We are happy to announce the appointment of two new co-chairs of the committee. Prof.dr.ir. Petra Hellegers (Wageningen UR) takes over the co-chair position from Remko Uijlenhoet (TU Delft). Martien Beek has accepted the opportunity to co-chair the committee on behalf of Min IenW. Petra and Martien are very willing to take on these positions and guide the committee’s activities. During the first committee meeting in 2023 they will introduce themselves.
The Dutch IHP-HWRP committee welcomed a number of new committee members, who will introduce themselves below.
Elisabeth Lictevout (IGRAC) – on the 1st of January 2022, Elisabeth joined the IGRAC team as Director. Elisabeth brings to the table 26 years of worldwide experience as a consultant, project manager, researcher and R&D Center director. She has worked in Europe, South-East Asia, Middle-East, North Africa and Latin-American and did this in different sectors (private, public, and academic) and diverse fields of intervention (humanitarian and Development sector, Research and Development). See link.
Jon Verriet (Netherlands national UNESCO commission) – Jon studied cultural history and recently completed his PhD. He works on UNESCO’s mandate for science, innovation and the societal relevance of science for sustainable development. He coordinates topics such as Open Science and Ethics, the UNESCO Biosphere programme, Chairs programme and the L’Oréal-Unesco ‘For Women in Science’-programma. See link.
Maurizio Mazzoleni (IVM-VU) – Maurizio is specialized in modelling human-water systems interactions. He joins the committee on behalf of VU-IVM who were not represented for some time. See link.
We said goodbye to Chris Mannaerts (ITC – UT Twente) and Hans Roozekrans (KNMI) who contributed significantly to the committee’s work during the past years. Thanks a lot for your engagement!
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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.
If you would like to get in touch with the team, you can contact them via their emails addresses directly: Claudia Ylla Arbos (C.YllaArbos@tudelft.nl) , Alejandra Gijón Mancheño (A.GijonManchenoemail@example.com) , Stuart Pearson (S.G.Pearson@tudelft.nl).
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.
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.
You can find the report here:
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.