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International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ)


International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ)

IIWQ Regional Consultations and Symposium Series

IIWQ Symposium Series

The first IIWQ Symposium on “Scientific, Technological and Policy Innovations for Improved Water Quality Monitoring in the SDGs Framework” was organized in Kyoto, Japan, July 2015. The Symposium brought together leading experts and policy makers to discuss and exchange on crucial water quality issues of high relevance to the international and national agendas. This event’s major success has led to the recommendation by the IIWQ Expert Advisory Group that IIWQ Water Quality Symposium Series will be organized annually to further and strengthen scientific knowledge and research, and facilitate technological and policy approaches, to meet global water quality challenges and debates. The annual IIWQ Symposium will focus on a specific water quality issue in alignment with IHP-VIII strategic plan.
IIWQ Symposium on Water Quality Monitoring for SDGs (Kyoto, 2015)

The UNESCO International Symposium on “Scientific, Technological and Policy Innovations for Improved Water Quality Monitoring in the SDGs Framework” was organized in Kyoto-Otsu (15-18 July 2015) to raise the importance of water quality monitoring in the SDGs framework. This major UNESCO event, in cooperation with Kyoto University and Lake Biwa Environmental Research Institute (LBERI) of Japan, mobilized international experts and facilitated the sharing and dissemination of the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, technologies, policy approaches and best practices to address water quality challenges at the national and global levels. It also aimed to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDG targets related to water quality.
Key issues addressed:
  • Ensuring safe drinking water for sustainable development
  • Ecological water quality monitoring of watershed
  • Monitoring groundwater quality and quantity
  • New and innovative methodologies and tools for water quality monitoring
  • Water quality indicators, data and reporting
  • Monitoring wastewater and reuse
  • Monitoring emerging pollutants and radionuclides
  • Water quality monitoring using GIS and remote sensing
  • Economic aspects of water quality monitoring
  • Policy, institutional, capacity building and cultural aspects of water quality management 
More than 40 water quality scientists and policy-makers from 24 countries, as well as over 80 participants, attended the event, and a large number of online attendees. UNESCO Member States gained new knowledge, scientific information and collaboration opportunities on global water quality issues as well as information and support on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda water-related SDG targets (SDG Goals 1, 3, 12, 15 and Targets 1.4, 3.3, 3.9, 12.4, 15.1). All contributions and outcomes are available through the Kyoto University OpenCourseWare platform
2016 IIWQ Symposium in Nanjing 
The next annual IIWQ Symposium and the IIWQ Experts Meeting has been offered to be hosted by Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing, China, in October 2016.

IIWQ Regional Consultations on Water Quality

Under IIWQ, UNESCO organized regional consultation meetings on water quality in all regions of the world. These meetings and workshops served as a milestone to assess key priorities and challenges on water quality under the framework of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.
  • UNESCO Regional Consultation Meeting on Water Quality in Europe: Challenges and Best Practices (Koblenz, Germany, 2015)
    The meeting focused on water quality issues in Europe, including western, central, and eastern Europe regions, from a strategic perspective to identify key issues and challenges and to exchange and promote best practices on solving water quality problems through the sharing of state-of-the-art technological solutions, policy approaches and successful case studies.
  • UNESCO Regional Workshop on Water Quality in the Americas (Irvine, United States, 2015)
    This workshop was dedicated to the most important water quality issues in the Americas, such as the growing water quality degradation, natural containment of water resources and water pollution from mining, proposing important water quality management solutions to improve the present state of water resources in the region.
  • UNESCO International Workshop on Water Pollutant Prevention and Control Strategies towards Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Middle East (Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, 2011)
    This international workshop focused on water quality and water pollution concerns in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries. The workshop aimed to evaluated water quality trends in major surface water and groundwater resources, identifying relationships between water quality, water pollution and environmental, health and socio-economic issues. It also contributed to the sharing of experiences and success stories as well as lessons learned on water quality management and pollution control.
  • UNESCO International Symposium on Addressing Water Quality Challenges in Asia-Pacific (Daejeon, Republic of Korea, 2011)
    This symposium brought together high-level government officials, water experts and researchers from the Asia and Pacific region to discuss scientific, technological and policy solutions to the region’s critical problems of water quality degradation and its impact on human health, the environment and economic development. It also discussed water quality issues in different socio-economic context of the Asia and Pacific nations and their specific problems and differences in economic development levels.
  • UNESCO Workshop on Addressing Water Quality Challenges in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, 2011)
    This workshop – the first of the UNESCO regional consultation meetings on water quality – was a milestone event, which served as the foundation for the establishment of IIWQ as a major UNESCO programme on water quality. It focused on the urgent need to address water quality challenges in Africa for effective water resources management and sustainable development of the region. Issued addressed and the impacts of global changes such as urbanization, population growth and climate change on the quality of surface water and groundwater resources of Africa. Moreover, it concluded with a set of recommendations for approaches, policies and strategies for integrated water quality management towards ensuring the sustainability of Africa’s water resources and human well-being.