At the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, technology, capacity development and youth are in focus, along with groundwater – the water theme for 2022. IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors shared impressions as the forum, the world’s largest water event, entered its last day.
The forum provided a platform for people from many different water-related professions with a multitude of perspectives to meet and develop new ideas, said Prof. Moors, who took part in the forum along with Susanne Schmeier, Associate Professor of Water Law and Diplomacy, and Business Development Officer Cristina Anacabe.
“There was a lot of attention towards new techniques that could be used for example in agriculture. I also heard an interesting presentation that we should not only focus on the agricultural sector but also seeing how we can connect the cities and the agricultural sector. I think that would be a quite nice development in improving our water sharing,” Prof. Moors said.
“In a couple of sessions there was a lot of attention to capacity development. Open questions are still: how can we fund this, but also how can we make sure that this capacity development is sustainable? I was in a couple of sessions with younger people who had questions about: ‘ok, if I get my training, how can I get a job afterwards?’ I think these are all interesting questions that not only apply here in Africa but also other parts of the world.”
UN World Water Development Report 2022: Groundwater: Making the invisible visible
During the Forum, UN Water launched the UN World Water Development Report 2022, titled Groundwater: Making the invisible visible. Report contributor Tibor Stigter, Associate Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources at IHE Delft, noted the enormous importance and potential of groundwater.
“We need to consider the main challenges, limitations and threats from human activities and climate change, and deal with them through groundwater research, education, management and governance,” he said. “This is the message from the 2022 report, which also provides examples and ideas of how to do this from scientists and practitioners. The report is an impetus to recognize the value of groundwater as the largest liquid freshwater reservoir supporting ecosystems and human development.”