Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

4th World Water Forum, Mexico City

Over 40 FAN members attended the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City in March 2006 along with almost 20,000 participants, representing governmental, intergovernmental and civil society organizations (CSOs), private companies, local authorities and legislators. Participants engaged in 206 thematic sessions and presented 1,600 local actions for a global challenge over 5 days.

The event was held at the Banamex Centre, a huge exhibition centre in Mexico City.  FAN had a stand in the Water Fair along with other CSOs, but we were very disappointed by the dominance of commercial organizations in the Water Expo and it was shocking to replace that the only drinking water available in the Forum was bottled by the Coca-Cola Company. 

High levels of security at the Banamex Centre and the cost of entry prohibited entry for many local people and Mexican groups.  This led to further accusations that the Forum was an undemocratic, exclusive talk-shop. However, on a more positive note, most sessions did seek to explore pro-poor and sustainable solutions to water management and were of a high standard and well attended. 

An estimated 10,000 protesters took part in the "March in Defense of Water against the Forum in Mexico City and some FAN members participated in the Alternative Forum; the International Forum in Defence of Water. Read more…

FAN Activities at the Forum

FAN members were involved in many different activities in the Forum and enjoyed sharing experiences, learning from others and promoting their initiatives to a wide and diverse international audience.  For them it was a unique opportunity to network, lobby, and build relationships with each other and with donors and senior government officials.  View a list of FAN members at the 4th World Water Forum (PDF, 33 Kb)

FAN activities included:

  • A stand at the Water Fair
  • Co-hosting a successful afternoon discussion on Progressing the Right to Water and UN General Comment 15
  • FAN, FANCA, ANEW and FAN-Mex convened five civil society organization sessions at the Forum
  • FAN network meeting
  • FAN member  Gram Vikas of India were awarded the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize and nine FAN members made it to the shortlist!

Read more about our activities at the Forum (PDF, 135 Kb)

Reflections on the Forum

FAN conducted a survey among members who attended the Forum to gather their personal impressions.

Read the reflections report     English (PDF, 40 Kb)    Spanish (PDF, 25 Kb)


Read about the preparations for the 4th World Water Forum (PDF, 110 Kb)

Read about the official outcomes of the 4th World Water Forum (PDF, 82 Kb)

Visit the 4th World Water Forum Site