Blog.Jun 23, 2021

SIWI: “Water is a central theme to three major global crises”

In 2021, the competition for water resources is a stark reality for much of the global population.

The Stockholm International Water Institute—also known as SIWI, and a new partner of We Don’t Have Time—knows that relieving global water competition will offer relief to millions of people, the earth’s climate, and natural ecosystems around the world.

SIWI was born from three events that took place in 1991 in Stockholm. The first was the wildly popular Stockholm Water Festival, which brought together citizens at venues across Sweden’s capital to celebrate water through the arts. Then was the Stockholm Water Symposium, which convened 200 scientists to discuss challenges and solutions for water management globally. Third was the initiation of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, given for the first time that year (and continuing today) to recognize outstanding achievements in water-related activities. “We became a We Don’t Have Time partner because we only have time for the most effective solutions,” says Maggie White, SIWI Senior Manager of International Policy.

“There are a lot of promising solutions in the world, and SIWI can help pinpoint how water is essential to the work at hand”, says Maggie White, SIWI’s senior manager of international policy.

“We can’t address the climate crisis, poverty, and threats to the natural world as three separate problems. Water is a resource and a theme that connects all of these. We want to highlight at the global and national levels how water can enable us to find solutions to all three.”

“It’s essential for us to take an active part in the climate conversation,” she says. “Communication is essential, and We Don’t Have Time is helping us reach new audiences, new partners, new expert groups.

SIWI will use its new Climate Dialogue page on We Don’t Have Time platform to hear ideas, suggest options to others, and connect with new potential partners.

”There are a lot of promising solutions in the world, and SIWI can help pinpoint how water is essential to the work at hand”, says Maggie White.

SIWI is well-known for convening the world’s largest annual event that addresses planet-wide water issues, World Water Week. This year it takes place online from August 23 to 27 with a theme of “Building Resilience Faster.”

“World Water Week isn’t just for water experts,” explains Maggie. “It’s for everyone, and there are a multitude of sessions for anyone who wants to know more about water problems and how to be part of the solution.”

Illustration: SIWI

SIWI is also engaged in many global processes and uses its global expertise and extensive network to organise events that highlight water’s importance. This year’s UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties—COP26—in Glasgow, Scotland, will welcome the first Water and Climate Pavilion. Coordinated by Maggie’s team at SIWI, the intention is to enable decision makers and attendees from all sectors to meet, debate, and create solutions together.

“SIWI also works closely with cities, countries, UN agencies and programs, and private companies to help them improve their water resource management,” Maggie states. “We’re here to spread awareness about water being a shared global resource, and one that is more and more under pressure.”