The world’s leading annual event on water, World Water Week, has decided to go fully digital in 2021 to ensure that this important conference can take place despite the ongoing pandemic. The Week will be held 23-27 August 2021 under the theme Building Resilience Faster.
World Water Week typically attracts 4,000 people from more than 135 countries to Stockholm, where the conference has been held since 1991. Next year, however, the organizers at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) have decided to hold the entire event online.
“Our top priority is to ensure that the conference can take place, no matter what. We know that the topics we work on cannot wait until the pandemic is over. Water is becoming severely scarce in many countries and scientists tell us that we only have a decade to reverse the climate crisis, so World Water Week will provide a meeting place for people around the globe to collaborate on concrete solutions to these threats,” says Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI.
World Water Week is a uniquely broad conference, where leading researchers, international organizations, local activist groups, top politicians, students, business leaders, and the development community get a chance to meet people who they are not normally connected to. SIWI is now working on creating a digital event where people can learn from each other and solve problems related to challenges such as the climate crisis, water scarcity, food security and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021 theme, Building Resilience Faster, was chosen to demonstrate how many of these threats are in fact interlinked and can only be addressed with the help of more attention to water aspects, including through nature-based solutions. Henrika Thomasson, Communications Director at SIWI, notes that World Water Week draws an increasingly broad audience:
“More and more people are starting to understand the importance of water in all aspects of human life. We have, therefore, worked actively to welcome new groups to World Water Week who may not have a background in water issues; the digital transformation will make this easier,” Henrika Thomasson says.