The surface of calm water with reflecting blue sky and white clouds.

UA Global Water Security Center to Participate in 2023 UN Water Conference

The Global Water Security Center at The University of Alabama has been awarded special accreditation to participate in the United Nations 2023 Water Conference. The GWSC is one of only 440 organizations worldwide and one of only 20 universities recognized with this distinction.

“The GWSC is excited to have received this recognition, especially since we are a relatively new center within The University of Alabama,” said Mike Gremillion, GWSC director and interim executive director of the Alabama Water Institute.

Gremillion and Dr. Kate Brauman, GWSC associate director for analysis and communications, plan to attend the U.N. conference in March 2023. The accreditation positions them to weigh in during opportunities for public consultation, network with global leaders in the field and leverage the information they learn for an insider perspective to global water issues, Brauman said.

The GWSC will observe the U.N.’s midterm review of the Water Action Decade, which began on World Water Day, March 22, 2018, and ends in 2028. The decade strives to promote collaboration and highlight solutions for water-related issues, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, disasters and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods. It will also boost international collaboration in research and innovation to facilitate sustainable development of water resources while integrating risk-informed management of these systems.

Water is a central pillar of food, healthcare, energy and the environment. Concentrating on water security ensures that drinking, agriculture, biodiversity and other water-reliant systems are also secure. Through rigorous innovation and research, the GWSC provides information to improve water access, food security, economic opportunities and health by empowering water security decisions. The center creates the most reliable water and environmental security-related information, tools and analysis of the hydrologic cycle to communicate its potential impact and inform appropriate action and response by the United States.

“Water information is critical to effective decision-making across a wide range of issues,” Brauman said. “Our center is committed to make that information accessible and understandable to decision-makers.”

The conference will take place at the U.N. headquarters in New York and will be co-hosted by the governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands. The conference layout will include six plenary meetings and five interactive dialogues. The assembly will work to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets while furthering its vision statement, “Our watershed moment: uniting the world for water.”

This story was written by Emily Fischer, communications intern for the Alabama Water Institute.