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UN Agencies, UNEP , WMO

European Environmental Agency (source: EEA homepage in Denmark)
Through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy making agents and the public, the EEA aims to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment. The European Environment Agency (EEA) was launched by the European Union (EU) in 1993 with a mandate to orchestrate, cross-check and put to strategic use information of relevance to the protection and improvement of Europe's environment.
The Agency, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has a mandate defined by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1210/90 to ensure the supply of objective, reliable and comprehensive information at European level, enabling its member states to take the requisite measures to protect their environment, to assess the result of such measures and to insure that the public is properly informed about the state of the environment.
The geographical scope of the Agency's work is not confined to Member States of the EU; membership is open to other countries that share the concerns of the EU and member states and the objectives of the Agency. Current membership includes all 15 EU states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Agency will carry out its tasks in co-operation with the European Information and Observation Network (EIONET). EIONET was set up and is co-ordinated by the Agency. EIONET consists of national networks, organised by the Agency to help it retrieve information, identify special issues and produce efficient and timely information on Europe's environment. The Agency uses not only existing capacities in member states, but co-operates actively with other bodies and international organisations to build synergy and to avoid duplicate efforts. http://www.ea.dk/

(source: IVL homepage in Sweden)
European Network of Fresh Water Institutes.

  • To promote the transfer of knowledge from the science base into policy decisions at National and Union level in matters relating to freshwaters to support sustainable development and achieve a better quality of life.
  • To encourage and facilitate collaboration between researchers and scientists to identify and analyse opportunities for research and development and explain and promote these to advance the management and environmental protection of our freshwater resources.
  • To make relevant expert advice readily available for use within the Union to support international co-operation activitiesand enhance the competitiveness of associated industries and service organisations.

European Water Resources Association (source: EWRA folder)
The European Water Resources Association (EWRA) was initially established as ECOWARM (European Committee for Water Resources Management) and on September 14, 1992, during an international conference on sustainable irrigation at the Katholieke Universiteit in Loeven in Belgium its name was changed to European Water Resources Association.
EWRA has been constituted as an international non-profit association aiming and enhancing cooperation and exchanges in research and application in the field of water resources. The main aims of EWRA are: (i) to promote research and the application of scientific knowledge on water resources to pratical engineering activities, (ii) to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge in the field of water resources between European scientists and engineers and to contribute to the dissemination of results and technical advances by European specialists in the field to the other regions of the world.
Secretariat: Dr. Maria Santos: e-mail:

GWP forum
Global Water Partnership (source: GWP homepage at SIDA in Sweden)
GWP will:

  • support integrated water resources management programmes by collaboration, at their request, with governments and existing networks and by forging  new collaborative arrangements,
  • encourage governments, aid agencies and other stakeholders to adopt consistent, mutually complementary policies and programmes, build mechanisms for sharing information and experiences,
  • develop innovative and effective solutions to problems common to integrated water resources management,  suggest practical policies and good practices based on those solutions,  help match needs to available resources.

During recent years an international consensus has emerged on fundamental principles for water resources management. These principles were endorsed in 1992 at conferences on water and the environment in Dublin and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. As reflected in the Dublin Statement, they stress that:

  • Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment.
  • Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policymakers at all levels.
  • Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water.
  • Water has an economic value in all its comprises uses and should be recognized as an economic good.

To help translate these principles into practice the Global Water Partnership (GWP) was formally established at a founding meeting in Stockholm in August 1996. The Partnership is an international network open to all parties involved in water resources management, e.g. governments of developing as well as developed countries, UN agencies, multilateral banks, professional associations, research organisations, the private sector and NGO's.

(source: IAH homepage at NGU in Norway)
International Association of Hydrogeologists
The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) was founded in 1956 to promote cooperation, to promote the science of hydrogeology worldwide and to facilitate the international exchange of information on groundwater. IAH is a worldwide scientific and educational organisation with more than 3000 members in over 120 countries. IAH is affiliated to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and participates in the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO.

International Association of Hydrological Sciences (source IAHS homepage in Canada)
The International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) is the international nongovernmental organization which deals with hydrology and water resources. It was established in 1922, incorporating the International Commision of Glaciers which had been set up in 1894, with the aim of bringing together hydrologists from all countries to promote the hydrological sciences.

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (source ICID homepage at ILRI in the Netherlands)
The Mission of ICID is to stimulate and promote the development and application of the arts, sciences and techniques of engineering, agriculture, economics, ecology and social sciences in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood control and river training and for research in a more comprehensive manner adopting up-to-date techniques for sustainable agriculture in the world. ICID has by now about half-a-century of experience in the promotion and transfer of water management technology and in the handling of related issues. Building on its past experience, accomplishments, and the comprehensive water management framework, ICID strives to promote programs to accelarate and enhance sustainable growth of irrigated agriculture.
Any recognized country independently administered by a sovereign government and having interest in the activities of the Commission is eligible to become its member. The member countries participate in the activities of the Commission through their National Committees constituted by them to further the objects of the Commission in their countries. Starting with 11 founding member countries in June 1950, 87 countries have so far been admitted to the fold of ICID for sharing its efforts in the direction of sustainable irrigation. Currently 70 countries are actively participating.

International Hydrological Programme (source: IHP homepage at UNESCO/Paris/France)
The International Hydrological Programme is a vehicle through which Member States can upgrade their knowledge of the water cycle and thereby increase their capacity to better manage and develop their water resources. It aims at the improvement of the scientific and technological basis for the development of methods for the rational management of water resources. The theme of the present cycle, Fifth Phase, IHP-V (1996-2001), isHydrology and Water Resources Development in a Vulnerable Environment.
The Programme constitutes a framework for applied research and education in the field of hydrology and water management. It should be regarded as a dynamic concept whose aim is to improve the links between research, application and education and to promote scientific and educational activities. There are three main
clusters containing problems related to:

  • Resource process and management studies
  • Regional studies
  • Transfer of knowledge, information and technology

The clusters are obviously not independent of one another. There are overlaps and interactions. For example, the first cluster has elements which also belong to the second cluster. The third cluster is an umbrella which covers the former two, it being understood that the transfer of Knowledge, Information and Technology is the very essence and primary objective of the Programme.
Within the set of clusters eight themes have been identified as a support structure for the whole Programme. They cut across different hydrological scales and different climatic regions, but have integrated water management in a vulnerable environment as a common issue. The themes are seen as cornerstones within which projects can be flexibly implemented.
The eight themes are:
   1.Global hydrological and biochemical processes
   2.Ecohydrological processes in the surficial zone
   3.Groundwater resources at risk
   4.Strategies for water resources management in emergency and conflicting situations
   5.Integrated water resources management in arid and semi-arid zones
   6.Humid tropics hydrology and water management
   7.Integrated urban water management
   8.Transfer of Knowledge, Information and Technology (KIT)

International Water Services Association (source: IWSA homepage in UK)
The Association's 22nd World Water Congress will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 1999. Two thousand water service professionals from up to 100 nations are expected to participate in this major event in the international water calendar. Industry leaders, politicians and decision-makers from all sectors will be among those attending, together with engineers, scientists, researchers and senior managers representing every facet of the water and wastewater industry.
The host country, Argentina, has the backing of the Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (AIDIS), which has 24 chapters in all the Americas. The Latin American and Caribbean region is currently estimated to support a market for water and sanitation projects worth $220 billion.
The global concerns of water and wastewater services will be aired at the Congress in nine International Reports and a broad spectrum of technical aspects in sixteen Special Subjects. In addition, various workshops and seminars will consider the socio-economic impact of water supply and sanitation in both the developed and developing world.
We welcome proposals for contributions from leading professionals worldwide. Our intention is to compile a programme, the comprehensiveness and quality of which will do justice to the global importance of the subject.
This Call for Papers includes synopses of the Special Subjects for which proposals are invited, together with the procedure for submitting and preparing them.

UN Agencies
United Nations Agencies (source: GWP homepage at SIDA in Sweden)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO is much involved in land and water development worldwide, often with an inclination towards agriculture use of water, but increasingly also on management issues.
The World Bank has a informative and useful web site. Regarding water related issues, much information can be found on water markets and pricing principles, water management models, case studies, and recent publications and news. A search engine is available.
The United Nations Development Programme
UNDP is involved in water related development activities all around the world. Capacity building, for example in the field of water, is a major focal area.
Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CGIAR. The CGIAR organization is a consortium jointly supporting a system of 16 international agricultural research canters (IARCs). The mission of the CGIAR is to contribute, through research, to promoting sustainable agriculture for food security in the developing countries. Two centres of particular interest to water related issues are IIMI, the International Irrigation Management Institute in Sri Lanka, and IFPRI, the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, USA. Both can be reached from the CGIAR web site.  http://www.cgiar.org/

United Nations Environmental Programme (source: UNEP homepage)
What are UNEP's Strategy and Actions? UNEP's Water Programme seeks to:

  • Develop policy-relevant assessments of the state of freshwater and marine resources
  • Develop tools and guidelines for sustainable management and use of freshwater and coastal resources
  • Promote international cooperation in the management of river-basins and coastal waters with focus on control of pollution from land-based sources and on the special needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
  • Support and institutional servicing of regional seas conventions and action plans

The UNEP Water Programme is implemented through the:

  • Freshwater Unit
  • Oceans and Coastal Areas Unit
  • and the UNEP Regional Offices .

What issues does the Freshwater Unit Address? The Freshwater Unit exists to:

  • promote integrated management and use of freshwaters,
  • enhance environmental quality and
  • promote environmentally-sustainable socio-economic development.

In fulfilling this Mission, the Freshwater Unit is continuing its fundamental work in promoting the integrated management and use of freshwater resources in international drainage basins, and in facilitating development of training materials and courses that contribute to this Mission. UNEP has been designated by the UN Secretary General as the UN agency with responsibility for global mandates for water. Within this mandate, the Mission of the Freshwater Unit is to provide tools and advice.

World Meteorological Organization (source: WMO homepage in Switzerland)
The World Meteorological Convention, by which the World Meteorological Organization was created, was adopted at the Twelfth Conference of Directors of the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which met in Washington in 1947. Although the Convention itself came into force in 1950, WMO commenced operations as the successor to IMO in 1951 and, later that year, was established as a specialized agency of the United Nations by agreement between the UN and WMO.
The purposes of WMO are to facilitate international cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological, hydrological and other observations; and to promote the rapid exchange of meteorological information, the standardization of meteorological observations and the uniform publication of observations and statistics. It also furthers the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities, promotes operational hydrology and encourages research and training in meteorology.

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