The document acknowledged the importance of local governments’ roles in resolving water issues at the national and global levels. It also called for collaboration with central governments to work on water challenges more effectively.
Ninety-five local and provincial governments’ representatives attended the conference, which is part of the political process program at the 7th World Water Forum. The document announced by the local governments group focused on two themes: building on strategies at the municipal level, and asking national governments to allow local governments to help create enabling environments.
Among many strategies set out by the document, the most imminent issue was how to take advantage of the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which will be selected in December, and increase the awareness of water challenges on the global stage. The conferees pledged to cooperate with their national governments to make sure that happens.
After the SDGs are selected, the local governments pledged their best efforts to achieve the goals by the 2030 deadline through close consultations and cooperation with national officials. They also promised to promote further development by creating an alliance with other parties related to water industries.
The group also stressed the need for locally feasible solutions, a reference to the principles included in the “Istanbul Water Consensus,” the outcome document of the Local and Regional Authorities Conference at the 5th World Water Forum in Turkey in 2009.
The water action document said local government officials would strengthen existing water laws and work closely with other management sectors such as urban planning. It also contains a pledge to do more to work with relevant stakeholders, including small water plant operators and especially to work with people in vulnerable positions: those affected most severely by poor water management or who are living in informal settlements.
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