Water Dialogues for results

Towards 2023 Water Conference

Translating Synergies into Actions

Process Overview

High-level Conference Bonn 2021
On 1 July 2021, the German environmental ministry hosted a virtual high-level ministerial conference at which the key messages and action-oriented policy recommendations were officially handed over to UN DESA for further consideration in the preparatory process. The conference was the first of many preparatory conferences for the Mid-term Review of the Water Action Decade and corresponding UN Water Conference in 2023.
Expert roundtables
In five roundtables, water and sanitation experts were invited to discuss SDG 6 implementation through the five accelerators: Capacity Development, Financing, Data and Information, Innovation, and Governance. This ensured the technical underpinning of the policy recommendations and key messages. An additional roundtable discussed the improvement of the science-policy-interface.
Regional Fora
Acknowledging the diversity of water and sanitation challenges across different world regions, regional events reached out to stakeholders in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, as well as Europe to inform the policy recommendations of the particular opportunities and needs of these regions.
Un General Assembly High-level Meeting on Water
On 18 March 2021, the UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting on the “Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda”. The need for fast and decisive change to stay on track with reaching SDG 6 by 2030 was identified.
Steering Committee
The Steering Committee of the Water Dialogues for Results comprised 35 UN member states representatives as well as Major Groups. They contributed to the policy recommendations and key messages in regular meetings, supported the outreach and acted as ambassadors in their respective world regions.
July 2021
May 2021
March-May 2021
March 2021
February 2021

In 2017, UN Member States announced the Water Action Decade to strengthen the focus on water and its interconnectedness to ecosystems, economic development and human wellbeing. With its start in 2018, efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation as agreed upon by UN Member States in Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) of the Agenda 2030, should be accelerated.

To reach SDG 6, actions on full diversity of targets from access to drinking water and sanitation, water-use efficiency, integrated water resources management, transboundary cooperation, protection to the restoration of water-related ecosystems are urgently required. However, this is not only relevant for the achievement of SDG 6 itself, but for almost all of the 17 SDGs. Many are implicitly or explicitly related to water like Agriculture (SDGs 2, 12), Health (SDG 3) and Energy (SDG 7).

River in rainforest

Population growth, urbanisation and changing consumption patterns present additional demands of the already scarce resource. The impact of climate change (SDG 13) furthermore exacerbates risk of droughts and floods.

The increasing pressures on water resources and ecosystems (SDGs 14,15) worldwide leaves no time to hesitate but to cooperate (SDG 17). But focusing on water alone will not bring us back on track. Therefore, cross-sectoral ambition is key to bring sectors together and translate synergies into action. The policy messages developed in the Water Dialogues’ process focus on the five key accelerators to reach SDG 6: Governance, Optimised Financing, Innovation, Capacity Building, and Improved Data and Information. The Water Dialogues’ process is part of the German government’s efforts to overcome global water challenges and accelerate the implementation of SDG 6. In view of 2023, it presents a unique opportunity to turn the tide on achieving SDG 6.