WS9 Sustainable water use – Target setting and political application


· Workshop Organiser: UBA – German Federal Environment Agency

· Workshop Chair: Christopher Manstein

· Date and Time: Tuesday 13, 12h30 – 14h20

· Room: Sertig

· Description: 

The resource water plays a crucial role for a sustainable living and survival of our societies on the planet. Although a renewable resource, the availability of water is limited. The Workshop “Sustainable water use – Target setting and political application builds on the outcomes of the IntRESS project (see, which is funded by the Federal Environment Agency and aims at finding solid targets for sustainable resource use – with water being a central topic. The workshop will focus on the discussion of suggested approaches developed in the course of the project for establishing global and regional targets for the sustainable use of freshwater resources. Within as well as outside the EU water withdrawal in many regions exceeds – at least temporarily – the amounts of available water resources. Furthermore, water availability fluctuates throughout the year due to climatic variations. This leads to a reduced water flow in rivers, lowering groundwater levels as well as polluted water bodies. For the identification of environmental thresholds for water use in general, but specifically for developing targets for sustainable water use on the regional or global level various aspects have to be considered, which are of high relevance for the indicators in use as well as for the identified thresholds. These include, among others, the different types of water flows (e.g. blue vs. green water, water use vs. water consumption)as well as spatial, temporal and sectoral distribution of water appropriation. The IntRESS team argues for defining differentiated water targets which take into account the above mentioned different types of water flows at a high level of sectoral disaggregation for the country as well as the watershed Level.

Key questions for the workshop:

– What is the main purpose of targets for sustainable water use?
– Should targets be set up as absolute or relative values (e.g. comparing resource use with the available resources)?
– What would be the wisest approach to get from threshold/target identification to policy application?
– Who are the most relevant stakeholders to be involved in a process of threshold/target identification and policy application?
– What are the main obstacles for setting up targets for sustainable water use?

 · Speakers:

Stephan Lutter, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria:

“An approach for setting targets for sustainable water use”

– The institutional setting for target Setting

– Aspects relevant for the resource water

– Existing approaches to target setting – IntRESS approach Suggestion

Ertug Ercin, Water Footprint Network, The Netherlands

“Water use targets – a multi-layer Approach”

Adrian Tan, E&Y, France:

“The application of targets in policy making”

 · Guest comments:

Marilyn Mehlmann, Global Action Plan International, Sweden

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, International Resource Panel and Club of Rome, Germany

Click here to find the Workshop flyer with the complete programme as pdf