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UNITAR’s Global Water Academy (UGWA)

UNITAR’s Global Water Academy (UGWA) is a multi-stakeholder collaboration between academic institutions and private sector partners, with York University (Canada) as Academic Lead. The Global Water Academy tackles diverse aspects of the water sustainability crisis through training, capacity-building, research, and knowledge mobilization, ultimately to inform decision-making and public policy.

Mission Statement

The UNITAR Global Water Academy (UGWA) empowers learners all over the world with the knowledge and skills to respond to the global water sustainability crisis by providing hybrid training and online courses developed by global leaders in water research, resource management, and policy development; developing scientific and two-eyed water solutions to water sustainability; and by building the capacity and international partnerships necessary to achieve the objectives of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The UGWA’s Vision:

The UGWA fosters training and capacity development, empower community-based networks, weave traditional knowledge, and co-create innovative sustainable water solutions to ensure equitable access to water for all. Through building community-based networks and co-creating innovative solutions, we aim to further develop a dialogue that contributes to identifying capacity gaps that hinder the effective implementation of SDG 6 targets

Did you know?

Learn more about the need for learning on water sustainability crisis in our About Us section.

Selected highlights

Link to SDGs, how efforts to co-create innovative sustainable water solutions are linked to the achievement of the Agenda 2030.

Here’s an overview of how SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) relates to the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Click on each SDG

Click on each SDG

Extreme weather events linked to climate change negatively impact water quality, quantity and sustainability for some of the world’s most vulnerable, but the United Nations (UN) and York University along with public and private sector global partners are working toward solutions through the UN’s Global Water Academy.

Watch the event recording now.

Summit 2023

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Watch the event recording now.

Humanitarian responses to emerging water crises as a result of extreme climatic events

Watch the event recording now.

Extreme weather events linked to climate change negatively impact water quality, quantity and sustainability for some of the world’s most vulnerable, but the United Nations (UN) and York University along with public and private sector global partners are working toward solutions through the UN’s Global Water Academy.

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This platform gathers information on online course offered by UN entities.

Quotes to remember

Quotes from World leaders on Water.

“World leaders now recognize that we face a global water crisis and that we need to reassess how we value and manage water,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.  “The panel’s recommendations can help to safeguard water resources and make access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation a reality for all.” – pointing to the “Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action”

“The ecosystems on which life itself is based – our food security, energy sustainability, public health, jobs, cities – are all at risk because of how water is managed today,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “The work of this panel took place at the level of heads of state and government because the world can no longer afford to take water for granted.”

“Access to clean water and sanitation must the goal of every responsible leader in an effort to leave no one behind. Let us act in solidarity to ensure the wise and sustainable management of this precious resource.”
President, H.E. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius (Co-Chair)
“We have a single opportunity, to change the narrative on water, by acting timeously in pursuit of a more promising future, in a better world, which should never face the scenario of the last single drop of water, in our lifetime and for generations to come.”
President, H. E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, South AfricA
“Making development sustainable, responding to climate change, and reducing the risk of disasters – all are about managing water more effectively. That’s why, under the umbrella of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, the work of the high-level Water and Climate Leaders panel to bring about an integrated global water and climate agenda is so urgent.”
Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, ILO Director-General
“To achieve the global goal of all people having access to safe water and sanitation by 2030 – just 12 years from now - requires leadership at all levels. Australia will continue to share internationally our experience of managing water scarcity and support poorer communities in our region to access safe water and sanitation, with a focus on women and girls.”
Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia
“Increasing temperatures are resulting in global and regional precipitation changes, leading to shifts in rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, with a major impact on food security and human health and well-being.”
Mr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of WMO

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SDG 1 (No Poverty)

Access to clean water and sanitation is crucial for poverty alleviation. Improved water resources contribute to better health, education, and economic opportunities, helping lift communities out of poverty.

SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)

Water is essential for agriculture, and sustainable water management supports food production. Efficient irrigation systems and water conservation contribute to achieving food security and eliminating hunger.

SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being)

Clean water and sanitation are fundamental to health. Access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities reduces the prevalence of waterborne diseases, contributing to improved health outcomes.

SDG 4 (Quality Education)

Adequate water and sanitation facilities in schools create a conducive environment for learning. Access to clean water improves attendance and overall well-being, supporting the goal of quality education.

SDG 5 (Gender Equality)

Women and girls often bear the responsibility for water collection. Access to clean water and sanitation can alleviate the burden on women and contribute to gender equality by providing them with more time for education and economic activities.

SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy)

Water plays a role in energy production, especially in hydropower. Sustainable water management is essential for ensuring reliable and clean energy sources.

SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)

Access to clean water and sanitation improves workforce productivity. Healthy employees, free from waterborne diseases, contribute to economic growth, and sustainable water practices are vital for industries.

SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure)

Sustainable water management is essential for industrial processes. Access to water resources supports infrastructure development and innovative water technologies contribute to industrial sustainability.

SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality)

Water scarcity can exacerbate existing inequalities. Ensuring equitable access to clean water and sanitation helps reduce disparities and promotes social inclusion.

SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)

Sustainable water management is critical for urban development. Accessible water and sanitation services are essential for creating resilient and sustainable cities.

SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)

Sustainable water use contributes to responsible resource consumption. Efficient water management reduces waste and supports sustainable production practices.

SDG 13 (Climate Action)

Water management is closely linked to climate change adaptation. Sustainable practices can help communities cope with the impacts of climate change, such as droughts and floods.

SDG 14 (Life Below Water)

Healthy water ecosystems are crucial for marine life. Proper water management on land reduces pollution and ensures the health of aquatic environments.

SDG 15 (Life on Land)

Sustainable water practices contribute to maintaining ecosystems on land. Water conservation helps preserve biodiversity and supports sustainable land use.

SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions)

Access to water can be a source of conflict. Sustainable water management contributes to peacebuilding, and water-related disputes are addressed through effective institutions.

SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)

Collaborative efforts are crucial for achieving SDG 6. Partnerships between governments, businesses, and communities are essential for sustainable water management and achieving broader development goals.