The mission of the IUCN Global Water Programme is to be a trusted partner for evidence-based and adaptive change in water resource management that benefits nature and people.

We bring together our extensive network of IUCN Members, experts, government and private sector partners to develop sustainable solutions to preserve our water resources. Our knowledge is based around the central theme of Implementing Sustainable River Basin Management, branching off into key components which consist of:

  • Implementing IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) using an ecosystems approach
  • Good governance of water and dialogue to build transboundary cooperation and effective national and local water resource management
  • Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth to improve water and food security and climate resilience
  • Demonstrating natural infrastructure solutions for climate change adaptation
  • Building partnerships for water infrastructure innovation in the Water-Energy-Food security Nexus
  • Increasing social, ecological, and agricultural resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change
  • Supporting corporate strategies with an aim to recognise, map, and reduce water risks for wider multi-stakeholder benefits at river basin scale

Responding to the need to protect and conserve our water resources, IUCN formed the Global Water Programme in 1985. Since its inception, it has been working across the world, mainly focusing on the Middle East, Africa, central and south America and Asia.

The Global Water Programme team is dispersed all across the world. Each project region has its own water coordinator who oversees a team of project managers. The overall programme is administered out of the IUCN headquarters based in Gland, Switzerland.

The Global Water Programme contribution to the IUCN Annual Report 2018.

Partners form an integral part of the work and scaling up of the IUCN Global Water Programme. Whether international or local, joining forces with partner organisations creates stronger alliances and more effective practical action at the global level and in the field.

Learn some interesting facts about water resources, their use and management worldwide.

Overview of our key brochures and initiatives, including BRIDGE, SUSTAIN, WISE-UP, and NEXUS