Why is sustainable water for all so difficult?

The sustainable management of water is persistently difficult to achieve, yet is necessary for success in health, education, food security, economic growth, environmental quality and adaptation to climate change. Water is indeed essential for all life.

Why have governments not given water higher priority and more attention? What is it about water that makes progress so challenging?

Water Policy Group, with support from the University of New South Wales Global Water Institute, is seeking to better understand the true constraints to progress and investigate the ‘political will’ that is often identified as a key constraint to progress.

Water Policy Group’s newly launched Water Leaders Survey is gathering data on the experiences and opinions of national government ministers and top-level officials responsible for water to establish what is holding them back. Aggregated responses at the global and regional level will be analysed to identify the core challenges and constraints and Water Policy Group will report its findings in the 2021 Global Water Policy Report. Individual survey responses and countries will be confidential and not identified in the Report.

The Survey and the Report will focus generally on constraints to sustainable water management and specifically on groundwater to contribute to the United Nations water theme for 2022. The project will be repeated regularly in future years with the general questions remaining constant, enabling trends to be revealed, and the specific questions focused on the upcoming United Nations water theme.

Mr Tom Soo, Chair of Water Policy Group’s project team, says, “This survey and report aim to go where no one has gone before, to better understand why so many countries struggle to achieve sustainable and equitable water access.

“Our hope is to equip governments with information about the political factors that limit progress so that a common understanding of these factors might help to overcome them.”

For further information about the 2021 Global Water Policy Report: Water Leaders Survey, or to request an invitation to complete the survey, please contact any member of Water Policy Group or email us at survey@waterpolicygroup.com.

The 2021 Global Water Policy Report: Water Leaders Survey is being conducted with support and assistance from the University of New South Wales Global Water Institute.

Water Policy Group
10 March 2021

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