Economic development and a growing global population means agriculture and industry are getting thirstier and water-intensive energy generation is rising to meet demand. Climate change is making water more erratic and contributing to pollution. As societies balance the demands on water resources, many people’s interests are not being taken into account. How we value water determines how water is managed and shared.
The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. Valuing water can be approached through different perspectives:
- Valuing water sources – natural water resources and ecosystems.
- Valuing water infrastructure – storage, treatment and supply.
- Valuing water services – drinking water, sanitation and health services.
- Valuing water as an input to production and socio-economic activity – food and agriculture, energy and industry, business and employment.
- Valuing socio-cultural aspects of water – recreational, cultural and spiritual attributes.
Our perspectives on Valuing Water
IHE Delft colleagues Graham Jewitt, Professor of Hydrology, Hermen Smit, Senior Lecturer in Water Governance, Irene Leonardelli, Junior Researcher in the Feminist Political Ecology of Water and Yong Jiang, Senior Lecturer in Water Resources Economics discuss the term valuing water from their professional perspectives.
- Film screening of 'Thank you for the rain' and discussion. More information and link to film website. 22 March at 17.30 hrs.
- When Waters Speak | A musical tribute to water and online webinar to celebrate World Water Day. With IHE Delft's Rector Eddy Moors.
- Valuing water webinar organized by the International Water Resources Association. 22 March from 09.00 hrs (CET). IHE Delft's Professor of Hydrology Graham Jewitt will be one of the panelists (at 15.00 hrs CET).
- Poetry contest in the Netherlands. Internationale Waterdag in Delft: watertour en dichtwedstrijd. IHE Delft's Vice Rector Charlotte de Fraiture as jury member.
For me, water is the most precious resource on earth. Water is the resource that without it everything with human activity would stop immediately. Agriculture, energy production, food, clothing, motor industry could stop immediately without it. We can replace gold, we can replace silver, we can replace the most precious materials on earth, but we cannot replace water.
Word Water Development Report
The 2021 World Water Development Report on “Valuing Water” assesses the current status of and challenges to the valuation of water across differing sectors and perspectives and identifies ways in which valuation can be promoted as a tool help achieve sustainability. IHE Delft is one of the Chapter Lead Agencies. Yong Jiang led Chapter 11 on knowledge, research and capacity development, with contributions from other IHE Delft staff members Marloes Mul and Graham Jewitt.
For me, water is always gonna be a need, a problem, and a solution. I value it by taking care of it, avoid waste, studying it but also making others aware of its use and re-use.
What Valuing Water means to our students
Interesting links on Valuing Water
- Netherlands Water Partnership world water day news letter with interview with Dutch International Water Envoy Henk Ovink.
- Learn more on the Valuing Water Initiative of the Government of the Netherlands.
- UN Water world water day Toolkit
- Webinar on the value of water: A discussion between people, governments and experts. 22 March 2021 – 3:00pm - 4:30pm CET
- OECD Water Days from 22 - 26 March. Download the agenda per day here.
- The Global Water Partnership shares 13 water changemaker stories. Read them here