Stockholm World Water Week organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), witnessed active participation from various stakeholders last month. Among them, Brecht D’Haeyer, a dedicated volunteer and representative of FutureWater, contributed significantly to the event’s success.

Brecht played a crucial role in ensuring the smooth execution of the intensive week, which featured over 300 sessions. During his tenure as a volunteer assistant to SIWI, he had the opportunity to engage with a diverse audience, including former and current clients, consortium partners, and government institutes that have collaborated with FutureWater over the past two decades. These interactions provided a platform to discuss past project achievements and to explore promising avenues for research within the fields of hydrology and agricultural water management.

Several sessions during the event stood out for Brecht. The World Bank presented a session on the impact of the Ukraine invasion and the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam on irrigated agriculture in Kherson. Additionally, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) hosted a session on enhancing food security for small-scale producers through climate-smart water management. The talk show hosted by the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and the UN Environment Programme focused on the restoration of lake ecosystems, highlighting their potential to deliver global-scale socio-economic benefits. Furthermore, sessions by FAO on the release and applications of WaPOR global and by the World Meteorological Organization on #HydroSOS showcased various models for visualizing and analyzing hydrological parameters on a global scale.

One of the key takeaways from the conference was the shared recognition of the challenges faced by the water sector, encompassing hydrology, water resources engineering, climate change, and water governance. The importance of open-source data, innovation, and the integration of the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus emerged as critical elements to address these challenges. Notably, these are all topics closely aligned with the curriculum and mission of FutureWater.