In the next 10 years, 70% of the Earth’s population will live in cities. Furthermore, by 2030 there will be a 50% increase in demand for energy and water, requiring a water infrastructure capital investment of three times the current level.
To face the challenge of access to water for all citizens, five organizations have joined forces to create greater support for these issues. Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA/UN-Habitat), the Brazilian Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) and the World Water Council (WWC) are bringing together decision-makers, local leaders and practitioners to tackle local water challenges. This year, the United Nations has selected the theme Innovative Governance, Open Cities to highlight the importance of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion.
Numerous UN sanctioned global agreements compliment these actions including the Paris Climate Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Water investment thus becomes a unifying factor in fostering healthier and more prosperous cities, offering impoverished populations a real chance at progress. “Water has a significant place throughout all these agendas. Local Authorities play an essential role in providing services to their citizens and in ensuring adapted and sustainable infrastructure for their residents,” stated Mohamed Boussraoui of UCLG during a session he moderated on resilient cities during the recent International Conference on Water and Climate (ICWC) held in Marseille on 3rd-4th October 2017.
The cohort of organizations signed the Partnership Agreement on the eve of the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities for the World Water Forum held in Brasilia on the 22nd November 2017. This agreement will serve as an important stepping stone for the preparation and organization of the Local and Regional Authorities Conference to be held in conjunction with the World Water Forum between 18th - 23rd March 2018 in Brasilia, Brazil.