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International Congress

World Water Week- Stockholm

Seeing the unseen: The value of water

The theme of World Water Week 2022 is ‘Seeing the unseen: The value of water‘, with a focus on the diverse aspects of water, how others view and value water, and to help uncover water’s full value to society. 


Thematic Scope 2022

The world’s freshwater is under unprecedented pressure from fast-rising temperatures, populations, and consumption patterns. To address this global water crisis and climate chaos, World Water Week 2022 will focus on how we value water. Revealing and understanding the value of water will trigger much-needed decisions, innovations, and investments in managing water better.

Join us in a global conversation about valuing water, in which we also shine a light on the world’s most forgotten water: the vast majority of freshwater that is hidden in groundwater aquifers, in the soil or in the atmosphere. We will also look at virtual water – the water required to produce goods and services – and, of course, the whole water cycle linking freshwater and oceans.

World Water Week 2022 will communicate simply and clearly the value of water for human and societal activities. As people and nations gain a better understanding of how important water is to their lives and to everything they care about, they place a higher value on it. This creates a virtuous cycle, in which people care for water better, manage and share it more equitably, and waste or pollute it less, so that the water can generate more benefits for people and nature.

During the Week, we will explore the value of water from many different perspectives. One starting point will be how improved water management and governance can help us achieve the 2030 Agenda and the global Sustainable Development Goals, which are currently under acute pressure, and the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change. We will be more likely to succeed if we understand the value that water brings.

Valuing water is a tool for achieving societies’ aims and contributing to a more sustainable, peaceful and secure future. It is also a politically-charged topic with implications for global trade, business models, political systems and international law. How we value water touches on fundamental social, cultural and spiritual values. It paves the way for more peaceful, stable, healthy and prosperous societies and a more sustainable future for the entire planet.

People around the world want to discuss these diverse aspects of water and to understand how others view and value water. World Water Week 2022 will offer a platform for this important global conversation. The sessions will help to uncover water’s full value to society. Within the overall theme of “Seeing the unseen: The value of water”, the sessions will be grouped under three headings:

  • The value of water for people and development
  • The financial and economic value of water
  • The value of water for nature and climate change

Here are some questions for discussion during World Water Week 2022:

How do people view water?

What makes people and organizations care about water?

What is the political economy of water?

What is the value of water for ecosystems and people?

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