Practical details

Location: Permanent Mission of Belgium, 885 Second Avenue 41st Floor, New York, NY 10017 

Date & Time: Wednesday 22nd March 2023 from 13h15 – 14h45 EST — Eastern Standard Time

Data collection and information sharing among riparian countries is crucial to enable effective water management. However, this remains a challenge, particularly for transboundary river basins. Given the cross-cutting nature of water resources, there are competing demands for its use between sectors, nations, communities, urban and rural environments. 

In this session, do’s and don’ts will be shared to support riparian countries to move from perception to facts regarding what can be gained from strengthening cooperation on shared water resources.


Opening speech

Water-Smart Society?, by Hans Goossens, President of Water Europe


Innovation and Scientific Cooperation: breaking the silos in Flanders, by Minister Zuhal Demir

Highlight methods, systems and programmes to more successful water cooperation

  • South-South cooperation among young entrepreneurs in water and sanitation, by Antonella Vagliente from Young Water Solutions 
  • Lake Tanganyika basin the importance of transboundary collaboration, in combination with innovation, data collection and monitoring, by Didier Cadelli from ENABEL
  • The success of international agreements for effective water management by Niels Van Steenbergen from Flemish Department Mobility and Public Works
  • The creation of a funding mechanism to accelerate transnational cooperation in the Mayo-Chinchipe river basin between Peru and Ecuador, by Marcelo Ordonez from Protos Andes and Join For Water


Water4all as accelerator for Water-Smart Society, by Ariane Blum from ANR, CEO of Water4all cofunded Partnership

Panel on systems thinking: how co-creation can accelerate the transition to water-smart societies.

Moderator: VITO – Yves De Weerdt, Nexus

  • Decentralised drinking water supply for development Suriname (GSTIC CAP) – Jacob Bossaer, Bosaq
  • Pavitra Ganga, waste water treatment and reuse, opportunities in India - Antonio Lo Porto, CNR Italy
  • Challenges and successes of Water management in Burundi, Nestor Mburente from AVEDEC
  • Voices of Youngo, Bhumi Sharma
  • Water system resilience in  Mozambique  and Zimbabwe (GSTIC – CAP), a cooperation between Antea Group and UNESCO, by Tom D’Haeyer and Koen Verbist

General moderation and conclusions: Katrien Van Hooydonk, Strategic Partnerships at WaterClimateHub, VITO

Closing Speech

Ambassador Luc Jacobs, Special Envoy for Climate and Environment (Belgium)

Lunch Fluid Crew

Chair: Katrien Van Hooydonk, Strategic Partnerships at WaterClimateHub, VITO

One must recognise the benefits to deploy Blue Peace to build Water-Smart Societies. Blue Peace refers to water cooperation across borders, sectors and generations to foster peace, stability and sustainable development. Blue Peace deploys water diplomacy as a means to turn competition over limited freshwater resources into collaboration, resulting in more peaceful, cohesive and sustainable societies, particularly for vulnerable groups, indigenous people, and women. 

Firstly, collaborative system and methods, including new ways of thinking need to be deployed to accelerate the transition and the implementation of research results, innovation and sustainable technologies while encouraging inclusive participation to these transformations.

Secondly, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plans in large and complex water bodies basins need to be urgently developed or where they already exist, be considered for possible revisions due to increasing climate change impacts and other drivers to ensure effective management and equitable use of water and related resources.

Objectives of the session

  • Stress examples of collaboration methods/perspective across different regions
  • Stress how innovation and research can accelerate transition towards Water-Smart Society

By taking the best methods and examples from different regions across the Globe, VITO and its partners will invite stakeholders from governments, international organizations and civil society to discuss the challenges and benefits to facilitate action and accelerate the transition towards Water-Smart Societies and transboundary riparian cooperation, contributing to achieve SDG6, SDG17 and the 2030 agenda. 


Identify and exchange on best practices to accelerate cross sectoral cooperation towards a Water-Smart Society and transboundary riparian cooperation.

Side event: Actionable water reuse

Make sure you visit our other side event as well.

Partners and contact details

VITO: Katrien Van Hooydonk

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Lunch session

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