I got to pretend like I was a real foreign correspondent -- which apparently means downing unlimited Nescafé and cookies in the media center, where a sign said that computer use was "for the pressman only" -- last week at the 5th World Water Forum, a slightly mysterious, but certifiably enormous, week-long event held here in Istanbul.
As at any large conference, the sessions ran the gamut from tedious to fascinating, and sometimes a little of both. Though I probably should have attended some of the talks on financing and infrastructure, just to get a better sense of whether the forum's organizers really are evil corporate interests hell-bent on bottling and selling every last drop, my bleeding-heart tendencies drew me mostly to the panels on things like traditional cultural uses of water, migration and conflict, and women's issues -- the latter of which I wrote up for The National, an English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi (pictured at right).
I also blogged about each day's events for TreeHugger:
- What is this 'Big Water Meeting'? Day 1 at the World Water Forum
- Linking Water, Conflict, Gender, and Migration: Day 2 at the World Water Forum
- Accounting for Every Drop: Day 3 at the World Water Forum
- Images of Inundation: Day 4 at the World Water Forum
- Understanding the Sacred Value of Water: Day 5 at the World Water Forum
- 'Another Water Management is Possible': Day 6 at the World Water Forum
- Is Water a 'Right' or a 'Need'?: Day 7 at the World Water Forum