Water is a renewable but a finite resource. It can be recycled but not replaced. To achieve water security, we need to protect vulnerable water systems, mitigate the impacts of floods and droughts, safeguard access to water and manage water resources in an integrated and equitable manner.
UNESCO assists Member States to address water-related disasters and hydrological changes, water scarcity and quality, water and human settlements, eco-hydrology and water education. Partnership with UNESCO is an opportunity to help:
- promote science-based policy responses for safe water quality for all uses;
- strengthen capacity for improving the management of water-related disasters;
- manage interdependencies between energy and water for sustainable societies;
- promote a culture of peace in the management of transboundary water resources.
UNESCO works to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way through the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). It is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and water-related education and capacity-building.
These activities are implemented through the large network of centres and institutes, including the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft in the Netherlands and over 60 UNESCO Chairs and affiliated research centres on water around the world, collectively the UNESCO water family. The successful implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 under UNESCO’s leadership on behalf of UN-Water, and the designation in 2013 of the Organization to ensure the position of Vice-Chair of UN-Water, brought enhanced visibility but also more responsibility to the Organization.