21/03/2018 - The OECD has been awarded the Hassan II World Water Prize by the government of Morocco and the World Water Council in recognition of its work under Secretary-General Angel Gurría to elevate water security as a crucial global issue and the policy guidance it has provided countries around the world on the issue.
The King Hassan II Great World Water Prize was jointly established by the Kingdom of Morocco and the World Water Council to recognise excellence in cooperation and sound management in the development and use of water resources. The prize is awarded every three years at the World Water Forum by an international jury.
“Back in 2006 when I singled out water as one of my top three priorities for the OECD, along with health and migration, there was a striking lack of awareness of how economic development and climate change would affect the availability of water. Twelve years later, I think everybody agrees that water security is a critical global challenge,” Mr Gurría said on being presented with the award during the 8th World Water Forum taking place this week in Brasilia.
“Beyond ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all, we must juggle the parallel risks of too much, too little and too polluted water. To fix this challenge government departments must work together to properly value water and factor it into decisions on agriculture and land use, urban development, energy, climate change adaptation, and any relevant dimension of public policy making. The OECD is here to help,” Mr Gurría added.
The OECD estimates that by 2050 over 40% of the population will live under severe water stress as water demand increases by 55%. The Organisation offers governments guidance on water management and the delivery of water services with the OECD Principles on Water Governance and with its OECD Council Recommendation on Water, adopted as a legal instrument in 2016.
A new report presented in Brasilia by Mr Gurría, Implementing the OECD Principles on Water Governance provides national and local governments and water authorities with a self-assessment tool to measure, assess and improve their water policies.
This year’s jury for the Hassan II World Water Prize was led by Charafat Afailal El Yedri, Secretary of State for the Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, and Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani presented the award.
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Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.