2013: International Year of Water Cooperation
“Water, water everywhere, only if we share”
The UN General Assembly has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. The objective is to highlight the benefits of cooperation on water management in a world where pressures on freshwater resources are intensifying.
Working on wide-ranging initiatives related to freshwater, UNDP and its partners are actively supporting the Year.
Water is a vital resource for life and knows no boundaries. Access to clean water is the foundation for the fulfillment of basic human needs and for achieving most, if not all, of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Year will serve to highlight successful examples of water cooperation and explore key issues including water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financial cooperation, legal frameworks and the MDGs.
Water cooperation is key to poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality
Inclusive and participatory governance of water and cooperation between different user groups can help to overcome inequity in access to water. Improving access to water for drinking, hygiene and productive uses contributes to poverty eradication and to improving living conditions and educational opportunities, especially for women and children.
Water cooperation creates economic benefits
Most economic activities depend on water, either directly or indirectly. Economic returns on investing in access to water and sanitation are typically 8:1 or higher. Cooperation can lead to more efficient and sustainable use of water resources, including through joint management plans creating mutual benefits and better living standards.
Water cooperation prevents conflicts and builds peace
Access to water can be a source of a conflict, but it is also a tool for crisis prevention and peace building. Cooperation on such a practical and vital issue as water management can help overcome cultural, political and social tensions, and can build trust between different groups, regions or states.
UNDP’s work around the world includes facilitating access to clean water and enhancing national and transboundary cooperation on water resources management, thus contributing to the achievement of the MDGs and other international targets.
Until recently, women in the village of Jukna, in the remote province of Badghis in western Afghanistan, used to walk four kilometres a day to collect drinking water for their families. And even then, the scarce, brackish water was often a health hazard. “The women used to collect water from uncovermore
Kuralbay Nugmanov, an entrepreneur and farmer in Karakalpakstan, north of Uzbekistan, says his community is much better off since they installed bee hives. “This year we got much better fruits and vegetables, as compared to last year. We believe that this is thanks to our bees,” he says. In Karakalpmore
Farmers in the small community of Tuol Sdey, in the Svay Rieng province of southeastern Cambodia, have reason to be happy. For the first time in decades they can rejoice in having two harvests in one season. This is largely due to the construction of a new water dam which stores rain in a nearby resmore
There is virtually no free space left in Kri Ven’s backyard. After his home in Cambodia was connected to a pipe water system, his 300-square metres of land now host rows and rows of plants such as cabbage, radish and sugar cane. “I am quite happy to have my own farm to grow vegetables for a living,more
Water is scarce in the occupied Palestinian territory and supplies barely meet the needs of the Palestinian people. More than 13 percent of the population currently has no access to running water, and many of the existing water facilities are dilapidated. Water quality is very poor: only 7 percent omore
- High Level International Conference on Water Cooperation August 20-21, 2013, Dushanbe
- Post-2015 Water Thematic Dialogue
- International Year of Water Cooperation: official website
- UN Water
- 'Water for Life' International Decade for Action
- Recent Publications in Water and Ocean Governance