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The overall theme for the XVIth World Water Congress is “Bridging Science and Policy”. The following are the subthemes that will be considered at the Congress. To learn more about the background of the Congress theme, subthemes, and cross-cutting issues, please click here to see the Discussion Note – Thematic Framework: Bridging Science and Policy


Congress Subthemes


1.      Water, sanitation and health 

·         Safe and affordable drinking water

·         Adequate and equitable sanitation

·         Water and public health


2.      Water quality, wastewater and reuse

·         Water quality and pollution management  – from ridge to reef

·         Water technologies

·         The circular economy  – reduce, remove, reuse


3.      Water security in a changing world

·         Risk management, disaster risk reduction, and the economics of water security

·         Climate change adaptation

·         Sustainable and efficient water use – surface water and groundwater

·         Reliability, equitability, and adaptability


4.      Water policy and governance

·         IWRM and transboundary issues at all levels

·         Financing, tariffs and the economics of good governance

·         Water law and regulation


5.      Water ecosystems and physical regimes

·         Ecosystem and biodiversity

·         Natural and engineered hydrological systems

·         The hydro-climatic dimension


6.      Water and sustainable growth

·         Managing urban growth - IUWM

·         The Water, Energy and Food Nexus and Green Growth

·         Water infrastructure – investment and financing


 Congress Cross-Cutting Issues


A.     Bridging science and policy

·         Policy-relevant science

·         Scientifically-based policy and management

·         Modelling and decision support systems


B.      Building capacity

·         Research, monitoring, innovation, and education

·         Technology transfer, information & communication technologies, water information systems and capacity building at all levels

·         International cooperation


C.      Stakeholder participation

·         Promote multi-stakeholder dialogues that involve all: public, private, civil society – women and men – young and old

·         Bridging levels: bottom up and top down

·         Keeping focus on culture, poverty reduction, justice, and equity

·         Transparency, corruption, and integrity


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