The EU Water Initative

About human dignity

Water supply and sanitation are not just about quantity and quality. Millions die each year from diseases related to unsafe water, or for lack of access to water. Millions more are forced to waste whole days of work or school just to fetch water from remote locations. And the numbers of those forced to emigrate by drought and climate change climb every year.

About goodwill

The principle of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is widely accepted internationally. But how do we implement it in the field rapidly and efficiently? The answer is not simple. It requires proper water governance & management, sustainable river basin approaches, financial resources and – perhaps above all else – political commitment.

About initiative

In 2002, at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, we launched the “European Union Water Initiative” EUWI-Water for Life. The goal? “To create the conditions for mobilising all available EU resources (human & financial), and to coordinate them to achieve the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in partner countries.”

About cooperation

EUWI is an international political initiative, not a financial mechanism. It takes a partnership approach with national governments, donors, the water industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. Through national policy dialogues, it aims to improve coordination & cooperation and deliver more effective development assistance.

Our approach

The EUWI is based on a participative multi-stakeholder approach. Various strategic partnerships in specific regions draw together government, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. A number of working groups has been established. Working groups have either a regional focus (e.g. Africa, Mediterranean, EECCA and Latin America) or they concentrate on cross-cutting issues (e.g. Research, Finance). The Coordination Group (CG) ensures coherence of all EUWI activities.

The Multi Stakeholder Forum

  • Is an advisory body and an open forum for debate
  • Members represent water development interests in the focus regions
  • Annual meeting are held at the World Water Week to review the EUWI activities

The Coordination Group

  • Has a limited number of members and represents the broad multi-stakeholder interest in the EUWI.
  • Gives feed back on annual work plans and reports from the Working Groups
  • Chaired by EC, meets twice a year

The Regional Working Groups for Africa, Latin America, EECCA and the Mediterranean.

  • Open to representatives from member states, partner countries and other interested organisations.
  • Responsible for implementing the EUWI mission objectives.
  • Designs work plans and monitoring indicators

Cross-cutting issues

  • Currently separate working groups exist for Finance, Research and Communication exists.
  • Should be addressed within each Regional WG.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat is managed by the EC (it includes the directorates DEV, ENV, RTD, RELEX, JRC and EuropeAid) and

  • Manages communication and prepares meetings
  • Compiles the annual report

What we work for

1. Stronger political commitment: “to reinforce political commitment towards action and innovation oriented partnership”.
2. Better water governance: “to promote better water governance, capacity building and awareness”.
3.  Better water management: “to improve efficiency and effectiveness of water management through dialogue and coordination”.
4. More cooperation on river basins: “to strengthen cooperation through promoting river basin approaches in national & transboundary waters”.
5. More sustainable financing: “to identify additional financial resources and mechanisms to ensure sustainable financing”.
 Each EUWI working group plans its own strategy and activities according to the needs in its field – from high-level meetings with political stakeholders to providing capacity-building resources such as training materials.

more details on  EUWI activities

New EUWI Leaflets

To learn more about the EU Water Initiative, take a look at the leaflets presenting the EUWI activities according to its 5 objectives.

Reinforce Political Commitment
Succes requires commitment by all
Promote Water Governance
Better assessments lead to better
Improve Water Management
One must think before acting
Strenghten River Basin Approches
Joint management promotes peaceful  relations
Catalysing Financial Resources
Dialogues and policies must produce tangible