Home - News

  • The world's largest meeting around water

    One week to increase global mobilisation around questions concerning water...   

      Forum site

      Forum newsletter

      From Istanbul to Marseille
  • French participants in Marseille

    All French stakeholders in the water sector (ministries, NGOs, businesses, local governments, river-basin organisations, scientific and technical organisations) have joined forces in the French water partnership (FWP). Leading up to Marseille, the French national committee put FWP in charge of organising two commissions, the thematic commission in order to encourage participation of French stakeholders in the thematic process of the forum and the local-government commission.

  • The platform of solutions

    To identify solutions, the international committee of the World water forum has launched an international call for realistic proposals to meet the major challenges facing water worldwide. The solutions will be presented to the forum in order to obtain commitments from the international community. To that end, the committee has set up an international platform, open to all, to receive the ideas.

  • What is a solution for water?

    Solutions whether existing or new, may be of many types, including legal
    (laws, decrees, treaties, etc.), technical (devices, technologies, processes, software, etc.), institutional (governance, programmes, policies, etc.), financial (subsidies, transfers, pricing, etc.) and communication related (advocacy campaigns, videos, leaflets, etc.). Above all, the solution must contribute to tackling a key water-related issue and help in reaching one or more of the targets set by the World water forum in one or more regions of the world. Different criteria will be used to define promising solutions, namely a strategic fit with a forum target, feasibility, efficiency, demonstrated impact, replicability, willingness to commit and sustainability.

    You may propose your solutions to the International platform of solutions at:

  • .



















12-17 March 2012 in Marseille

Every three years since 1997, the World water forum has welcomed a large number of people and organisations intent on improving the water situation worldwide. In June 2009, the City of Marseille was selected to host the 6th Forum from 12 to 17 March 2012. The forum, organised by France, the World water council and the City of Marseille, will be a time for solutions. Calling on the progress and the results of the previous forums, the goal of the 6th Forum will be to propose realistic solutions and trigger their effective implementation.


The 6th forum will bring together 25 000 people from the five continents and from many sectors, including governments and parliaments, NGOs, local governments, economic and social decision-makers and water professionals. Onema is deeply involved in organising the forum because Patrick Lavarde, the general director, is the vice-president of the Thematic process commission and François Lacroix, Onema deputy general director, is in charge of forum programmes.

Onema and the World water forum

Onema has contributed its experience and know-how for the long preparatory phase of the World water forum and is an active participant in the Europe regional process and in the Thematic process.

Europe regional process
Onema is a participant in managing a session for Target 10 of the Europe regional process, that deals with promoting technological innovation and the interface between water science and public policy. The goal of this target is to enhance dialogue between researchers and water managers in view of improving technology transfer and use of research results and thus contribute to the development of Europe and its competitive standing.

Onema is also active in Target 8 of the Europe regional process, that deals with developing new knowledge and know-how on river hydromorphology and on the restoration and protection of aquatic ecosystems.

More on the regional process.

Thematic process
Onema is active in Priority 2.4, "Promote green growth and value ecosystem services". This priority comprises five targets and Onema is involved in two of them.
Economic valuation of ecosystem services. A standard will be adopted for use by businesses, governments and financial institutions in valuing and paying for ecosystem services of water, when evaluating the economic aspects of projects for hydraulic infrastructure, food safety and energy generation.

Economic instruments. By 2015, local and/or national governments in xx countries will have set up action plans based on revised price structures for all categories of water use, strategic financial planning, tariffs, taxes and transfers (subsidies), in order to ensure sustainable funding of equitable water services and protection of river basins.

More on the targets of the thematic process.

Joint governance

For the first time, the world forum will have a joint governance structure. The World water council will join forces with France, the host country, in the International forum committee, in which Benedito Braga from Brazil will serve as the chair and Guy Fradin, head of the Seine-Normandy water agency, as vice-chair. The French organisers include the public sector (Foreign affairs and Ecology ministries, Onema, Water agencies, French development agency, PACA region, Bouches-du-Rhône department, city and urban area of Marseille), water companies and NGOs. More on the organisational structure of the forum.

More information

A "Grenelle environmental meeting"
on the world scale

The second original feature of the 2012 forum lies in the extensive preparatory work organised similar to the Grenelle environmental meetings in France. The various participants (professionals, NGOs, decision-makers) have met a number of times. Four preparatory processes have been set up to coordinate their work on preparing and facilitating implementation of the solutions selected for the priorities for action.

     Thematic process
     Political process
     Regional process
     Grassroots and citizenship process  

More information.

A forum for solutions

The preparatory meetings in January proposed twelve priorities for action comprising a total of 150 targets that are tangible, realistic, operational, measurable and have deadlines. The next step will consist of identifying innovative or existing solutions that can be used to reach the targets.

The 12 priorities for action

 1   Guarantee access to water for all and the right to water

 2   Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all

 3  Contribute to hygiene and health through water and sanitation

 4   Prevent and respond to water-related risks and crises

 5  Contribute to cooperation and peace through water

 6  Balance multiple uses through integrated water-resource management

 7  Contribute to food security by optimal use of water

 8  Harmonise water and energy

 9  Promote green growth and value ecosystem services

 10  Improve the quality of water resources and ecosystems

 11  Adjust pressures and footprints of human activities on water

 12   Respond to climate and global changes in an urbanising world

The conditions for success

 1     Good governance

 2     Financing water for all

 3     Enabling environments