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USA Pavilion at the Seventh World Water Forum

On April 12 –17, 2015, more than 15,000 participants from 170 countries and nine Heads of State attended the Seventh World Water Forum (the Forum) in Korea. The Forum is the largest international water event and the U.S. Government delegation was headed by Deputy Secretary Mike Connor, U.S.  Department of the Interior and included over 50 senior and technical staff. At the Forum, the USWP led the U.S. delegation in organizing the USA Pavilion. The Pavilion featured best-in-class U.S. water expertise and featured over 25 presentations from the following organizations:

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell welcomed participants to the USA Pavilion via video and emphasized, “No single country nor entity has all the answers, but by working together we can help create a more water secure future.” The full video is available here.

Partners engaged participants and shared presentations addressing a wide range of issues which include:

  • CDM Smith discussed how to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management techniques into development planning including examples from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and the Hurricane Sandy impacted areas of the U.S.
  • Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute shared an overview of critical issues impacting our ability to maximize agricultural production with reduced stress on water resources.
  • The U.S. EPA introduced its range of resources to support innovative technologies and highlighted partnership approaches to model and increase the available tools to address nutrient pollution.
  • CH2M gave an overview of its water capabilities in the U.S. and around the world with examples from Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
  • MCC shared lessons learned from scaling water and sanitation projects in Compact countries such as Jordan and Zambia.
  • NASA featured its diverse practical applications of satellites to improve our understanding of water resources. This included the range of decision support tools and an overview of the hydrologic satellites which cover precipitation from “Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)”, soil moisture from “Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); and groundwater from “Gravity Recovery and Climate” (GRACE). In addition NASA satellite data and modeling techniques are being applied to monitoring and forecasting drought conditions in the American West.
  • OSIsoft, LLC featured its innovative real-time data management solution, the PI System, which delivers one common interface for process data such as water pressures, flows, chlorine levels so that utilities can reliably collect, analyze and make informed decisions.
  • USACE presented information on the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) and outlined how the U.S. Government engages with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program and affiliated centers around the world, in particular through the semi-arid regions program known as G-WADI.
  • USAID discussed the implementation of USAID’s Water and Development Strategy 2013 – 2018 and its five focus areas, which include: sustainability of WASH services; sanitation; water quality; WASH and nutrition; and agricultural water management. USAID also featured its Mission to Central Asia’s work on transboundary water cooperation with a local organization Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).
  • USGS gave an overview of the tools and approaches it uses to monitor and assess groundwater and surface water availability. USGS shared how it works with partners around the world to use remote sensing and traditional hydrogeology to site and manage sustainable groundwater resources.
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation met with the Taiwan Delegation to discuss Reclamation’s assistance to address Taiwan’s hydrologic/sedimentation challenges as part their ongoing collaboration for more than twenty years. 
  • Secretary Jewell said, “H2infO provides easy access to U.S. experiences and lessons learned” and encouraged users to browse the portal’s wide range of water information resources from raw data to reports, and technical guidance to blog posts.
  • The Global Water Alliance shared its history and background and showcased its experience in working on several countries. 

The Forum offered an interactive venue to expand the collection of case studies and improve our understanding of resilient approaches to urban water infrastructure. Experts shared their commitment to building water resilience, which included the following videos:

  • Dr. John Bolten, Associate Program Manager of Water Resources  NASA Applied Science Program – video is available here;
  • Frances Bui, Water Resources and Coastal Engineer, CDM Smith – video is available here;
  • George Chaima, Director, New Restoration Plan Malawi – video is available here;
  • Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, Hydrologic Engineer, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – video is available here;
  • Estevan López, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – video is available here;
  • Tjitte Nauta, Regional Manager South and East Asia, Deltares – video is available here;
  • Kumar Ranganathan, Senior Director and Practice Lead, Water and Sanitation Division, Department of Compact Operations, MCC – video is available here; and,
  • Nuno Vital, Commercial General, MTD – video is available here.

The USWP Secretariat is already planning potential U.S. participation in the next Forum in Brasilia. For more information, please email Chuck Chaitovitz with the USWP Secretariat at Chuck@getf.org.

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