Participants attended from 172 countries and they took part in more than 300 sessions and events, according to the World Water Council, which co-organized the event in co-operation with the government of Brazil. Decision makers from 525 institutions, and 150 city mayors, governors and state legislators, were given a platform to share their experiences and best practices on how best to ensure water security.
The theme of “Sharing Water" encouraged world leaders, practitioners and the public to renew their commitment to tackling water security and related issues in an integrated manner, the council said.
Fifty-six ministers and 14 deputy ministers contributed to a Ministerial Declaration entitled, “An Urgent Call for Decisive Action on Water.” The document was a result of deliberations in the run-up to the World Water Forum. It identifies specific areas in need of constructive changes, including dealing with water scarcity; accountability of institutions; financing water infrastructure and management; nature-based solutions, and; encouraging transboundary co-operation.
As an additional outcome of the 8th World Water Forum, the sustainability declaration called for the urgent mobilization of all parties to ensure a future in harmony with the environment. To do so, the declaration said that the UN, governments and societies should consider water as central to achieving sustainability.
Other 8th World Water Forum 2018 outcomes included:
- Calls for broader strategic investment pathways, enhancing resilience and reducing risks in light of climate change;
- Acknowledgement of the need to step up sanitation and wastewater services and reuse in new and different ways;
- Identification of agriculture as a key water user and a sector that must be an integral part of the water debate;
- The establishment of an integrated urban-rural approach to be applied for the planning and management of water resources;
- The consensus that clear legislation and regulation are key for effective implementation and to enable public and private investments in water security;
- The recognition of the need to involve end-users in making decisions to address and overcome blanket policies and investments that do not recognize cultural and gender diversity.