End of last year, Amsterdam International Water Web (AIWW) has unfolded its sixth edition of fostering global change through inter-sectoral collaboration. AIWW 2021 theme is ‘Blue-Green deals with Integrated Solutions’, along the three pillars of societal, technical and ecological aspects. The core theme of AIWW 2021 revolves around global greening solutions, agreements and deals including European Green Deal, Water Frameworks Directive, and national goals like Netherlands International Water Ambition (NIWA).

The Amsterdam International Water Web (AIWW, since 2011) is a global water leaders’ community, moving towards a circular and resilient water environment in high-density living areas. Together with their community of international water leaders, AIWW bridges the gap between todays challenges and future needs, with water as an accelerator for sustainable solutions. Main question driving the AIWW theme for 2021 is: “How can we build our assets and systems, particularly our water and waste-waterinfrastructure to have sufficient adaptive capacity?”

 Water as an enabler

 The main theme for AIWW 2021 recognises the interconnectivity of water challenges and solutions with other sectors. The integration of nature in the form of blue-green solutions to address global challenges of water stress, drainage, water and pharmaceutical pollution, ecosystems and intensification of climatic challenges. The ecological consequences of development has led to disaggregation of sectors causing disruption in natural responses to weather and natural cycles, exacerbating temperatures, negatively affecting water cycle, lowering of ground water, uncontrolled production-disposal cycle creating more and unmanageable waste each day, pollution, green house emissions, higher energy demand and increased vulnerability and climate risks. Societal, ecological, technical and financial challenges underlying each of the global issues is our focal point towards driving change and catalysing transformations.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG’s)

All SDG’s are connected and water is included in all SDG’s. AIWW focuses with horizon 2030 on the five SDG’s: SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (climate action). These SDG’s represent AIWW target groups cities, utilities, industry and cross-cutting target groups as Finance and Sciences, recognising food production as major demander of water (over 70%), source and recipient of pollution. Including a cross-cutting global challenge Climate actions. All themes are connected; therefore all stakeholders need to be connected. AIWW Horizon 2030 agenda is also in alignment with UN-SDG Agenda 2030.

Green Deals around the globe

The main theme is derived and inspired from global green and blue deals like European Union’s Green Deal programme, Green New Deal (GND) US environmental resolution, EU-China Summit 2020 resolutions on de-carbonisation and green recovery, World Bank Green Bond programme and Blue economy programme.

Subthemes

To further deepen the main theme AIWW2021 has the two cross-cutting topics Finance and Smart water, and these underlying subthemes:

 

  1. Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration
    – Ecosystem balance & restoring natural processes and water cycle
    – Nature-based solutions & green-blue integrated infrastructural solutions
  2. Reuse, Recycle and Recover
  • Reclaim and reuse of wastewater
  • Safe Resource recovery
  • Central versus local/ decentralised solutions for drinking water production & waste water treatment
  • Water for Food: water use efficiency and reuse
  1. Risks and Resilience
  • Early warning systems for high disaster-risk prone regions & availability of data
  • Adaptive & resilient design of water infrastructure
  • Financial systems to strengthen dealing with risk preparedness
  1. Community engagement and inter-sectoral collaboration
  • Building awareness and trust among communities, inclusive decision-making on future climate risks and ecosystem processes
  • Water (re) allocation: finding common ground for robust water distribution
  • Smart data tools for data-driven community engagement

Further read on sub themes.