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Water is the mother of all things, the basis of survival and the source of civilisation. Everything is born from water and returns to water. Water for All: Harmony between Humans and Nature has always been a beautiful vision for mankind. The water security situation under the impact of global climate change is becoming more and more severe, and natural disasters such as droughts, floods, landslides and mudslides are frequent and frequent, as well as the global pandemic of COVID-19, all of them pose new challenges to water security nowadays.

The XVIII World Water Resources Congress focused on addressing the "water-population-economy" nexus welly in a changing environment, improving water use efficiency and public water services, building a resilient disaster prevention and mitigation systems, improving the quality and stability of water ecosystems, promoting sustainable and intelligent water infrastructure, and innovating water governance and management. We hope to conduct in-depth exchanges and explorations in the areas of water governance, water management concepts and water security measures to promote innovation in water governance technology, water management concepts and water security measures in the world. At the same time, we sincerely hope that the long history of water governance, the experience of water reform and development, water management technology and management concepts of the Chinese nation will be available to more countries.

We, therefore, extend a cordial invitation to experts, scholars, dignitaries, water-related workers and enthusiasts from all over the world to gather in Beijing to discuss water issues and the water agenda and to jointly organise the XVIII World Water Congress.

Hosted by

Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China (MWR),International Water Resources Association (IWRA)

Organised by

General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR China National Committee of IWRA

The World Water Congress is one of the world's largest congresses linking water policy makers, researchers and policy practitioners. Since 1973, International Water Resources Association (IWRA) has held a World Water Congress every three years in various locations around the world. This influential event has been successfully held 17 times. During the Congress, heads of international organisations, high level government officials, experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and economists from all over the world would share their knowledge, experience and practice regarding a wide range of topics related to water.

The XVIII World Water Congress will take place in Beijing, China, from 11 to 15 September 2023.

The XVIII World Water Congress will take place in Beijing, China, from 11 to 15 September 2023.

With the theme of "Water for All: Harmony between Humans and Nature", the XVIII World Water Congress aims to promote coordination and balance between the water needs of humans and nature. The Congress will facilitate knowledge and experience sharing, focusing on investigating the relationship between water, humans and nature, identifying and reconciling all water-related factors in a coordinated manner, and making and implementing water management strategies and polices using systematic approaches.

The objective of the World Water Congress is to provide a meeting place to share experiences, promote discussion, and to present new knowledge, research results and new developments in the field of water sciences around the world. For almost five decades the World Water Congresses have been excellent events for the identification of major global themes concerning the water agenda, and for the bringing together of a large cross-section of stakeholders for the development and implementation of decisions in the field of water.

Water for All: Harmony between Humans and Nature

Water is for all, including humans and nature. As a precious natural resource, water plays a vital role in meeting human needs, preserving the environment and developing our countries. Thus, water management should consider, coordinate and balance the various needs, and fundamentally achieve harmony, which embodies a dynamic, coordinated, appropriate and equitable relationship, between humans and nature.

With the theme of "Water for All: Harmony between Humans and Nature", the XVIII World Water Congress aims to promote coordination and balance between the water needs of humans and nature. The Congress will facilitate knowledge and experience sharing, focusing on investigating the relationship between water, humans and nature, identifying and reconciling all water-related factors in a coordinated manner, and making and implementing water management strategies and polices using systematic approaches.

  • Sub-theme 1: Water-Human-Economy-Ecology Nexus under a Changing Environment

    Various factors impacts water security, including climate change, infectious diseases, and traditional factors (e.g. population growth, urbanization, industrialization, agricultural development, floods, droughts, pollution, groundwater over-exploitation, etc.). To ensure water security both globally and locally, it is required to coordinate multiple aspects of the water sector, as well as the relationships of water with social-economic development (human behaviors), ecological sustainability (natural dynamics with human influences) and water-food-energy nexus.

    1-1: Rules and mechanisms of natural hydrological cycling and socio-economic water cycling evolution under climate change

    1-2: Vulnerability and adaptability of water-land-energy-food nexus

    1-3: Balanced and coordinated development of water-economy-ecology system

    1-4: Water security challenges in key regions

    1-5: Water security assessment and risk management

    1-6: Water security, human development and economic growth linkages

    1-7: Climate-induced risks in irrigation and water supply

  • Sub-theme 2: Promoting Water Efficiency, Productivity and Services

    A healthy water system should reflect the true value of water to deliver services for people and the environment, such as clean and affordable water for drinking, adequate and equitable water supply for livelihoods, and prosperous ecosystems with biodiversity. Water efficiency can be promoted by proper pricing, water saving, and water reuse and recycling, integrated water management, etc.

    2-1: Water supply and demand management

    2-2: Water use efficiency and productivity improvement through scientific, technical, economic and educational means

    2-3: Agricultural/Irrigation water and other rural water systems for livelihood improvement

    2-4: Wastewater treatment and reuse

    2-5: Water pricing and water rights reforms

    2-6: Covid-19 and safe drinking water

    2-7: Water services and water service providers

  • Sub-theme 3: Building Resilience for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

    To address the impacts of climate change and human activities, it is necessary to build resilience to enhance adaptation capacity and mitigate water-related disaster risks, such as, floods, droughts, pollution accidents, groundwater over-exploitation, and man-made events.

    3-1: Prevention and mitigation of extreme weather induced water-related disasters

    3-2: Development of flood control projects

    3-3: Nature-based Solutions for water-related disaster prevention and mitigation

    3-4: Floodwater resource management and utilization

    3-5: Monitoring and early warning of water-related disasters

    3-6: Improving resilience of water infrastructure projects for extreme events

    3-7: Management of water risks induced by extreme weather and climate events

  • Sub-theme 4: Supporting Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Functions

    An aquatic ecosystem needs adequate space, quantity, quality, and biodiversity to reach a good condition for its intrinsic functions. This needs to protect the water from the source to the estuary and requires a holistic and nature-based solution.

    4-1: The ecological health of rivers and lakes

    4-2: Maintenance and restoration of the river basin eco-hydrological process

    4-3: Protection and management of major rivers and lakes, from headwaters to estuaries

    4-4: Ecological restoration of degraded rivers and lakes

    4-5: Value of aquatic ecological products/goods and services

    4-6: Aquatic biodiversity protection

    4-7: Groundwater and ecosystem

    4-8: Water quality improvement

  • Sub-theme 5: Establishing Sustainable Water Infrastructures

    Strategic approaches are needed to combine natural water systems and water infrastructure in an environment-friendly ways to secure reliable social and economic services, such as flood control, water supply for drinking/agriculture/industry, energy generation, navigation, ecosystem conservation, etc. Sustainable and smart water infrastructure aims to solve water-related issues using state-of-the-art sciences and technologies, such as cloud computing, big data, internet of things, geospatial exploration and sensing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.

    5-1: Exploitation and development of Nature-based Solutions in water engineering and technology

    5-2: Large inter-basin water diversion projects

    5-3: Digital twin river basins and digital twin projects

    5-4: Intelligent business application system for water regulation and management

    5-5: Joint operation and regulation of water projects

    5-6: Multi-functional utilization of water projects, including hydropower stations

  • Sub-theme 6: Innovation for Water Governance and Management

    This subtheme focuses on the management pillar to make what discussed in the other five subthemes realistic. Innovation of water management is a necessity to bridge gaps in the traditional management mindset. Topics include institutional system reform, water resources management, financing and marketing mechanisms, legal system building, river basin management, management innovation, and other mechanisms.

    6-1: Water rights and water markets

    6-2: Innovation of investment and financing mechanism, including green finance

    6-3: Adaptive water management

    6-4: Integrated river basin management

    6-5: Information transparency and public participation

    6-6: Role of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) initiatives and reporting

    6-7: Role of national and international law

    6-8: Creative technology and tools for water resources management

    6-9: Water footprint analysis and its application in regional land use planning

The Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China (MWR) and the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) have set up governance and working bodies, which consist of the Congress Organising Committee (COC), National Organising Committee (NOC), International Scientific Committee (ISC), Congress Secretariat (CS) and IWRA Executive Office (EO).

Congress Organising Committee (COC)

Honorary Chair

Li Guoying Minister of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China

Chair

Wei Shanzhong Vice Minister of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China

Vice Chairs

Yang Derui Director General of Water Resources Management Department, MWR, China

Xu Wenhai Director General of National Office of Water Conservation, MWR, China

Gao Minfeng Counsel of Planning and Programming Department, MWR, China; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Shen Fengsheng President of the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR, China

Li Ge Deputy Director General of International Cooperation, Science and Technology Department, MWR, China

Members

Chen Shengshui President of Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute

Du Bingzhao Deputy Director General of Water Resources Management Department, MWR, China; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Gabriel Eckstein Past president of IWRA; Professor of Law at Texas A&M University

Loïc Fauchon President of World Water Council

Jing Maotao Deputy Counsel of River and Lake Management Department, MWR, China

Sasha Koo-Oshima Deputy Director of Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Kuang Shangfu President of China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research

Li Xiaojing Deputy Director General of Policy, Law and Regulation Department, MWR, China

Li Xiaolin Deputy Director General of General Office, MWR, China

Li Xingxue Deputy Director General of Hydrology Department, MWR, China

Li Yuanyuan Vice President of the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR, China; President of IWRA; President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Oriana Romano Head of Unit, Water Governance and Circular Economy in Cities, Urban Policies, and Sustainable Development Division, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

András Szöllősi-Nagy Professor of the National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary

Wang Zhangli Deputy Director General of Flood and Drought Disaster Prevention Department, MWR, China

Xu Dezhi Deputy Director General of Rural Water and Hydropower Department, MWR, China

Yuan Qitian Counsel of South-to-North Water Diversion Project Management Department, MWR, China

Zhang Yunchang Counsel of Three Gorges Project Management Department, MWR, China

Fan Zhang Lead Economist and Global Lead for Water Economics and Climate Change, World Bank

National Organising Committee (NOC)

Chair

Yang Derui Director General of Water Resources Management Department, MWR, China

Vice Chairs

Shen Fengsheng President of the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR, China

Li Xiaolin Deputy Director General of General Office, MWR, China

Du Bingzhao Deputy Director General of Water Resources Management Department, MWR, China; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Yan Yong Deputy Counsel of National Office of Water Conservation, MWR, China; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Li Ge Deputy Director General of International Cooperation, Science and Technology Department, MWR, China

Executive Vice Chair

Li Yuanyuan Vice President of the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR, China; President of IWRA; President of the China National Committee of IWRA

International Scientific Committee (ISC)

Honorary Chairs

Patrick Lavarde

Co-chair of the International Steering Committee of 9th World Water Forum; Past President of IWRA

Zhang Jianyun

Professor of Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute; Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering

Co-chairs

Renée Martin-Nagle

Treasurer of IWRA; President of A Ripple Effect; Special Counsel of Eckert Seamans; Visiting Scholar of Environmental Law Institute

Shi Qiuchi

Bureau Member of World Water Council (2019-2022); Chair of Water Security Task Force of World Water Council (2019-2022); Former Director of International Centre for Economic and Technical Cooperation and Exchange, MWR, China

Vice Chairs

Rabi H. Mohtar

Professor of Texas A&M University; Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; Adjunct Professor of American University of Beirut and Purdue University; Senior International non-resident Fellow of OCP, Morocco; Governor of World Water Council; Vice President of IWRA

Wang Jianhua

Vice President of China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Cecilia Tortajada

Professor in Practice of Environmental Innovation, University of Glasgow; Past President of IWRA

Wang Zhongjing

Professor of Tsinghua University; Vice President of Ningxia University; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA

Yoonjin Kim

Asia Pacific Regional Manager of the World Water Council

Huang Yan

Vice Chief Engineer of Changjiang Water Resources Commission

Guillermo Donoso

Full Professor at the Water Law and Economics Center of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Jia Shaofeng

Professor of the Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Vice President of the China National Committee of IWRA; IWRA Fellow Member

Congress Secretariat (CS)

General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, MWR, China has set up the Congress Secretariat, which consists of six working groups: Coordinative Group, Technical Group, International Cooperative Group, Media-support Group, Budget and Finance Group and Logistics Group.