The dialogue originated through the IWRM Awareness Creation Component of the SADC–DANIDA Regional Water Sector Programme in the SADC Water Division’s Regional Strategic Action Plan.The dialogue is aimed at engaging water using and water influencing sectors in order to find ways of managing, developing and using the resource in an integrated and sustainable manner. Since 2008, realising the threat of climate change on water resources, the SADC Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue has focused on tackling this challenge. In 2008, stakeholders at the Dialogue recommended the development of the SADC Climate Change Strategy for the Water Sector, and the 2009 and 2010 Dialogue meetings were used for regional consultation to inform the development of the strategy document.
The Water Dialogues are held under the overall theme of Watering Development in SADC and highlight how IWRM approaches can address key aspects of socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Southern Africa. The multi-stakeholder platform reaches beyond water professionals and policy makers, and brings together multiple sectors to discuss key development challenges that cut across sectors, disciplines and borders.
Over the past five years the following Dialogues have been held:
- 1st Dialogue (2007) was held in Maputo, Mozambique - Watering Development in SADC: Beyond IWRM Concepts and the Converted.
- 2nd Dialogue (2008) was held in Maseru, Lesotho under the theme Watering Development in SADC: Rising above the Climate Change Threat – Towards Security. [Read: Outcomes Report]
- 3rd Dialogue (2009) Dialogue was held in Johannesburg, South Arica and focused on groundwater. Its theme was Watering Development in SADC: Surfacing of the Hidden Resource – Groundwater.
- 4th Dialogue (2010) was held in Maun, Botswana under the theme Watering Development in SADC: Toward Climate Resilience through Benefit sharing. [Read Outcomes Report]
- 5th Dialogue (2011) was held in Ezulwini, Swaziland under the theme Watering Development in SADC: Financing Water for Climate Resilience to Ensure Regional Security. [Read Outcomes Report]
- 6th Dialogue (2013) was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 1-2 October, 2013, under the theme "“Watering Development in SADC: Exploring the water, energy and food nexus for regional Cooperation and Development.”[Read Outcomes Report- English]; Read Outcomes Report- French]; Read Outcomes Report- Portuguese]
This year's dialogue will be held in Windhoek, Namibia from 29-30 September, 2015 under the theme "Watering Development in SADC: The Central Role of Water in Driving Industrialisation"