Water as a Key to Action on Climate and the SDGs

Water is crucial for the life and functioning of cities. Water’s role in cities spans access to safe water and adequate sanitation through to enjoyment of a healthy environment.

The urgency around water is particularly visible in the added risk of drought and flood due to climate change. The water sector also has an important part to play in contributing to the reduction of global carbon emissions.

The International Water Association is convening a High-Level Summit to escalate action. The result will be a powerful message to prompt cities to elevate water as they pursue their ambitions to create smart and secure liveable cities for all – cities that are climate safe and where citizens have access to sustainable water and sanitation services.

Cities are ideally placed to contribute much-needed action both on the climate change agenda beyond COP26 and on implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The IWA Summit will provide an ideal opportunity to focus on water in advance of COP27, and of the March 2023 UN review of the Water Action Decade.

For more information about the Summit, please contact Miriam Feilberg, mfe@danva.dk

Request an invitation to the Summit.

IWA High-Level Summit Sessions

Innovative Funding for SDGs and Climate Change Action

The scale and location of the funding needs around the SDGs and climate change demand innovation in how this funding is sourced and delivered.

Discussions during this session will be based on the recognition of the massive funding needs for SDGs and climate change action and will explore successful examples of innovative funding to overcome water and climate-related challenges. Participants will present partnerships and funding mechanisms that have leveraged new funding and found new methods to transfer funds in a sustainable manner to recipients in developing countries and emerging economies.

Speakers will share challenges, success stories, and lessons learnt that will lead towards discussion of recommendations for innovative funding to be taken forward, especially with the UN Water Conference in March 2023 and the 2023 COP27 meeting in mind.

Urban Water Governance for Sustainable Cities

Governance has a vital role to play in securing and enabling the frameworks and responses around water and climate change needs. Development and implementation of solutions for sustainable cities requires strong governance that allows for the contribution of all the many relevant urban stakeholders. Discussions in this session will feature successful examples of smart and liveable cities and will explore how to ensure progress and cooperation in urban partnerships, including the value of frameworks such as the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities.

Participants will represent all major stakeholder groups in urban water management: politicians and policy makers, municipal officials and urban planners, water managers, utility representatives, private companies and manufacturers, academia, and smart solution developers.

Drawing on examples, the session will discuss urban water challenges, how to improve governance, the role of partnerships to overcome challenges, and key lessons that will feature in further workshops during the IWA Congress and that can be taken forward, especially with the UN Water Conference in March 2023 in mind.

Partnerships for Innovation and Technology Sharing

Partnerships are a crucial means of supporting the development and uptake of solutions at a local level, especially innovative approaches. SDG 17 highlights this role of partnerships and of cooperation – including ‘South-South’ cooperation – in delivering progress. Given the need to speed up innovation towards smart, sustainable and climate friendly solutions for the global water sector, it is important to share knowledge about new technologies and innovative processes and methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for climate change adaptation, and for creating sustainable cities. From the latest digitally-enabled technologies through to nature-based solutions and to decentralised treatment technologies and business models, the opportunities are vast.

In this session, representatives of research institutions, companies and utilities will present innovative technologies, discuss methods to share knowledge in global partnerships, and relevant lessons that can be taken forward, especially with the UN Water Conference in March 2023 in mind, the leading organisation connecting the water sector professionals around the world who have a fundamental part to play in delivering action in this area.

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Get involved

*An IWA High-Level Summit 2022 attendance is by invitation only. You would need to express your interest by completing this form.

Tom Mollenkopf

Director and Independent Advisor, IWA President and Board Member

The IWA High-Level Summit will host debates that will integrate Ministerial, city and utility voices, as well as those of other partners such as academia and business.

Location Guide

– The IWA High-Level Summit will take place in the Bella Center Congress Hall