As the effects of climate change are felt across the world, it is becoming clear that water will be a key topic in the coming decades – from flooding to drought, from providing clean drinking water to dealing with wastewater. The UN 2023 Water Conference brought players from across the world to address their ideas and concerns regarding this vital resource.
As a programme that delivers international dialogue on key urban and regional issues, it may come as no surprise that the importance of IURC was flagged in this context.
During the Interactive Dialogue 2, “Water for Sustainable Development: Valuing Water, Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Sustainable Economic and Urban Development,” which the EU was pleased to co-chair with China, H.E. Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice- President for Democracy and Demography referred to IURC as a good case for international urban regional cooperation on green transition topics such as water.
The Co-Chair’s report made reference to addressing increasing water needs for sustainable urban development by:
- Implementing integrated urban and territorial planning, with nature-based solutions such as green-blue infrastructure, and
- Promoting communication technologies (ICTs)/smart city technologies.
IURC is well placed to promote cooperation on solutions for water, an ever-more pressing issue for cities. For example, Malaga (Spain) and Christchurch (New Zealand) are finding joint ways through IURC to approach the immediate impacts of climate change, droughts and floods, by engaging academia and communities around water management.
A major success of the previous phase of IURC (IUC) was a $50 million agreement between Los Cabos, Mexico, and Spanish company Aqualia, following Los Cabos’ collaboration with Almería, Spain.