Perspectives on Green Growth Partnerships: Strategic Water Partners Network South Africa (extended case study)

Partnerships for Green Growth: the SWPN Case StudyWe have produced this extended version of the case study on the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) for South Africa to share our experience and lessons learned in this multi-stakeholder partnership. 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.

Read or download the full extended case study »



Agri-Water Sustainability in India: Setting the Agenda for the Alliance for Thought Leadership and Action

 Agri-Water: Sustainability in IndiaIndia is a water-stressed region with increasing levels of pollution in water bodies due to untreated sewage and effluents. The agriculture sector, which consumes 80% of India’s water resources and accounts for 90% of the groundwater withdrawals, uses water inefficiently. All these challenges have wide-scale implications for the nation’s water security, further aggravated by climate change, a burgeoning population, and industrialization.

To address these issues, the 2030 WRG and Hindustan Unilever Foundation held a workshop in May 2015. Titled “Alliance for Thought Leadership and Action for Agri-Water,” the workshop highlighted the importance of building an alliance to leverage the collective potential of diverse actors to achieve sustainable water resources management in the country. This synopsis integrates the insights and feedback that panelists and participants expressed during the workshop, and provides an overview of key issues in agricultural water management for further inquiry and action.

Read or download the full synopsis »

UP involvement in creation knowledge centre for river rejuvenation in India

Recently the 2030 WRG engaged with the Government of the State of Uttar Pradesh (GOUP) in India to work towards river rejuvenation and sustainable and equitable water management including good irrigation practices through participative multi-stakeholder processes in the State. The cooperation was triggered by the Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan movement, led by Rajendra Singh (Tarun Bharat Sangh NGO) and 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate), which mobilized local stakeholders in the Hindon sub-basin in the past 3 months.

The 2030 WRG and GOUP now intend to sign a Memorandum of Intent on rejuvenation of the State’s rivers in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The MoI encompasses (amongst others) the creation of an Advanced Action Oriented Knowledge Centre “Water for Rivers”. Purpose of the Knowledge Centre is to identify actionable river rejuvenation practices from India and beyond, mobilize investments and facilitate implementation from an integrated water resources management perspective. The Knowledge Centre will initially focus on the Hindon River basin but with the potential of expansion to serve other Ganga sub-basins in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. The Hindon River is a side-tributary of the Yamuna River and thus part of the Ganga River basin.

During the Stockholm World Water Week 2015 a high-level brainstorm session was held to discuss the establishment of the Advanced Action Oriented Knowledge Centre for River Rejuvenation in Uttar Pradesh (India). Participants included representatives from knowledge institutes, civil society, government and private sector.

Our Partners

Building on the national government’s prioritization of water efficiency and wastewater treatment, 2030 WRG is facilitating structured engagement with multiple stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, civil society, academia, research organizations, and international agencies to develop best practice solutions and replicable partnership models for water management in the basin.

We are currently working with the following actors across different engagements:

  • Municipal & Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)/ Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), World Bank, Deloitte, AECOM, Indian Institute of Technology, in addition to consultations with various private sector actors.
  • Area-Based Implementation Approaches (e.g. Hindon): Government of Uttar Pradesh, Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan (spearheaded by the Waterman of India, Shri Rajendra Singh), India Water Partnership, CSIRO, IBM, and a network of grassroots partners.
  • Agri Water Use Efficiency: Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), The Energy & Resources Institute, CEEW, Global Water Partnership, IWMI and others.

Collaborating with GIZ on urban water risk management solutions in Africa

GIZ agreement signedStockholm, August, 2015 — GIZ through its International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) signed an agreement with 2030 WRG to collaborate on raising awareness and convening stakeholders to identify urban water risk-management solutions in Kenya and elsewhere. The collaboration will start with a joint multi-stakeholder effort to improve the water balance in the Nairobi catchment.

Urban water management is a growing challenge for many of the world’s fast growing developing cities.  Cities in Kenya are no exception.  In particular, in the capital Nairobi, a combination of decreasing ground water levels, flooding, degradation of the catchment area, and uncontrolled waste disposal together risk jeopardizing the sustainability of the city’s expansion, as well as creating major water issues for user downstream. This is a challenge not just for governments, but also for the private sector and society at large.  Private companies in Kenya for instance are increasingly recognizing that availability and quality of water is a potentially substantial risk, and are seeking ways and means to address that risk.

Anders Berntell, 2030 WRG Executive Director said: “Solving these complex and intertwined challenges can therefore benefit substantially from collective action and new partnerships.  In response, 2030 WRG has recently launched the Kenya 2030 WRG partnership which will drive collaboration and action amongst stakeholders on priority issues such as urban water management.”

One key partner in this endeavor is GIZ, who have already taken an active role in raising awareness and convening stakeholders to identify urban water risk-management solutions in Kenya and elsewhere.  “The International Water Stewardship Programme improves water security for people and companies. This can only be achieved by cooperative effort of civil society, private and public sector organisations. In collaborating with  2030 WRG, IWaSP aims to move water risks in Nairobi up on the agenda. With the results of the joint assessment we hope to lay a firm basis for mobilizing many actors to identify sustainable joint solutions,” said André Lammerding, programme manager of IWaSP.

About IWaSP

IWaSP is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). IWaSP enables public sector, private sector and civil society actors to reach consensus on water risks and solutions, and partner to implement joint action plans. Currently IWaSP supports twelve partnerships in 7 countries with more than over 50 partners, improving ecosystem protection, water supply access, infrastructure investment and water governance.

Bangladesh water security issues addressed in newly established partnership

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 17 August — With the endorsement of the Bangladesh Ministry of Water Resources, 2030 WRG has recently facilitated the creation of an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder platform with key partners concerned with the water security of Bangladesh. 

Earlier in March of this year, deep dives into the Bangladesh water challenges were presented as part of the final recommendations from the two hydro-economic analyses on water resources management and industrial water use at a multi-stakeholder workshop under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Minister of Water Resources. The meeting was organized by 2030 WRG in collaboration with the Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO) under the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), WWF and H&M. Over 70 participants from the government, private sector, NGOs, development partners and civil society organizations also joined the discussions on the scope of the Bangladesh 2030 WRG Partnership program, as well as issues around water governance, the Greater Dhaka Watershed Restoration and efficiency in agricultural water use.

The Independent: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe: Nestle Head sceptical about health benefits of the gluten-free revolution

News Source:  The Independent

The recipe is changing for the food industry. Processed food sales are under pressure in America where consumers are seeking out healthier alternatives. For gluten-free or organic goods they are turning to new brands and smaller producers they think they can trust. It leaves companies like Nestlé, the world’s largest food company that feeds and waters millions with brands such as KitKat, Nescafé and San Pellegrino, with a problem. “I think at the back of everybody’s mind we always have this idea that small is beautiful and big is a little bit ugly,” says Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the company’s chairman.

“So automatically when you see something which is small or more regional it has to be better, whether it is true or not is not important. Perception is reality, OK?”

The consumer, he thinks, “is looking for distraction. They want to see new things happening in their consumption pattern whether this is no gluten or organic or all-natural.”

But it is not always a distraction grounded in scientific fact. “There are so many people who are defining what is healthy and the media is multiplying the thing even more. But the fact is that there is very little that is really scientifically proven.”

He questions the gluten-free revolution – the removal of the protein found in wheat and barley that holds food together but is linked to bloating and stomach cramps. Some 20 per cent of people say they want to eat gluten-free, even though “this is absolutely wrong because for 98 per cent of [them] gluten is very important, especially for children in their development because of the protein that it has.”

Brabeck-Letmathe blames Hollywood stars for amplifying diet changes well beyond the 1.5 per cent of the population for whom gluten causes an allergic reaction. It is not the first time that diets have been distorted.

Nestlé is trying to overcome another perception failure by reinventing frozen food, which consumers are ditching in favour of fresh.

“You will not have a healthier product than a frozen vegetable – and we are not in the vegetable business,” he says, having relaunched Lean Cuisine ready meals with a full range of organic and gluten-free options. The company is also revisiting old recipes to reduce sugar, salt and artificial flavours where it can.

Brabeck-Letmathe, a wily Austrian, has seen it all in close to 50 years at Nestlé. In the battle of the supermarket aisles with other food giants such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Danone and Kraft, he has hived off slow-growth divisions such as dried pasta and spent heavily on sophisticated new ways of consumption such as the Nespresso coffee-capsule system, now a middle-class favourite.

Nestlé is far from small, with 339,000 staff and annual sales of £60bn. But it does not mean Brabeck-Letmathe is above concern at the “ruthless and reckless game of consolidation” that is sweeping in the industry. It is being led by activist investorsincluding Warren Buffett who are forcing through mergers such as between the processed-cheese maker Kraft and Heinz in a bid to squeeze costs and thousands of jobs.

We meet at the Salzburg Festival, which Nestlé has sponsored since 1991 and where it has given an award for the best young conductor since 2010. Brabeck-Letmathe, 70, looks healthier than when I saw him just over a year ago. His grey hair is starting to grow back after treatment for a “curable illness” that Nestlé assured investors would not stop him working.

“Let me put it this way: you never know with this stuff but for the time being no treatment is foreseen, so I am free.” His doctor had banned him from flying long distances, an odd sort of purgatory for a jet-set executive, but he put the spare time to good use, qualifying as a helicopter pilot in January.

It was that ambition to travel that drew the young Brabeck-Letmathe to Nestlé in the first place. He spent 17 years with the company in Latin America, arriving in Chile just before the Marxist Salvador Allende was elected President, continuing his ascent after returning to the group headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1987.

His relationship with chief executive Paul Bulcke took off when they worked together in Latin America, so much so that they speak Spanish to each other even though one is Belgian, the other Austrian.

He has amassed a string of other influential roles, sitting on the board of beauty group L’Oréal, oil giant ExxonMobil and also chairs Formula One. His profile means that Brabeck-Letmathe is often the first line of defence when things go wrong. Still associated with that baby-milk scandal, Nestlé’s latest row has blown up in India, where health authorities say the lead and monosodium glutamate levels in its Maggi noodles are too high. Nestlé disagrees, but has had to take 30,000 tons of noodles off supermarket shelves.

It is potentially hugely damaging but a short-term worry compared to the food industry’s biggest challenge: how to increase production by 70 per cent by 2050 to feed the extra two billion people on the planet and greater demand for richer diets.

Brabeck-Letmathe thinks it can happen as long as a single resource is better managed: water. As chairman of the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private group pushing for water reform, he regularly gets quoted as saying that access to water is not a human right, a controversial stance from the seller of millions of bottles of Nestlé Pure Life and Buxton.

That is only half the story. He insists that water is a human right for the 25 to 50 litres needed per day for hydration and minimum hygiene – making up 1.5 per cent of the water that is being withdrawn from the system. The rest, less so.

“To fill up your swimming pool is not a human right or to water the golf course is not a human right, OK? We are still using water like it was given from heaven.”

Having warned five years ago that the world will run out of water long before it runs out of oil, he says the answers are out there. “If we had the water efficiency of Israel in agriculture in the rest of the world we wouldn’t have the problem, straightaway. If we had the water efficiency of Singapore in households we wouldn’t have a water problem. So we know where the answers are but there is not sufficient political will to implement [them].”

Even though it is one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Nestlé’s water use is “minimal” he argues, calculating the company withdraws 0.0009 per cent of the world’s water: “So even if you say that Nestlé shouldn’t have a right to sell water, if wouldn’t solve anything.”

Such is the size of Nestlé’s business in the UK, he can’t help worry about the impact of the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. “I think it would be really very negative for Europe and for the UK.”

Nestlé has built up its supply base in the UK, with a big chocolate operation in York, the result of its takeover of Rowntree Mackintosh, plus mineral water bottled at Buxton in Derbyshire and various coffee factories. It adds up to close on £400m of exports but “those things would most probably fall apart” if the UK left the EU. It sounds like he is saying that small isn’t always so beautiful.

Source: The Independent