The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA at World Water Week in Stockholm
World Water Week 2017 will take place this 27 August - 1 September in Stockholm. World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues - bringing together experts from the world’s scientific, business, government and civic communities. It is organized by SIWI. This year, the theme is "Water and Waste - Reduce and Reuse." Registration is open for those interested in participating.

AGWA will be hosting several events leading up to World Water Week as well as convening workshops, panels, and seminars throughout. To find out about WWW's program, theme, and much more, please visit A PDF version of the program is now available online as well.

This page will highlight the events specifically related to AGWA both prior to and throughout the week. It will be updated as more details and events are finalized. Make sure to check back periodically.
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"Water is key to our future prosperity, and together we can achieve a water wise world."

Important AGWA Events in Stockholm
With so many water experts and AGWA members in Stockholm for the week, AGWA often holds several organizational events leading up to WWW. This includes our annual member meeting - now in its seventh year already! We will also organize a social dinner in order to let our 1000-plus international members to get to know one another and network with colleagues and friends.
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AGWA Dinner

On Friday 25 August, AGWA will be organizing an informal, friendly dinner for members of its network. The dinner will be a great opportunity to catch up with fellow members prior to the Annual Members Meeting and World Water Week for those people that arrive in Stockholm by Friday. At this point it will be difficult to accommodate any additional guests as the reservation has already been made.

When: Friday, 25 August; 19:30-21:30
Venue: Knut Bar (Regeringsgatan 77)

Seventh Annual Members Meeting

AGWA has had another year of significant growth in membership and expansion of programs since the last Annual Meeting. The goal is to have a dynamic meeting, with activities meant to encourage active participation from AGWA members and to elicit ideas, feedback, and interaction. We plan on having several breakout groups to cover specific topics. AGWA is a member-driven network and we want to hear your input!

When: Saturday, 26 August; 13:00-17:00
Venue: Stockholm City Conference Centre, Room NL 451
AGWA's World Water Week Events
Below is a list of the official World Water Week events and seminars related to AGWA. In each of these AGWA serves in a leading role as a convenor, co-convenor, or presenter. All events will take place in the Stockholm City Conference Centre in one of two buildings - Norra Latin (NL) and Folkets Hus (FH). To find out about other sessions or search the full list of events, visit

From Global Policy to Local Project: Managing Water through NDCs

Can global policy drive local sustainable water resource management decisions and projects? In 2015, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement was signed using Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as the country-level mechanism for climate mitigation targets, with the opportunity to also include climate adaptation needs. While many of the NDCs explicitly prioritize water, they describe goals and aspirations rather than projects or the many institutions and required financing necessary to implement these targets. Thus, the intensifying use of water for climate mitigation and adaptation at the project level may not represent national policy coherence or best practices.

Donors increasingly embark on initiatives emphasizing the role of NDCs in sustainable and climate resilient development in order to foster effective, fundable, and funded projects that will meet global policy objectives. How can we ensure that the water necessary for clean energy, equitable transboundary management, robust adaptation and economic development, cities and sanitation, and resilient ecosystems reflects best practices as NDCs begin to crystallize from aspirations into projects?

Here, we will discuss how global climate policy is reshaping both technical and political cooperation, synergies, and tensions between governance levels, sectors, policy areas, and countries.

When: Sunday, 27 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: NL Auditorium
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA
Co-Convenors: Arup, Climate Bonds Initiative, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany), ForestTrends, IUCN, Rare, SIWI, UNECE, WaterAid, World Bank Group, World Resources Institute

Water to Mitigate Climate Change: Beyond the Obvious

Energy is essential to the whole cycle of human water use, from extraction to transport, treatment, and various other uses, including irrigation, industry and wastewater treatment. Given the considerable energy needs associated with these activities, which are meant to increase with time, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases generated is fundamental.

Therefore, if the role of water is now recognized as a key for adaptation to climate change, the issues related to mitigation also need to be raised in the water agenda. One central message of the international initiative “ClimateIsWater” emphasizes that water underlies many low-carbon solutions. Water can indeed be considered as a renewable source of energy; hydroelectricity comes first in mind. Yet, further solutions such as the improvement of energy efficiency of the water sector and many innovative solutions including energy recovery from wastewater can contribute to mitigation.

This event aims at clarifying the links between water, energy, and mitigation and will showcase concrete technical and institutional low-carbon solutions in the field of water. It will take into account the larger international framework including the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate, showcasing that water is a key connector to reach those ambitious targets.

When: Tuesday, 29 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: NL Music Hall
Event website: Click here
Convenors: ClimateIsWater Initiative, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, French Water Partnership, International Network of Basin Organizations, World Water Council

Ecosystems, Water, and Health: The Multiple Dimensions of Natural Infrastructure

Nature-based solutions for water are gaining traction, as communities, businesses and water resource professionals recognize these cost-effective, no-regrets approaches as an important part of the tool box for sustainable water management. Green infrastructure solutions for water, however, are also a powerful strategy for simultaneously addressing the complex ways in which water and health are intimately linked – freedom from disease, food security, physical and mental health, and, safety and resilience to climate change and other natural and human-caused disasters that threaten health. More innovative, water-focused, green infrastructure projects emerge each year, but for the most part these have not been strategically and systematically designed to take advantage of the potential to address water security while simultaneously providing transformative solutions for the inter-related challenges addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals. Can changing business as usual in the water sector be the catalyst for the kinds of integrated strategies needed for multiple benefit solutions that link ecosystems, water, and the multiple facets of human health?

When: Thursday, 31 August; 11:00-12:30
Venue: FH 307
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA, Arup, ForestTrends, Silvestrum, SIWI, The Nature Conservancy, Urban Waters Federal Partnership, World Resources Institute

Young Professionals Booth

The Young Professional’s Booth is all about networking and inspiration! Every day, during World Water Week, there will be a different host presenting its theme and addressing important development issues.

AGWA will host the YP Booth all day Sunday. The theme for this day will be Paying it forward: How can water professionals share knowledge and experience with the next generation of experts?

Come by and join the discussion, network with some new faces, and help us blaze a trail for the next generation of water professionals!

When: Sunday, 27 August; 09:00-19:00
Venue: Young Professionals Booth (NL Entrance; Marble Hall)
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA, SIWI

Complexities Associated with Climate Change, Water, and Agriculture

Climate change, water resources, and all scales and modes of agricultural production are inexorably interwoven with one another. Pragmatically integrating the political, ecological, market, social, and cultural expressions of each creates challenges and opportunities for water users. Overlaying each of these over the others amplifies difficulties for water managers incorporating climate change models into programs and for agriculturalists.

This session focuses on the U.S. Northern Great Plains and the Colorado River Basin in the context of climate change dynamics, water resources, and agriculture production and sustainability issues. This session will address: 1) how agriculture is or is not adapting to climate and water issues, 2) current climate science research on the Colorado River Basin and possible impact on agricultural production and water management, 3) local and regional policy options for agricultural adaptation to climate and water challenges, and 4) the possible opportunities for Climate Smart Agriculture as a local, national, and global social and policy movement to address the complex interactions among climate change, water management, and farming systems in transition.

When: Wednesday, 30 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: FH 307
Event website: Click here
Convenors: Colorado State University
Co-Convenor: AGWA

Ensuring Adaptation Through Insurance: Mainstreaming Resilient Nature-Based Water Management

Climate change is altering the risks communities, economies, and ecosystems face in new and uncertain ways. How do we address new risks while also ensuring that our climate solutions are themselves sustainable? Nature based solutions (NBS) can reduce vulnerability to emerging and climate induced hazards, especially drought and flooding, and this risk reduction can be assessed and incorporated within insurance schemes. The capacity to quantify and qualify the economic value of NBS in the insurance industry, assessed with ecosystem service co-benefits, would improve water management decision making, investment planning, and reduce climate risks, but work in this is area remains scattered and unsystematic. By featuring leaders and experts from city authorities, insurance companies, and government, this event will discuss experiences in applying current concepts, tools, business models to capitalize on the insurance value that can be provided through ecosystems to guide smarter, more resilient development. The event will draw from the learning and expert network the NAIAD (NAture Insurance value: Assessment and Demonstration) project, complemented by over 20 partner organizations and including pilots from eight demonstration sites across Europe.

When: Thursday, 31 August; 09:00-10:30
Venue: FH 307
Event website: Click here
Convenors: Duero River Basin Authority, The NAIAD Project Consortium, SIWI

Designing for Freshwater Resilience

Rising demand for fresh water among and within sectors leads to overuse of water supplies, degraded ecosystems and the associated loss of ecosystem services upon which poor and vulnerable people rely to meet their basic needs. Around the world, river basins are locked into water use regimes that foster patterns of water use that are incongruent to society’s water needs and contrary to its best long term interests. In times of growing scarcity, freshwater ecosystems and poor and vulnerable people commonly lose out to more powerful users.

Resilient freshwater systems handle changes, particularly the increasingly common ones wrought by climate change, and continue to deliver the essential services upon which communities and ecosystems depend, under a range of possible futures. This event will showcase a series of tools and approaches for building the resilience of freshwater systems (e.g., lakes, rivers, aquifers, and other natural and built infrastructure freshwater) to meet the water needs of economic growth, poor and vulnerable communities, and freshwater ecosystems under a wide range of possible futures.

When: Thursday, 31 August; 16:00-17:30
Venue: NL 353
Event website: Click here
Convenors: AGWA, Arup, The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank Group, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 100 Resilient Cities