Sponsor Spotlight: DFAT

Sponsor Spotlight: DFAT


Australia providing leadership on global water security

Current estimates show that the world may face a 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030. Without improved water management, water scarcity and flooding will worsen, with global population growth, increased water usage and climate change exacerbating the crisis.

The Australian Government is committed to sharing its water management expertise to help boost food production, improve health outcomes, strengthen economies and reduce poverty.

Prime Minister Turnbull is a member of the UN – World Bank High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) established in April 2016, with the aim to accelerate implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to “achieve access to water and sanitation for all”.

Australia is leading three initiatives under the HLPW Action Plan. The World Water Data Initiative aims to inform better decision making for governments, communities and the private sector. The Water Innovation Engine will drive increased innovation in the water sector, initially catalysing more efficient and equitable use of water by farmers. The Water Use Efficiency includes the preparation of guidance material based on Australia’s water reform experiences.

Australia’s AUD110.6 million Water for Women initiative will help women, girls and other vulnerable people better participate in the social and economic activities in their communities and improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services through partnerships with experienced and competent civil society organisations. It is now open for proposals.

Advancing gender equality through implementation SDG 6 will see a world where women and girls do not bear the burden of walking long distances every day to collect water for their families, where fewer babies die as a result of mothers giving birth in unhygienic health care facilities and girls no longer miss school because there are no appropriate menstrual hygiene management services.

Sharing Australia’s water experience and expertise with countries in the Indo-Pacific region is the focus of the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) was established by the Australian Government in 2015. To date AWP has established links with 30 countries with significant engagements in India, Myanmar, Vietnam and in the Pacific Islands.

Thanks to the efforts of AWP, Australia now has a set of guides and tools that allow us to promote Australia’s cutting-edge water management skills and technology to an increasingly thirsty world. The policy dialogue framework, WaterGuide, and the key Australian water tools managed by eWater, the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, WaterTools, are now available and are increasingly being implemented internationally.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is a major sponsor of the International Riversymposium.