5th International Conference of the Water agency Association – Water for Tomorrow
Rijeka and Karlovac/Croatia and Rogaška Slatina/ Slovenia, October 11th and 12th 2019
Water resources are increasingly threatened. On the one hand, there is increasing human pressure on them, and on the other, increasing climate change. Therefore, we face the great challenge of providing the young and future generations with a secure supply of drinking water and reducing the risk of high water and the effects of droughts.
The participants of the two-day 5th International conference » Water for Tomorrow« are aware of the importance of water resources and the need for their sustainable management. Therefore, we have made the following conclusions:
1. When planning effective adaptation measures for the sustainable use of water resources, it is essential that participants plan to cooperate with the local population and take into account the local characteristics of the basin. Important here is local, national, cross-border (inter-state) and regional integration and cooperation, which has not been fully implemented in practice. Therefore, we propose to improve integration and cooperation by integrating the knowledge and experience of different water management companies, nature conservation institutions and knowledge of educational institutions in river basins.
2. The conference highlighted a number of good practice examples of integrated water resources management and flood risk reduction. We propose that on this basis appropriate strategies be prepared with concrete proposals for implementation in local settings in the Danube region.
3. Intergenerational cooperation is crucial in the transfer of experience and knowledge on water resources and the functioning of waters in the local environment, with educational institutions – schools playing an important role. We therefore propose to strengthen the integration and cooperation of water management companies with schools at the local and river basin levels.
4. By enhancing knowledge of the functioning of the waters in the local environment and raising public awareness, we also strengthen the responsibility for active participation in the planning and implementation of effective adaptation measures. That is why we propose the development of cooperation strategies for water management institutions, educational institutions, state institutions and media for informing and raising awareness among the general public and for strengthening active cooperation.
5. Slovenia has enshrined the “Right to Water” in the Constitution. It can only be implemented if, at the same time, active care is taken for the quality of water resources. These are duties that are the responsibility of municipalities and local public services. Without the active involvement of residents, users of water resources, this right will not be possible to exercise. Schools can make a significant contribution to the protection and sustainable use of local water resources through the mentors’ knowledge and the upbringing and education of pupils. It is a new, responsible form of partnership for local water resources, with education or training. This is a very important role.
The conclusions of the 5th International conference »Water for Tomorrow« are based on, and built on the resolution adopted in June (Let’s Live with Water) (International Conference, May 31st-June 1st, 2019, Podsreda, Bistrica ob Sotli, Slovenia), which emphasizes the importance of involving young people in integrated water resources management, including planning for climate change adaptation, and highlights the strengthening of river basin cooperation at local, national and cross-border levels.
Achieving the set goals does not require new financial resources, nor does it require the adoption of new laws or the establishment of new institutions. The key is the LINKING and ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS in the basin.
Rogaška Slatina, October 12, 2019