World Water Forum Calls Participants to Action

Posted by Daniel Wilusz
March 23, 2009
Water Running Into a Glass

About the Author: Daniel Wilusz serves in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science Office of International Health and Biodefense.

The biggest-ever Fifth World Water Forum concluded on Sunday, and we the participants are scattering back to our four corners of the earth. The dust in Istanbul is still settling, but the message from Turkey at the closing ceremony was clear. "The forum was a success," declared a high-level government official.

In many respects, he’s right. Hosting an international conference for over twenty-five thousand people with a hundred plus heads of state and ministers is a challenge anywhere, but the “City on Seven Hills” made it look easy as Turkish pie. Most impressive to me was the friendly staff at every twist and turn of the forum – and even at the airport – always ready and eager to help.

The U.S. delegation talked to hundreds of people at our booths, convened a discussion about water with U.S.-based non-profits, offered new ideas at a ministerial conference on water and climate change, chaired a similar conference on water and finance, and on and on. In short we found every opportunity to share our experience and strengthen our partnerships.

Still I can’t help but reflect on a question asked in response to my previous DipNote entry about the World Water Forum, “…What has it all accomplished?" What will all of this dialogue and planning achieve for the billions of people without clean water or sanitation?

As the Acting Administrator of USAID Alonzo Fulgham suggested in his remarks at the closing ceremony, the impetus is now on us, the participants, to make sure it accomplishes a lot. To translate all of our talk to more action on the ground. The real success of the forum depends on it.



Tennessee, USA
March 23, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:



We cannot support the population base now and must realize that the earth is a bio organism. Water cools the mantle, currents help control both sea and land elements and directly effects weather.

The sad fact is: We have too many people to support and not enough resources -- there is simply no way around that. We cannot create what is not there and to continue to off balance a natural cycle. This is not a solution, only aggravation of a finite actuality.

The consumption of the water cycle is not infinite -- a reality not dealt with from what I see...unless we have some method to cool the earth mechanically...

California, USA
March 24, 2009

Sue in California writes:

Water wars seem inevitable as water is siphoned for one state or nation at the expense of others. The extent to which humans consume water beyond the earths capacity to replenish, such as in the U.S.'s arid west, needs stricter monitoring. While water is secured through dams, world heritage sites (whether official or not) are threatened to extinction. Such cultural resources must be conserved or mitigated if at all possible. For instance, Turkey's Endangered Site: The City of Hasankeyf. A new hydroelectric dam threatens the ancient city, home to thousands of human-made caves. SEE:

California, USA
March 24, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Dear Mr. Wilusz,

Thanks for the update. 25,000 people!!?? Has there ever been a conference that big on anything? Congratulations to Turkey.

I hope you give us some examples of the kind of 'talk that must become action.' Tell us five specific matters that will be *acted* upon in the next few years. What are several short term talk-to-actions and several longer term talk-to-actions?

Maryland, USA
March 24, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Good Tuesday Morning, People of the States Department and of the Netisphere or Netizens. :)

It's nice to hear, that "The Fifth World Water Forum" was a Success . I hope that the Water people, came up with some new Ideas on the Worlds Water Problems. I liked what USAID Administrator Alonzo Fulgham said about more action on the ground . I think that's what is going to make this Forum even more of a "Success".

Thanks For Posting Daniel . Cya: my friends at the States Department, :) and the "Fifth Water Forum" .

Mia J.
United States
March 24, 2009

Mia J. in U.S.A. writes:

I would like more information on how I could be of more assistance with the clean water action.

I think the work that is being done is great!

March 25, 2009

Emr writes:

Wow Great Article i know where is it and hows program.


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