In March 2023, world leaders and stakeholders across sectors will gather in New York for the UN Water Conference, dedicated to address the global water crisis. From countless experiences of people around the globe, and supported by substantial scientific evidence, it is obvious that major changes are needed in the way we share and care for water. In the decades since the last UN Water Conference in 1977, water sources have been further exploited and polluted for the economic gains of a few. As a result, ecosystems have deteriorated and the majority of the world’s people have been left with too little and unsafe water to rely on.
The Transformative Water Pact (TWP) was launched at the 2023 Conference and has been developed in response to the continued exploitation of nature, neglect of human rights and the extreme power-imbalances that characterize contemporary water governance throughout the world. It details an alternative vision of water governance based on the tenets of environmental justice, equality and care. The TWP spans two sections of key principles and a framework for action, that provide anchor-points and strategic priorities to guide decision-making for transformative change in water governance.
The TWP was initiated by the Dutch environmental justice organization Both ENDS and the international water knowledge institute IHE-Delft. It was developed and authored by a diverse group of 40+ environmental justice advocates from civil society and academia, notably from the Global South, who work extensively on water-related issues throughout the world. It’s content was defined through a process of online round-tables and writing from December 2022 to February 2023. The TWP is a living document that can serve as a basis for further discussion and refinement.
The TWP can be endorsed by any actor that supports the transformative principals and is committed to implementing the framework of action within their own area of expertise and sphere of influence, including Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), policy-makers, academics, private sector actors, community groups and governmental organizations.