IV World Water Forum

From March 16-22, 2006, approximately 100 ministers from around the world joineded by some 15,000 people in Mexico City, for the Fourth World Water Forum.  This is the first time that Forum has taken place in the Americas.


Participants took stock of the current state of water resources, share best practices in securing the sustainable management of water, identified key challenges – from water borne diseases affecting human health to the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters – and identified concrete actions at the local level that can be replicated and scaled up.  For the past two years, the Department of Sustainable Development has been involved in various aspects of the preparatory process within the hemisphere of the Americas together with other partners such as the Global Water Partnership and  the World Bank among others.   


The OAS-DSD has been supporting the Secretariat of the IV World Water Forum as member and Chair of the Operative Committee of the Americas (OCA). During the day of the Americas of the Forum, the DSD emphasized how the following goals have been met within the region in contribution to a global change in integrated water resource management: (1) Identifying successful experiences and local actions in the region, (2) advancing in the solutions of the water problems in the region highlighted in the Regional Document of the Americas to be presented at the Forum, and (3)Increasing participation of the different water stakeholders and the civil society.


The DSD focused its preparatory efforts in good governance and public participation related to issues such as national and transboundary integrated water resources management, potable water and sanitation, the protection of ecosystems, urban water management, environmental education, gender and indigenous peoples. These action areas are precisely those in which the region faces the most relevant challenges. For advancing these issues and evaluating perspectives for the future, during 2005 the DSD supported the following meetings:

Evaluation Committee of the Americas

A major accomplishment of the DSD in its role as Chair of the OCA, was the establishment of the Evaluation Committee of the Americas to recommend a short-list of “local actors” to present their experiences at the project and policy level during the Forum. The Evaluation Committee of the Americas was formed of 5 sub-working groups reflecting the five themes of the Forum itself: (1) Water for Growth and Development; (2) Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management; (3) Water Supply and Sanitation for All; (4) Water Management for Food and the Environment; and (5) Risk Management. The OAS/DSD is extremely grateful for the tremendous work of the Evaluation Committee and, as the only region that established such a committee, believes that the results in selecting outstanding local actions, as well as the process by which public participation and transparency was directly supported, will be an important contribution to the Forum.


Members of the Evaluation Committee of the Americas  

 E.C. Contact Information 


Criteria for  selection for the E.C.




Water Management and Climante   Change: Lessons From Regional Cooperation

The OAS/DSD Launched Special Issue of Policy Series on the Interface of Water Management and Climate Change for the IV World Water Forum.

Sessions Convened and Co-Convened by the OAS:  

March 17,  2006 Shared Groundwater Resources for Sustainable Development.

March 17,  2006 Regional Session of the Américas.

March 18, 2006 Lessons in Transboundary Integrated Water Resources Management.

March 18,  2006 Advancing Local Actions in Basins, Sub-basins and Aquifers. 

March 18,  2006 Participation of the Public and Solidarity in Basin Management. 

March 18,  2006 Coordination of Local Actions for the Sustainable Future of the La Plata River Basin

March 18,  2006 Synthesis Session on Transboundary Basin Management: Regional Consensus as a Driving Force for Progress and Development

March 18,  2006 Water Governance and River Basin Organizations.

March 20,  2006 Governance as a key factor in IWRM in megacities (metropolis);

March 22,  2006 Round Table No.3 at Ministerial Conference:  Descentralization Processes,             governance, Institutions and  Strenthening Stakeholders, in particular local actors including women and youth.

Featured Links and Information Sources:

Official Site of the Fourth World Water Forum

Database of Water Codes and Water Legislation across the 34 OAS Member States

Sessions organized  by the Operative Committee of the Americas