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  • 7 1

    U N 7 7

    REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONSWATER CONFERENCE

    Mar del Plata, 14 -25 March 1977

    UNITED NATIONS

  • E/CONF 70/29

    REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONSWATER CONFERENCE

    Mar del Plata, 14-25 March 1977

    UNITED NATIONSNew York. 1977

  • NOTE

    Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combinedwith figures. Mention of such a symbol indicates a reference to a United Nationsdocument.

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in thispublication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the partof the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of anycountry, territory, city or area or of its authorities, ir concerning thedelimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    i E/CONF.70/29 !

    UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION

    Sales No. E.77.II.A.12

    Price: $US7.00

    (or equivalent in other currencies)

  • m

    Part one

    DECISIONS OF THE CONFERKHCE

    -1-

  • Chapter I

    MAR DEL PLATA ACTION PLAN

    The United Nations Water Conference.

    Realizing that the accelerated development and orderly administration of waterresources constitute a key factor in efforts to improve the economic and socialconditions of mankind, especially in the developing countries, and that it will notbe possible to ensure a better quality of life and promote human dignity andhappiness unless specific and concerted action is taken to find solutions and toapply them at the national, regional and international levels,

    Recognizing the paramount role played by the Republic of Argentina as host tothis historic Conference in the city of Mar del Plata and its great contributionto the success of the Conference which is crucial to the economic and social well-being of all peoples,

    1. Urges strongly that the recommendations of this Conference beeffectively implemented in good faith by all States;

    2. Decides that these recommendations be known as the War del Plata ActionPlan.

    l6th plenary meeting25 March 1977

    -3-

  • (j

  • CONTENTS

    Part one

    DECISIONS OF THE CONFERENCE

    Chapter Pape

    I. MAR DEL PLATA ACTION PLAN 3

    Recommendations

    A. Assessment of water resources 7

    B. Water use and efficiency 11

    C. Environment, health and pollution control 25

    D. Policy, planning and management 30

    E. Natural hazards 39

    F. Public information, education, training and research U3

    G. Regional co-operation 51

    H. International co-operation 53

    Annex. Specific regional recommendations 59

    Resolutions

    I. Assessment of water resources 66

    II. Community water supply 66

    III. Agricultural water use 70

    IV. Research and development of industrial technologies 7^

    V. Role of water in combating desertification 75

    VI. Technical co-operation among developing countries in the

    water sector 76

    VII. River commissions 77

    VIII. Institutional arrangements for international co-operationin the water sector 78

    IX. Financing arrangements for international co-operation in thewater sector 79

    X. Water policies in the occupied territories 80

    -in-

  • CONTENTS (continued)

    Chapter Page

    II. OTHER RESOLUTIONS 82

    XI. Question of the Panama Canal Zone 82

    XII. Expression of thanks to the host country 83

    Part tvo

    BACKGROUND TO THE CONFERENCE

    III. CONSTITUTION OF THE CONFERENCE . 87

    Part three

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE

    IV. ATTENDANCE AND ORGANIZATION OF WORK 93

    A. Attendance . . . 93

    B. Opening of the Conference and election of the President . . . 95

    C. Adoption of the rules of procedure 97

    D. Adoption of the agenda 98

    E. Establishment of committees 98

    F. Election of officers other than the President 100

    G. Programme-budget implications for the United Nations

    of Conference decisions 101

    V. SUMMARY OF THE GENERAL DEBATE 102

    Opening statement by the Secretary-General of the Conference . 102

    General considerations 103

    Assessment of water resources 105

    Water for agriculture 106

    Community water supplies 107

    Pollution, environment and health 108

    Water policy, planning and management 109

    Natural hazards Ill

    Research, education, training and public information 112

    Regional co-operation . . . ilk

    -IV-

  • CONTENTS (continued)

    Chapter Page I t l H H ' 1

    Shared water resources llU

    International co-operation 115

    Question of the Panama Canal Zone 117

    VI. REPORTS OF THE SESSIONAL BODIES AND ACTION IN PLENARY 118

    A. Committee I 118

    B. Committee II 121

    C. Credentials Committee 133

    VII. ACTION BY THE CONFERENCE ON DRAFT RESOLUTIONS SUBMITTED

    DIRECTLY TO THE PLENARY 135

    VIII. ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE 136

    IX. CONCLUDING STATEMENTS 137

    AnnexesI. List of documents before the Conference . * . . . . . . . . . . . .

    II. Parallel and associated activities . . . 180

  • MAR DEL PLATA ACTION PLAN

    CONTENTS

    Paragraphs Page

    Recommendations

    A. Assessment of water resources 1 - U 7

    B. Water use and efficiency 5 - 3 3 11

    Instruments to improve the efficiency of water use . . 6 - 8 11

    Efficiency and efficacy in regulation and distribution

    of the resources 9 - 1 0 12

    Measurement and projections of water demand 11 - lk 13

    Community water supply and waste disposal 1 5 - 1 7 1^

    Agricultural water use 18-21 17

    Fisheries 22 - 2k 19

    Industrial water use 2 5 - 2 7 20

    Hydroelectric power generation 2 8 - 3 0 22

    Inland navigation . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 - 3 3 23

    C. Environment, health and pollution control 3^ - ^0 25

    Environment and health 3 5 - 3 7 25

    Pollution control 38 - Uo 27

    D. Policy, planning and management Ul - 6l 30

    Rational water policy U2 - h$ 30

    Institutional arrangements k6 - h8 32

    Legislation k9 - 52 33

    Public participation 53-55 3^

    Development of appropriate technology 56 - 6l 35

    E. Natural hazards 6 2 - 6 9 39

    Flood loss management 6 3 - 6 5 39

    Drought loss management 6 6 - 6 8 kO

    Management of flood and drought loss 69 1*2

    -5-

  • CONTENTS (continued)

    Paragraphs Page

    F. Publ ic informat ion , educa t i on , t r a i n i n g and research . . . 7 0 - 8 3 1*3

    Publ ic information and ex tens ion s e r v i c e . . . . . . . . 7 0 - 7 2 1*3

    Education and t r a i n i n g . . . . . . . . 7 3 - 7 9 U3

    Research needs 8 0 - 8 3 1*7

    G. Regional co-opera t ion . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8U - 89 51

    Development of shared water resources 8 U - 8 7 51

    Recommendations for p a r t i c u l a r reg ions 8 8 - 8 9 52

    H. I n t e r n a t i o n a l co-opera t ion 9 0 - 103 33

    Development of shared water resources 9 0 - 9 3 53

    Financing arrangements for water development 9 ^ - 9 8 5U

    Technical co-opera t ion among developing count r ies . . . . 99 - 103 55

    Annex. Spec i f ic r eg iona l recommendations 39

    Resolut ions

    I . Assessment of water resources 66

    I I . Community water supply 66

    I I I . Agricultural water use 70

    IV. Research and development of industrial technologies 7^

    V. Role of water in combating desertification . . . . 75

    VT. Technical co-operation anong developing countries in the water sector 76

    VII. River commissions 77

    VIII. Institutional arrangements for international co-operation in thewater sector 78

    IX. Financing arrangements for international co-operation in the watersector . . , 79

    X. Water policies in the occupied territories . . . . . . . 80

    -6-

  • RECOMMENDATIONS

    A. Assessment of water resources

    1. In most countries there are serious inadequacies in the availability of dataon water resources, particularly in relation to ground water and water quality.Hitherto, relatively little importance has been attached to its systematicmeasurement. The processing and compilation of data have also been seriouslyneglected.

    2. TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT OF WATER RESOURCES, GREATER KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THEIRQUANTITY AND QUALITY IS NEEDED. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC COLLECTION OFHYDROMETEOROLOGICAL, HYDROLOGICAL AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL DATA NEEDS TO BE PROMOTEDAND BE ACCOMPANIED BY A SYSTEM FOR PROCESSING QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVEINFORMATION FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF WATER BODIES. THE DATA SHOULD BE USED TOESTIMATE AVAILABLE PRECIPITATION, SURFACE-WATER AND GROUND-WATER RESOURCES ANDTHE POTENTIALS FOR AUGMENTING THESE RESOURCES. COUNTRIES SHOULD REVIEW, STRENGTHENAND CO-ORDINATE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE COLLECTION OF BASIC DATA. NETWORK DENSITIESSHOULD BE IMPROVED; MECHANISMS FOR DATA COLLECTION, PROCESSING AND PUBLICATIONAND ARRANGEMENT FOR MONITORING WATER QUALITY SHOULD BE REINFORCED.

    3. To this end, it is recommended that countries should:

    (a) Establish a national body with comprehensive responsibilities forwater-resources data, or allocate existing functions in a more co-ordinated way,and establish data banks for the systematic collection, processing, storage anddissemination of data in agreed formats and at specified intervals of time;

    (b) Expand and extend the network of hydrological and meteorological stations,talcing a long-term view of future needs, following as far as possible therecommendations of the United Nations specialized agencies on standardization ofinstruments and techniques and comparability of data, and use existingmeteorological and hydrological data series for the study of seasonal and annualfluctuations in climate and water resources. Such anal

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