First Global Survey of Water Values – Findings and Implications


24 August 2022, 17:00 CET

Event description:

We share findings of the 2021 Valuing Water Survey, the first global attempt to understand people’s values related to water, and how they shape attitudes and actions. We open a debate on whether dialog can reconcile different values, and present practical strategies to empower the voices that are seldom heard.

The vision of the 2023 UN Water Conference is “Uniting the World for Water”. This raises the question: Can the world unite for water if it values water so differently?

Over 300 professionals worldwide participated in the Valuing Water Survey at SWWW-2021. This session presents the survey’s outcomes and debates the implications for policy and practice, at the intersection of water management, political economy, and behavioural psychology.

Part 1 will present survey results revealing how water policy principles and preferences correlate with peoples’ fundamental values.

In part 2, policy-makers and practitioners will: (a) explore insights on the political economy of decision-making on water, including the micro-politics within institutions; and (b) discuss practical approaches for operationalizing the principles of valuing water.

Part 3 will explore a proven strategy to change the micro-politics of decision-making on water, by empowering individuals based on their personal values: Field Level Leadership (FLL). FLL has a track-record of supporting the rank-and-file staff of water agencies, drawing on their personal values, professional integrity and leadership skills. Colleagues from Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority will share how FLL has helped them change the internal culture, shift decision-making power, and achieve lasting performance improvements.

Monika Weber

Creative Shifts

Maarten Gischler

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands

Christopher Schulz

Cambridge University

Lucas Wolf

Bath University

Meseret Assefa

Addis Ababa Water & Sewerage Authority

Sanja Pahuja

World Bank