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    UNIS/OUS/420
    22 March 2021

    World Water Day 2021: valuing the water of our shared basin

    VIENNA, 22 March (UN Information Service) – For World Water Day 2021, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is focusing on valuing water and celebrating this precious resource that we work to protect.

    In the context of significantly accelerating global changes with many still living without access to water, the protection of our most precious shared resource is all the more important for us today and will continue to be a vital issue for generations to come. World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater. In keeping with the aims of this year’s World Water Day, the ICPDR is consistently bringing water policy and climate change policy together throughout the Danube River Basin.

    “Water is of utmost importance to everybody living in the Danube River Basin,” says ICPDR 2021 President, Momčilo Blagojević of Montenegro. “This World Water Day, the ICPDR is reflecting on the many ways in which our most precious resource has shaped our cultures and livelihoods for millennia, and we will continue to plan ahead for equitable and sustainable development of all water in the Danube River Basin.”

    What is World Water Day 2021 about?

    Valuing water is the World Water Day 2021 theme, celebrating the water we have, and raising awareness about those living without adequate and safe access. The campaign is generating a global, public conversation on social media about how we all value water for its many uses. Tell your stories and share what water means to you via the hashtag #WorldWaterDay.

    World Water Day 2021 isn’t only about sharing stories though – it’s about looking forward. As societies demand more water for a growing global population, we need to make sure we can balance the rising demands on water resources and ensure proper management for this finite, irreplaceable resource.

    Surveying water for the safety of all

    Monitoring, assessing, managing and valuing water resources lies at the heart of the ICPDRs activities, operating to a six-year operations cycle. As this current cycle comes to a close, the ICPDR is imminently publishing the findings from JDS4 – the fourth Joint Danube Survey. This survey is the biggest scientific river basin survey of its kind anywhere in the world, making use of groundbreaking new techniques and a vast network of European laboratories to make a record-breaking analysis of the Danube River and its tributaries. This analysis comprises a vast snapshot of the status of our waters, from the biodiversity of fish populations and the prevalence of micro-organisms, to the possible threats of chemical incursions, and the appearance of new substances in the river. The findings of JDS4 will feed directly into the ICPDR’s Daube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan Updates for 2021, setting the much of the targets, pace, and programme for the next six-years of our activity throughout the Danube River Basin.

    Involving all stakeholders in water resources management

    While economics remain important for the development of the region, there’s also a need to fully understand cultural values associated with water. This should be achieved by involving a wide range of stakeholders in our water resources management at the transboundary level. This Year’s World Water Day also coincides with the launch of our Public Consultation campaign on the aforementioned Danube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan Updates 2021. Find out about the plan updates and how to participate in this public consultation here.

    The key outcomes of this 2021 consultation will be an increased scope for the ICPDR. It will widen our understanding of the gaps to be filled by bringing on board a broader range of stakeholders and other interests in relation to the management of the most precious resource in our lives. 

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    For further information, contact:

    Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov
    Public Participation & Communication
    ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
    Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
    Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220
    E-mail: helene.masliah-gilkarov[at]icpdr.org
    Web: www.icpdr.org