Valuing Water Initiative - VWI

Published on:
2 February 2024
Last checked on:
15 February 2024

Are you a decision-maker in the water sector, and do you want to apply the United Nations principles on water value chains? This programme provides knowledge, learning and leadership platforms, finance journeys and inspiration.


The Valuing Water Initiative (VWI) aims to raise awareness about the importance of water and calls upon decision-makers to prioritise water. The United Nations (UN) VWI principles on water value chains and sectors are essential to achieve this. Also, VWI provides insights into how to assess the value of water when used for various, often competing, purposes by communities, cities and countries.

VWI works with stakeholders in and outside the water sector to inspire governments, businesses, and community groups. The programme aims to bring about the necessary changes to understand, appreciate, and manage water for a sustainable and secure future. VWI raises awareness about the importance of water and shares the best methods and lessons learnt to understand water's value.

The programme aims to reach its goals via:

  1. Journeys: The VWI journeys encourage main actors and decision-makers to apply the Valuing Water Principles (VWP). These include policymakers and business owners across contexts, sectors, organisations and companies.
  2. Knowledge, learning and leadership platform: A platform that stimulates leaders, facilitates networks and activates knowledge. Topics are the multiple values of water. Dialogues and shared learnings are a vital part of our platform.
  3. Action through inspiration: To inspire others to act and work together, VWI facilitates effective communication. The programme aims to inspire society to value water. It also aims to motivate companies, financiers and governments to take action.

For whom

VWI works with stakeholders in and outside the water sector. The programme aims to encourage governments, industries and civil society. VWI wants to bring about the systemic change needed to better understand, value and manage water. The ultimate goal is to ensure we live in a sustainable, water-secure world. Our target groups are decision-makers on water working in finance, policy, national and local governments and at the grassroots level.

The 5 Valuing Water Principles


VWI is a global initiative with journeys in Latin America and Africa.

Background information

In April 2016, the United Nations and the World Bank Group convened during a high-level panel on Water (HLPW). The HLPW aimed to

  • provide the leadership needed to advocate for a comprehensive, inclusive, collaborative way of developing, 
  • support improved water resource management, and
  • improve water and sanitation-related services.

The (then) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was one of the panel's 11 sitting Heads of State and Government.

In March 2018, the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) released the document 'Making Every Drop Count'. The document recommends that we all understand, value and manage water better. For this purpose, HLPW defined 5 principles. The Valuing Water Initiative will help put these principles into practice.

Since the beginning of VWI in 2019, the Dutch government has organised workshops. The government has also participated in roundtable conversations with partners in international organisations, the private sector, civil society and academia.

More information

Would you like to learn more about the projects and lessons learnt from VWI? Visit

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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