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World Water Week

How can water help us tackle the world’s greatest challenges, such as the climate crisis, poverty, and the loss of biodiversity?

Online: 23 - 27 August ‘21

The annual conference World Water Week on the 23-27 August 2021 with the theme Building Resilience Faster, helped co-create solutions that can have an immediate impact. 

There were more than 300 sessions on a broad range of topics, curated by SIWI but convened by world-leading organizations that share their latest insights.  

 World Water Week’s programme revolved around five top challenges that required immediate attention, including resilient societies, nature and cities. 

To learn more about World Water Week, please click here:

What made this event different?

Practical Action took part in two sessions related to these topics such as climate resilience and cities. All sessions were available free of charge to registered participants.

Session one: Scaling Up Climate-Resilient Farming Through Solar Technology

24th of August, 9:00 – 10:00 BST

For many years Practical Action has been showcasing how solar powered irrigation can transform production for farmers who are struggling to cope with increasingly erratic rainfall patterns. Solar irrigation has been an element of projects in Sudan, Bolivia, Nepal and Southern Africa. We have demonstrated this approach can work for smallholder farmers via larger scale mini grids and small scale ‘allotment’ style plots. 

This panel brought together donors, development professionals, government and business to discuss how solar-powered solutions (e.g. solar irrigation) can create climate-resilient farming and improve livelihoods in the the global south. This included further discussions around the barriers to taking existing models to scale and how to overcome them. 

Session two: Informal sanitation workers and city-wide services

25th of August, 10:00 – 11:00 BST

Practical Action has been working with communities to explore how the informal sector can play a central role in faecal sludge management city-wide. Across our work in Kenya, Bangladesh and India, we find powerful reasons for working with existing informal sector actors to improve working conditions and services for users.  

What did this event offer you?

These sessions provided a unique opportunity to be involved in discussions in how solar-powered solutions (e.g. solar irrigation) can create climate-resilient farming and improve livelihoods in the global south. 

You heard first-hand from our country teams, pit emptiers and researchers from the University of Leeds, as we explored how new business models can contribute to city-wide inclusive services.  

You had the opportunity to participate and ask questions, as we debated what our findings mean for investments of public money, and what was required to move to universal sanitation coverage. You also had the chance to meet like-minded ones in the industry and develop successful strategies and partnerships for a climate-resilient future. 



The journey to COP26

 This event was a vital staging post on our journey to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow last year.  

 Practical Action was an official observer at the talks. We used examples from all levels including from on the ground to governmental level, to highlight how we can bring to scale solar irrigation to help make farming in the Global South more climate resilient. Together, we made the case for putting these methods at the forefront of the global response to climate change. 

Climate change is leading to increasingly frequent and more severe hazards and disasters. By 2050 almost 7 in 10 will live in towns and cities, many in megacities in the global South. With greater migration/stress on our urban areas, it is vital that our cities provide city-wide inclusive services for all. Practical Action is working to ensure that funding reaches communities for locally-led adaptation.