Knowing water better: towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources - KnoWat

"Water tenure and governance: Keys to water and food security" - World Water Week, Thursday 26 August 13:00-15:30 CEST

Online - Sweden, 26/08/2021 - 26/08/2021

Water governance and tenure are recent concepts which embrace various SDG goals, and hence are useful for achieving the Agenda 2030, in particular through the inclusion of the most vulnerable through enhancing equitable access to water, increasing water security, and improving climate resilience.

In partnership with governments, civil society and academia, FAO has been continuously working to define the concepts in line with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, unpack core elements and explore their practical implications.

Recent work includes development and field-testing of methodologies for water governance and tenure assessment to map the diversity of coexisting water tenure arrangements in Africa, Asia, and the Near East.

The participants will engage to understand water tenure, including customary rights, as a key element of water governance, for equitable access to water. The session is aimed at policymakers, water professionals, and researchers from all over the world.


  • Environmental Law Institute
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Government of Rwanda
  • Government of Senegal
  • Government of Sri Lanka
  • International Water Management Institute
  • Water Research Commission


➤ Setting the scene

Introduction. Benjamin Kiersch, FAO.

Welcome remarks. Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director, Land and Water Division, FAO.

Video: What is water tenure and why it is important?

Elements and experiences of water tenure and governance assessment. Dubravka Bojic, FAO, and Julie Trottier, CNRS. 

➤ Water Governance and Tenure Perspectives from around the world

Introduction. Domitille Vallée, FAO.

Formal and informal water tenure: Hybrid water law in Sub-Saharan Africa. Barbara van Koppen, International Water Management Institute, and John Dini, Water Research Commission, South Africa.

Water allocation rights in Jordan. Amgad Elmahdi, International Water Management Institute.

Gender and water tenure. Jessica Troell, Environmental Law Institute.

Living customary water tenure in Tanzania. Hans Komakech, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha.

Water governance in the Andes: Lessons from Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Soledad Bastidas, FAO.

Tenure assessment in Rwanda. Yvonne Habiyonizeye and Bonaventure Nzeyimana, FAO.

➤ Benefits and impacts of water tenure and governance assessment

World Café.

Conclusions and way forward.


✎ To participate in the superinteractive session, click here to register for World Water Week 2021. After your registration, go to the event page and Reserve your spot.

Share this page