From 28 to 30 June 2021, the 24th IHP Council meeting took place. Over 30 national delegations took part in an online discussion, taking important decisions about the activities that will be carried out as part of the next Intergovernmental Hydrologic Programme (2022-2029). Want to learn more? Keep reading!
After two years of preparation and discussion, the ninth phase of the Intergovernmental Hydrologic Programme or IHP-IX was approved by the council. IHP-IX outlines an international research programme, with a number of key priority areas for research and collaboration. IHP member states will work together to conduct new research on agreed-upon topics such as the data-knowledge gap, nature-based solutions and inclusive water management. As IHP-IX has an eight-year time horizon, it sets out strategic directions for a substantial period of time. The plan, entitled ‘Science for a Water Secure World in a Changing Environment’ can be found here. The Netherlands will participate in a Working Group, tasked with operationalising the strategy.
A second key result was the broad support for the Global Network of Water Museums, or WAMUNET (link). With eleven Dutch water museums being member of the network, this is an IHP initiative with a strong Dutch connection. The Netherlands brought forward a resolution to ask IHP council members to support WAMUNET in their ambition to grow in number and to develop new activities. Many IHP council members expressed their willigness to do so. It is important to highlight the relevance of our global water heritage as a source of inspiration to address future water challenges. WAMUNET is currently hosted by the Water Museum of Venice, and presided by IHE Delft.
The Netherlands was represented during the 24th IHP Council by a small delegation, consisting of Monique Berendsen (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and co-chair), Remko Uijlenhoet (TU Delft and co-chair), Stein van Oosteren (PR UNESCO) en Martijn van Staveren (coordinator). In case you would like to know more, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday 13 October 2020, the NL IHP-HWRP Committee hosted its first ever Valuing Water Initiative Pitch-a-thon! Due to Covid-19, this event was held virtually via Big Blue Button and included the attendance of over 60 people from around the world. In preparation for World Water Day 2021 which is on the theme of Valuing Water, this event empowered young voices to innovate and implement their own ideas on how best we can value water today. During the Pitch-a-thon, four teams of young professionals living in the Netherlands pitched their 10-minute project ideas to an interdisciplinary panel of judges and competed for the chance to win 5,000 EUR from the NL IHP-HWRP Committee to implement their project. With creative ideas, a diverse public and a tight competition, this virtual event was a lot of fun to attend.
Context Behind the Pitch-a-thon
To give a little background into what exactly these teams were pitching, it is important go back to why the Valuing Water Initiative was first created and what it represents. In April 2016, the United Nations and the World Bank together convened a High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) to ensure a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way to managing water resources and improving water and sanitation services for all. As one of the co-founders of the HLPW, the Netherlands became an active contributor to the HLPW, including by taking a leading role in establishing the Valuing Water Initiative (VWI) during the World Economic Forum of January 2019. The VWI helped to demonstrate the practical application of the five HLPW principles: (1) recognize water’s multiple values; (2) build trust; (3) protect the sources; (4) educate to empower; (5) invest and innovate. Based on a coalition of governments, businesses, investors and NGOs, the VWI attempts to translate these principles into worldwide practices. By bringing together global experiences and leadership of private and global stakeholders, the VWI contributes to changing the way the world values its water.
Youth as Champions for Valuing Water
In 2021, the World Water Day will be around the theme of Valuing Water. It is therefore important that in preparation for this day, more attention and support be given to realizing the VWI and its five principles. During the Stockholm World Water Week in 2019, it was recognized that in order to effectively carry forth the VWI, it is critical to identify champions of change that will stand up in policy, communities, corporations and youth movements. It is also critical that the implementation of the Valuing Water Principles move beyond just the water sector and connect through interdisciplinary synergies.
As critical advocates for change in their communities, young people are important champions of the VWI. Young leaders can help translate and tailor the HLPW principles to fit their local contexts. It is for this reason, that the Netherlands National IHP-HWRP Committee invited young people living in the Netherlands between the ages of 18-35 years old to pitch their project ideas and win the chance to receive a 5,000 EUR award to make a difference. The project pitches incorporated the HLPW principles and contributed to the promotion of education and public awareness on the value of water and the role it plays across sectors of society.
The Pitch-a-thon began in July 2020 with an open call for video submissions. Young people in groups of maximum five, were invited to digitally submit their project pitches via three-minute videos. These digital video submissions were reviewed by the organizing committee and narrowed down to the best four project pitches. These four finalist teams were instructed to continue developing and finalizing their project pitches for assessment by a panel of experts during the Pitch-a-thon on 13 October. Based on the content of their project pitch, each team was also paired with an experienced expert/professional who guided and supported them in preparation for the Pitch-a-thon. The mentors included experienced professionals from IHE Delft and the Netherlands Water Partnership.
During the Pitch-a-thon itself, the four teams pitched their projects in front of a virtual audience. Each team was given 5-10 minutes to convince the judges and public to vote for them. Following the pitches, the jury panel convened in a separate breakout room to discuss and individually rank the teams according to a set criteria. The judge score was combined with the public vote to determine the winning team that would receive the financial award. Included in this jury panel, were representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Let’s Talk About Water, the European Youth Parliament for Water, Wageningen University, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, and UN-Water. Through this diverse judging panel, the four teams received constructive feedback on how to improve and strengthen their project ideas in the future. But before the winning team can be revealed, here is a short introduction to the four amazing teams that participated and impressed the public with their VWI pitches.
The Four Competitors
Wat(er) I Can Do Team
The first team to pitch during the event was the Wat(er) I Can Do Team. Their project, Wat(er) I Can Do, is their answer to the call to bring systemic change in the way water is valued. They believe that the best action is well-informed actions at all scales, and that everyone equally is not just able and responsible, but also valuable in this effort.
This team’s proposal is to create a dedicated online platform, which aims to make the VWI actionable and personal by: (1) bringing it to the most basic level of decision-makers in society–to individuals and households, and (2) translating available but mostly specialized or sector-focused resources into simplified information, and doable individual/household solutions. Through this website, users will gain tailor-made advice on how they can decrease their water footprint and take personal action that reflects and respects water’s multiple values.
If you would like to support Wat(er) I Can Do and their important mission to make sure everyone makes every drop count, you can reach them directly at: email@example.com.”
United Wavemakers Team
The second team to speak during the Pitch-a-thon, was the United Wavemakers who aim to empower young people through the creation of an international e-learning academy. This project is a joint venture between the Dutch Wavemakers, the Young Expert Programme and Wetskills. Together, the team intends to create an International Wavemaker Academy that will empower students, athletes and young professionals worldwide with a #TalentforWater. Young people enrolled in this Academy will follow five training videos to learn about the multiple functions and values of water and thereby become ambassadors for their local water sectors. As ambassadors, these young leaders will be able to give guest lectures and readings in their own local communities.
By empowering new ambassadors, this Academy will realize Wavemaker chapters worldwide and thereby create new waves of valuing water. Ensuring a sustainable future starts by inspiring the next generation of water leaders. Through its worldwide training, this Academy will ensure that ‘Tiny drops of action create a wave of impact’.
The third team to pitch their video, was the Documentary team. Through a short documentary intended for all audiences but mainly focused on the younger ones, this team hopes to showcase the beauty of water systems and make knowledge on their importance more accessible. By combining scientific expertise and storytelling, this documentary will help raise water awareness and inspire the future leaders of tomorrow.
The team is formed by a group of researchers from TU Delft. They investigate how climate change will affect coastal and riverine systems, which is key information to ensure people are safe from floods in the future. Their first documentary is a short animated film for children, about how mangroves protect coastal villages from floods, and how protecting and restoring mangrove trees can save lives. The story is told through the eyes of Max, a kid that lives in a coastal village in Indonesia. Sharing this story is key to ensure that future decision-makers are well informed of the value of coastal ecosystems in reducing flood risk, so that all people around the world can take sustainable decisions that protect these ecosystems.
The final team to pitch their project was the Waterpoort team. As a team of young water professionals who are eager to protect water, its ecosystems and water quantities for current and future generations, this team advocates for the inclusion of young voices in the Dutch water lobbying. The team believes that values of water are not brought forth by policy argumentation, but by lobbying. However, because lobbying is seen as an activity mainly done by professionals and lobbyists, it limits the space for young people to partake in it. The Waterpoort team intends to change this by creating a podcast where different players (ministers, activists or trainees) of the lobby process can partake and share their knowledge. Through this knowledge transfer, young people as well can join the lobbying process and act on their values.
To showcase that lobbying is for everybody and that different approaches can work, the team will organize a debate in Nieuwspoort to raise awareness of youth lobbying in the water sector. This will further be supported by the creation of a small non-profit which will continue to organize debates in Nieuwspoort and advocate for the inclusion of youth. According to the team, supporting young voices in water lobbying is an investment in Dutch institutions, but also an investment in the political system.
The Pitch-a-thon Winner
Because the four pitches were creative and innovative in their own way, each team was at the end a winner. In fact, the competition was so tight, that there were only a few points difference between the two top teams. In the end, however, the team with the highest combined vote from the public and judges was… the United Wavemakers! The NL IHP-HWRP Committee is proud to support this group of ambitious young leaders as they create their International Wavemaker Academy and empower water ambassadors around the world to value water and make every drop count. Congrats to the United Wavemakers for your well-deserved victory!
If you would like to learn more about the different teams or support them in their journeys to value water, please do not hesitate to contact the NL IHP-HWRP Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIDEO APPLICATIONS: VALUING WATER INITIATIVE PITCH-A-THON
CALLING ALL YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE NETHERLANDS TO FORM A TEAM AND WIN THE CHANCE TO IMPLEMENT THEIR OWN PROJECT!
Are you a young person (18-35 years old) living in the Netherlands and eager to create a project that upholds the 5 principles of the Valuing Water Initiative? Then this is your opportunity to compete for the chance to win a 5,000 EUR financial award to support you! What you will need to do is form a team of 3-5 members and submit a video of maximum 3 minutes that addresses the following points:
(1): Short team introduction. (2): As young leaders, what does valuing water mean to you? (3): In one minute, pitch your valuing water project. Include a short description, the goals you want to achieve, and why your project should be implemented. (4): Briefly describe the thematic/topical focus of your project.
To participate, please submit your video applications by Monday 3 August 2020 directly to Emilie Broek at: email@example.com
On Friday 29 November from 14:00-17:00 at IHE Delft, the Netherlands National IHP-HWRP Committee together with the UNESCO IHP Secretariat co-hosted a workshop for young professionals (18-35 years old) to give their input on the new IHP Phase IX (2022-2029). UNESCO IHP, which is the UN’s only intergovernmental programme dedicated to water science, research and capacity development, is currently implementing its Phase VIII on “Water Security: Responses to Local, Regional and Global Challenges (2014-2021).” However as this Phase is coming to an end, the next seven-year strategy, IHP IX, is currently being drafted. To ensure that the voices of youth and young professionals are incorporated into this new strategy, the Dutch IHP-HWRP Committee invited more than thirty young participants from across the world (virtual and in-person) to give their inputs.
The workshop began with an opening plenary where the participants introduced themselves and their respective organizations and affiliations. Among these, included representatives from the Water Youth Network, International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre, World Youth Parliament for Water, IHE Delft, Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences, Association des Jeunes Professionnels de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement du Sénégal, Scheldt Youth Parliament, the Netherlands UNESCO Youth Commission and Wageningen University.
To frame the subsequent consultation, the participants were introduced to UNESCO IHP and its Phase IX. Sandra de Vries, who is a young expert on the Task Force creating this draft document, helped the participants visualize and understand the contents and organization of IHP IX.
Currently, IHP IX consists of three main pillars (1): Addressing the gap between data and information; (2): Supporting science-based decisions for adaptation and mitigation to face the negative consequences of past-adopted decisions; (3): Achieving sustainable water management. Because the participants came from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, they were asked to select the pillar that most resonated with them during the Breakout Sessions.
The breakout sessions were each dedicated to a specific pillar. Facilitators of the sessions, included young representatives from IHE Delft, the International Groundwater Resources Assessment, and the Water Youth Network. These 50-minute sessions gave participants the opportunity to directly deliver their input on the pillar of their choice. The participants were asked to reflect on the aims and indicators of success of that pillar, and engage in a discussion on what is still lacking and how they as young professionals can provide their support.
The first breakout session focused on the gap between data and information in support of water resources management. Led by Lauren from IHE Delft, this was a dynamic and well-attended session. The group reflected on the importance of transparency and ownership in the gathering and analysis of data. They wondered how we can make data more understandable, usable and accessible to everybody. They noted that if the data is not generated and stored ‘properly’, it cannot be completely legitimate. As young professionals, the group agreed to question authority and historical methods, be proactive, and collaborate across disciplines.
The second session was led by Claudia from the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre. Here, the discussions revolved around how science can be used for adaptation and mitigation to face the negative consequences of past adopted decisions. The participants reflected on the importance of raising awareness and support among people, and noted that climate change adaptation and mitigation measures should be designed taking into account the inputs of local people, since they are the ones most often facing the challenges. Education, through both formal and informal methods, should be used to spread awareness and include all members of society in water management. Hydrologists are not the only ones with valuable input
The final session, was led by Tim from the Water Youth Network. This session, was a virtual one, attended by nine young experts from around the world. The participants called this pillar: “21st Century Integrated Water Resources Management.” They focused on the importance of inclusiveness and collaboration, achieved through both existing (Stockholm World Water Week) and new platforms (online, webinars). As young water professionals, they agreed to collaborate, advocate and engage in governance processes, and promote new and innovative ideas.
During the closing plenary, the representatives of the breakout sessions were invited to recap their main points of discussions. Together, the participants of the workshop engaged in a reflection and discussion on the Pillars and the IHP IX document as a whole. One of the common threads of discussion, was the importance of engaging people beyond the scientific community around data gathering and participation in the water sector. A lingering question was how to ‘sell’ this IHP IX document in a way that will touch and relate to all people. It was agreed that there is a strong need for monitoring, accountability, transparency and governance in the water sector. Young people can be pivotal actors in pushing and achieving these.
In conclusion, the participants were asked to come up with a title for IHP IX. Among the many suggestions, three titles stood out the most. The winning title, was “Making Water Work for All: Future-Proofing Water Management.”
When asked to describe their main takeaways from IHP IX, the participants jointly created the following word cloud:
Diversity, inclusion, young professionals, data and IHP. These were the common themes that stood out to the participants during the workshop. Thank you to all the participants who joined us and contributed their valuable input to IHP IX. Your voices will be heard.
[Paris, 15th of June 2018]. The Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program (UNESCO-IHP) unanimously voted a Resolution endorsing a worldwide network of water museums at its 23rd Session. The Resolution passed cites the:
“Global Network of Water Museums and UNESCO-IHP in support of Water Sustainability Education and Water Awareness Efforts”
“Water museums represent a unique heritage, displaying and questioning the different water civilizations that have developed around the world: from oases in the desert to terraced fields, water mills, waterways, aqueducts, fountains and rain harvesting artefacts… Today’s water resources are increasingly threatened by waste, quantity and quality degradation, despite extraordinary technological progress – or rather, because of it. Hydraulic heritage is a vital source of inspiration to face the modernwater crises on a universal scale. In this context, the Global Network aims to reinstate a new relationship between humanity and water, a new sense of civilization, which helps us to reconnect people and water in all its dimensions: technical, but also social, cultural, artistic and spiritual.
The Resolution XXIII-6 was officially submitted to the IHP Council by the Netherlands and formally supported by Canada, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and Zambia through their Permanent Delegations to UNESCO.
The approval of the Resolution confirms future synergies of the Global Network with UNESCO with the objective to better use water museums to improve water management and to disseminate water-related knowledge through education and public awareness-raising activities, web platforms, conferences, workshops, publications, exhibitions and art performances.
The Global Network of Water Museums (WAMU-NET) is a non-profit organization aimed at transmitting through generations unique water-related knowledge – both natural and cultural, tangible and intangible – including hydraulic artifacts, unique environments, management models and techniques, perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. Currently, there are over 60 institutions, which count a combined audience of more than 5 million visitors per year. Each member has its own vision and diverse and particular approach with regard to water, concerning educational, cultural and scientific activities.
The successful team which submitted the Resolution (on the Global Network of Water Museums) to the 23rd Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO in Paris, with representatives from the Netherlands Permanent Delegation, the University of Venice, Civiltà dell’Acqua, and representatives of UNESCO-IHP and of water museums from Portugal, Romania and Iran.
Global Network of Water Museums team after a presentin the resolution to the 23rd Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO in Paris, on the 12th June.
Right: Philippe Pypaert of UNESCO-IHP with WAMUNET representatives Victor-Lucian Croitoru, Romania; Mariana Castro Henriques, Portugal; Hugo Groeneveld, Netherlands and Eriberto Eulisse Civiltà dell’Acqua at the WAMUNET side event cocktail of the 23rd IHP Council Session in Paris.
Eriberto Eulisse coordinator of WAMUNET at the end of the 23rd IHP Council Session in Paris with representatives from UNESCO-IHP and the Netherlands Permanent Delegation (RIGHT: Sandra de Vries, Philippe Pypaert and Alexander Otte) and from ICQHS International Centre on Qanats and Hydraulic Structures, Iran (LEFT: Majid Labbaf)
Eriberto Eulisse, coordinator and Ann Adanusah, communications, for the Global Network of Water Museums with Honourable Joseph Kofi Adda, Ghanaian Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation and the Elizabeth Sarkodie-Mensah of the Ghanaian Permanent Delegation to UNESCO who signed the Resolution.
In preparation for the 23rd session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council, the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee has created and submitted the following National Report on the activities performed in the last 2 years.
We are happy to introduce the new scientific co-chair of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee, Prof. Remko Uijlenhoet. He will work together with the governmental co-chair, Jan Busstra.
Remko will take over the position from Prof. Pieter van der Zaag, who we thank for successfully chairing this committee for the past four years!
Remko is chair holder of the Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management group at Wageningen University and Research institute, contributing together with his chair group to the improved understanding of catchment-scale hydrological processes. He is also an active member in many Dutch hydrological centres and communities, including our committee but also the Boussinesq Center for Hydrology and the Netherlands Hydrological Society (NHV), of which he also chairs the board. We are confident that he will be an excellent scientific chair of the Committee.
The Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee is proud to tell that the 2nd International Workshop of the Global Network of Water Museums will be held from 14 – 18 of May in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. As committee, we are pleased that the future Museum Kruithuis in ‘s Hertogenbosch has taken the opportunity to connect to the WAMU-Net (Water Museums Network) initiative, and will welcome other museums around the world to the Netherlands to discuss future cooperation.
Water Museums bring together everything UNESCO stands for: Culture, Education and (Water) Science. It is for that reason that the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee supports the initiative and we will most likely hold our next Committee meeting during this workshop.
Meeting with Kring Vrienden and the Italian IHP Committee @ Den Bosch, 11 November 2017
Jan Busstra – Head of Unit Marine and International Water Policy – Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
Marcel Beukeboom – Climate Envoy of the Netherlands
Louise van Schaik – Head Clingendael Sustainability & Senior Research Fellow – Clingendael Institute
All the participants of the Challenge Climate Change, Migration & Me
Their research resulted into two different outputs; a research poster and a short video. The results can be found here.
We would sincerely like to thank all participants, case-owners and jury for making this Challenge a huge success! Furthermore, we again congratulate the winning groups (described below), and are very curious to hear about their experiences during COP23 in Bonn and the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague.
The winners of the challenge are: Karin Bremer, Leslie Ford, Maya Velis and Marieke Hagg from the Case: Zika In Paradise: Climate Change, Migration, and Disease. They are able to go to the COP23: the 23rd Conference of the Parties on Climate Change from 9 until 11 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. The case was offered by Tatiana Acevedo Guerrero, lecturer and researcher in the Politics of Sanitation and Wastewater Governance at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, and Leslie Ford, a MSc candidate in Water Services Management.
The group that will go to COP23!
The second price is for Elisa Perpignan, Derrick Agyapong, Rollis Jiofack, Oluwasegun Seriki (participating online out of respectively Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ireland), from the case: European Pact for Water. They are able to go to the Planetary Security Conference – 12 and 13 December, 2017 – The Hague, the Netherlands. The case was offered by the European Pact for Water & Women for Water Partnership by Lesha Witmer and Annemiek Jenniskens.
The group that won an entrance to the Planetary Security Conference!
During the final presentation, we have launched an escape room that has been built on behalf of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee by Popup Escape, to initiate awareness and discussion on the relation between Climate Change, Migration and your own involvement. This escape room will pop-up during several events in the coming year, where the scientific posters that are a result of this Challenge will give background and information to the players.
Will you be able to solve the puzzles in 20 minutes?
Are you also interested in placing the escape room during your event? Please let us know by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are working on a magazine that will disseminate all the results of this challenge, and more.
Currently the Netherlands counts 45 UNESCO schools. UNESCO schools are part of UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). The schools range from primary education to Universities and pay attention to four UNESCO themes. These themes are used worldwide:
Peace and human rights
On October 5th, Dutch UNESCO schools gathered together in The Hague to connect and get inspired. Teachers, student groups, and potential UNESCO schools had the opportunity to talk to each other and exchange information to develop ideas for their own school curricula. This day we – the secretariat of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP committee – were able to give a workshop completely related to water. The workshop highlighted three great water initiatives:
Hugo Groeneveld from Kring Vrienden, ‘S-Hertogenbosch, gave a presentation about their work in Den Bosch and about their interest for the Global Network of Water Museums. The Global Network of Water Museums is an initiative from the water museum in Venice, who with the support of IHP Italy aim to create a network among Water Museums around the globe. Kring Vrienden of ‘S-Hertogenbosch are designing a water museum and plan to contribute to the Global Network of Water Museums. The UNESCO schools have been invited to ‘S-Hertogenbosch for an interesting excursion on our Dutch water-related history!
Paul van Essen went into discussion with the teachers about how we can value water and how valuing water could be introduced in the school curricula. This in order to see how youth perceives the value of water. Valuing water is an initiative from the High Level Panel on Water who mainly focus on the implementation of sustainable development goal 6, to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Lyvia represented TAHMO (The Trans-African Hydro Meteorological Observatory) who aim to develop a vast network of weather stations across Africa. Current and historic weather data is important for agricultural and climate monitoring. TAHMO created two educational programs – School2School and University2University – which are initiatives that involve schools in actual research and are meant to increase international school partnerships. UNESCO schools could join one of the 2 initiatives and get a partner school in Africa or even go on exchange.
We hope we have inspired schools to include water related topics into their curricula in a creative manner!