NEW report reveals major challenges facing national water leaders

The 2023 Global Water Policy Report offers a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, experiences and opinions of national water leaders from 92 countries, responsible for water policy and decision-making impacting a combined population of 5.7 billion people.

Released on Thursday 6 July by Water Policy Group, the 2023 Global Water Policy Report: Listening to national water leaders reveals insights from national water leaders on current water risks and challenges, how international processes can best support improved water outcomes at the national level, and issues of integration with other sectors.

Among their many messages, national water leaders are saying:

  • Inadequate infrastructure and data along with fragmented institutions are their greatest water challenges.
  • The international, multilateral scientific processes most useful to them are those that can provide water data and information, forecasts, projections and scenarios—as well as monitoring, evaluations, and assessments that can be used at a within-country scale.
  • Platforms like the Water Action Agenda that would enable countries to make public commitments in relation to water can help raise the priority of water in their government.

Water Policy Group member Tony Slatyer says, “Given the basic responsibility of governments for the well-being of the people under their jurisdiction, we are deeply interested in the experience and opinions of the Ministers and the senior officials who have this responsibility within governments. Policy makers and water practitioners in all countries and in all international organisations committed to improved water outcomes will also be interested in the particular and shared experience of these national water leaders.”

In 2022, invitations were sent by the President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) to all UN member States, through their UN New York-based Permanent Representatives, for Ministers responsible for water matters (or their top officials) to respond to the Water Policy Group survey. The key findings from the 2023 Global Water Policy Report helped to inform global dialogue at the United Nations 2023 Water Conference (22-24 March 2023), and the 2023 Water Policy Report sets out these findings in full.

The 2023 Global Water Policy Report: Listening to Water Leaders was prepared by the Water Policy Group in partnership with the University of New South Wales Sydney Global Water Institute.

Download the full report.

Water Policy Group
6 July 2023

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