World Water Council

The World Water Council is an international think tank founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Marseille , France . It has 341 members (March 2017) which include organizations from the United Nations and the intergovernmental organizations , the private sector (construction, engineering and manufacturing companies), governments and ministries , academic institutions, international organizations , local governments , and civil society groups. Founders and members of the World Water Council include the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, theInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Water Association (IWA), AquaFed (International Federation of Private Water Operators), Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux , UNDP and UNESCO , and the World Bank . [1]

Its stated mission is “to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the effective conservation , protection, development , planning, management , and use of water. all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis for the benefit of all life on earth. ”

Every third year the World Water Council organizes the World Water Forum in close collaboration with the authorities of the hosting country. The Forum is the largest international event in the field of water. The 6th World Water Forum took place in Marseille, France, in 2012 and the 7th World Water Forum in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea, in April 2015. The upcoming 8th World Water Forum will take place in Brasilia, Brazil, from 18 to 23 March 2018 under the overarching theme ‘Sharing Water’.

The World Water Council is based primarily on membership fees, and additional support is provided by the City of Marseille. Specific projects and programs are financed through grants and grants from governments, international organizations, and NGO ‘s.

Colleges and Membership Distribution (as of March 2017)

World Water Council members are divided into 5 colleges:

  • College 1: Intergovernmental institutions – 4%
  • College 2: Governments and government authorities – 23%
  • College 3: Enterprises and facilities – 30%
  • College 4: Civil society organizations and water users associations – 17%
  • College 5: Professional associations and academic institutions – 26%


Critics accuses the World Water Council of promoting the privatization of water supply, an indication of this is the broad influence of financial institutions and global water corporations . [2] The Canadian activist Tony Clarkedescribes the World Water Council as a smoke screen for the water lobby. Medha Patkar , an activist from India, gave a passionate speech against privatization of water at the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague in 2000. [1]

The World Water Forum

leasing year
Brasilia 2018
Daegu Gyeongbuk 2015
Marseilles 2012
Istanbul 2009
mexico 2006
Kyoto 2003
The Hague 2000
Marrakech 1997


  1. Jump up^ World Water Council Constitution & By-Laws
  2. Jump up^ Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, “Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water” (2002).

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