IUCN's Water Programme brings together its 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 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


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.

Partners form an integral part of the work and scaling up of the IUCN 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.

Did You Know?

- 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies, that’s approximately one in eight people.
- The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through...

The IUCN Water 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 Switzerland.

The Global Water Programme contribution to the IUCN Annual Report 2016.

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

Overview of our latest brochures linked with the various projects we work on.