Ever since its inception SEI has carried out research related to water. The first ever comprehensive assessment of the world’s freshwater resources was carried out by SEI at the request of the UN, following the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. SEI has been at the forefront of carrying out research and finding solutions on sustainable sanitation, rainwater harvesting, hydropower, and green and blue water to give just a few examples. Often we are able to deploy the powerful modelling and decision support tool WEAP (Water Evaluation and Planning system) in support of our work. Our approach to water issues is to understand the connections between water, landscape and people – this resulted in the influential paper on the ‘water-food-energy Nexus’, which was referenced in the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference. To further intensify SEI’s water research we have in 2015 started two initiatives on key issues regarding sustainable water development; SEI Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation and SEI Initiative on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus.
SEI has a long history with World Water Week and was in fact involved from the very start. SEI had booths at both the conferences and the outdoor Water Festival, which initially was part of World Water Week and took place 1991 to 1999. World Water Week has been an important platform to present SEI’s extensive research related to water and, crucially, to engage with decision makers from all over the world. It is this combination that brings SEI back again and again to World Water Week.
This year, SEI is convening and participating in 6 events addressing different water challenges linked to sustainable development and growth, poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, land resource management and also discussing the role of higher education, research and innovation for meeting the global water challenge.
Over 2,500 participants attend World Water Week, featuring experts and members from business, governments, water management and science sectors, intergovernmental and non governmental organisations, research and training organisations, and United Nations agencies.