New governmental chair – Jan Busstra

We are happy to introduce to you the new governmental co-chair of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee; Jan Busstra. He will represent the policy fields in the committee, while the current scientific co-chair – Prof. Pieter van der Zaag – will continue representing the research fields. We believe that such a co-chair construction will enable them to create linkages between science, policy and practice, to connect the various parties in the Committee, and have a higher national and international leverage.

Jan is the head of the International Water and Marine Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, he is working in watermanagement for the past 8 years. In these years he was initially engaged in national and european policies related to water quality and water quantity. He is currently also acting as Marine Director to the European Union. Furthermore, he is within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment responsible for the activities related to the international water ambition also including implementation of the waterrelated SDG’s and bilateral cooperation with the so-called Delta-countries.

We hereby welcome him as co-chair and member of the Committee.

The ASG-Rhine Synthesis report is out

This study, titled ‘The snow and glacier melt components of streamflow of the river Rhine and its tributaries considering the influence of climate change’ was done under the auspices of the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin (CHR), by two universities and an engineering company in Germany and Switzerland.

The CHR is an organization in which the scientific institutes of the Rhine riparian states develop joint hydrological measures for sustainable development of the Rhine basin. The CHR was founded in 1970 following advice by UNESCO to promote closer co-operation in international river basins. Since 1975, the work has been continued within the framework of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the UNESCO and the Operational Hydrological Programme (OHP) of the WMO. The member states of the CHR are: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Quantified daily fractions  of the rain, snowmelt, and glaciers ice melt components of streamflow from 1901-2006 of the entire Rhine basin are available in the report. The contemplation over a period of several years creates more knowledge on trends and changes that are caused by climate variability, and the disappearance of glaciers and the increase of the reservoir volume in the Alps. Discovered was that the daily run-off values give a good insight into the amount of water that is added by the melted snow and ice to the extreme low discharges.

In a follow-up of this project they will look into trends of discharge components for the coming decennia, with the help of climate scenarios.

The first newsletter for 2017 is ready to be read

Pleased to present the first newsletter for 2017. It discusses the following topics:

  1. UNESCO-IHP updates
  2. Stocktacking the focus theme for 2017
    1. 8th WWF
    2. Reviewing Dutch Scientific Hydrology
  3. Amsterdam International Water Week
  4. Water SDGs
  5. UNESCO schools & the Sandwatch project
  6. OECD water related activities
  7. WWDR
  8. Agricultural Watermanagement Community
  9. CHy-15
  10. Agenda
  11. A UNESCO Water Chair position

Global implementation of SDG 6 monitoring – the 2017 integrated baseline process – it has started

The global implementation of SDG 6 monitoring will be multi-phased and initially focusses on establishing a global baseline for the 11 global indicators under SDG 6. For the first phase in 2017, UN-Water has invited approximately 50 countries to participate, to be followed by further phases to reach global coverage.

It is foreseen that this first set of countries would produce baseline data by September 2017. The baseline data will feed into the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’s in-depth review of SDG 6 in 2018.

Countries have been invited to the process via an official letter from UN-Water to their Permanent Missions in Geneva, and the process to September 2017 (and beyond) can be found here.

Of course, in order to start collecting the baseline data, the methodologies for measuring the SDG6 indicators have been revised, and are now finished and available here.

The inception webinars have started last week, and were joined by Kees Baas (Statistical Bureau of the Netherlands) and Ronald van Dokkum (Rijkswaterstaat, coordinator for the monitoring of SDG6 in the Netherlands).

Call for Abstracts; Facilitating scientific contributions to water diplomacy and cooperation processes

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Facilitating scientific contributions to water diplomacy and cooperation processes

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) welcomes your abstracts for the session #26 it is convening during the 2017 International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) Scientific Assembly, 10-14 July, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on “Facilitating scientific contributions to water diplomacy and cooperation processes”.

The theme of this year’s Assembly is “Water and Development: scientific challenges in addressing societal issues.” With 40% of the world’s population living in transboundary river and lake basins and more than 90% living in countries that share basins, transboundary water diplomacy is critical for sustainable and peaceful development and ensuring water security. Water diplomacy can enable users, local and national governments to prevent, resolve or manage conflicts, and negotiate arrangements or agreements on the allocation and management of water resources.

Abstracts should respond to any of the following issues:

  • Effective mechanisms for communicating science for water diplomacy and cooperation processes.
  • Innovative ways for making local communities, civil society and disadvantaged groups, for example indigenous communities, rightful actors in water diplomacy and/or cooperation efforts.
  • Exploring best practices, challenges, emerging trends and future prospects in water cooperation/ diplomacy.
  • Identifying the potential of science to enhance and promote water cooperation and provide solutions in water diplomacy.
  • Data needs and challenges in water diplomacy.

The submission deadline for this session is the 14 February 2017. Please submit your abstracts through the IAHS’ online system. The authors of selected abstracts will be invited to present their work in a panel discussion during the session. Kindly note that IAHS charges an abstract processing charge of €37 per abstract for the Scientific Assembly 2017. UNESCO may cover the abstract processing charge for applicants for this and all UNESCO-convened sessions at the 2017 IAHS Assembly upon request and pre-submission of the abstract, with priority given to students as well as individuals from developing and least developed countries. The full agenda for the Assembly, including other UNESCO co-convened sessions, can be found on the conference website.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Renée Gift (r.gift@unesco.org) or Nicole Webley (n.webley@unesco.org).

UNESCO and Government of the Netherlands reaffirmed commitment to IGRAC until 2022

We are very happy to tell that the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and the Government of the Netherlands reaffirmed their commitment to IGRAC this Tuesday December 6, by signing a new agreement until 2022.

This agreement was signed by Ms. Irina Bokova (to the right), Director-General of UNESCO, and Ms. Margot Llompart (on the left), Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Netherlands to UNESCO, during a signing ceremony held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. This photo was originally taken by UNESCO.

We offer a scan of this agreement to show the successful achievement that IGRAC can again be a UNESCO-center for another 6 years. The official publication of the signed agreement can be found here at the Dutch treaty database.

More information on the re-establishment of the international groundwater resources assessment Centre can be found here at the official IGRAC website.

Prof. Marc Bierkens elected AGU Fellow

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has named Prof. dr. ir. Marc F.P. Bierkens among its newly elected Fellows. Bierkens investigates the global water cycle using large-scale hydrological models. He is elected For contributions in understanding hydrological processes across scales and the modeling and analysis of climate change and human water use on global groundwater stocks.

For more information, see AGU website or the NHV website.

New list of priority countries for Topsector Water

The Core Team Export and Promotion of Topsector Water has set a new list with priority countries. Countries that are high on this list (So called ‘A’ countries) have the highest priority in 2017. Most activities will be targeted at these countries. So called ‘B’ countries are promising countries where Dutch parties are active. In the ‘C’ countries developments are followed and possibly ad-hoc activities are organized.

The ‘A’ listed countries for 2017 will be: Balkan, Colombia, Duitsland, Golfstaten, Indonesia, Iran, United States and South-Africa. For more information regarding this topic, please go to: http://www.topsectorwater.nl/nieuwe-prioritaire-landenlijst/.

Promoting the integrated monitoring of SDG 6 (GEMI)

Article written by Alan Hodgson, UNESCO-IHE. The original article was posted on the website of UNESCO-IHE: https://www.unesco-ihe.org/news/promoting-integrated-monitoring-sdg-6-gemi

From 7 to 9 September, UNESCO-IHE hosted the Work in Progress Workshop for the monitoring of the Water SDGs, within the framework of GEMI. The workshop was organized by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, supported by UNESCO-IHP, UNESCO-IHE, and the Netherlands and German IHP-HWRP Committees.

Preliminary work on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all – makes clear that achieving the 2030 global ambition will require an understanding of the needs and workings of the full water cycle. This means being able to operationalize and monitor not only its constituent parts (individual targets like drinking water, water use efficiency, ecosystem extent, etc) but the whole integrated and dynamic process. It is equally clear that many of the other 16 SDGs will not be achieved without the effective and efficient use of water.

The GEMI workshop was set up against the backdrop of these challenges, to develop and support the monitoring of SDG 6 in countries around the world. Providing a forum for the exchange of pilot country experience highlights the fact that expertise does not lie solely in one place or region but rather often emerges through discussion, shared learning and practise.

‘This is not an exercise in polishing statistics’ Fritz Holzwarth, Rector ad interim of UNESCO-IHE

The GEMI workshop was opened by Elaine Alwayn, Director Water and Soil, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, who emphasized the need not only for enabling international political structures to achieve SDG 6, but also national action. Fritz Holzwarth, Rector ad interim of UNESCO-IHE, went on to highlight the timeliness of the workshop being held soon after the Stockholm World Water Week, where the subject of the implementation and monitoring of SDG 6 was a recurrent topic. He pointed out that it was also appropriate that the workshop was hosted by UNESCO-IHE, as a natural home for water expertise, housing as it does students and staff from around the world bringing their own local water challenges and collectively discovering solutions. Outlining further the context of the workshop, Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros, Secretary of UNESCO-IHP summarized by stating that there was a “very interesting challenge ahead”.

This aptly introduced several months’ long work in the five Proof of Concept countries represented, including the Netherlands, who had been testing the SDG 6 monitoring framework, identifying what was working, what wasn’t, and where there remain gaps and opportunities.

A deep dive into the water indicators

The stage was now set for the hard work to follow over the next two days in which each of the Proof of Concept countries – Jordan, The Netherlands, Peru, Senegal and Uganda  –shared their current approach to SDG 6 monitoring. By exploring the targets and associated indicators in detail, participants were able to focus on specifics such as agreement on definitions, data validation, responsibilities for data collection, data consistency, prioritisation and gaps. Discussion also turned to wider contributing factors such as the relative value of corroborative, qualitative information; gender sensitivity and cooperation between sectoral authorities. The workshop also provided a platform for the suggestion of new sources of information, in some cases where data was already routinely collected for another purpose, such as with biodiversity data.

There was also significant dialogue about the means of implementation, such as the institutional and financial conditions necessary to establish an enabling environment. Transboundary issues were also raised, for example with reference to activities such as mining in one country having impacts on others, through water pollution carried downstream.

After nearly three days of intense, often meticulous, but most of all supportive exchange, participants left for their respective countries and organizations with a renewed sense of purpose and energy for the road ahead.

Recrutering 5 NL waterexperts bij Wereldbank – deadline 24 juni

Nederland is een partner van het Water Partnership Programme of the World Bank, en draagt bij aan het vorm- en inhoud geven van de Water Global Practice.

De Wereldbank Groep zoekt voor deze vacatures – op deelterreinen waarop Nederland internationaal een reputatie heeft – naar deskundigen met grote kennis van zaken, stevige internationale praktijkervaring en een persoonlijkheid waarmee je binnen de Wereldbank Groep impact kunt hebben.

De uiterste reactiedatum is 24 juni.

De 5 vacatures zijn: