The six-day forum organized by the World Water Council and Korean national committee was the largest ever with about 41,000 people from 168 countries and 400 seminars, discussion sessions and exhibitions in Daegu and Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang.

“Pledges made during the 7th Forum will be carried to New York as a major contribution to the adoption of a Sustainable Development Goal on water,” said Benedito Braga, chairman of the World Water Council, at the closing ceremony. “A clear commitment has emerged from this week to carry forward an agenda for action that will send a clear signal to the world: We know what needs to be done, and we are getting on with the job.”

Lee Jung-moo, chairman of the Korean national committee for the forum, added, “The world is seeking sustainable development. We already have a consensus that water and sanitation is the essence in achieving the [UN] Sustainable Development Goals, as they are directly linked to climate change, human rights, food and energy security.”

The Daegu-Gyeongbuk Implementation Commitment (DGIC) was adopted by more than 20 international and local organizations, including Unesco, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and K-water, to express their willingness implement goals and solutions addressed during the forum.

Members of the global water community hoped the commitment to trigger change in each member nation.

Previously, there has been substantial criticism that earlier water forums failed to deliver practical changes that would mitigate water problems, while merely generating possible solutions.

The DGIC consists of five policy road maps: equitable access to water, sanitation, and water-oriented natural disaster resiliency measures; public-private development of technologies to cut water use in food and energy production; pushing water and environmental conservation in line with technological development; developing transparent and efficient governance and financing systems in managing water security implementation groups; and setting up legally enforceable water-related legislation.