How ISO standards can offer solutions to vital water
challenges is at the heart of a workshop to be held on 13 March 2012 in
conjunction with the 6th World Water Forum, in Marseille, France –
one of the world’s largest events on the subject.
The workshop, "How can ISO standards address
global water challenges?," will focus on ISO’s tools for the
assessment, improvement and management of service activities for drinking water
and wastewater systems and for asset management, which can help water authorities
and operators meet the expectations of consumers and the principles of
It will also look at water management during crisis
conditions. And as water scarcity becomes a vital issue for many, the workshop
will present ISO’s most recent work on the reuse of treated wastewater for
irrigation, which aims to prevent any adverse impacts on public health and the
The World Water Forum (WWF) mobilizes creativity,
innovation, competence and know-how in favour of water. It gathers all
stakeholders around today’s local, regional and global issues to tackle the
challenges our world is facing and to bring water high on all political
agendas. More than 25 000 participants are expected to attend the event
which will take place in Marseille, France from 12 to 17 March 2012.
Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council,
one of the organizers of the WWF, highlighted the importance of standards in an
interview in ISO’s magazine, saying, “The existence of common guidelines
defined by these standards helps promote the understanding of a problem, as
well as communication amongst different international players. It is also
important to capitalize on the know-how, and to formalize it in a ‘good
practice guide’ in the form of International Standards, thus contribution to
capacity-building.” ISO Focus+, January, 2009. (Read
the full interview)
In addition to the workshop organized by ISO and
facilitated by AFNOR (ISO member for France), experts from ISO committees
developing water standards will also participate in other sessions of the
forum, such as good governance, and crisis management
Although essential for life, water supplies are
burdened by drought, water shortages, climate change, contamination and
pollution, the requirements of large cities, intensive irrigation and a growing
population with higher standards of living. Water challenges cut across
boundaries and require a global response.
ISO standards offer harmonized technology,
terminology and best practice, so that countries sharing the same water
resources can work together efficiently and effectively. They are powerful
tools for sharing proven global solutions with all regions of the world.
Because of the important contribution that
International Standards can make to addressing this vital and global challenge,
water has become one of ISO’s strategic priorities.
Of ISO’s more than 19 000 International
Standards, over 550 relate specifically to water. They tackle issues like
service management of drinking and wastewater systems, water supply during
crisis situations, irrigation, quality and conservation (e.g. hydrometry,
quality sampling, water footprint) and infrastructure (e.g. pipes, valves,
ISO works closely with key stakeholders in the water
field to ensure the relevance and market uptake of its standards, consolidating
contributions from industry, government, research, academia, international
organizations and NGOs.
9 March, 2012.