April 9, 2015 Society

Call to Capitalise on a Year of Opportunity to Secure the World’s Water Future

International Water Association calls for greater collaboration between governments and industry professionals to capitalise on 2015’s year of opportunity to secure the World’s water future

Seoul, 09.04.15 – Government ministers from approximately 170 countries, with responsibility for the water stewardship and management of national water policies, will join thousands of water experts and industry professionals from 12-17 April, 2015 at the 7th World Water Forum in Korea, the largest event of its kind on the water industry’s calendar.

As delegates gather, the International Water Association (IWA), the global network of water professionals working to deliver equitable and sustainable water solutions, is calling for bold, collaborative action from governments and policymakers, business and community leaders, academics and practitioners to address the critical actions required to ensure global water sustainability at a time of unprecedented challenges: rapid urbanisation, population growth, water availability for food and energy, climate change and increased water scarcity.

“2015 represents a potential turning point for all those concerned with the future of water; a year of great opportunity or palpable risk,” said Dr Ger Bergkamp, IWA Executive Director.

“Opportunity, because 2015 is the year when Sustainable Development Goals will be set by the United Nations, including a specific goal on water; it is the year when governments will strive to reach global agreement on halting climate change, the impact of which is felt strongly through water; but also opportunity, because water professionals know what needs to be done to create the blue-green revolution needed to secure water sustainability.

“Risk, because if we fail to capitalise fully on these once-in-a-generation opportunities, there will be profound and negative consequences on future societies, economies, peace and sustainability. We must act together, act responsibly and swiftly, there is little time to lose.”

According to IWA, The 7th World Water Forum can be a timely catalyst for real change. Individual countries, through their government ministries, must step up and commit to more progressive and ambitious national agendas, delivering institutional reforms and transforming water management through legislation and regulation that stimulates a transition to sustainability and resilience. At the same time, water industry professionals, scientists and engineers, must each play their part by influencing and driving policy through innovations in practice and technology.

“The water risk facing the world has never been greater,” added Dr. Bergkamp. “Yet, through collaboration and determination on the part of all stakeholders, there are clear opportunities to address water challenges and deliver a sustainable water future for all. Water solutions will play a key role in addressing climate change, economic development, population growth, urbanization and food and energy security. We all have a stake in the future of water sustainability, we must all be more ambitious in capturing opportunities and promoting new solutions to water challenges.”


Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in more than 140 countries worldwide, forming the large... Read full biography