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Publication / 23 March 2023

The Transformative Water Pact

From countless experiences of people around the globe, and supported by substantial scientific evidence, it is obvious that major changes are needed in the way we share and care for water. Water sources have been exploited and polluted for the economic gains of a few. As a result, ecosystems have deteriorated and the majority of the world’s people have been left with too little and unsafe water to rely on.

What is transformative water governance?

Water governance is defined here as the decision-making processes and associated (formal and informal) institutions and power relations that influence the flows, quality, use, availability and distribution of water, whether it be fresh or salt, surface or subsurface. Transformative water governance refers, in turn, to the decision-making processes, institutions and power-relations that are needed to foreground environmental justice, equity and care in relation to water.

What is the Transformative Water Pact?

The Transformative Water Pact (TWP) has been developed in response to the continued exploitation of nature, neglect of human rights and the extreme power-imbalances that characterize contemporary water governance throughout the world. It details an alternative vision of water governance based on the tenets of environmental justice, equality and care. The TWP spans two sections of key principles and a framework for action, that provide anchor-points and strategic priorities to guide decision-making for transformative change in water governance. It was initiated by the Dutch environmental justice organization Both ENDS and the international water knowledge institute IHE-Delft. It was developed and authored by a diverse group of 40+ environmental justice advocates from civil society and academia, notably from the Global South, who work extensively on water-related issues throughout the world. It’s content was defined through a process of online round-tables and writing from December 2022 to February 2023. The TWP is a living document that can serve as a basis for further discussion and refinement.

Who can endorse the Transformative Water Pact and how?

The TWP can be endorsed by any actor that supports the transformative principles and is committed to implementing the framework of action within their own area of expertise and sphere of influence, including Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), policy-makers, academics, private sector actors, community groups and governmental organizations. How? By signing the TWP we express the following:
  1. Our support of the key principles of Transformative Water Governance.
  2. Our intention to contribute to implementing the Framework of Action, within our respective areas of expertise and spheres of influence.
  3. Our commitment to refrain from any activities that undermines the principles or actions detailed in the TWP.
  4. Our commitment to transdisciplinary collaboration and learning with other signatories of the TWP.
  5. Our commitment to motivate other actors to join the TWP.
  6. Our commitment to speak out against actors, policies or practices that undermine the principles or actions detailed in the TWP.

You will find the 10 principles of the Transformative Water Pact on this website. Along with these comes the FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION that is based on the above principles to achieve Transformative Water Governance. We commit to actively implement and support the Transformative Water Pact and call upon others to do so too. The framework for action that can be used to this end, is to be found in the pdf’s with the complete Transformative Water Pact in various languages, at the bottom of this website.
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