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EU at UN Water Conference

22 to 24 March 2023 - New York

The UN Water Conference is an opportunity to accelerate action for clean water and sanitation for everyone by 2030. The EU is bringing a number of commitments to the conference.

What’s at stake?

Without water there is no life. Access to water is a human right. It is also an indispensable resource for the economy – for food, energy and industry.

Water stress is increasing worldwide. It is driven by overdemand, mismanagement and the impacts of the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Unless we act now, almost half of the world’s population will suffer acute water stress by 2030. Urgent global action is needed to turn this around.

We need water for…

of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity
of the world's wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment
of disasters are water-related

EU vision by 2050

  • water security for all
  • global resilience to water stress
  • protected and restored aquatic ecosystems
  • a fair balance between water supply and demand
  • the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, without compromising the rights of future generations

EU priorities

The EU will advocate for

  • access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right
  • protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems for sustainable development, climate mitigation and adaptation
  • promoting a more integrated approach to the management of water resources across sectors
  • promoting circularity in the use of water for industry, energy and agriculture by increasing water efficiency and water reuse
  • developing transboundary water cooperation, as a catalyst for peace and security
  • mobilising public and private finance, research and innovation, and knowledge sharing

Water Action Agenda: time to deliver

One of the main outcomes of the UN 2023 Water Conference will be a Water Action Agenda. It will bring together voluntary commitments, pledges and actions. These commitments may vary in type, scale or reach, but should deliver significant and lasting impact, whether public, private or in partnership.

What the EU brings to the conference

The Commission will present a set of voluntary commitments, demonstrating the EU’s will to take concrete and transformative action. The aim is to increase political attention, visibility and public awareness of global water challenges. The EU will also learn from partners worldwide, including governments, youth leaders, NGOs and private sector representatives.

Success stories from EU and around the world