The World Water Week brings together policymakers and institutions dedicated to realising international progress in water-related matters. The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) World Congress is a hub for researchers and engineers to shape sustainable water resource management, while the World Large Rivers and Danube conferences were the place to interact with river basin organisations. These important water-focussed events coincided; together, these they help advance water management solutions and knowledge. Topics such as nature-based solutions, river management and valuing water were high on both agendas.

Deltares experts attended both events, adopting a comprehensive and holistic approach to leverage expertise and bridge the gap between science and policy, paving the way to better and more sustainable water management.

World Water Week: stimulating sustainable water management through policy and innovation

The World Water Week, organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), gathers people from around the world and across all sectors to promote dialogue, shape policies, and spur global action towards sustainable water management. This year’s theme, Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World, focused on innovation at a time of unprecedented changes.

There is much work to be done. Halfway through the Water Action Decade, it is clear that the right governance structures have yet to be implemented. To do this, policy makers need to embrace an innovative and multi-disciplinary approach. As a knowledge institute, Deltares can play a unique and pivotal role in tackling these challenges and bridge the gap between policy and science.

A key topic for Deltares at the World Water Week included source-to-sea management, a holistic approach addressing challenges cross the land-freshwater-coastal-marine continuum.

Nature-based solutions were also an important issue during both the Stockholm World Water Week and the Vienna Water Conferences. Nature-based solutions capitalise on the inherent resilience of natural ecosystems, promoting sustainable and cost-effective measures to manage water resources and contribute to biodiversity values and human well-being at the same time. Deltares’ expertise extends to both policy development and implementation of solutions. Together with our partners we help shape policies and integrated water management strategies that prioritise ecosystem-based approaches, ensuring that these nature-based solutions become an integral part of national and international water management strategies.

Deltares also supported the Valuing Water Initiative. A session on values-based decision-making for innovative water governance applied a systemic constellation methodology to water governance in a public setting for the first time.

Vienna Water Conferences: driving real-world implementation

Coinciding with the more policy-driven agenda of the World Water Week, the 40th IAHR World Congress brought together engineers, researchers, and practitioners to discuss best practice and showcase the latest technological advancements. With a focus on implementation, this year’s IAHR World Congress – alongside the other Vienna Water Conferences (the Worlds Large Rivers Conference and the Danube Conference) – focused on the importance of rivers and collaboration for considering the integral water cycle to address present and future challenges.

During the IAHR World Congress and the World Large Rivers conference, Deltares experts showcased the role that nature-based solutions can play in river basin management, cities and urban watersheds, coastal systems, and upstream catchments and small streams.

The International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin (CHR), of which Deltares is a member on behalf of the Netherlands, was also represented during the WLR Conference. Deltares experts presented on how scientific research supports transboundary water management. A prime example of this is the successful cooperation between Rhine riparian states in getting a better view on the current status and future outlook of growing water demand and its impact on the full Rhine river system.

Data is also vital for the future. Deltares and partners shared numerous research studies, highlighting the collaborative efforts in co-creating dynamic and adaptable river management strategies concerning river shape (morphology) and hydraulic structures. As part of the STARS4WATER project, Deltares works with international partners to discuss the (hampering) uptake of available global data sources (including remote sensing) into current river basin planning and climate adaptation studies on the river basin scale. Other technologies, such as digital twins, can also play a role in shifting the water management paradigm.

Deltares software community: bringing policymakers and practitioners together

Deltares’ expertise is enhanced by its software offerings, used by both policymakers and practitioners alike. The software products offer cutting-edge tools and technologies across various water management domains, fostering innovation and collaboration. They enhance research, analysis, and decision-making processes.

The importance of these software products was underpinned during the Vienna Water Conferences and the World Water Week. A crash course on assessing and managing reservoir sedimentation with RESCON 2 and Delft3D FM Suite, hosted by Deltares and partners during the IAHR World Congress, showcased the importance of Deltares’ software products to help increase global knowledge.

The Deltares software community stimulates innovation, collaboration, and co-creation. Together with our users, we continuously improve and validate the tools we have created to improve water management worldwide.

Interested in joining our dynamic software community?

Learn more about the possibilities during the Delft Software Days.

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