Virtual event: UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems, University of Bonn. Profile and activities.

Tuesday May 18th, 2021| 5:00- 6:30 pm (CET) | Bonn, Germany
by Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers (Chairholder) and the Working Group Ecohydrology and Water Resource Management, Department of Geography, University of Bonn

The Bonn Water Network cordially invites you to join a virtual event on the presentation of the first UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems which was recently established at the Institute of Geography, University of Bonn, on Tuesday May 18th, 2021, 5:00- 6:30 pm (CET).

Please register here via zoom:

UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems

A key challenge for sustainable water management and thus sustainable development as a whole is the complexity of human-water-systems. Inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and the targeted processing of research results are central for a better understanding and sustainable implementation of knowledge. This is where the new UNESCO Chair in Human-Water-Systems wants to contribute.

The UNESCO Chair is headed by Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers. Her team emphasizes research on human-water-systems, hydrological risks and uncertainty, eco-hydrology and inter- and transdisciplinary methods with a geographical focus in Europe, South East Asia, West- and East Africa.

With the establishment of this Chair in Bonn, 14 UNESCO Chairs in Germany now contribute to the implementation of the Global Sustainability Agenda. In the global network of UNESCO Chairs, over 750 Chairs in more than 110 countries cooperate to anchor UNESCO’s goals in science and education. They distinguish themselves through outstanding research and teaching in UNESCO’s fields of work. The principles of their work include international networking, especially in the North-South collaboration and the promotion of intercultural dialogue. UNESCO Chairs contribute worldwide to creating, disseminating and applying knowledge to promote sustainable development.

During the event, participants will learn about the UNESCO family in general and the profile and planned activities of UNESCO Chair in Human-Water-Systems.

Program in brief

Time Activity Speakers
17:00-17:05 Welcome address and introduction by spokesperson from the Bonn Water Network Dr. Luna Bharati (International Water Management Institute), co-spokesperson Bonn Water Network
17:05-17:10 Welcome by German Commission for UNESCO Dr. Lutz Möller (Deputy Secretary-General, German Commission for UNESCO)


17:10-17:25 Introduction to the UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers, chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems at the Institute of Geography, University of Bonn
17:25-17:40 Presentation of the chair team, their research areas and projects Members of Prof. Evers’ chair team, Institute of Geography, research group in Ecohydrology & Water resources management
17:40-17:55 Statement and Input from the International Centre for Water Research and Global Change under the auspices of UNESCO Dr. Marianela Fader, Deputy Director
of the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (UNESCO), Koblenz



Q&A, Discussion Moderation by Dr. Luna Bharati (International Water Management Institute), co-spokesperson Bonn Water Network
18:25-18:30 Closing remarks and thanks Dr. Luna Bharati (International Water Management Institute), co-spokesperson Bonn Water Network

Contact for questions regarding content of this event:

Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers: 
Dr. Linda Taft (Institute of Geography, University of Bonn):

Speaker of the network: Annabelle Houdret (DIE):
Co-spokesperson: Luna Bharati (IWMI): L.bharati@CGIAR.ORG

Webinar: Filling and Operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – A Way Out

Tuesday May 4th, 2021| 4:00- 5:30 pm (CET) | Bonn, Germany
by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hani Sewilam, Department of Engineering Hydrology, RWTH Aachen University

The Bonn Water Network cordially invites you to join a webinar on the water situation in the riparian countries as well as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and its potential ecological and socio-economic impacts on Tuesday, May 04, 2021, 4:00- 5:30 pm (CET).

Please register via zoom here.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has a concrete volume of 10.5 million m3, making it the largest dam—per volume—in Africa. The dam supposed to be a hydropower dam necessary for the Ethiopian economy. The filling and operation of this gigantic dam, which has a 74-billion-cubic-meter reservoir that can theoretically store as much water as the total annual share of Egypt and Sudan combined, requires a close collaboration between the three riparian countries to avoid significant harm on the downstream ones. The GERD will store water in an area of 1,800 square kilometers—larger than the size of London—resulting in enormous evaporation and seepage losses in addition to possible upstream usage. These billions of cubic meters will be cut from Egypt and Sudan’s current water share. The potential reduction in the Nile water flowing to Egypt comes at a time when the country is significantly dropping below the water poverty line and approaching the absolute scarcity limit (560 m3/capita/year).

In March 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have signed a Declaration of Principles to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD. For more than a decade since Ethiopian’s unilateral launching of the construction in 2021, the three countries have been engaged in negotiations to conclude a treaty to govern both the filling and the operation without success. The conflictive technical, political, and legal issues as well as the public pressure in the three countries have mad the process of reaching an agreement extremely complex. During the entire process, the construction of the Dam was never stopped and it is now about 90% completed. In summer 2020, Ethiopia has unilaterally decided to execute the first stage of the filling (4.9 BCM) which significantly impacted the drinking water in Sudan as well as other socio-economic aspects. In the previous days, Ethiopia has unilaterally decided and announced to execute the second filling phase this summer 2021. Unfortunately, all the trials to resume negotiations have failed and the conflict is escalating.

In this webinar, more background information on the water situation in the three countries as well as the Dam and its potential ecological and socio-economic impacts will be provided. Thoughts about these negotiations including technical and legal aspects will be shared. Scenarios for technical solutions will be also presented as a way out of the current critical situation. An opportunity for Q&A will be available by the end of the presentation.

Contact for questions regarding content of this event:

Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers (GIUB):
Dr. Linda Taft (GIUB):

Speaker of the network: Annabelle Houdret (DIE): and
co-spokesperson: Luna Bharati (IWMI): L.bharati@CGIAR.ORG

4th Global WOPs Congress: Call for Expressions of Interest now open

Friday April 16th, 2021| Bonn, Germany


The need for strong water and sanitation operators is more critical now than ever before. As we deal with growing inequalities, depletion of resources, a fast-changing climate, and an enduring pandemic, we increasingly need to find solutions by working together.

From 18-29 October 2021, UN-Habitat’s Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance will convene the 4th Global WOPs Congress to discuss common challenges in the provision of water and sanitation, and to share solutions. The goal of the Global WOPs Congress is to accelerate the scaling-up of effective peer-to-peer partnership between water operators worldwide.

The call for expressions of interest to the 4th Global WOPs Congress has now been launched. More information can be found on

Bonn Water Network launches website at virtual World Water Day event on March 23

Wednesday March 25th, 2021| Bonn, Germany
Bonn Water Network celebrates World Water Day 2021.

The Bonn Water Network launched its new website during the Network’s virtual World Water Day 2021 event on March 23 (more information here) which was organized on the occasion of World Water Day 2021 (‘Valuing Water’).

More than 200 participants from all over the world registered for the virtual event. The event was co-hosted by Luna Bharati, (IWMI) and Annabelle Houdret, (DIE) spokespersons for the Bonn Water Network. Luna Bharati stressed in her introduction the importance of recognizing the ever-changing mosaic of water values and fostering an enabling environment for cooperation. The first contribution was by Bonn’s Mayor Ms. Katja Dörner, who stressed in her video message on World Water Day how crucial water-related research and policy work is for Bonn, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as Germany’s United Nations City. Danilo Türk, former president of Slovenia and Geneva Water Hub, Margaret Deignan , senior editor with Springer Nature, and Janos Bogardi, chief editor, then introduced the Handbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples’ (published by Springer, 2021) which was launched at the event.

During the subsequent round table discussion and Q&A, authors of the handbook and members of the Bonn Water Network gave input on and discussed different aspects of the World Water Day’s 2021 theme ‘Valuing Water’. Zita Sebesvari (UNU- EHS) explained how different drivers, pressures and stressors challenge the value of water, Bernhard Tischbein (ZEF) explored how to value water for the environment in a context of high demand and negative environmental impacts of water use for irrigation, Ines Dombrowsky (DIE) elaborated on the role and effectiveness of river basin organizations in mediating different water needs and values, whereas Mahsa Motlagh (Bonn Alliance) talked about how emerging digital technologies can contribute to better valuing water in sustainable governance approaches.

If you missed the Bonn Water Network’s March 23 event you can watch the Zoom recording on ZEF’s youtube channel here:

This event was also part of the “25 years of UN in Bonn” campaign, celebrating Bonn as Germany’s United Nations City for 25 years.

The Bonn Water Network aims at bundling and representing the Bonn-based capacities for water research, training and policy advice with a focus on international activities but also well established in the German and European contexts. The Network’s members are: the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC); Bonn University with its Institute of Geography (GIUB) holding the UNESCO Chair in Human Water Systems, the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health (IHPH); the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE); the IUCN Environmental Law Center; the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and three Bonn-based UN institutions: the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance (UN-Habitat/GWOPA).

Valuing Water: Bonn Water Network celebrates World Water Day 2021 with launch of Handbook of Water Resources Management and round table discussion

Tuesday March 23rd, 2021| 5:00- 6:30 pm (CET) | Bonn, Germany
Bonn Water Network celebrates World Water Day 2021.

World Water Day 2021: Valuing Water

World Water Day became a UN observance day in 1993. On March 22 every year, people and organizations around the world mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the global water crisis. World Water Day 2021 focuses on the theme ‘Valuing Water’. This focus extends beyond issues of pricing and includes the environmental, social, and cultural value people place on water. Continue reading “Valuing Water: Bonn Water Network celebrates World Water Day 2021 with launch of Handbook of Water Resources Management and round table discussion”

Water lecture #7: “Addressing water as a crosscutting element of the Sustainable Development Goals”

Wednesday December 16th, 2020| 2:50- 4:20 pm (CET) | Zoom Webinar
Lecture #7 given by the Bonn Water Network as part of the joint lecture series “International Water Colloquium”.

International Water Colloquium


University Bonn, UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden are proud to invite you to their first interdisciplinary lecture series on the topic of “Cooperation in Water Management – Tackling a Global Challenge”. These sessions are planned to be held in November/December 2020 online and build a start of a long-term relationship and collaborative network between UNU institutes, a UN agency and their local partner universities. Continue reading “Water lecture #7: “Addressing water as a crosscutting element of the Sustainable Development Goals””

Launch of the Bonn Water Network

Tuesday November 17th, 2020| 5:30- 7:00 pm (CET) | Bonn, Germany
New Bonn Water Network strengthens competences for sustainable water solutions worldwide.

Bonn_Water_Network_Logo_10cm_SCREEN 2.1 billion people have no access to clean drinking water and more than 4.5 billion have no safe sanitation. In many countries, increasing water scarcity threatens food security and energy production or leads to conflict. For the past 15 years, seven Bonn-based organisations have been sharing their insights into solutions towards a more water secure world through their „water lecture“ series. Today, these institutions are going a step further and are launching the ‘Bonn Water Network’ in order to coordinate and intensify their endeavours for sustainable water futures.  Continue reading “Launch of the Bonn Water Network”