Special Water Envoy in 2020/2021

The Special Water Envoy’s role and goals are multifaceted. This page gives an overview of his activities.

Enlarge image Awareness


Understanding the value of water contributes to solving the challenges (too much, too little and too dirty) we face. That is why the Water Envoy is committed to increasing our knowledge and value of water.

  • Together with PBL the further development of the Geography of Future Water Challenges.
  • Further development of the World Water Atlas
  • Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Water Action Track, with the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, World Bank, Global Center on Adaptation and World Resources Institute.
  • Multilateral involvement for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development leading among others to major meetings such as the 2021 High Level Event and the second UN Water Conference 2023 (first was in 1977).
  • Sherpa to the High Level Panel on Water and lead for the Valuing Water Initiative
  • Member of the Scientific Programming Committee (2019-2022) of the Stockholm Water Week. The Netherlands also has a strategic partnership with SIWI (Stockholm International Water Institute).
  • Proactively involved in the Water and Heritage theme in collaboration with ICOMOS, UNESCO and TU Delft.
  • In collaboration with the IABR, photographer Cynthia van Elk, UN-IHE Delft, University of Groningen, the London School of Economics, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia University NY, OECD, ICRC, Ecoshape and partners collaborate on research and programmes in the areas of awareness, water planning, design, and water security in the context of climate change and urban development.
  • Ambassador of Wetskills, an independent foundation with a broad international network in the water sector for students and young professionals with a passion for water. Wetskills is based in The Hague.
  • Ambassador of the Water Youth Network, a global connector in the water sector, made up of a vibrant community of students and young professionals that work across disciplines.
Enlarge image Response and preparedness
Response and preparedness

Response and preparedness

Preventing and responding to disasters appropriately and sustainably will help us better address our global water challenges. The Water Envoy helps countries and partners to develop an integrated, inclusive and sustainable approach.

  • Through the Netherlands International Water Ambition, contribute to the Netherlands’ bilateral cooperation in the area of water in partner countries. He works in the following countries:
    • Bangladesh
    • China
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Myanmar
    • Philippines
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Vietnam
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Argentina
    • Brasil
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Cuba
    • Mexico
    • Peru
    • Canada
    • United States of America
    • Egypt
    • Mozambique
    • South Africa
    • Belgium
    • Germany
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom
  • Involvement in the Blue Deal, the international programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and all the Dutch water authorities to help 20 million people in 40 catchment areas around the world gain access to clean, sufficient and safe water.
  • At the request of ministries, be part of state visits and trade missions to various countries.
  • To foster water diplomacy: Chair of the trilateral water working group with Israeli and Palestinian experts. This platform is facilitated by the Netherlands and aims to contribute to Israeli-Palestinian water cooperation and improving water security in the region.
  • Explore a potential Dutch effort on water with the authorities in Afghanistan and Iraq. This may also be done in Pakistan in the near future.
  • In collaboration with ministries and the Dutch water sector, work on the EU’s approach to water. The EU recently launched the EU Green Deal that has a clear focus on adaptation and nature based solutions.
  • Involvement in the content preparation of the Dubai Expo.
Enlarge image Innovationa


Water security is of great importance. The Water Envoy therefore initiates, develops and starts innovative projects that contribute to a greater water security.

  • Initiator and principal of Water as Leverage.
  • Jointly with international partners, explore the potential of WaL 2.0 in other regions and cities of the world.
  • Further strengthen the commitment to the Water Action Track in the run-up to the online Climate Adaptation Summit which will be hosted by the Netherlands on 25 January 2021. An explicit link to the Cities and Nature Based Solutions track will also be made.