Water is the ultimate systems challenge. It is the unique resource that is key to almost all drivers of growth – be it agricultural production, energy generation, industry and manufacturing – it also connects and binds these sectors all together into a cohesive economic system intertwined with social development and the environment. A decision to allocate more water to energy, food, industry or manufacturing, is an implicit decision that less water will be available for other economic uses, public water supply and other social services, and protection of the environment.
Despite its fundamental role across the economy, water is all too often managed in a fragmented manner and at a technical level, leaving national and regional growth strategies disconnected from available and planned water resources leading to competition across users, trade-offs, disruptions to operations, and under-investment for critical infrastructure.
The Global Water Initiative, as one of the core projects of the System Initiative on Environment and Natural Resource Security, seeks to embed water at the center of economic growth planning thus resulting in optimized allocative decision making for policy makers and in turn a more equitable and water secure and stable environment for users that will be more conducive in attracting investment and job creation, supporting social stability and preservation of the environment.
The project will build on its own experience of injecting and mainstreaming new concepts and in building large-scale public-private coalitions in the water agenda to activate new champions and coalitions to accelerate the implementation agenda for the SDG on water.
To transform economic growth planning, where water is embedded at the center of strategy and allocative decision making thus resulting in a more water secure environment for all users, and a more stable economy to attract investment and job creation, support social stability and preserve sustainable environmental flows.
Specifically, the Forum will help to engage leading actors across sectors, build momentum, and trigger practical public-private action that will lead to: