UNESCO’s report on Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), published on 4 March 2021, was launched to help accelerate actions to deliver on the SDGs. It highlights the key role of engineering in achieving each of the 17 SDGs and the need for ensuring an inclusive and gender balanced profession that can better respond to the shortage of engineers for implementing the SDGs.
An important element of the report, especially from the perspective of the UNESCO Water Family, was the unit on Hydrology for the SDGs. The section was the joint effort of the Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO and three category 2 centers—the International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation (IRTCES, China), the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM, Japan) and International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM, USA).
The science of hydrology provides practical knowledge and information for society about water fluxes, transport and management, and thus has intertwined linkages with engineering applications. In fact, the development of hydrological science coincided with an enormous increase in engineered water infrastructure development. Hydrology and engineering thus developed in tandem, and can help us to address the SDGs in tandem as well.