World Water Council

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World Water Council
TypeFrench association
HeadquartersMarseille,  France
Region served
Official language
French, English
Loïc Fauchon  France
WebsiteWWC Official website

The World Water Council (WWC) is an international think tank founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Marseille, France. It has 358 members (as of February 2020) which include organisations from the UN and intergovernmental organizations, the private sector (construction, engineering and manufacturing companies), governments and ministries, academic institutions, international organizations, local governments and civil society groups. Founders and constituent members of the World Water Council include the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Water Association (IWA), AquaFed (The International Federation of Private Water Operators), Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, the United Nations agencies UNDP and UNESCO, as well as the World Bank.[1]

Its stated mission is "to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning, management, and use of water in all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis for the benefit of all life on earth."

Every third year the World Water Council organizes the World Water Forum in close collaboration with the authorities of the hosting country. The Forum is the largest international event in the field of water. The 6th World Water Forum took place in Marseille, France, in 2012 and the 7th World Water Forum in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea, in April 2015. The 8th World Water Forum took place in Brasilia, Brazil, from 18 to 23 March 2018 under the overarching theme 'Sharing Water'. The 9th World Water Forum will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2021.

The World Water Council is financed primarily through membership fees, and additional support is provided by the host City of Marseille. Specific projects and programs are financed through donations and grants from governments, international organizations, and NGOs.

Colleges and membership distribution (as of February 2020)[edit]

World Water Council members are divided into 5 colleges:

  • College 1: Intergovernmental organizations - 4%
  • College 2: Governments and government promoted organizations - 22%
  • College 3: Commercial organizations - 22%
  • College 4: Civil society organizations - 22%
  • College 5: Professional and academic organizations - 31%


Critics accuse the World Water Council of promoting the privatisation of water supply, an indication of this is the large influence of financial institutions and global water corporations.[2] The Canadian activist Tony Clarke describes the World Water Council as a smoke screen for the water lobby. Medha Patkar, an activist from India, gave a passionate speech against privatisation of water at the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague in 2000.[1]

The World Water Forum[edit]

Location Year
Dakar 2021
Brasilia 2018
Daegu-Gyeongbuk 2015
Marseille 2012
Istanbul 2009
Mexico 2006
Kyoto 2003
The Hague 2000
Marrakech 1997


  1. ^ World Water Council Constitution & By-Laws
  2. ^ Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, "Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water" (2002).

External links[edit]