ICPDR President on World Water Day

The 22nd of March is the UN “World Water Day”, a day that should highlight the importance of water as a basis for any form of human development. “This year, World Water Day is particularly important to us”, explains ICPDR President Ermina Salkičević-Dizdarević. “Not only is it the 20th time that this days is celebrated, it also coincides with the UN International Year and Water Cooperation.” Many activities of the ICPDR relate to this year.

“I see the upcoming Joint Danube Survey 3 as an excellent example for good practice in transboundary water management”, explains the President. “14 countries and the European Union are united in a six-weeks-long effort to gather information on the water quality in the Danube from a single source.” Just like the World Water Day, the Joint Danube Survey is also intended to act as an occasion to connect people to contemporary challenges in water management.

Communication is key to educating people. “You only care about those things that you understand”, as Salkičević-Dizdarević puts it, “and occasions for outreach such as the World Water Day, the International Year on Water Cooperation, Sava Day or Danube Day, but also communication activities related to more technical projects such as the Joint Danube Survey aim to bring water to the heart and mind of people.” After all, she concludes, all policies including those aiming to manage water sustainably should ultimately benefit people.

World Water Day was celebrated for the first time in 1993, with annually changing themes ever since. This year’s motto, “cooperation”, is in line with the “International Year on Water Cooperation”. The ICPDR is often perceived as an outstanding success, as it draws its support from 15 contracting parties, managing the most international River Basin in the World. The “International Year on Water Cooperation” will also be the topic of an article in the upcoming issue of Danube Watch.

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