In response to the decision of the Ministerial and Officials Conference on Drinking Water and Environmental Sanitation, held on March 19-23, 1994 in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, which has been endorsed by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the General Assembly of the UN, to explore the concept of a World Water Forum, the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) at Cairo in 1994, authorized a Committee to carry out the preparatory work to create the World Water Council. This Committee met first in Montreal, Canada in March 1995 and for a second time in Bari, Italy in September 1995. These two meetings established the mission and objectives of the World Water Council and laid the groundwork for its organizational structure.
Membership to the Council is open to any organisation with an interest in the area of water, ranging from Ministries and regional or local Government Departments, professional associations, research institutes and universities, private sector and industry, United Nations Organisations, developmental agencies and financial institutions, non-governmental agencies and media.
The Council, as the International Water Policy Think Tank, aims at preparing a long term Vision and presenting various options for actions for decision makers at all levels. It will build its work on the examples of best practice and other experiences as obtained in the field by the GWP.
The mission of the World Water Council is to:
Promote awareness about critical water issues at all levels including the highest decision-making level and the general public, and to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning, management and use of water in all its dimensions on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all life.
To achieve this mission, the World Water Council shall:
- identify critical water issues of local, regional and global importance on the basis of ongoing - assessment
- promote suitable mechanism to raise awareness about critical water issues at all levels of -decision-making
- facilitate arrangements for providing advice and relevant information to institutions and decision-making
- sponsor programmes and actions to promote policies for comprehensive and integrated water resources planning and management and to contribute to the resolution of issues related to trans-boundary waters, including river and lake basins, aquifers and wetlands
- assist in ensuring availability and accessibility of water of suitable quality for the poor and – disadvantage
- promote the implementation of effective policies and strategies for integrated management of water demand and encourage appropriate actions by concerned organisations
- provide the forum to arrive at a common strategic vision and platform to launch actions required for sustainable management of water resources world wide