Improving freshwater management within the urban environment is currently seen with a sense of urgency. Urban water problems are mounting throughout the world. Widespread mismanagement of water resources, growing competition for the use of freshwater, degraded sources – sometimes by pollutants of unpredictable effect – only heighten the acuteness of the problems. The situation is further exacerbated by an explosive growth of urbanization, particularly in the developing world, which exhibits as its most visible expression the emergence of mega-cities that often obey a massive internal migration towards the cities feeding an uncontrolled and unplanned expansion.
These problems are of a complex nature and can only be properly addressed with a concerted effort involving scientific, social and institutional approaches.
Moreover, the proposed plan for the Eighth Phase of the IHP for 2014-2021 under the title of Water Security; Response to Local Regional and Global Challenges has six major themes. Worth noting that all major themes of the 8th phase of UNESCO-IHP focus on better water management with the aim of securing water and ensuring necessary human and institutional capacities.
In this ration, the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management was established in February 2002, by having an agreement signed and exchanged between the Government of I.R. Iran and UNESCO, based on which the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management, under the auspices of UNESCO, was officially inaugurated.
The mission of the Centre is to transfer applicable scientific knowledge, and to increase know-how and capacities in all cases and dimensions of UWM in order to promote sustainable development, and to undertake activities in this field in order to enhance human welfare within the region States.
To generate and provide scientific and technical information on urban water management issues in the region that will allow the formulation of sound policies leading to sustainable and integrated urban water management at the local, national and regional level.
To promote research on urban water management issues through regional cooperative arrangements using and strengthening local capabilities and involving international institutions and networks, in particular those under the auspices of UNESCO.
To undertake within the region effective capacity building activities at institutional and professional levels, and awareness raising activities targeted at various audiences, including the general public.
To enhance cooperation with international institutions in order to advance knowledge in the field of urban water management.
The CENTRE FUNCTIONS
To promote scientific research on the issues and problems related to UWM of the region.
To create and reinforce networks for the exchange of scientific, technical and policy information on urban water issues among the institutions and individuals in the region and in other countries.
To develop and coordinate cooperative research activities on urban water management issues, taking advantage particularly of the installed scientific and professional capacity of the region and of the relevant UNESCO-IHP networks and non-governmental organizations.
To organize knowledge and information transfer activities on the subject, including international training courses, symposia or workshops, and to engage in appropriate awareness raising activities.
To develop a strong program of information and communication technology to further the Centre’s objectives.
To provide technical consulting and advisory services in the region and beyond as required.
To produce technical publications and other media items related to the activities of the Centre