Delft, The Netherlands, 21 Sep 2022

Dutch water minister: IHE Delft alumni help improve international relations on water

IHE Delft and its global network of alumni play a key role in global water management and diplomacy, Mark Harbers, the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, said during a recent visit to the Institute.

He said that just eight months into his term as minister, several counterparts had encouraged him to visit the Institute to get inspired by the enthusiasm of its students and researchers. He also noted that the Netherlands, a country that has fought to keep water away for decades and now is battling with a water shortage caused by drought, is a suitable location to gain water knowledge.

To improve international relations on water, “the Netherlands can play an essential role, especially IHE Delft with all your international alumni – some of them even in governments around the world. I think that is the best network we have,” he said during the 14 September visit.

Topics on the agenda of  the Minister's visit were climate adaptation, drought, groundwater, transboundary water management and water cooperation and diplomacy.  He received interactive pitches on these from IHE Delft students, PhD candidates and staff, as well as staff from in-house partner IGRAC.

IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors emphasised the need for capacity development – and resources to support such development – to be a priority on the international water agenda, particularly as the UN 2023 Water Conference is approaching.

“We consider capacity development a comprehensive concept that includes education and institutional strengthening,” he said. “It is a process that driven by the needs and priorities of those who seek to develop skills and raise resources needed to expand or improve access to water and sanitation.

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