Youth Parliaments for Water at Amsterdam International Water Week 2021

Water acts as a key link between sectors and regions. Including water in climate action and green deals is crucial for sustainable and resilient development. The practical integration and required innovation to facilitate such processes stood at the center of the Amsterdam International Water Week 2021, which took place from 1-5 November 2021 under the theme ‘Blue-Green deals with Integrated Solutions.’ Throughout the week, members of the European Youth Parliament for Water (EYPW) and the World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW) actively took part in the discussions led in Amsterdam.

EYPW president Hasmik Barseghyan, member of the AIWW Programme Advisory Committee, spoke at the conference opening session alongside high-level representatives of the Dutch water sector. Presenting the AIWW 2021 statement on Blue-Green integrated solutions, she said: “The integration will accelerate actions and facilitate a transition towards sustainable, resilient and adaptive pathways to build back better. With continuous innovation, data-driven tools, stewardship and inclusion, together we can transform the state of water challenges and initiate a shift towards a solutions-driven paradigm.”

On 3rd and 4th November EYPW and WYPW members joined the AIWW Integrated Leaders Forum (ILF), a side-event at which leading water professionals work together to create integrated water solutions that connect municipalities, utilities and industry.

Our members added much-needed youth perspectives to various discussions at the ILF, including on future sources of drinking water and the role of wastewater reuse in a circular economy. A particular focus of the ILF was on the potential of sports to raise awareness of water issues and create sustainable impacts within the sports community and beyond. Under the leadership of the ‘The Future is Water’ initiative, participants explored how sports organizations and businesses can collaborate to realize their sustainability commitments, and how the power of sport to connect people can be leveraged for encourage widespread action.

Outside of the ILF, WYPW member, Amrita Gautam had the opportunity to share experiences from her project ‘drinkPani’ during a panel on the role of data-driven mechanisms in building resilient water utilities. She reflected on the importance of engaging youth in these processes, and shared lessons learned from the project implementation in Nepal. Learn more about Amrita’s work and drinkPani in WYPW’s brief on technological advances in the water sector.

On 3rd November, Amrita also joined forces with peers from the Rising Smart Water Professionals (RiSWP) community to spark conversations with other young water professionals at the AIWW.

Thanks to our core partners who support our action to empower young in Europe; l’Agence de l’eau Artois Picardie, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.