The World Water Atlas

Water represents society’s most challenging and complex risk. Too much, too little, and too dirty water combine in potentially disastrous ways with climate change and socio-economic development. The High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) Action Plan points out that we need to understand the risks and link them to potential solutions to inspire action.

In the summer of 2016, Prime Minister Rutte of The Kingdom of The Netherlands, when meeting with the Sherpas of the UN and World Bank’s HLPW, confirmed the urgency and need for action to better understand and address these complex risks, when he said:

The World Water Atlas is directed by the HLPW Action Plan, presented on September 21st, 2016. The Action Plan recognizes the need for “a platform where states can share and exchange lessons and good practices for addressing water-related disasters and translate them into solutions that can be promoted globally”.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has developed the “World Water Atlas” under the patronage of the HLPW, and with support of the Dutch water sector. The action-inspiring narratives in the Atlas will be developed along three lines: too much, too little and too dirty.

For all people and their leaders who want to understand and address the multifaceted risk related to water, The World Water Atlas is an interactive platform that marks water risk ‘hotspots,’ where challenges and opportunities collide. The Atlas is presented in compelling narratives backed by reliable open-source data.

For more information, please contact us at

Founding Partners: Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management DeltaresInternational Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)

The UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water meets with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2016 (photo: © Fred Ernst)