In metropolitan areas of Brazil, inadequate coverage of sewage collection and treatment infrastructures is the biggest cause for the widespread pollution of urban rivers, streams, and lakes. Many of the watercourses that cut through urban areas eventually turn into sewage channels that run on the surface or under the ground. Besides that, due to inadequate public services and a general lack of awareness among the population about proper waste disposal, river channels and rainwater pipes have also become receptacles for all kinds of solid waste. Polluted and smelly, urban watercourses and riverbanks have become abandoned spaces that are closed off to the public.
When it comes to urban water drainage, policies in Brazil have historically been focused on the channeling of rivers and streams to combat floods or reclaim land for urban expansion. Urban watercourses have been seen as elements that must either be tamed or exploited for urban development. But it is possible to adopt an alternative perspective—urban rivers as elements that could be used to enhance environmental quality, urban landscape, and quality of life, as well as public awareness on environmental and water and sanitation issues.
Although such a perspective is slowing gaining recognition, public institutions responsible for managing cities are still deeply entrenched in a culture that is characterized by sector-segmented visions, objectives, and funds that favor existing engineering solutions and immediate pragmatism. Urban design and environmental sanitation are but afterthoughts. If public institutions were to rethink their priorities and funding for urban water drainage and redesign institutional responsibilities, urban rivers and streams that are currently degraded could actually become healthy and attractive public open spaces.
Working off this idea, Brazil 2030 WRG began to champion the revitalization of the Anhanguera creek, which runs through underground drainage pipes in downtown São Paulo and has relatively good water quality. These drainage pipes are also old and damaged and are no longer able to support increased storm water flows, leading to frequent flooding in the area. To revitalize the creek and its surrounding area, Brazil 2030 WRG’s proposal calls for the cleanup of a portion of the creek’s water so that it could flow above ground and become part of the urban landscape.
Accordingly, Brazil 2030 WRG set up a working group to discuss the project and mobilize the first set of stakeholders, including: (i) Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo (SABESP), which is the state sanitation company that is responsible for sewage collection and treatment in the city of São Paulo; (ii) the City Government, which is responsible for urban planning and the management of drainage systems and solid waste collection and disposal; and (iii) representatives of the surrounding communities, including residents, architects that work on the neighborhood, and users of a public square and a public library. Further down the line, the working group plans to engage with surrounding commercial establishments and encourage them to handle their solid waste in a more responsible manner. Because there are many homeless people in the proposed urban intervention area, the working group also plans to discuss ways to meet their basic sanitation needs.
The working group has discussed the fundamental topics for the revitalization project, including the integration of drainage, sewage collection and solid waste management; the use of water above ground as an urban asset; and the early participation of the community. Currently, we are seeking financial support for the project. If successful, this initiative could help change prevailing views of urban watercourses in São Paulo and serve as an example for other Brazilian cities.
No value chain is stronger than its weakest link, and this is particularly true for the water sector – the value chain consisting of upstream supply chain, operations and downstream product use. But can a weak link be strengthened through partnerships? This is the question that guided the discussions of over 150 senior leaders from the water sector at the 5th Annual Water Stewardship Event which took place last week at the Crowne Plaza – Rosebank, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event – hosted by the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN), the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS), the National Business Initiative (NBI), and the Royal Danish Embassy – explored strategies to further develop and test alternative water management and water delivery solutions to overcome some of the nation’s most pernicious water challenges and help meet the nation’s water service objectives.
According to the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan only 65 percent of South Africans have access to safe and reliable water services and 14.1 million people lack access to decent sanitation. Moreover, the South African water sector struggles with financial challenges and capacity restrictions, constraining its ability to bridge the service delivery gap. A lack of investment in South Africa’s water infrastructure and maintenance has resulted in 56 percent of South Africa’s 1,150 wastewater treatment works and 44 percent of domestic water treatment works being categorised as being in poor or critical condition in need of urgent rehabilitation. The financing gap is partly explained by the fact that 41 percent of municipal water does not generate any revenue. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) estimates that it will take R33 billion each year for the next 10 years to achieve water security, yet the budget for DWS is R15.5 billion – less than half of what is required.
The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan provides strong support and clear direction for the development of alternative, multi-partners service delivery solutions, stating that a “turn-around towards financial sustainability is not optional.” To overcome the sector’s challenges and meet water service delivery objectives, concerted efforts are required, and holistic and inclusive solutions are urgently needed from both the public and the private sector.
Speakers at the 5th Annual Water Stewardship Event presented transformative initiatives that exemplify how non-traditional actors are spearheading new models of collaboration. Moving forward, such approaches could be the key to unlocking new financing and overcoming the most obstinate obstacles to delivering reliable and equitable water and sanitation services to all South Africans. Discussions focused on three key approaches that demonstrated significant potential for impact and scale: public-private-partnerships, community and catchment-based approaches, and corporate water stewardship.
Public-private partnerships, or PPPs as they are commonly known, are long-term contracts between the public and private sector that require risk transfer to the private party. Beyond the normal functions that the private sector might take on, such as design and construction, PPPs extend into areas such as project financing, staffing, and the operation of specific assets. They are increasingly becoming a popular tool amongst public service organisations to secure efficient delivery and accessibility to public goods. Opportunities for deploying PPPs within the water value chain abound, and include, among others, desalination, any form of water reuse, groundwater extraction, and wastewater treatment.
There are three main categories of benefits that municipalities can leverage by deploying a PPP model, said Dhevan Govender, Senior Commercial and Business Manager with eThekwini Municipality, where a number of PPP projects are underway. “PPPs are the way to go to improve access to basic services, increase quality and efficiency of services, and mobilise capital,” said Govender, “the public sector has the vision, and the private sector has the technology and capital, and PPPs enable us to leverage that to deliver sustainable projects.”
Community-owned water solutions and catchment-based partnerships are another type of collaborative approach being successfully implemented across South Africa. While the specifics of each partnership may vary, they all incorporate some form of collaboration between communities, companies, and municipalities, sometimes at a river catchment scale, delivering a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and protecting precious water environments for the benefit of all.
Corporate water stewardship, which used to largely exist on the sidelines of business operations, has evolved significantly over the past decade from the realm of corporate social reasonability and emerged as a proven alternative model to address water security challenges beyond the fence line of a company’s operations. Given the realities of a warming climate and rapidly growing and urbanizing population, companies are being forced to think very hard about the context in which they operate.
“It has now become a business imperative for us” explained Nicole Solomon, Head of Corporate Social Development with AECI, a corporate partner of the Wise Wayz Water Initiative, a community-based programme that works with fence line communities in eThekwini to leverage clean, secure, and reliable water into livelihood opportunities.
Alternative water management and water delivery solutions that were experimental just a few years ago have today shown tremendous potential to address the country’s water challenges. Looking ahead, there is a need to take the lessons learned form these successful initiatives and move from demonstration to scale.
“The scale of the crisis we face today is unprecedented, but it is a collective crisis, meaning that the consequences of inaction will affect us all” said the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Chief Director for Regulations, Ndileka Mohapi. “Partnership is therefore of the utmost importance, and I would like to ensure that we move together to take the opportunity to work together as partners to leverage the full scale of benefits available to us to overcome this shared challenge.”
The SWPN is part of the 2030 WRG network of country partnerships and is a multi-stakeholder collaboration addressing South Africa’s most pressing water issues: improving water efficiency and reducing leakage, managing effluent and wastewater management, and managing agricultural and supply-chain water.
By Phyllis Wakiaga
With manufacturing one of the pillars of the President’s Big Four agenda, the country is likely to see the accelerated establishment of new industrial facilities over the coming years.
As a result, an increase in the volume of industrial wastewater is expected. According to a World Bank report released recently, poor water quality in heavily-polluted areas has been found to limit economic growth, underlining the inextricable link between protecting our nation’s water resources and promoting growth.
Kenya is already a water-scarce country, with 416 cubic meters of internal renewable water per capita per year, against a global benchmark of 1,000 cubic meters per capita.
When untreated effluent is released directly back into the environment, it not only contaminates other water sources but also further diminishes the availability of the little fresh and safe water available.
So what can be done to address this dual crisis of water scarcity and pollution?
The first step is to break down the institutional and sectoral silos that have so often hindered progress on managing such shared resource challenges. Industries face many challenges when it comes to complying with all the statutory requirements of the various regulations they operate under.
Most industries understand the need for these regulations and do their best to comply. However, in some circumstances, there are challenges in compliance or, in some cases, companies are not in a position to immediately invest in the interventions needed for compliance.
A pragmatic way forward out of this stalemate is to maintain dialogue between the regulators, industry and other stakeholders and collaborate towards a coordinated effort to achieve compliance.
The second step would be to redress the market structures that skew incentives towards excessive water-waste generation, pollution, and water-use inefficiency by making it more attractive to use water efficiently.
Water in Kenya remains largely undervalued. The current nominal price of water does not reflect the true cost of production, nor does it account for the environmental or social externalities resulting from activities related to its abstraction, transportation, usage, and discharge.
Promoting circular economy approaches can help industries to use the water at their disposal efficiently.
Several firms are already taking steps to upgrade their production facilities in line with circular economy and environmental sustainability targets by building on-site wastewater treatment facilities, incorporating water recovery processes into production, and adopting green building strategies.
Such activities can also be accompanied by initiatives that help to protect and rehabilitate critical catchments. Businesses are increasingly acknowledging the fact that they have a stake in ensuring not only the sustainability of their own practices but also the efficacy of water management in the areas where they operate.
Two weeks ago, the Water ministry in collaboration with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, supported by the 2030 Water Resources Group hosted a National consultative forum on industrial effluent Management.
The event brought together industry players and relevant stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society, to collectively develop policy solutions as well as technical and financing solutions to achieve compliance with existing regulations, water conservation, and pollution prevention.
Such collaborative approaches are imperative to finding long-term sustainable solutions.
Water is a shared resource and protecting it should be a shared responsibility.
This article was originally published on the Kenya Association of Manufacturers website and can be viewed here.
The Writer is the CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Chair of the Kenya Industrial Water Alliance —email@example.com
The Kenya Industrial Water Alliance (KIWA) is a partnership of private-public-civil society partners that collectively address water-related risks to industrial growth. The partnership provides a platform to discuss and implement activities aimed at increasing sustainable access to water with a focus on ground water management, industrial water use efficiency and improved surface water quality management. KIWA has been established jointly by the International Water Stewardship Programme and the 2030 Water Resources Group.
Last week, Kenya 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG), under the umbrella of the Kenya Industrial Water Alliance (KIWA), supported the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation, together with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to convene a National Consultative Forum on Industrial Effluent Management in Kenya. The purpose of the meeting, which brought together 180 representatives from industry, government, and regulatory agencies, aimed to collectively define a shared vision for the management of industrial effluent in Kenya, and to identify a roadmap to achieve compliance with existing environmental regulations without compromising the manufacturing sector.
The discharge of untreated industrial effluent into surface water bodies is causing a serious threat to water resources and the country’s economic development, particularly in the context of the President’s Big Four Agenda, which foresees a 65 percent increase in manufacturing’s contribution to GDP by 2022.
Although the regulatory framework for water, laid out in the Water Act 2016 and Environmental Management Coordination Act (EMCA 1999), includes strict guidance on the discharge of industrial effluent, non-compliance with existing regulation in combination with sewerage and water treatment infrastructure that is not designed to treat industrial discharge – which often includes chemical contaminants – has resulted in untreated industrial effluent being released back into the environment.
The forum, which was held on the heels of a nationwide expose on the pollution that plagues one of the nations key waterways and ahead of the upcoming Kenya Sanitation Conference 2019, provided an opportunity for the Ministry to set the policy agenda around collective action to address the challenges around Kenya’s persistent industrial waste water management problem.
Hon. Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation and the Co-chair of the 2030 WRG multi-stakeholder partnership in Kenya, stressed the need for continuous engagement to find common solutions. He expressed support for applying targeted economic incentives to curb pollution and encourage circular economy approaches within the industrial sector, in addition to continued strict enforcement of existing regulations, which has seen regulators shut down dozens of factories since the beginning of the year for illegally discharging waste into the environment.
Moving ahead, the Ministry will develop a set of recommendations based on the outcomes of the forum. These will be presented to stakeholders at a subsequent meeting ahead of the Kenya Sanitation Conference in October.
Watch Hon.CS Chelugui on K24
The Kenya Industrial Water Alliance is a multi-stakeholder platform jointly-established by 2030 WRG and GIZ IWASP in 2016. The platform brings together participants from the public and private sectors as well as civil society and academia with the aim of finding collaborative solutions to the challenges of Industrial water management. It is chaired by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and co-chaired by the Water Resources Authority.
2030 Water Resources Group hosted a session exploring the pathways to urban resiliency on the sidelines of the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, the theme of which was Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures In The Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than a dozen attendees investigated how current and emerging partnerships are making African cities more resilient, with a focus on circular economy approaches – particularly industrial and municipal wastewater reuse.
Generating more than 80% of global GDP, cities can be centres of inclusive growth and innovation, with urban water management and resilience being a key enabler of this vision. From responding to climate pressure to addressing social and economic challenges, close collaboration with urban communities, co-located industries, farmers and other public institutions will be needed.
The event, which was chaired by Suzie Nkambule, Managing Director of Aveng Water and featured guest speakers from Bulk Water, GECKO, Nestlé, and Arup, focused on finding the opportunities for applying circular economy approaches within cities with a focus on the wastewater value chain, and analyzing how partnerships can initiate and or accelerate action towards circularity.
The discussions revealed that to effectively implement water reuse, technical credibility is vital, alongside the necessary political will and widespread social acceptance. In this context, trust is the keystone. For example, if there is even one minimal failure, support for direct reuse will weaken and will significantly set back public acceptance.
Attendees also explored areas where circularity can be adopted in key national government policy reforms and ideated the catalytic actions to get these reforms, dialogue and processes underway.
Over 1,000 regional and global leaders from politics, business, civil society and academia attended the World Economic Forum on Africa, which took place in Cape Town from and was focused on how to scale up the transformation of regional architecture related to innovation, cooperation, growth and stability.
2030 WRG at Africa Green Revolution Forum 2019
2030 Water Resources Group participated in a special session focused on digitalization for farmer-led mechanization and irrigation for smallholder systems at this year’s Africa Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana, where the theme was ‘Grow Digital: leveraging digital transformation to drive sustainable food systems in Africa’.
Speaking on a panel about the digitization of farmer-led-irrigation, 2030 WRG Africa Regional Senior Water Resource Management Specialist, Joy Busolo, shared examples of how digitization can help ensure adequate availability and sustainable use of water resources for smallholder farmers, drawing on examples from 2030 WRG programs across Africa and Asia.
A brief overview of the projects presented during the event are included below.
Kenya – Farmer Led Irrigation Initiative
Partners: World Bank, International Finance Corporation, 2030 WRG
In Kenya, the FLI initiative collects and applies big-data to support farmer organizations in designing business models that address key agricultural water constraints in the country, including innovative finance, investment in water storage infrastructure, climate smart irrigation, input supply systems, value addition, post-harvest practices and formalizing market linkages. These business models will utilize innovative solar irrigation technologies, digitized market and supply chain linkages, and transportation systems to help increase water productivity across key smallholder farmer value chains.
Tanzania – Tanzania Irrigation Financing Mechanism
Partners: TADB, TAHA, Rikolto, KWSP, GRRC, 2030 WRG
In Tanzania, 2030 WRG is working with partners to develop an irrigation financing mechanism that includes scaling of digitized irrigation solutions for smallholder farmers across Tanzania. These digitized financial inclusion solutions are key to building smallholder farmer resilience to climate change through unlocking water-efficient irrigation.
India – Ramthal Full Automation and Scale-Up of Drip to Market Agro Corridor
Partners: Government of Karnataka, 2030 WRG
In Karnataka State, the Ramthal Drip Irrigation Project is the world’s largest fully automated irrigation system. The USD 130 million project has automated lift and drip irrigation systems across 24,000 hectares of agriculture land in Karnataka State. Due to the initial success of the project, the Ramthal Drip to Market Agro Corridor scale-up is underway. The scale-up will connect drip-irrigated areas to agribusiness markets, through the creation of a corridor resulting in 650,000 irrigated hectors. This will be made possible through the adoption of micro-irrigation technologies (drip, sprinkler, and rain guns), investment in infrastructure including cold chains logistics, packing house and processing plants; and market linkages for high-value agriculture and horticulture crops.
India – Blockchain Technologies
Partners: Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2030 WRG
In India, 2030 WRG hosted a hack-a-thon which challenged participants to apply technology to the issue of wastewater reuse. The winning solution was the application of blockchain technologies promoting the automation and validation of wastewater reuse certificates. A similar use of blockchain technology for urban and rural agriculture abstraction, receipting and traceability is proving effective across India for smallholders.
Joy also shared examples of how IFC and the World Bank are using GIS systems, remote sensing and radar technologies to collect and analyze data for projects in Africa while mainstreaming FLI in irrigation policies, strategies, and investment projects.
It is clear that digitization of FLI has had great success stories across Asia and increasingly in Africa, but it is not a silver bullet. Alongside digitization, ongoing investments in policy reform, MSP partnerships, and farmers themselves is required for the successful scale-up of FLI.
World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. The event is organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute and brings together 3,300 individuals and around 380 convening organizations from 135 countries to participate in the Week. This year’s theme is ‘Water for society – Including all’. Each year, experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries come to Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today.
2030 WRG is looking forward to reconnect with partners and introduce our work to people who are less familiar with our programs. Please join us for the following 2030 WRG sessions:
Sunday 25 August, 2019 – 09:30 – 10:30 hrs. | Room L12
Polycentric Approach to WASH Access for All
Conveners: 2030 Water Resources Group | Global Water Leaders | Stockholm International Water Institute | The World Bank Group | Toilet Board Coalition | Veolia
- How can local governments ramp-up access to water and sanitation? Barriers to SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 include poor cost recovery, lack of governance, and poor services.
- This workshop will scrutinize selected examples in which coverage and service improved at large scale, to help identify tipping points.
Sunday 25 August, 2019 – 11:00 – 12:30 hrs. | Room M6
Collective Action to the Last Mile/Kilometer
Conveners: 2030 Water Resources Group | UNGC CEO Water Mandate | World Business Council for Sustainable Development | World Economic Forum | Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development | Global Water Partnership
- Good water governance depends on stakeholders coming together to promote transparency and accountability—key for implementation of SDGs. The event will highlight the enhanced impacts of collaboration and focus on how to develop and scale collective action approaches, ensuring that all voices are included, and no one is left behind. The event will examine the role of the private sector in triggering water resources transformation through collaboration with others.
- This event will generate new, provocative thinking that addresses the paths — and barriers to collective action at a pivotal moment in history, and will take forward outputs to inform discussions and actions during World Water Week, Climate Week, and to wider audiences across the water, food, energy and climate spectrum.
- Actions towards closing the last mile for millions include topics such as inclusivity, trust building, resiliency, technology and innovation, and developing new narratives necessary to inform and advance the agenda.
Wednesday, 28 August, 2019 – 16:00-17:30 | Room L10
Circular Economy Approaches: Pathway to Achieving SDGs and Inclusion?
- Incorporating circular economy approaches in water and sanitation management supports the SDGs by creating restorative economies through wastewater treatment/reuse/resource recovery.
- The event will explore how silos can be broken, legal and regulatory structures changed, stakeholders engaged to drive adaptive management, and technology and market-based approaches used to scale solutions in fostering circular economies.
- The event provides an opportunity for dialogue among governments, the private sector and civil society on how to encourage the circular economy approach in the design process and use it to promote inclusiveness.
- This event will be dedicated to exploring the role that the circular economy approach can play in promoting inclusiveness and overcoming challenges in valuing water. Circular economy approaches can help overcome financial constraints and address the depletion of natural resources.
World Bank Water Program
The World Bank Group will convene and participate in over 30 sessions of World Water Week 2019 taking place from August 25-30.
Please click on the “Sessions” tab for a list of World Bank Group (co)-convened sessions and sessions with World Bank Group participating speakers.
You can also follow our sessions along via @WorldBankWater using #wwweek.
World Bank Pavilion
Please also join us at the World Bank pavilion in the expo area. We brought some of our recent publications for you to browse through and our colleagues will be happy to meet with you.
Sedapal, the state-owned water utility covering Lima city, has announced the execution of a Fund of almost USD 22 million (PER 73.5 million) in green infrastructure projects. The projects will reduce the water access gap investing in the middle and upper basins of the main surrounding rivers. 2030 WRG is the public-private dialogue platform where the guidelines and best practices for this process will be discussed.
The funds, collected through the Remuneration Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services established in 2015, will allow the implementation of green infrastructure projects such as lagoons, water harvesting, reforestation, terracing, and non-conventional water solution initiatives to reach those communities that have no access to water and sanitation in the neighboring areas of Lima, the Peruvian capital.
It is estimated that by the end of 2019, 100 projects will be selected and by the end of the year at least 5 or 6 projects will start its execution. According to Sedapal’ s New President of the Board of Directors, Francisco Dumler, the company is opening a new implementation area to manage these types of projects, that will generate a high impact on water stress reduction in Lima city, one of the most affected cities in Latin America by the problem and the second largest city in the world settled in a desert after Cairo.
2030 WRG is the dialogue platform that will bring together all the key stakeholders in the process of project identification and execution. A first meeting organized by 2030 WRG was held on August 6th to discuss Sedapal’ s Fund’s execution strategy. Representatives from SEDAPAL and the main public stakeholders in water management such as SUNASS, ANA, and the Ministry of Construction and Sanitation, as well as NGO Forest Trends, The Nature Conservancy and the World Bank were part of this first meeting.
With the support of Nestlé Waters Ethiopia, Coca-Cola Beverage Africa, and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), the Ethiopian Bottled Water and Soft Drink Manufacturing Industries Association (EBSMIA) has been awarded the Partnership for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030 (P4G) 2019 Start-Up Partnership Award, which recognizes new partnerships deemed to have exceptional potential for advancing social, environmental, and economic progress. The award includes funding of USD 100,000, which the Association together with its partners plans to use to establish an Ethiopian Beverage Alliance for Water to promote collective action for sustainable water resources management amongst beverage industry actors, government, and communities.
Although the beverage industry is among the fastest-growing sub-sectors in Ethiopia, there is low awareness about water-security risks facing both the sub-sector and communities. As groundwater becomes less and less available, companies are resorting to drilling deeper underground, which increases their operating cost and has the potential to cause conflict with local communities who rely on the same resources for their own water supplies.
A weak regulatory framework around water resources management and fragmented action further compound challenges for the sector, which manifest in less efficient water consumption, high drilling cost and deteriorating community health, creating an urgent need for a sustainable and transparent production system.
Using these challenges as marketable incentives for change, the proposed Alliance aims to build a first-of-its kind industry-wide water accounting framework based on a sample survey of overall water use efficiency among its partners in beverage and develop a roadmap towards increased sustainability and accountability.
The survey – not widely practiced in the Ethiopian industrial sector — will be an essential study to highlight the current and future balance of supply and demand for water resources. The study will facilitate for key partners to convene around clear data to develop action plans for more sustainable beverage industry standards and practices, creating benefits for the environment, Ethiopia, and its people.
This article was originally published by the Ethiopian Bottled Water and Soft Drink Manufacturing Industries Association (EBSMIA)
In July, 2030 Water Resources Group Tanzania launched the first-ever private sector roundtable to formalize a dedicated dialogue mechanism between the government and water-thirsty businesses on water management issues, subsequently aiming to enable the private sector to participate more fully in the country’s water resources management.
The roundtable, which is intended to be a yearly event, is intended to provide an opportunity for open discussion about the challenges faced by businesses in relation to water access and use and to identify and initiate collaborations between stakeholder groups that have traditionally operated independently in the context of water management.
The private sector perspective has been missing in existing water resource management forums, explained Dr. George Lugomela, Director of Water Resources for the Ministry of Water. “This is a missed opportunity in tapping into their innovativeness, experience and private sector capital in addressing water security challenges,” he said.
The July meeting was an opportunity for businesses to share common water-related challenges and provide recommendations for how these could be addressed moving forward.
The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) highlighted that some companies are unable to access sufficient water to meet their operational needs, forcing many to invest in boreholes or purchase water from private water-trucks to supplement municipal supply. In addition, some commercial water users have had to contend with water user fees that have been subject to change with little advance warning from Basin Water Boards, resulting in unpredictable costs.
Proposed avenues for addressing these concerns included increasing wastewater treatment capacity, particularly in Dar es Salaam; normalizing water user fees across Basin Water Boards; providing incentives for business to invest in water-use efficiency technologies; and drafting a code of ethics to cover water-use in industry.
These insights were welcomed by the Ministry of Water, which subsequently committed to taking-up the issues raised.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Water, Professor Mkumbo, said that he was pleased to see so much being done by the private sector on water resources management and echoed the need to take stock of the best policies, initiatives, and practices and to bring them to the national framework.
The next roundtable meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 2020.