Objectives - IIWQ

For the achievement of its main goal, IIWQ activities are entrenched within several specific objectives. These objectives focus on promoting scientific research, knowledge and effective policies, building capacities and enhancing the knowledge base on water quality, bringing together science and policy-relevant expertise, creating awareness and facilitating the sharing of best practices.
 
IIWQ Experts Advisory Group objectives
© UNESCO
 
Specifically, IIWQ aims at:
 
  • Scientific research, innovative solutions and technologies are needed to fully safeguard the quality of limited water resources against global threats and potential risks in order to secure adequate levels of supply of good quality water for human use, while preserving the hydrological, biological and chemical functions of ecosystems, as well as maintaining ecosystem and their good and services. Advanced water treatment technologies and innovation can help respond to water quality challenges to ensure access to safe and clean water for all, restore and protect water quality, and ensure the sustainability of water resources. However, more investment is needed to improve water quality monitoring and data collection, to develop and adopt non-polluting technologies, and to foster innovation for effective water purification and wastewater treatment solutions.
  • Building technical and policy capacities at the international, national and local levels are a key aspect of efficient and effective water quality management frameworks. Effective water quality management approaches specifically require proper education and capacity building to strengthen human and institutional capacities in both developing and developed countries through training of water experts, professionals, policy-makers and key stakeholders, as well as ensuring equal gender and minority group’s participation. In addition, improving the knowledge base on water quality is highly important, especially in developing countries, for its economic, social and ecological benefits. The strengthening of the knowledge base can be reached by improving academic programmes and professional career structures, and the sharing of appropriate knowledge and technologies in the field of water quality management.
  • Sustainable policies are needed to develop and implement effective solutions to meet water quality challenges. Solutions can be sustainable only if based on scientific foundations and science-based policy-making. Sound science-based policy-making can be achieved by providing policy-makers with profound knowledge and awareness on water quality problems, as well as possible responses to address these problems. In addition, intergovernmental organizations and international science programmes have a special role to play in brining different stakeholders together and bridging the science and policy gap.
  • Public awareness and education of civil society is also fundamental to addressing water quality challenges in a holistic way. Water quality improvements largely rely on proper education of the general public and the understanding of the importance of access to safe water, improved sanitation and wastewater services, and effective water quality management. Furthermore, lifestyle and individual action can make a significant difference in protecting water quality and the ecosystems. Creating and raising awareness at all levels needs global and local action to promote such programme, with particular emphasis on public participatory techniques, including enhancement of the role of women, youth, indigenous people and local communities. For this purpose, technical and non-technical skills in water management must be developed not only by water experts and practitioners but also by other actors in sectors not related to water.
  • Water quality problems need solutions at different levels, systems and areas. Yet, widespread water quality degradation needs solutions on a global scale through international and regional scientific collaboration based on knowledge exchange, scientific dissemination and sharing of technology and innovation. Notably, knowledge exchange and scientific cooperation must suit the demands of developing countries to provide them with appropriate solutions, technologies and policy responses to address critical water quality issues.