RWSN at the World Water Week 2023

World Water Week 2023

SIWI’s World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm is the largest global gathering addressing water challenges worldwide. This year’s edition took place from August 20-24.

WWW 2023 carries particular significance as it builds upon the commitments and outcomes established during the UN 2023 Water Conference. Themed “Seeds of Change – Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World”, the event brought together participants from over 150 countries. The goal was to reflect on how water is managed and on the innovations, ideas, and governance systems that exist to tackle water-related challenges. The on-site event sessions were transmitted live and accessible to online participants at no cost, which enabled greater global participation and more inclusive discussions on pivotal water issues. 

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)’s Secretariat, members, and supporters participated in the 2023 WWW edition, underscoring their dedication to finding sustainable solutions to the global water crisis. RWSN facilitated a variety of discussions and co-convened a total of three sessions during the event. 

Satoshi Ishii, Director of the Water and Urban Development Sector Office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), exchanged views on water initiatives and programs with  Sean Furey and Aline Saraiva Okello, PhD from the RWSN Secretariat. Credits: ADB, LinkedIn.

Real Water Session during the World Water Week 2023. Credits: A. Saraiva Okello, RWSN.

Promotional invitation webinar.

Women’s Mingle. Credits: A. Saraiva Okello / Ellen Greggio, RWSN.

Driving rural water innovation: concept to scale-up 

This online and on-site REAL-Water session on August 20th brought together innovators aiming to speed up rural water development. Panelists showcased innovations in technology, finance, and management at various stages. Participants explored how these innovations could impact their work and considered the past and future of rural water innovation. 

Convenors: Aquaya; Evidence Action; iDE; Imagine H2O; REAL-Water program of USAID; Rural Water Supply Network; Skat Foundation; The Nature Conservancy; UDUMA; Virridy; Water Mission; 

Women for the Future of Water. Building on the Momentum of the UN 2023 Water Conference

This online session on August 22nd addressed how the workforce of the water and sanitation sector faces a gender imbalance, building on the commitments made at the UN 2023 Water Conference. Different organisations came together to tackle the challenge of gender-imbalance to attract and empower female professionals in the water and sanitation sector through networking, mentoring and support, at local, national or international levels.

Convenors: African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA); International Water Association (IWA); Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA); Women for Water Partnership (WfWP); Women in Water & Sanitation Network (WWSN).

Stronger together! Women’s mingle.

This networking opportunity on August 22nd aimed to create a safe space to bring together like-minded female professionals in the water sector to share their experiences, ask questions, and forge meaningful relationships.   

SIRWASH breakfast at the World Water Week 2023

The SIRWASH programme (Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), led by the Swiss Agency of Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Inter-American Bank (IDB), hosted a side event at World Water Week and brought together prominent leaders and shared advances in monitoring, policy and partnerships. 

 Some of the topics covered included: 

  • Telemetry for monitoring WASH services in rural areas, by Mr. Edgard Coronel, Monitoring Specialist, National Rural Sanitation Program (PNSR), Peru. 
  • National Rural Sanitation Programme: challenges for implementation, by Flavio Marcos Gomes Júnior, National Secretary of Sanitation, Ministry of Cities, Brazil. 
  • Advances and challenges in terms of access to water and sanitation in rural areas of Chile, by Carlos Estévez Valencia, Coordinator of the Water Cabinet, Ministry of Public Works, Chile. 

Sergio Campos, Head of the IDB’s Water and Sanitation Division, spoke about the progress being made to encourage and promote exchange between countries in the Southern Hemisphere on water, sanitation and hygiene in rural areas, and the importance of working together with different Multilateral Development Banks – such as the African and Asian Development Banks – to achieve a unified global call to action towards the achievement of SDG 6. 

Learn more about this session HERE.

SIRWASH session during World Water Week 2023. Credits: A. Saraiva Okello, RWSN.

Launch of Africa’s Voice on Water (AVOW) 

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) launched the first edition of “Africa’s Voice on Water”, a new quarterly bi-lingual publication that brings news and opinion from policy, programmes and research. Sean Furey attended the launch on behalf of RWSN, having co-authored an article on the RWSN “Stop the Rot” campaign and brokered an article on Water Quality Assurance from the REAL-Water programme. 

Moment in which the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) celebrated the launch of #Africa’sVoiceonWater (AVoW), a continental magazine for demonstrating the African commitments to water and sanitation development. Credits: AMCOW

Looking ahead 

RWSN’s efforts to improve water security in rural areas continue. As a leading global network of professionals and practitioners in rural water supply, RWSN keeps working diligently towards achieving universal access to sustainable, safe and affordable water for all.  

 To find out more about RWSN, and join the network as an individual or a Member Organisation, access here: