Global Water Security Working Group

Aims and Scope

Water security involves the sustainable use and protection of water systems, the protection against water related hazards (floods and droughts), the sustainable development of water resources and the safeguarding of (access to) water functions and services for humans and the environment. 
IAHR created a Task Force following the 1st Hydro-Environment Summit Meeting held in Athens June 24th, 2010 which worked focus more attention water security issues (Download the minutes from the meeting). Part of this effort was a special issue of the Hydrolink magazine on Global Water Security (Download Issue 1, 2012). IAHR then worked to bring together seven international associations focusing on different aspects of water issues to work towards the common goal of enhancing waters security.  The first step in this direction was organizing a forum on water security with the participation of the seven associations.

This Task Force has been revisited following the Special Session on UN SDGs held in the 37th IAHR World Congress in 2017 to work on how IAHR can help implement the UN SDG's in the water sector.

Leadership Team


Prof. Roger Falconer
CH2M HILL - Halcrow Professor of Water Management
Director Hydro-environmental Research Centre
School of Engineering, Cardiff University
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Vice chair

Dr. Angelos Findikakis 
Bechtel National Inc.
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Recent Events

  • Special Session on SDGs, August 14th 2017, Kuala Lumpur - 37th IAHR World Congess -Special

Session dedicated to how IAHR together with other water associations can support the implementation of the SDGs Download Session Report

  • Special Issue of Hydrolink members magazine on Sustainable Development Goals, Issue 3 2017 click here


Past Events

  • 11th Kovacs Colloquium, 16 -17 June 2014, Paris, France

Hydrological Sciences and Water Security: Past, Present and Future

Deadline for abstracts: April 15, 2014
For more information click here

This colloquium is the continuation of a series of biennial international scientific meetings organized jointly by the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) in the most challenging fields of water resources research. These meetings commemorate the late George Kovacs, an established authority on hydrology, who served as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Council of IHP and as Secretary General and President of IAHS. 

  • Water Security Working Group, Forum of International Water Associations, Chengdu, 2013
On September 9, 2013 the representatives of seven associations dealing with different aspects of water issues held a meeting in Chengdu, China to discuss ways to collaborate on ways to enhance water security around the world.  The seven associations represented in the meeting were:

  • International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
  • International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD)
  • International Water Resources Association (IWRA)
  • International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
  • World Council of Civil Engineers (WCCE)
  • World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research (WASER)

At the conclusion of the meeting the Presidents of these seven associations signed a Declaration on Water Security, stating the goals of their collaboration.  Those at the meeting agreed to continue collaborating as a working group towards the goals of the water security declaration.

Below are links to the presentations made at the September 9 meeting and to three related keynote lectures given the same day at the 35th IAHR Congress in Chengdu.

Achieving Harmony between People and Water for Sustainable Development”, IAHR 35th Congress keynote lecture by JIAO Yong, Vice Minister of Water Resources of P. R. China

Perspectives on International Cooperation for Water Security”, IAHR 35th Congress keynote lecture by Gretchen KALONJI, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

Water: challenges from urbanization and climate change”, IAHR 35th Congress keynote lecture by Tomás SANCHO, President, World Council of Civil Engineers (WCCE)

Water Foot Print's Definition

People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. Click here to calculate "Your Water Foot Print"

Document Library

To access the Global Water Security Task Force Document Library click here