Sustainable Development Goals Working Group

Aims and Scope

The IAHR Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims at coordinating IAHR’s activities in support of the global efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030. For this purpose, it collaborates with several IAHR Technical Committees. Besides SDG 6 which aims at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, the effort to achieve several other SDGs can benefit from the experience and knowledge of IAHR members on the hydraulics of engineered structures and natural systems, especially on matters pertaining to their environmental protection and sustainable management. Goals that directly or indirectly affected by or depend on water include ending poverty in all its forms (SDG 1); eliminating hunger and providing food security (SDG 2); ensuring good health and well-being for all (SDG 3); affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy (SDG 7); safe, resilient and sustainable cities (SDG 11); sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12); climate change (SDG 13); and biodiversity, forests, deforestation (SDG 15).

Leadership Team
Angelos N. Findikakis

Bechtel Corporation

United States of America

Vice Chair
Asaad Shamseldin

University of Auckland

New Zealand

Maria Rita L. M. F. Carvalho

University of Coimbra


Carlos Galvao

Universidade Federal de Campina Grande


Elpida Kolokytha

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Satoru Oishi

Research Center for Urban Safety and Security, KOBE University


Stefano Pagliara

University of Pisa


Roberto Ranzi

University of Brescia


Nils Ruther

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)


Gensheng Zhao

Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute



Following the adaptation of these Sustainable Development Goals of by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the Working Group on Global Water Security included the SDGs in its scope recognizing their close relationship with water security. A special session in the 37th IAHR World Congress in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur explored how IAHR can contribute to achieving the SDGs. This led to the publication of special issue of Hydrolink magazine with several articles describing the contribution of several IAHR Technical Committees to the SDGs. (Download Issue 3, 2017 | Link 1 | Link 2). In 2019 the IAHR Executive Committee decided to split the Working Group on Global Water Security to two separate groups, one on global water security and one on the SDGs.

Focus on UN Water

The Working Group is now focusing its efforts in supporting the work of the UN Water program, whose primary goal is to help UN Member States to sustainably manage water and sanitation and achieve the water related SDGs.

Recent IAHR activities in this context include

  • Special event on March 21 to celebrate World Water Day, Hydro-Environment Engineering and adaptation to Climate Change. For playback of the event click here

  • Participation in the 32nd meeting of UN Water on 28-29 January 2020 in Rome. A report on items of special interest to IAHR can be found by clicking here.

  • Participation in the first workshop on the development of the 2021 WWDR whose theme will be “Valuing Water” to be held in Perugia Italy on September 19 -20, 2019. IAHR was represented in the workshop by Roberto Ranzi, Francesco Baillo and Shuqing Yang. You can access the report on this meeting by clicking here.

  • Meeting of the WG on the SDGs during the 38th IAHR Congress in Panama City on September 1, 2019. You can read the meeting notes of the meeting by clicking here.

  • Participation in the 31st meeting of UN Water, held on August 23-24, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. You can read a brief report on IAHR’s participation by clicking here.

  • Participation in the 30th meeting of UN Water, held on January 31 - February 1, 2019 in Rome, Italy. You can read a brief report on IAHR’s participation by clicking here.

  • Contribution to the 2020 World Water Development Report (WWDR) on “Water and Climate Change”. Contributions were provided by the IAHR Working Group on Climate Change and the Technical Committees on Water Resources Management, Coastal and Maritime Hydraulics, and Flood Risk Management. This report will be officially released in March 2020.

  • Contribution to the UN-Water Policy Brief on Climate Change and Water

Upcoming activities in support of the SDGs include:

  • Contribution to the 2021 WWDR on Valuing Water. All IAHR Technical Committees and Working Groups are welcome to contribute. Those interested in contributing could read the report on the inception meeting for the 2021 WWDR (see link to this document under “Links to Relevant Documents”).

Other opportunities to support the work of UN Water include:

  • Contribution to the 2022 WWDR whose theme will be “Groundwater” (starting in 2020)

  • Participation in the UN Water Expert Groups, which are open to anyone interested and willing to contribute. UN Water has now Expert Groups on the following subjects: Drinking-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Transboundary Waters, Water and Climate Change, Water Quality and Wastewater, Water Scarcity, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

For more information on these activities please contact Angelos Findikakis.

Links to Relevant Documents & Resources


If you are interested in joining the Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals or learning more about its work, please contact Derek Cai of the IAHR Secretariat at

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