Water for development

satellite view of river outflow

UNU-INWEH is one of the 13 United Nations University (UNU) institutes. As an academic arm of the UN, UNU has research and training institutes in 12 countries that address a range of global development challenges. UNU-INWEH specializes on water for development, working primarily with countries in the Global South, and addressing water issues of global significance. Water is the entry point to all UNU-INWEH activities, including environment and health. The institute primarily addresses continental water resources challenges.

UNU-INWEH works to bridge the gap between the wealth of evidence and research that exists on water resources, and the practical needs of political leaders and decision-makers in low- and middle-income countries. UNU-INWEH is linked to key processes in the UN system, and represents UNU in UN-Water — a coordination mechanism comprising United Nations entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues.

UNU-INWEH research is conducted with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders, including politicians and policymakers in developing countries, concerned with water, health and environment issues; donors and implementing agencies from the Global North and Global South; scientific communities in water-related research institutions and academia; UN agencies and other international and regional organizations and networks; host country government and national partners in Canada; media; and civil society.

UNU-INWEH was established in 1996, as a public service agency and a subsidiary body of UNU. Its operations are secured through long-term host-country and core-funding agreements with the Government of Canada. The institute is located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. 

UNU-INWEH is the only UNU institute that focuses entirely and solely on water issues. It is also the only entirely water-focused UN entity in Canada.