Water is a source of life, livelihoods and prosperity. It is an input to almost all production, in agriculture, industry, energy, transport, by healthy people in healthy ecosystems. But water can also be a cause of death, devastation and poverty, catastrophically through drought, flood, landslides and epidemic, as well as progressively through erosion, saline intrusion, inundation, desertification, contamination and disease. Therefore, water for health, livelihoods and production, as well as the management of unpredictable water-related risks, are becoming more pronounced due to population growth, depletion of resources, environmental degradation and the phenomenon of climate change, emphasizing that these challenges necessitate collective responses within a framework of cooperation at all levels, global, regional and sub-regional. In this context, the regional and sub-regional organisations can play a critical role in promoting regional cooperation for addressing challenges and finding solutions to problems including water-related issues. The OIC Member States have 8379 km3 of renewable water resources which represent only 15.3% of the world renewable water resources and many OIC countries are suffering increasing water scarcity as their total renewable water resources (TRWR) per capita are lower than the threshold level of 1700 m3 per year.
Water is one of the most important topics on the agenda of OIC. The Islamic Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water convenes once every two years. At its first meeting in Turkey in 2012, The Conference urged SESRIC to utilize its expertise to collect information about water-related needs and capacities of the OIC Member States and develop a web portal to disseminate this information to all Member States as well as to use them in organizing and implementing training activities in the field of water in the Member Countries and adopted the OIC Water Vision.
In this connection, SESRIC developed the Water Resources Management Capacity Building Programme (Water-CaB) with the aim of enhancing capacities of human resources in the Member States. Water-CaB also aims to play an active role in facilitating exchanging the knowledge, experience and best practices in the domain of water among the member countries and thus contributing to the implementation of OIC Water Vision.