GWP CEE was founded in 1998 to foster integrated water resources management (IWRM) which is defined as the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital environmental systems.

GWP and GWP CEE history at a glance

1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment published the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development with associated guidelines, the Dublin Principles. 

1992 UN conference on Environment and Development called for effective implementation and coordination mechanisms to promote IWRM based on public participation. 

1995 UNDP and World Bank issued an invitation to contribute to the development of a Global Water Partnership. 

1996 The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and the informal adoption of the Dublin Principles established the basis for founding GWP in 1996. Initially GWP’s activities focused on developing the conceptual framework of IWRM based on the Dublin Principles, and establishing regional Technical Advisory Committees as start engines for awareness-raising on IWRM in the regions. 

1996 Interim Steering Committee established; this formed the Technical Committee in June, tasked with creating the analytical framework for the water sector to promote sustainable water resources management.

1996 GWP was inaugurated in Stockholm, Sweden in August. A Secretariat was established in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in Stockholm.

1997 Network of Regional Technical Committees created. They would advocate change and promote knowledge exchange on better water management. Drive for membership/partners began.

1998 GWP CEE Interim Technical Advisory Committe established.

1999 The initial strategy, published in early 1999, focused on conceptual development of IWRM concepts and advocacy for IWRM approaches towards sustainable water resources management.

2000 In conjunction with the World Water Council that made preparations for the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague in 2000 and drafted the Vision, the GWP CEE held several national and regional dialogues that led to the publication and presentation of GWP CEE’s regional Vision to Action document at the Forum, together with the Framework for Action.

2000 Following the Forum, GWP developed a 3-year work plan 2001–2003 centred on the actions identified in the Framework for Action.

2001 GWP IWRM ToolBox launched.

2001 Area Water Partnerships in Rousse and Plovdiv formed.

2002 GWP Secretariat formally established as an intergovernmental organisation in Sweden.

2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg called for all countries to establish national IWRM and water efficiency plans by 2005. Marks GWP’s success in advocating this approach.

2003 Regional Secretariat rotated to Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute

2005 New Regional Chair appointed. Country Water Partnership Ukraine formed. 

2006 Country Water Partnership Moldova formed.

2009 Launch of GWP CEE Strategy 2009-2013

2010 New Regional Chair appointed.