The 2019 Budapest Water Summit resumed for its final day on Thursday.
Throughout the day, participants attended three sessions to continue discussing water crises, bringing together ministers and high-level representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Bangladesh, Finland, US, Hungary, Senegal and the former president of Slovenia, as well as representatives from the Holy See, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Women for Water Partnership, Water Policy Group, and international research, education and law organizations and regional development banks, among others.
During the sessions, participants heard keynotes followed by panel discussions on:
On implementation, panelists sought to answer the questions “the right systems for what, for whom, and for where?” Discussions involved: joint management with farmers; coordination between downstream and upstream users; balancing service delivery and resource management; ethical arguments for water management; and the need for “soft skills” of communication in governance.
Mohamed Abdel Aty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt, highlighted transparent and independent monitoring mechanisms to build public trust in recycled water quality.
On transboundary water affairs, conversation focused on the opportunity of cooperation agreements to stabilize populations, countries and regions.
Kire Ilioski, UNECE, said the majority of international water courses lack cooperative arrangements, are not in force, or are not implemented properly. She underscored how transboundary agreements could significantly reduce and prevent conflict.
Jamal Al-Adly, Minister of Water Resources, Iraq, underscored the challenges in water management between up and downstream users, particularly in regions where there is pre-existing weakness in cooperation, and where not all countries are parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).
On institutional architecture to support transformation, discussions explored what is needed to move from “a paradigm shift to an institutional shift” in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia, noting the IWRM model has been in use for more than four decades, identified political challenges in multilateral governance as a key barrier to achieving transformation.
In the closing session, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary, called for international organizations and governments to allocate financial resources to develop new technologies to address challenges of the water crises.
András Szöllősi-Nagy, Chair, BWS 2019 International Programme and Drafting Committee, presented the outcome of the 2019 BWS. He noted its aim to recognize the value of water in the fullest sense, create a water secure future, and build on opportunities presented by technologies.
Abdoulaye Sene, 2021 World Water Forum Executive Secretary, Senegal, outlined the way forward to the 9th WWF in Dakar, Senegal in 2021, stressing the direct link between the 2019 BWS and the Forum.
Several side events and a Digital and Nature-based Sustainable Solutions Expo continued in parallel to the Summit.
András Szöllősi-Nagy closed the 2019 Budapest Water Summit at 4:04 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ meeting coverage, provided daily digital coverage and daily reports from BWS 2019. In addition, IISD Reporting Services, has published a summary report in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page
+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 17 October 2019
The 2019 Budapest Water Summit resumed on Wednesday.
Throughout the day, participants attended four sessions to continue discussing water crises, bringing together ministers and high-level representatives from Turkey, Switzerland, Uganda, and China, as well as representatives from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), multilateral development banks, international research centers, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and national water utilities, among others. Hungarian President János Áder attended the science discussion in the afternoon.
During the sessions, participants heard keynotes followed by panel discussions on:
On water stress and migration, panelists discussed water infrastructure for refugees, water risk modeling, the water cycle, and new models for economic development.
Bekir Pakdemirli, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Turkey, highlighted the significant investments made to upgrade water and sanitation infrastructure in refugee host cities and provinces, underlining that Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world.
Nizar Zaied, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), linked migration movements and water scarcity hotspots, stressing the importance of mobilizing resources to reduce vulnerabilities of populations at risk for environmentally-induced migration.
On investments for water security, panelists discussed challenges to link financiers to implementing agencies.
Diverging views on subsidies added depth to the panel. Andreas Proksch, GIZ, opined that subsidies are necessary to achieve the sustainable development goal on water (SDG 6), while Prithvi Raj Singh, Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, worried that doubling investment in water leads to increased water resource exploitation.
To support water investments, David Tyler, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, discussed the Green Cities programme as an example of a collaborative approach and Ákos Szalai, Head of Department, National Bank of Hungary, described the potential for central banks to use green bond portfolios.
On technology in water crises, discussions focused on: tools for water efficiency; translating data to action and technology into practice; integrated systems; and the need for increased interdisciplinary work.
Sam Cheptoris, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda, identified the need for water efficiency, and encouraged investment and promotion of a number of technologies.
Noting that 40% of WMO members lack established flood forecasting and warning services, Johannes Cullman, WMO, highlighted the World Water Data Initiative and making the human right to water access more prominent.
Regarding science in water crises, intense discussion involved the role of science in: developing and communicating relevant knowledge to solve water challenges; assisting decision makers to manage competing interests; and enhancing monitoring of the SDGs.
Charles Vörösmarty, City University of New York, set the stage for understanding scientific gaps in SDG 6, outlining “next generation” products to address those gaps.
Claudia Sadoff, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), discussed research priorities, particularly in agriculture, climate and economic growth.
A series of side events and a Digital and Nature-based Sustainable Solutions Expo took place in parallel to the Summit. In the evening, participants attended a reception and cultural programme at the Millenáris Park Conference Center.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Hungarian President János Áder gave opening remarks. He stressed that technologies are needed to mitigate and adapt to emerging water crises. Among the country’s successes, he noted Hungary has built over 4,200 kilometers of dykes, as well as water reservoirs to manage floods, and its investments in water quality mean that “rivers leaving our country are cleaner than when they arrive.”
Samdech Hun Sen, Cambodian Prime Minister, discussed joint approaches and implementation mechanisms to promote cooperation and water security at regional and global levels.
Via video message, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres expressed support to the Summit’s objective, noting that water is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and pointed to the UN’s commitment to pursue the human right to water.
UN-Water Chair and International Fund for Agricultural Development President, Gilbert Houngbo, stressed the need for new political momentum and a transformational shift in how we value water.
Jin Liqun, President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said water disasters cost the Asian economy US$360 billion per year, and reported that AIIB is developing a water strategy to guide the investment sector.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation, India, reported that water security is at the center of India’s development agenda, and underlined efforts to decentralize water governance and a campaign to “make water everyone’s business.”
In the morning and afternoon, participants attended three sessions that brought together ministers and high-level representatives from Ghana, Jordan, Slovakia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Slovenia as well as representatives of the EU and African Union (AU), multilateral development banks, the World Bank Group, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others, to discuss water crises. During the sessions, participants heard keynotes followed by panel discussions on:
On crises prevention, discussions included: technology to improve efficiency, promoting water as a tool for peace, behavior change via education of youth, investment that builds resilience, tiered pricing systems, and transboundary water governance.
On water valuation and costs of crises, panelists raised a number of topics, including: reducing water consumption, valuing water at the individual level, access to water as a human right, local water governance, unlocking funding for water investment, building synergies such as the water-energy-climate nexus, and multistakeholder initiatives to address pollution.
On economically rational behavior in water crises, discussion focused on how to deal with complexities in policy processes and the financial sector, including: voluntary agreements, economic incentives and models for integrated water resources management, flood forecasting and early warning systems, and risk assessments.
A series of side events took place in parallel with the Summit. In the evening, participants attended a cultural programme and reception at the Palace of the Arts.
+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 15 October 2019