SIWI advocates future-oriented, knowledge-integrated water views in decision making, nationally and internationally, that lead to sustainable use of the world’s water resources, sustainable development of societies and reduced poverty. Below is a listing of key issues which are a focus of SIWI’s work:
Climate Change, because natural climate variability in combination with human induced climate change risk worsening the situation especially for those living in poverty today. Infrastructure investments may strengthen coping capacity but planning for unexpected changes in all levels of society is crucial.
Transboundary Water Issues, because transboundary water conflicts result more often in co-operative outcomes than violent ones. To institutionalise well-functioning co-operation requires support from 3rd parties, which are aware both of the political context and the long time frames required.
Middle East Water Issues, because the water scarcity in the Middle East is both a result of physical scarcity as well as a scarcity of good water governance structures.
Sanitation, because if we do not act and address the sanitation crisis we will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals as sanitation is significantly interlinked with child mortality, maternal health, primary education, gender equality, poverty reduction, hunger and environmental sustainability. Water is life – sanitation is Dignity.
Water Scarcity, because water may be scarce due to lack of rain, lack of streams, springs or wells or due to many people competing for the same small amount within a region.
Food, Waste and Losses, because reductions in waste and losses in the food chain is one of the most rational ways to ease pressure on water and land resources. Food production for growing populations will have to rely on rainfed agriculture or on food import from better water-endowed regions.
Business and Finance, because the private sector produces essential goods and services for human development, and with the right incentives, legislation and economic instruments in place, it can do so without jeopardizing water and environmental sustainability. The financial sector can drive development patterns by stringent lending conditions and needs to be more creative in developing financial tools (microcredits, microinsurances) to support poor people in their development and coping capacity following increased natural catastrophes.
Anti-corruption in the water sector, because the global water crisis is a crisis of governance and corruption affects the governance of water by affecting who gets what water when, where and how.