Mission Statement


Water is life – and a key resource for sustainable development and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. Many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depend on the availability of sufficient and clean water resources. Water is key not only to realize goal 6 (“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”), but also it underpins access to education, sustainable urban development, sustainable ecosystems, land degradation neutrality, energy, zero hunger, health, responsible consumption and production, climate mitigation and adaptation and many other goals.

Ensuring sustainable water management and governance to meet the competing demands is a challenge. Problems range from too little water (70 countries are regularly affected by drought and water scarcity already affects more than 40 per cent of the global population), to too much water (floods and other water-related disasters account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural hazards), or lacking access to good quality water (3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services). In addition, sustainable governance of oceans and seas as a global water resource that provide and regulate the critical food, water and air on Earth is challenging. Developing countries are particularly strongly affected by these challenges.

Purpose and objectives

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. With major international development organizations and renowned research institutions, the Bonn Water Network and its partners also contributes to the global debate on water through sharing new findings, research projects and policy tools.
  • Contributes to further strengthening the city of Bonn’s capacity as a major hub for sustainable development. The network supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Bonn Water takes up international priorities in the water sector and ensures local diffusion and discussion among relevant networks such as UN-Water and research findings and international reports, such as the World Water Development Report.
  • Strives to enhance the knowledge frontier on pertinent water challenges and opportunities, discusses relevant implementation of related policy, advocacy and capacity development issues. Activities ranging from water Lectures for knowledge diffusion and exchange, joint projects and publications, participation at international conferences as well as individual research, policy advice and training activities contribute to achieving this goal. Our expertise, experiences and networks allow for efficient knowledge sharing in Bonn as well as with local partners. Our well-established contacts to policy-makers and public, private and civil society actors in the water and related sectors here in Bonn and around the world facilitate the exchange of knowledge from different disciplinary and stakeholders’ perspectives, and to collaboratively identify and promote technical and institutional solutions ranging from international water governance to the local level.