the efforts of many groups around the world who have tried to tackle this issue in the past. The participants agreed on the need to develop a roadmap for soliciting views from all segments of the water stakeholder community, including agriculture, energy and other sectors, on how water should be valued.
Going forward, the Panel will call on the global water stakeholder community to put forward ideas on how water should be valued – and how we can integrate the full range of these values to manage water more effectively. Based on this roadmap, the Panel’s Valuing Water initiative will develop a process for seeking and integrating this input into policy reform. Eventually, the hope is to put forward a common set of principles, fully informed by this wide-ranging consultation, for the Panel’s endorsement, which can then inspire and catalyze policy action around the globe.
So watch your inbox— while we’re hard at work on charting a path toward better valuing the world’s most precious resource, we’ll need your help to get there!