Many major global mega-conferences on water have been held since the United Nations Water Conference in 1977. Viewed from any direction, this Conference was an important benchmark. In 1992, the UN system organized an International Conference on Water and the Environment in Dublin, and the UN Conference on the Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro. The results of these two meetings have had only marginal impacts on the water management processes and practices. The impacts of the World Commission on Water for the 21st January, Bonn Consultation, Johannesburg Summit and of the three World Water Forums are discussed. A fundamental question that needs to be answered is are these mega-meetings worth their costs and the efforts needed to organize them in terms of their impacts.
By Asit K. Biswas, 2004. Article published in Global Environmental Change, Volume 14, Supplement, pages 81-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.11.003