Tehran, 2 May 2017 - “At the time when demand is growing and limited resources are increasingly stressed by over extraction, pollution and climate change, we simply cannot neglect the opportunities from improved wastewater management; we cannot afford to waste wastewater,” said Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office.
The UNESCO Representative made the remarks at the opening of a three-day event on water security in human settlements, organized by Iran’s governmental National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company (NWWEC), Tehran Water and Wastewater Company (TWWC), and Iran Water Resources Management Company (IWRM Co.) as well as the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM) and UNESCO- International Hydrological Programme (IHP).
The event’s main aim was addressing challenges related to urban and rural water management in arid and semi-arid areas. Government representatives, academia, and international experts from the private sectors attended the conference and expert group meeting.
Vice Minister of Energy H.E. Mr. Mahmoudi opened the event by highlighting the importance of water management at a time of reducing precipitation and rapid water evaporation from Iran’s soil. In addition, Mr. Mahmoudi highlighted the accountability of the Government towards the Iranian people during times of water shortage, which called for improved efficiency and innovative approaches to address the increasing pressures on fresh water supply.
Subsequently, NWWEC’s CEO Mr. Janbaz underscored the importance of further developing Iran’s infrastructure, as the increasing trend of urbanization had taken its toll on water resources. Mr. Janbaz also raised the issue of water pollution, which was becoming one of the greatest threats to freshwater availability and re-use.
Stressing the importance of recycling wastewater treatment and re-use, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, said in her speech: “Pollution reduces the availability of freshwater supplies which are already in distress least of all because of climate change; nevertheless, governments and decision makers have been primarily concerned by the challenges of water supply notably when it’s scarce while overlooking the need to manage water after it has been used,” she added. “The collection, the treatment and safe use of wastewater are at the very foundation of the circular economy which result in economic development with the sustainable use of resources.”
The opening session was followed by regional reports and technical speeches to share experiences from different countries around the world. Topics during the next day’s workshops included climate change, SDGs, management of water quality, recycling, and water governance.
The outcomes of the event will be compiled into a UNESCO publication on Advances in Urban Water Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas.
For more information about UNESCO’s activities in the field of water management, please see: