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Water Ambassadors Project

Water Ambassadors Project is a project developed by the General Directorate State Hydraulic Works (DSI), which is a primary governmental agency responsible for the development of Turkey's water resources. The main goal of the Project is to raise awareness on water resources conservation and efficient use of water resources to ensure that sufficient and clean water resources are available for future generations, thereby increasing global citizens' awareness of water and making them individuals that are more sensitive. Project was started execution in 2014

Objective of the practice

Although ¾ of it’s surface is covered with water, the amount of fresh water available on the earth is only about % 0,3 of this amount and it is unfortunately not possible for all people to reach all of this little amount.
Also; according to UN data, the world population, now at 7.6 billion, is expected to increase rapidly, reaching 8.6 billion in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050. Unfortunately, due to uncontrolled changes in consumer habits of this population, their needs are also rapidly increasing. When the adverse effects of climate change are added to the ever-increasing environmental pollution resulting from meeting these increasing needs and the human activities, there is a complete chaos about the accessibility and usability of already scarce freshwater resources. If we do not intervene in this chaotic environment now, we will pass the irreversible point and unfortunately, massive deaths will begin to appear in the world.
The existence of this chaos environment has made it necessary to take urgent and lasting steps in order to protect the water resources and to use them efficiently and efficiently. This has revealed the reasons of the Water Ambassadors Project and the Water Ambassadors Project has been started because of this reality.
As stated above, main goal of the Project is to raise awareness on water resources conservation and efficient use of water resources to ensure that sufficient and clean water resources are available for future generations, thereby increasing global citizens' awareness of water.
Within the framework of the Project, almost 120,000 people from different ages via seminars and millions of children via The Water Ambassadors Animated Series were informed about the importance of water and other environmental resources, the threats that these resources are facing with, importance and ways to protect and to effectively utilize these resources, and information seminars are still continuing all over Turkey.
Additionally, during study visits to France and Belgium in 2017 and during participation to the 17th World Lake Conference in Japan in 2018, our project started to be spread to the world and negotiations with Japan and South Korea have started to make our project an international project.
Activities realized up to now and planned for the near future within the framework of the Project will serve for protection of water resources and water related ecosystems, enhancement of water quality both in inland and coastal waters in the long-term and will lead to international cooperation in the short-term, meaning that our project is an effective tool for reaching SDG-No 6 directly and for SDG No 14 and 15 indirectly. Additionally, The Water Ambassadors Project will contribute to reach SDG No’s 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 12 and 13 to some extent.

Key stakeholders and partnerships

The Project has been started by the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) in 2014 and now continuing by the Association of Water Ambassadors founded by the DSİ personnel that are the executers of the Water Ambassadors Project.
In 2017, some Project activities have been realized with the financial support of European Union and together with DSİ, Turkish Ministry of National Education (MEB) and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). All the project outcomes were approved and are being applied by all these project partners; animated series is still on TRT channel every day; Water Ambassadors Clubs have been established in MEB schools and realizing activities using the handbooks and special materials produced during the EU-financed part of the project.

Implementation of the Project/Activity

Water Ambassadors Project, aiming at displacing the future water chaos in the world and managing the process with the conscious new generation, has been designed and implemented as an awareness and education project that targets the whole world, focusing on the fact that water resources are indispensable for human life all over the world.
After spending almost 3 years for planning, Water Ambassadors Project was started in 2014 with the launching of the Project during the 3rd Istanbul International Water Forum. Later, negotiations with Delegation of EU to Turkey has been started to realize some part of the Project with the financial support of EU.
EU part of the Project was planned between 2014 and 2016 and executed in 2017 for almost 10 months. During execution of the project, all the project partner institutions took responsibility of related component of the project and a Joint Expert Group composed of experts from partner institutions and leaded by Coordinator of Water Ambassadors Projects, who is now the President of The Water Ambassadors Association, coordinated the whole project. During the Project, around 20 Turkish and foreign experts took part in execution of the project activities.
Within the scope of the EU-financed part of the Project, in such a short term of 10 months, studies were carried out under the following project components:
• Training of Trainers
• Curriculum Development
• National Young Water Embassies Assembly
• Promotional Activities

The objective of the Trainers' Training Component was to train Trainers who will disseminate training activities on water resources and protection of the environment. Within the scope of this component, 85 people chosen from the staff of the stakeholder institutions’ headquarters and their representations in the 3 pilot water basins of the project, were given trainings on pedagogy, communication and training techniques as well as technical trainings on water resources and climate change etc. These Trainers then informed about 120 thousand people in the pilot basins during the project.

Within the context of the Curriculum Development component of the project,
• MEB's current curriculum has been scanned for the protection of the water resources and environment and suggestions have been developed to address the issues that need to be improved.
• Box games and computer games for children were prepared.
• Water Ambassadors Clubs have begun to be established in the schools.
• Competitions at different categories have been realized in the schools all around Turkey and all of the first 3 winners were awarded.

Within the scope of the project, National Young Water Ambassadors Assembly (named as GencSEM in short) was established with the participation of 26 female and 26 male university students selected from all around Turkey.

Within the scope of the Promotion component, which constitutes one of the most important parts of the project, activities were carried out for all sections of the society, including primarily children.

Coming to monitoring of the Project; EU-financed part of the Project will be under monitoring of the EU Commission on a yearly basis for seven years and first monitoring mission was realized in 2018.


Between 2011 and 2014, Water Ambassadors Project was planned and first steps to make the project public were taken by introducing the Project via social media. Later, in 2014 launching of the Project was done during the 3rd Istanbul International Water Forum.
Within the scope of the EU financed part of the Water Ambassadors Project;
1. The Assembly of the National Young Water Ambassadors has been established,
1.1. The Assembly consists of in total 52 university students representing the whole country, 26 of whom are females and 26 are males.
1.2. Under the roof of the Assembly, commissions have been established per subject.
1.3. The members of the assembly have planned and implemented the training of water ambassadors in their universities.
1.4. All members of the Assembly have visited Belgium and France, with a view to increase their international experience.
2. Media and communication studies have been conducted.
2.1. 39 episodes of a cartoon has been made, each consisting of 7 minutes and have broadcast on the National Cartoon Channel (TRT Çocuk).
2.2. 3 chapters of documentaries of 30 minutes have been made and broadcast on the National Documentary Channel (TRT Belgesel).
2.3. 3 public spots have been made and broadcast on national and regional television channels.
2.4. Social media accounts have been created under the name "Water Ambassadors"; materials to share on the social media have been prepared and broadcast.
2.5. Web-based Water Ambassadors TV has begun broadcast.
2.6. 8 stage performances with a famous artist have been delivered.
3. Training activities have been carried out.
3.1. The national education curriculum has been reviewed by experts and the parts on water resources have been re-assessed.
3.2. Training materials for the teachers and students of Pre-Schools, Primary Schools and Secondary Schools have been prepared.
3.3. Water ambassadors clubs have started to be established in schools.
4. Water Ambassadors Association has been established.

Additionally, as a result of information campaigns carried out within the scope of the EU-financed part of the Project, around 120,000 people, mainly children at schools, were informed. After the completion of EU-financed part of the project, information campaigns has been continued, reaching a number of 20,000 children up to date. Actually, real number of people is much more over this because animated cartoon series and the documentaries are broadcasted both on national TV channels and Youtube channel of the project

Enabling factors and constraints

EU financing helped very much to accelerate

Sustainability and replicability

For sustainability of the Project, the following activities are under planning and/or execution;
• Water Ambassadors Association was founded in 2018, especially to provide sustainability of the Project and this Association is now working on new sub-projects to enlarge results of the Water Ambassadors Project nationwide and worldwide.
• A cooperation agreement was signed between DSI and MEB to train more teachers as trainers of Water Ambassadors Project and enlarge the project nationwide.
• Negotiations with Turkish Gendarmerie General Command to enlarge Water ambassadors training among soldiers are continuing.
• Together with the General Directorate of State Theaters, theater plays for adults and children with a subject of water are being prepared. A theatre play targeting children has already been prepared by Water Ambassadors Association and DSI and is under the review of General Directorate State Theatres.


We borrowed this world from our grandsons and our most important duty is to leave them with a livable world and, of course, available water resources in the future. The Water Ambassadors Project has also taken action to explain this consciousness to the people of the world.
Of course, it is not right to expect that the work undertaken under the Project will yield very fast results in a world where selfish consumer habits have developed. The priority of the Water Ambassadors Project is to place the consciousness of protection of water resources and environment to the very deep parts of our children’s subconscious, as today’s children will work in different occupations, sectors and positions all over the world, and to be a manager, user and polluter of water in the future. This awareness will be internalized by our children with activities to be carried out in the Water Ambassadors Clubs established in the schools, computer games, informative activities carried out in the schools and animated series.

And of course the project will not stop at this point. Currently, negotiations with many countries are continuing to ensure that the project is spread worldwide in the near future. We are looking forward to the support of all governments to make Water Ambassadors an organization that is structured all around the world under the umbrella of the United Nations.
Water is not a problem of just a nation, but it is the problem of the whole world. So it is our duty to make sure that children and young people all over the world are aware of the different events and problems that are happening in different parts of the world in relation to water resources and the environment, and that they develop the habit of solving these problems together in the future.

We, as Turkey, continue to do our duty about conservation of water resources in the best way and we are always willing to cooperate with the countries of the world on such issues.

Other sources of information

More information about the project can be found at the following web pages and social media accounts:
• http://www.suelcileri.org
• https://www.facebook.com/Su-Elçileri-476431165817637/
• https://www.facebook.com/groups/suelcileri/?ref=bookmarks
• https://www.facebook.com/waterambassadors/
• https://www.facebook.com/suelcilericocuk/
• https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKtj2buJbqssNAzMHYBg_Wg
• Twitter: @suelcileri , @SuElcileriCocuk, @water_ambassado
• Instagram:https://instagram.com/suelcileri?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=khxw6989ijyc

Water Ambassadors Project was also presented during the 17th World Lake Conference, held between 15-19 October 2018 in Japan, with the following paper:
o Aydincak, O; Efeoglu, A; Kagnıcıoglu, N.; “Human Race Is Preparing Its Own End! Is It Possible to Slow Down?”
The Water Ambassadors Project and its outputs are subject to some academic researches and the examples of these researches is given below:
o Çevre ve Transmedya Hikâyeciliği: Su Elçileri Çizgi Film Örneği (Environment and Transmediıan Storytelling: Water Ambassadors Cartoon Example), by Bülent ESKİN (published in a book named Transmedian Storytelling edited by Dr. Ercan Aktan), 2018.
o Sınay, N.; Atmaca, S.; “Media Literacy within the Scope of the Water Ambassadors Project”, 5th International Symposium on Multıdisciplinary Studies, 2018.

Goal 6
6.1 - By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.3 - By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
6.4 - By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
6.6 - By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
6.a - By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
Goal 14
14.1 - By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Goal 15
15.1 - By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Basic information
Start: 01 January, 2014
Completion: 31 December, 1969
Ongoing? no
Geographical Coverage
Water Ambassadors Project has been carried out in whole Turkey since 2014. But, in 2017, some activities were realized in pilot river basins named as Eastern Blacksea, Konya Closed and Western Mediterranean
Water Ambassadors Association
Type: Other -
Contact information
AYLA EFEOĞLU, Deputy Head of the Water Ambassadors Association, ayladolek@yahoo.com,
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United Nations