PROJECT: SWEDISH WATER HOUSEAbout us
Swedish Water House (SWH) brings together actors from science, policy, and practice in the Swedish and international arena for equitable and sustainable water management. Our goal is to promote and support collective action to safe, equitable, resilient and accountable freshwater management for people and planet.
SWH was established as a platform in 2003 by the Swedish Government. The overall objective was, and still is, to support international policy development and cooperation in the area of water and development. This is achieved by raising awareness, generating and disseminating knowledge and building partnerships through dialogue and collaboration. Since its inception SWH has been housed at and administered by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
History of Swedish Water House
In 2000, the Swedish government made a statement at the World Water Forum in the Hague and at Stockholm Water Symposium about starting a Swedish Water House. The objective was, and still is, to support international policy development and cooperation in the area of water and development.
SWH was formally launched in March at the World Water Forum in Japan 2003, with the aim to:
- Improve and develop cooperation between Swedish actors in the water sector.
- Disseminate information on Swedish and international water-related initiatives.
- Strengthen the participation and influence of Swedish actors in international processes.
Since it’s inception in 2003, SWH has been housed at and administered by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
SWH has throughout the years broadened its scope, and today partake in and lead projects aiming to spread knowledge among and strengthen cooperation between actors on a global scale. We also provide advice and facilitate trainings in water issues, for example in water-smart landscape restoration.
SWH has hosted about 20 multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs), many which have evolved into internationally renowned projects and networks. Examples of previous groups include:
- 2010-2013 – Water and Textiles
- 2013-2015 – Water and Food
- 2013-2015 – Water and Forests
- 2018- 2020 – Water and Faith
- 2014-2016 – Water and Pharmaceuticals
- 2015-2017 – Water in Landscapes
- 2019-2021 – Water and Finance
SWH’s presence in the international policy arena has continuously increased. SWH houses the International Policy team which works with integrating water into the policy processes of the 2030 Agenda, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and climate processes, amongst others. In 2021, the SWH and SIWI gave water a joint voice in climate negotiations, by for the first time in history organising the Water for Climate Pavilion at COP26.
Since 2003, SWH has hosted a great number of multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) on different topics, where actors from the same sector or with shared interest come together to co-create new solutions and policy recommendations. This way of working has produced impressive results and many innovative ideas. One example is how the Sustainable Textile Water Initiative (STWI), an outcome of the MSG on Water and Textiles, has made Swedish brands significantly reduce their use of water, energy, and chemicals, thereby also reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, the MSG on water and pharmaceuticals has resulted in pioneering processes for greener procurement as well as manufacturing within the RAMP framework.
SWH’s projects generate and share knowledge. We knowledge products, trainings and tools. The work within our thematic team “Water for resilient landscape” is an example; it contributes to a better understanding of the role of water for productive landscapes and healthy ecosystems. It actively works with practitioners to promote the latest scientific knowledge and best practices in forest and landscape restoration and management.
SWH supports decision makers at different levels with knowledge and insights. It houses the International Policy team which works with integrating water into the policy processes of the 2030 Agenda, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and climate processes, amongst others. The team has since 2021 co-hosted the Water for Climate Pavilion at the Climate COPs.