2.1 billion people have no access to clean drinking water and more than 4.5 billion have no safe sanitation. In many countries, increasing water scarcity threatens food security and energy production or leads to conflict. For the past 15 years, seven Bonn-based organisations have been sharing their insights into solutions towards a more water secure world through their „water lecture“ series. These institutions launched the 'Bonn Water Network' in order to coordinate and intensify their endeavours for sustainable water futures.
Stefan Wagner, Director of International Affairs & Global Sustainability at the city of Bonn, welcomes the creation of the new network:
“Bonn Water Network will benefit from and reinforce Bonn’s status as a hub for international cooperation, sustainable development, and innovation.”
The network consists of seven renowned institutions with longstanding experience on water and related issues: these are the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC); the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn University with its Institute of Geography (GIUB) holding the UNESCO Chair in Human Water Systems, and the Center for Development Research (ZEF); the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and two UN institutions, the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The network members deal with water and related challenges worldwide and, working together with partners in science and practice, contribute to finding sustainable and socially appropriate solutions. Dr. Annabelle Houdret, speaker of the network, explains:
“For example, we investigate how cross-border cooperation in Africa can help to make better use of water for energy and agriculture, we support policy makers and stakeholders globally on drought risk mitigation, and our models simulate how and where climate change is affecting water resources in Nepal and India. We also contribute to develop solutions for resolving conflicts over water and sustainable water management in Jordan, Morocco and Mongolia, as well as climate-sensitive adaptation strategies to reduce flood risks in Togo and Benin.”
The online launch event took place on the 17th of November 2020. Members of the network showcased their contributions to finding solutions for water problems: On transboundary water management in Togo and Benin, on sustainable water and land management in Subsaharan and Northern Africa, on the implementation of SDG6 in the light of competition for groundwater in Jordan and on climate resilience in Asia.