Water and Green Growth (WGG) is an international joint research project between the Korean Government (MOLIT and K-water) and the World Water Council (WWC) since 2010. The project aimed to develop a policy framework through strategic, institutional, and practical approach based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, environment, and social dimensions.

WGG can be defined as “a strategy to invest in water infrastructure and water security, fostering economic growth and development, protecting the environment and the services it provides, and enhancing socially-inclusive development.”  WGG is a new paradigm and a significant stepping stone to attain sustainable development in both developing and developed countries.



In November 2010, the Korean Government (MOLIT and K-water) and the World Water Council (WWC) signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the Water and Green Growth project.

In the context of the recent global financial crisis, “Green Growth” is an idea that has emerged out of the Far East in response to the high environmental cost of rapid economic development and urbanization that has taken place over the past several decades. It is an idea that has been championed by the Republic of Korea, promoted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and adopted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) through a declaration in support of Green Growth in 2009. The OECD defines it as “environmentally sustainable economic progress to foster low-carbon, socially inclusive development.” The main objective of this project was to develop a framework and to explain the importance of green growth, the role water plays in green growth, and how to enhance this role for policy and decision makers.

Through this project, the WGG team built alliances and collaboration with the other international organizations and research institutes including the OECD, UN-Water, World Bank, GGGI, etc., to ensure that water features a high priority on the international agenda for Green Growth. Furthermore, the team agreed to develop the policy framework towards the implementation of Water and Green Growth. Thus, 11 in-depth case studies were further analyzed from the initial 26 case studies. The final outcome of the project will be launched and presented in the 7th World Water Forum 2015 in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea.