Local and Regional Authorities in the spotlight

    Local Authorities are faced with many competing challenges, exacerbated by population growth, changing consumption patterns and the impacts of climate variability. Ensuring water security and sanitation in cities is key to overcoming those challenges and safeguarding the well-being of city dwellers. However, change can occur only if political will is cultivated and cities have access to sufficient resources and mechanisms guiding them in the development and implementation of sustainable water management strategies at a local level.

    On the 20 and 21 March, the International Conference of Local and Regional Authorities for Water will be co-organized by the World Water Council, the United Nations Settlements Programme through its Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA/UN Habitat),  Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Secretariat for Federative Affairs (SAF) of the Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Confederação Nacional de Municípios (CNM). The conference is designed for local and regional governments to share their experience, solutions and achievements in addressing water issues. It will highlight the importance of sustainable water management led by local governments in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international frameworks, as well as multi-level water governance and cooperation for better water and sanitation service.

    The Conference of Local and Regional authorities serves to bring mayors and local authorities together, drawing on the essential role they can play in contributing to the achievement of existing international agreements and frameworks and demonstrating how water can help sustain a new urban future. See program here.

    For this occasion, a practical guide entitled Start with Water: Putting water on local action agendas to support global change will be launched. This guide speaks directly to the realities of local and regional authorities wanting to lead on global actions. It provides an easy reading of global agendas – the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals. It links targets within those agendas directly to interesting, water-focused solutions, ultimately providing a set of recommendations that build on these existing frameworks. As local and regional authorities move toward the implementation of global frameworks at the local level, they need to consider where best to invest their resources. The recommendations in this guide make a case for “starting with water”.