Title: 2030 WRG Maharashtra State Partnerships Coordinator
Organization: 2030 Water Resources Group/World Bank
Contract type: Short Term Consultant (STC)
Term Duration: 150 days
Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment
Location: Mumbai, India
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): Marathi (speaking and understanding)
Closing Date: April 5, 2019 11:59pm (EST)
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) is a public, private, civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group. The partnership supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources. Our global partners include bilateral agencies and governments (Swiss Development Cooperation, Swedish Development Cooperation, the governments of Hungary and Israel), private companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ab InBev), development banks (IFC, World Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), INGOs and IGPs (UNDP, GGGI, GWP, the World Economic Forum, BRAC and IUCN). The 2030 WRG was launched in 2008 at the World Economic Forum and has been hosted by The World Bank Group since 2012.
The primary aim of 2030 WRG is to develop partnerships at a national (or state) level that can assist governments to accelerate actions to increase water resources sustainability and water efficiency across the economy. This is based on the recognition that demands for water are increasing dramatically with economic and population growth, and that, assuming a continuation of current trends, the world is predicted to face a 40 percent gap between available renewable water supply and water demand by the year 2030. It is also based on the recognition that the public and private sectors have a common interest in strengthening water resource management and can achieve far more by acting in partnership than alone.
2030 WRG is currently active in Bangladesh, Mongolia, Vietnam, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and in India, the program is working in the states of Uttar Pradesh/India National, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, 2030 WRG in partnership with the Government of Maharashtra, private sector companies, and civil society organizations formalized a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (MSP). Its high-level Steering Board is chaired by the Chief Secretary. This new partnership has identified three priority workstreams and cross-cutting initiatives:
- Water and Livelihood Security in Rain-fed Agricultural Areas
2030 WRG is working to deliver coordinated, multi-stakeholder solutions at scale to promote water security and de-risk livelihoods of farmers in rain-fed areas in Maharashtra, through a combination of programmatic approaches, partnership models, financing mechanisms, and policy interventions. The two key initiatives in this respect include the Maharashtra Cotton Water Platform and market linkages in the cotton-belt.
- Wastewater Reuse and Management
In the industrial and urban sectors, 2030 WRG focuses on policy/governance/tariffs, developing pilots to demonstrate recycling of city sewage and its application in the agriculture sector. The workstream members recently launched the unique Wastewater Reuse Certificates (WRCs) scheme to develop tradable permits for reuse. A Blockchain Hackathon was held recently to crowd-source algorithms to monitor WRCs in a simulated environment.
- Command Area Water Productivity
This workstream facilitated the launch of a Project Implementation Unit to assist the development of integrated projects dealing with off-farm, on-farm water conservation efforts in the command area and associated market linkages, aligning with the “More Crop per Drop” policy objectives of the Government of Maharashtra.
2030 WRG is spearheading two cross-cutting initiatives related to Gender- Water – Agriculture and Water Accounting/Budgeting. These two cross-cutting themes are also covered in the multi-stakeholder platform. 2030 WRG recently launched a landmark joint publication with UNDP India titled “Gender and Water in Agriculture and Allied Sectors”.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The 2030 WRG Maharashtra State Partnerships Coordinator will support 2030 WRG’s activities in Maharashtra. This position will provide substantive support to the team responsible for implementing activities under the Maharashtra Water MSP (MWMSP), spearheaded by the India Country Coordinator and Maharashtra State Coordinator for 2030 WRG. The subjects of work will include all facets of water in Maharashtra such as resource demand management, policies, projects, programs, and financing mechanisms. This assignment requires extensive experience and engagement with government officials to develop and monitor the 2030 WRG program. This position will facilitate the proper functioning of the MWMSP, support managing stakeholder consultations, assist in organizing events, workshops and outreach activities. The incumbent will report to the Maharashtra State Coordinator and India Country Coordinator, and Asia Regional Coordinator.
The position will assist the 2030 WRG to:
- Support development/refinement of the 2030 WRG Maharashtra strategy and implementation plan
- Assist in advancing Maharashtra activities facilitating the Maharashtra Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP) on water, specifically supporting the State Coordinator with stakeholder engagement processes across government (central and state), private sector (leading corporate houses, solutions providers, financial institutions), civil society, and other key agencies (e.g., multilaterals, academic institutions
- Provide support to ensure delivery of series of concrete projects and programs along identified work streams, and deliver both short-term (collective action) projects, immediate results and demonstration effects, as well as medium- and longer-term programs and policy improvements for higher impact initiatives; the individual will also support the secretariat of the Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP), including Steering Board, Work Streams and Task Forces for specific projects/ programs in Maharashtra, including development of minutes, documents, agenda, concept notes and proposals
- Assist in maintaining active dialogue with relevant parallel initiatives related to Maharashtra water resources management that are managed by local, multilateral and/or bilateral agencies, and develop appropriate collaborations and synergy
- Support development of ToRs, and selection and supervision of consultants
- Support overall knowledge management and outreach with regard to multi-stakeholder processes in general and related to Maharashtra water resources management in particular, by collaboration with relevant knowledge institutes, think tanks and government agencies
- Assist in developing and implementing the 2030 WRG Maharashtra communication strategy and outreach agenda, including identification of relevant fora where 2030 WRG should have a presence
- Support the State Coordinator with fund mobilization opportunities at local (national/state level) from government, donor agencies and/or private sector (in line with World Bank Group donor/ client engagement policy and procedures) and ensure appropriate partner/ donor/ client relationship management
- Support management and stakeholder reporting structures providing assistance to resources mobilization/approvals, reporting, budgeting and other administrative tasks
- Ensure relevance and highest quality of activities
- Masters level degree in natural resource management, engineering, irrigation, water resource management, economics, finance, or equivalent;
- At least 8 years of relevant professional experience, of which a minimum of (a) 3 years in the field of water/ natural resource management and/or sustainability advocacy, and (b) 2 years in private sector (development);
- Knowledge of and relationships with stakeholders (public sector, private sector and civil society) in Maharashtra;
- Understanding of political economy, water policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations in Maharashtra;
- Experience in program support and managing consultants preferred;
- Excellent verbal and written skills, and ability to present ideas and information both clearly and concisely;
- Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills, with strong sense of initiative and responsibility;
- Results oriented, and ability to monitor and report on a project cycle basis and work effectively in a team-oriented, multi-cultural environment;
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to develop and maintain effective relations within internal and external stakeholders;
- Fluency in Hindi and Marathi (speaking and understanding) preferred;
- Fluency in English essential.
How To Apply
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, CV, and list of at least three references to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, April 5, 2019.
Kindly use the subject line “2030 WRG Maharashtra State Partnerships Coordinator”.
By Karishma Gupte, 2030 WRG Partnerships Coordinator, Maharashtra Program
A study by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reveals that women could improve agricultural yields by 20-30 percent if given access to the same productive resources, such as modern inputs, technology, financial services, and training, that are available to men. In the Amravati district of Maharashtra, 1,900 women from two talukas (administrative divisions of a district) are gradually transforming the agricultural landscape by improving agricultural production and post-harvest processing. Several of the women I recently met in Amravati had interesting stories to share.
Through Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), a government-funded program, women across Maharashtra, including the Amravati district, were encouraged to form Self Help Groups (SHGs) where they could be trained to cultivate a habit of saving and receive access to group credit through bank linkages. In such a way, several women in the district were able to secure loans for their family farms and personal use. MAVIM further encouraged these women to form consortia of SHGs at the taluka level that could support capacity building in areas such as social and leadership skills. As a result, women found the confidence to venture out of their homes, consider possibilities to start their own businesses, and apply for bank loans. The United Nationals Development Programme (UNDP), with the goal of empowering women through Project Disha, trained women in the SHG consortium of two talukas in the Amravati district on post-harvest management, which led to increased income opportunities for them. Through diverse partnerships and support from the private sector which procured produce from these women farmers, these women became knowledgeable about potential business opportunities for them in the agricultural value chain.
One of the woman farmers who started their own businesses is Rekha Sarodayay. Rekha is a sourcing manager for one of the SHG consortia from the Wakiraipur village of Amravati. She oversees the sourcing of pigeon peas from three villages, dealing primarily with men; traditionally, such interactions are restricted. In addition to her work as a sourcing manager, Rekha also trains women from the villages in best practices for post-harvest management. Drawing upon the training she has received through various programs, Rekha formed her own small enterprise of making wheat noodles three years ago. Along the way, Rekha had to overcome many difficulties, including getting access to finance to buy the machine she needs to make noodles. She borrowed Rs.25000 (US$370) from her SHG at an annual interest rate of 24 percent and invested her savings to start her business. With access to productive resources, Rekha built a thriving business in less than two years and was able to return the funds she borrowed while contributing to the household income. Today, there are over 150 small businesses owned by women like Rekha in the two talukas. These women, who manage complex households while pursuing multiple livelihood options, continue to inspire confidence in other women of the district.
In support of women farmers like Rekha, Reema Sathe left her comfortable corporate job to build a women-friendly supply chain, offering new markets to 15,000 women smallholder farmers. Her team supports a women-run cooperative factory by training them to make baking products using less water-intensive grains like barley, buckwheat, and oats. Through her online platform, Happy Roots, these women were able to sell directly to consumers, thereby eliminating the costs that comes with using middlemen.
Women entrepreneurs like Rekha and Reema, are leading some of the most exciting agri-innovations on the ground, and they are a source of inspiration for those who are passionate about empowering women in rural areas. Today, organizations are keen to invest in women with the aim to close to gender gap, improve rural livelihoods and income, and make rural families and communities more food secure. To highlight such examples, 2030 WRG worked with UNDP India on a compendium of case studies from Maharashtra that exemplify women-centric partnership models that have positively impacted agricultural value chains and have the potential to scale. By challenging gender stereotypes, these case studies could catalyze transformative change in the role of women in Maharashtra and beyond.
The publication, ‘Gender and Water in Agriculture and Allied Sectors’ was jointly developed by 2030 WRG and UNDP India and was launched on 26 February 2019. Read or download the publication here.
For more information, contact Karishma Gupte, email@example.com.
Richard Fox is the Sustainability Director for Flamingo Horticulture and member of the Kenya 2030 WRG Governing Board. He serves as the immediate past Chairman of the Kenya Flower Council, the Chairman of Lake Naivasha Growers Group, and a trustee of Imarisha Naivasha, a pioneering multi-stakeholder forum set up by the Kenyan government to oversee a coordinated landscape approach to long term sustainable development in the Naivasha basin, the hub of Kenya’s floriculture industry.
This past April, he was elected as President of Union Fleurs, the international flower trade association after a four-year tenure as Vice-President.
Following Richard’s participation in the 2030 WRG Webinar Series event focused on Kenya – you can access the recording here – we sat down with Richard to explore in more depth some of the topics he touched upon during the webinar.
Kenya 2030 WRG: What is your assessment of public-private-civil society collaboration in Kenya? How has it evolved since you started working in this space?
RF: The framework for public-private-people collaboration is well established in Kenya, however this is a relatively recent development. The constitution promulgated in 2010 requires community-wide participation in the formulation of development opportunities and strategies, and the government has been active in encouraging the private sector to partner with them to deliver opportunities for national development.
One area where this collaboration is not only very prevalent but has proven to be extremely successful is river basin management. Here, public-private-partnership (PPP) models have recorded significant successes in the last 10 years.
I believe that this is in part because river basins are a defined area where stakeholders who rely on water resources – public, private and people – have an interest in how these resources are managed to ensure reliability of supply and long term sustainability.
Looking ahead there is a need – and an opportunity – to evolve and adapt these models to other sectors.
Kenya 2030 WRG: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing sustainable water management in Kenya at the moment?
In Kenya we have comprehensive water laws but enforcement is weak. As a consequence, decisions around water allocation and permit renewals lack transparency and without this the private sector is reluctant to embrace PPP partnerships.
There is an historical mindset that water management is solely a government responsibility, which translates into a reluctance on the part of both the public and private sectors to engage in more collaborative structures.
The responsibility for planning and development of water resources needs to be centrally managed, because resource availability and the demand on that resource do not necessarily share the same geographical or administrative boundaries. The exploitation of national resources needs to maximized for the benefit of all, and equitable distribution and transparent allocation are key to this process
A lack of transparency, meanwhile, creates uncertainty for business, and encourages businesses to be inward looking that is antithetical to collaborative and sustainable resource management. This is among the biggest challenges we currently face in Kenya, but one where multi-stakeholder coordination can bring much added value by improving transparency and accountability.
Kenya 2030 WRG: In your experience, what incentives are most effective to encourage participation and investment in sustainable water management in the private sector?
RF: For the private sector, sustainable water management has two components. The first is inside the fence where a user can improve its efficiencies in water use and disposal, and which offers a direct cost saving opportunity. The second is outside the fence, where the water-user needs to understand the impact of its activities on water availability to other stakeholders and to the security of the supply.
There is no reason why this cannot be replicable in other industries and water catchment areas.
Kenya 2030 WRG: What opportunities exist for private sector actors? How can Kenya 2030 WRG best support the private sector to leverage these opportunities?
It is important for government to recognize the success already achieved in the multi-stakeholder platforms that have been set up, and to continue to support them financially. The participation of the private sector in existing alliances and partnership organizations is evidence that business sees the value of them. These structures are replicable and adaptable to other catchments.
Kenya 2030 WRG is in a position to champion the engagement of the private sector as part of its focus on reducing the deficit of water availability predicted in 2030.
Accurate evaluation of water risks and transparency in resource management has the potential to maximize the opportunities for industrial and agricultural development in the country, create employment for Kenya’s young people and rehabilitate and protect our environment, safeguarding its productive capacity for future generations. And that is always good business!
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joint publication by 2030 WRG and UNDP unveils innovative and sustainable partnership and financing models towards Gender and Water in agriculture and allied sectors in Maharashtra
February 26, 2019, Mumbai, India – Today the publication ‘Gender and Water in Agriculture and Allied Sectors’ was launched, developed jointly by 2030 Water Resources Group, a public -private-civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Development Programme, India. The publication showcases five successful case studies of women-led growth and entrepreneurship through their participation in agricultural production systems and allied sectors, supported by the collaboration and intervention of public and private sector, and civil society organizations.
Agriculture in India continues to be at the mercy of unpredictable weather patterns and acute shortage of sustainable water resources. In addition, the existing gender gap prevents women from effectively contributing to improved agricultural productivity.
Research suggests that increasing women’s labor force participation by 10% could add $700 billion to India’s GDP by 2025. Presenting the report, Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Government of Maharashtra is committed towards creating livelihood opportunities for women. The success of self-help groups and microfinance movements in Maharashtra is a testament to the potential of collective action by India’s rural women.”
For instance, the report highlights scalable, innovative interventions in the agricultural sector to address the challenge of water resources management, use of technology for improved agricultural practices and sustainable value chains, while embedding initiatives that empower women economically and socially. These are:
- Project Disha of UNDP removes gender barriers in post-harvest management in the drought-prone region of Western Vidarbha, through a group of 30 women sourcing managers (WSMs)
- Swayam Shikshan Prayog makes farming economically viable for women farmers in Marathwada region through its ‘one-acre model’ also known as Women-led climate resilient farming model
- Sahyadri farms, unlocks value chains for small and marginal farmers through sustainable agriculture practices and enhanced market access
- The Goatry Project improves the value chain economics of goat-rearing, a predominant form of livelihood for communities living in the water-scarce regions of western Maharashtra
- Happy Roots, a socially-conscious food company that empowers women and small farmers through a responsible supply chain
These case studies, at the intersection of water, gender and agriculture, are closely aligned with eight 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Speaking at the launch event, Ms. Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Country Director, UNDP India, said, “At UNDP, we believe that effective collaboration with governments as well as private sector is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Our Project Disha has explored a unique model that creates direct links between farmers, private sector companies and the market for women producers and their families.”
Project Disha, a partnership between UNDP India and India Development Foundation, supported by IKEA Foundation, demonstrates a successful public and private sector collaboration. Under the pilot in Vidarbha, UNDP India collaborated with Future Group to train 30 women from Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal’s (MAVIM) Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in areas such as procurement management, grading, market analysis, buying and pricing strategies, storage basics, and soft skills and communication.
These 30 women, known as Women Sourcing Managers (WSMs), trained women farmers across the west Vidharbha region, creating a baseline of 5600 women farmers, who are now breaking gender stereotypes by taking a leading role in agriculture practices, with activities such as goat-rearing, poultry farming, dal mills production, etc., availing internal loans from their savings groups and generating household income.
“These are stories of empowerment, of courage and strength to improve the community and the village, and of dynamic and enterprising women who are contributing to their household income. The demonstration projects highlighted in this report have beneﬁted 50,000 women so far, offering numerous policy directions to reach scale” said Ms. Karin Krchnak, 2030 WRG Program Manager, World Bank Group.
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About 2030 Water Resources Group
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) is a public, private, civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group. The partnership supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources.
Global partners include bilateral agencies and governments (Swiss Development Cooperation,
Swedish Development Cooperation, the governments of Hungary and Israel), private companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ab InBev), development banks (IFC, World Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), INGOs and IGPs (UNDP, GGGI, GWP, the World Economic Forum, BRAC and IUCN). The 2030 WRG was launched in 2008 at the World Economic Forum and has been hosted by The World Bank Group since 2012.
On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.
UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to sustainable energy and environmental management. UNDP’s programmes are aligned with national priorities and are reviewed and adjusted annually.
For further information contact:
Ms Alida Pham
Communications Lead, 2030 WRG
Phone: +1 202 823 6896, firstname.lastname@example.org
World Bank Group, Washington DC
Ms Karishma Gupte
Maharashtra Program, 2030 WRG
World Bank Group, India
Ms Astha Alang
Senior Communication Officer, UNDP
Phone: +91 9873678129, email@example.com
South Africa’s Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) has appointed Ms. Thembi Mkhize as the new Program Manager. She assumed her duties as of February 4th, 2019. The SWPN is a multi-stakeholder platform, brokered by the 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG), chaired by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), and co-chaired by South African Breweries (SAB) on behalf of business, working collectively for the country’s water security.
Ms. Mkhize has 20 years’ cross-disciplinary experience in the water sector, with a special focus on water loss initiatives, non-revenue water and public-private partnerships.
She served as the Chief Director of Water and Sanitation for the Emfuleni Provincial Municipality from 2010 to 2015, where she managed a team of 340 personnel across six departments. Under her leadership, the municipality initiated the award-winning Boloka Metsi initiative – “Save Water” in Sotho. The pioneering PPP between the Emfuleni Municipality, GIZ, and Sasol, successfully reduced demand for water in the municipality by 6.8 million m3 in just two years, earning a National Conservation Award in 2013.
Prior to joining SWPN, Thembi headed the Marketing Department for L-RAM Civil and Construction Company, where she led the company’s marketing and business development efforts, successfully coordinating over R18 million (USD $1.4 million) in project funding in less than two years.
“I am thrilled to be joining such an innovative initiative” said Thembi. She believes that the unique position occupied by the SWPN in the water space is critically important: testing and scaling innovations that accelerate water use efficiency and wastewater treatment and reuse across the country’s most important economic sectors, from mining, to agricultural, to municipal water.
“The challenges we face can’t be solved by any entity on its own. How we work together, the process of balancing competing priorities and demand on our nation’s water resources, will be critical to securing South Africa’s future water security” she said.
Thembi holds a BSc Honours in Water Utilization & Engineering from Pretoria University, as well as a certificate in Environmental Law Specialising in Water & Environment Management Laws from the University of North West, and an Ecotox Specialising in Water, Effluent & Chemical Product Toxicity from Rhodes University.
Contact details: Thembi.firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 1, 2019, 2030 WRG organized an event to introduce the Blue Certificate initiative to corporate members of the Asociación para el Fomento de la Infraestructura Nacional (AFIN), which is a business association that advocates for the development of public services infrastructure in Peru. The President of AFIN, Mrs. Leonie Roca—who is also a permanent member of Peru 2030 WRG’s steering committee—presided over the event.
Launched in 2016, the Blue Certificate initiative is a certification process jointly developed by 2030 WRG and Peru’s National Authority of Water (ANA) to promote responsible corporate water stewardship. During the event, a representative of ANA gave a presentation that described the certification process and highlighted the competitive advantage companies might gain through the process.
Collectively, the event’s 16 attendees represented nine private companies in a variety of industries, including energy, highway, hospitals, legal services, and transportation. All 16 attendees expressed their enthusiasm in getting certified as a water-responsible company, and bilateral meetings between 2030 WRG and several of these companies are already in underway.
Since the time it was launched, the Blue Certificate initiative has been an indispensable tool for 2030 WRG to engage with new companies in Peru and push for a culture of responsible corporate water stewardship. It has also provided ANA with a means to strengthen its role as a promoter of sustainable water practices in the private sector.
The Blue Certificate initiative is steadily gaining momentum. More and more companies now view such a certification process as a way to improve their business efficiency and sustainability. In response to the private sector’s increasing interest in getting certified through the Blue Certificate initiative, 2030 WRG will be organizing a similar event with Sociedad Nacional de Industrias (SNI), which an association that brings together companies in Peru’s manufacturing sector. Members of SNI includes companies in a variety of water-intensive and potentially water-polluting industries such as food and beverage, chemical, paper, telecommunications, metals, plastics, and textiles industries
5 Feb 2019 – The Water Advisory Council of Mexico (Consejo Consultivo del Agua), the National Water Commission (Conagua) in collaboration with 2030 WRG and partners, launched the Social Compact for Water in Mexico today. This new agreement will convene stakeholders from the public and private sectors and civil society, to participate in open dialogue on shared ethical values and principles that will guide water policy making in Mexico.
The Social Compact will act as a political instrument to inspire democratic, open and transparent dialogue and decision making. It can serve as a bridge between stakeholders who share different perspectives on water resources management challenges, but who are willing to constructively work towards pathways for reform. It is expected that the work will highlight the interdependent, cross-cutting and strategic nature of water resources and will be crucial for Mexico’s Fourth Transformation, President Manuel Lopez Obrador’s strategy to transform Mexico.
A series of workshops will be held throughout the country: Patzcauro and Michoacan in February, and Tijuana, Baja California, Villa Hermosa, Tabasco and Mexico City in March. The World Bank Water Global Practice and 2030 WRG will support the Social Compact Process also by co-organizing several side events on resilience, water security and legal certainty and PPPs for agri-water.
The President of the CCA, Victor Lichtinger, said he wants to refocus water resources management in Mexico. “Water needs to become one of the highest levels of priority on the national agenda, and it should be reflected in the commitments and actions taken at all levels of government, industry and civil society.
We are now presented with an opportunity to radically change the course of water management by refocusing on strategic changes in a creative, inclusive and participatory manner that will significantly improve water governance in the country. The Social Compact for Water will be an opportunity to work across the board with public, private and civil society.”
Read more (Spanish only): https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/victor-lichtinger/nacion/pacto-social-por-el-agua-para-mexico
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mumbai, January 23, 2019 – The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), together with the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) and the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, launched a blockchain hackathon on January 18 to crowdsource solutions from coders all over the world to improve water resources management in the Indian State of Maharashtra.
“Policies and financing of water recycling and reuse should be an essential planning tool for regulating the water sector,” said Mr. Bakshi, Chairman of the MWRRA. “Launching a hackathon can encourage the use of blockchains and will be an important element.”
Software developers, students, technology companies, and startups with innovative ideas about water resources management are encouraged to register online at https://wrc-hackathon.org. The hackathon will end at 12:00 am (IST) on February 19, 2019. Until then, participating coders will be able to submit their blockchain algorithms for the Wastewater Reuse Certificates initiative, an innovative economic instrument concept that was jointly launched by 2030 WRG and MWRRA to support circular economy solutions in agriculture, industrial, and urban water use. Throughout the entire duration of the hackathon, participants will have access to mentoring and informative webinars to support their efforts.
Hackathon timeline is as per the schedule below:
|18 January 2019||Registrations open|
|18 January 2019 -17 February 2019||Coding time|
|18 February 2019 12:00 AM||Submission deadline|
|21 February 2019||Top 10 semi-finalists announced|
|25 February 2019||Semi-finalists present to jury in Mumbai (in-person or virtually) and top 3 winning teams announced|
|26 February 2019||First, second and third positions announced, and
On February 26, 2019, winning teams in the first, second, and third places will showcase their products and receive their awards at a summit that will be attended by thought leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society. In addition to receiving awards from a prize pool of Rs. 175,000, winners will also get mentorship and support from the hackathon co-sponsors, including the opportunity to scale and implement their applications.
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About the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG)
2030 WRG is a public, private, civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group. The partnership supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources. 2030 WRG supports the Maharashtra Multi-Stakeholder Partnership in Water and Livelihood Security for Rain-fed Agricultural Areas; Command Area Water Productivity (CAWP); and Wastewater Reuse and Management. See website: www.2030wrg.org.
About Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA)
The MWRRA is an independent statutory regulatory authority established by the Government of Maharashtra to reform the water sector in the State of Maharashtra. It is responsible for the regulation, allocation, management, and utilization of scarce water resources in Maharashtra. See website: www.mwrra.org.
About Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Bombay Chamber of Commerce, which was established in 1836, is one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in India. In the last decades it has played a significant role in supporting the development of industries in Mumbai by serving as a vehicle of communication between regulatory bodies, the private sector, and civil society organizations. It also advocates for changes that can help their micro, small, and medium enterprise members achieve their business goals. See website: www.bombaychamber.com.
Mongolia’s water challenge is somewhat unique. Looking only at national-level data about Mongolia’s water supply and demand, it is easy to conclude that Mongolia has enough water to support its population and industries. But such high-level data belie the concrete water challenges that are felt by its people and industries at the local level; Mongolia’s population and industries are clustered in the capital city and the Gobi mining region and both groups struggle to get the water they need.
To better manage Mongolia’s precious resources, the Parliament of Mongolia passed the Water Law of 2012, which serves as an umbrella law for integrated water resources. Together with other complementing laws, such as the Law on Water Pollution Fees (2012) and the Law on Use of Water Supply and Sewage System in Urban and Settlement Areas (2011), the Water Law provides the legal basis for charging consumers for the use of water, discharge of wastewater and collecting penalties for exploitation and violation of rules.
While the economic instruments, such as water service charges, water usage fees and wastewater charges, were introduced with the Water Law (2012), the existing design does not provide any incentives for either the sustainable use of water resources by industries or investing in new technologies to increase treat industrial wastewater.
When the Government of Mongolia approached 2030 WRG for its support, 2030 WRG took a different approach. Instead of addressing each problem separately, 2030 WRG adopted a macro perspective, and brought people who are being impacted by issues with those who can help bring change to sit at the same table. 2030 WRG’s Mongolia team designed an inclusive stakeholder process to develop a new water pollution tariff model that incorporates Polluter Pays principles to support fee collection that is linked to volume and load of wastewater discharge and is easy to implement. In addition, it is currently supporting a new urban water tariff structure to drive greater water use efficiency and wastewater treatment and reuse.
Mongolia 2030 WRG went beyond a narrow focus on existing bottlenecks in policy implementation and enforcement and looked for opportunities to crowd in the private sector at a large scale. In partnership with IFC, it brought Mongolia’s mining companies into the dialogue, as their operations represent a huge part of the country’s export revenues, and the mining industry has traditionally suffered tensions with communities around the sustainable use of water resources. 2030 WRG also supported reform in water governance by bringing all relevant actors at the river basin level to collectively discuss and decide water resources planning and implementation, thereby promoting transparency and dialogue to resolve contentious water issues.
Such a holistic and inclusive approach to water resources management has never been tried in Mongolia. To recognize 2030 WRG’s valuable contribution, the Mongolian government granted a high-level ministerial award to 2030 WRG on December 26, 2018.
This award not only marks an important milestone in 2030 WRG’s partnership with the Government of Mongolia, it also promises continued collaboration for wider impact on Mongolia’s water security going forward. “As public servants we have a responsibility to make sure our citizens and businesses have the water they need. But ensuring water security in Mongolia is a complex task that the government alone cannot complete,” said Mr. Tserenbat, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Cabinet member of Mongolia. “With 2030 WRG’s help, we have taken the first step to bring everyone together so that we can all see the bigger picture. The results so far have been promising, and we look forward to taking our collaboration to the next level.”
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.
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 stream, which runs through underground drainage pipes in downtown São Paulo, which receive domestic sewage from surrounding households. These drainage pipes are also old and damaged and are no longer able to support increased storm waterflows, leading to frequent flooding in the area. To revitalize the stream and its surrounding area, Brazil 2030 WRG’s proposal calls for the cleanup of a portion of the stream’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 is currently discussing 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. If successful, this initiative could help change prevailing views of urban watercourses in São Paulo and serve as an example for other Brazilian cities.