CCTV America: Interview with 2030 WRG on importance of improved water infrastructure

News Source: CCTV America

CCTV America_InterviewAnders_WWD2016_WaterInfrastInvestm

Washington DC, 22 March, 2016 – CCTV America’s Rachelle Akkufo interviewed Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the 2030 Water Resources Group about the current situation of water infrastructure on the occasion of World Water Day.

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Dow joins 2030 Water Resources Group

Dow FlagWASHINGTON DC, 22 March, 2016 — Today, on World Water Day, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) signed a collaboration agreement with the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) to support its activities at the global and national levels. The partnership will be centered on multi-stakeholder collaboration between public, private and civil society actors in the area of sustainable water resources management.

The collaboration supports Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, the Company’s commitment to drive unprecedented collaborations to develop a societal blueprint that will help facilitate the transition to a more sustainable planet and society. Elements of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability goals related to water include accounting for the business value of using fresh water in its operations, as well as reducing the intensity of fresh water intake at its key sites by 20%.

Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris, said, “Business has an indispensable role to play in driving human progress, but it cannot work alone. Only by leveraging our breadth and depth of scientific solutions at their intersection with government and civil society can we solve global challenges like the sustainable use of water.”

With increasing demands placed on limited freshwater resources, the world must move from a linear economy model of “take, make and dispose” of raw materials including water, to a circular approach in which there is reduced demand for water, greater reuse of impaired water, and reclamation of water from new sources.  As part of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, the Company is committed to advancing a circular economy by delivering solutions to help close the resource loops in key markets.  Water reuse as it applies to a circular economy creates a world where water is a well-managed resource, sustained by advances in science and technology.

Dow’s work aligns with 2030 WRG’s goals, especially when it comes to further developments in water treatment technology, wastewater recycling and agricultural water efficiency.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chair of the 2030 WRG Governing Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nestlé remarked: “Dow strongly believes in enhancing its sustainability profile by offering cutting-edge solutions that will contribute to meeting a number of global challenges. These range from climate change impacts to water scarcity constraints and food production, while at the same time ensuring profitable and sound business in the long run. As the world’s population continues to increase and new economies emerge, society requires novel solutions to meet its most basic needs, including water, energy and food. Dow is a leader in developing technologies to address these challenges in meaningful ways.”

Dow’s Water & Process Solutions business unit has the industry’s broadest portfolio of liquid purification and separation technologies that enable customers in a variety of industries to more effectively and efficiently produce clean water.  These solutions process about 15 million gallons of water every minute, or more than 3 gallons a day for every man, woman and child in the world.  Dow also applies its own solutions to several of its key manufacturing sites including sites in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, and Freeport, Texas, USA.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2015, Dow had annual sales of nearly $49 billion and employed approximately 49,500 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 6,000 product families are manufactured at 179 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

About the 2030 Water Resources Group

The 2030 Water Resources Group is a unique public-private-civil society collaboration. The Group facilitates open, trust-based dialogue processes to drive action on water resources reform in water stressed countries in developing economies. The ultimate aim of such reforms and actions is to close the gap between water demand and supply by the year 2030. The 2030 WRG emerged in 2009 through a collaboration between the IFC, the World Economic Forum, multilateral and bilateral agencies (Swiss and Swedish Development Cooperation), private sector companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, SABMiller), and other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund.
More information: / #2030WRG


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Press contacts:

Alida Pham, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Communications Lead

Email:, direct: +1 202 473 3272, mobile: +1 202 603 2535

Linda Lim, Dow Water & Process Solutions, Global Business Communications Lead

Email:, direct: +1 952 897 4309, mobile: +1 989 948 9126

WaterSan Perspective: Water Man of India Urges Disciplined Use of Water in Africa

NEWS SOURCE: WaterSan Perspective

Fredrick Mugira
March 11, 2016

South Africa’s extreme drought has dried up water supplies for millions of people living in rural parts of the country. Some of the affected people live in Mpumalanga, a rural province in the eastern part of the country. In Mpumalanga, the drought has led to vanishing of water in Crocodile River, forcing water officials in Mbombela municipality – the main city of Mpumalanga – to start implementing water restriction to consumers targeting swimming pools and vehicle washing bays according to Linda Carol Zulu, the municipality’s general manager for water and sanitation.

Water suppliers in Mbombela municipality rely on the Crocodile River for water, but due to the drought – the worst in 30 years – river flows have plummeted this season.

Drying up of rivers, wells, springs and lakes in Africa is not new. Several lakes including Lake Chad, the formerly world’s 6th largest lake have had a rapid decline leading to water shortfall. In fact in Africa, one in three people endure water scarcity and this is being worsened by climate change.

Similarly, in Uganda, over 100 shallow wells, streams, rivers and lakes have dried up in the south western region in the last five years according to the region’s focal person for the national environment watchdog – NEMA, Jeconeous Musingwire. Eastern Africa countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are suffering even worse problems.

But in some parts of India, things are a bit different. And this difference is a result of Dr. Rajendra Singh efforts.

The water conservationist and the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize winner, Dr Rajendra, has been recognized for his innovative water restoration efforts and steady attempts to improve water security in villages of India.

He shared his thoughts with Fredrick Mugira about replicating the same innovative water restoration efforts in Africa to improve water security in the continent’s villages. This was during the week-long knowledge exchange organised by the 2030 Water Resource Group (2030 WRG), a global public-private-civil society partnership based in Washington USA in collaboration with Stockholm International Water Institute and the Water and Sanitation Department of South Africa.

Dr. Rajendra was one of the water activists, professionals and authorities from India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Tanzania and South Africa that took part in this knowledge exchange in Pretoria, South Africa last week.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

Question: Why should people care about Rivers in their communities?

Answer: The people should understand that if their river is not healthy, they also can’t live healthy. So the health of a river and the health of people are interlinked. So the people should try the rejuvenation of the river and they make it a clean river and they should safeguard the river land and the clean flow. This way they get clean water.

Question: Several rivers, lakes and wells in Africa are drying up as a result of climate change. What should be done to stop this?

Answer: You know what is very important is water conservation and harvesting and also making a decent use of water. If they can make a disciplined use of water so they can conserve and make a sustainable way of water management and a sustainable way of water resource management.
So if we can get success in Rajasthan, so that model can be replicated in Africa. The same model we can replicate. On one hand we start with realization of the community and on other hand, we get social corporate responsibility and also government intervention. So change is possible.

Question: Who should bear this responsibility?

Answer: The people and the government, and the private sector should all realize the responsibility of cleaning the river. You know the most important are the local people. The local community should realize the site selection of the work for the water harvesting, reduce corruption, and reduce the pollution, and reduce the wastage of the money and the wastage of resource. So it is very much necessary that the community takes the lead of that work.

Question: Will water-stressed communities in developing countries ever have enough water?

Answer: You know the rain water is enough for the world but we are not really managing it properly. If we can manage this water in a good way, we can create prosperity and peace. You know now, the scarcity of water and the flashfloods create tension within communities and that tension creates conflict and that conflict makes the situation of war. So now the third world war is coming if we are not doing the water conservation and water harvesting and disciplined use of water. So if we are really to have a prosperous and peaceful common future, we should start the community driven decentralized water management now. You know the one water, one planet slogan? The community should start this. The community role is very important. If the community starts that work, the government follows and the private sector also comes in.

Question: I understand you are organizing a river walk in Mumbai, India that is likely to attract over 10,000 people to walk for 5km alongside the four rivers of Mumbai. How will these rivers benefit from the walk?

Answer: The river walk is a practical involvement of all stakeholders of the river. So after this walk, we make GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) and the rejuvenation starts. (GPR is geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. It can be used in the detection of voids and incoherence in hydraulic defense structures such as river embankments and levee systems.)

Question: When will you walk for rivers in Africa?

Answer: I am very much interested in holding water walk in Africa but African communities should initiate this. I am coming. I can join and help in mobilization and organization and we can make a system for river rejuvenation. I can come.

All Africa: South Africa – Groundwater an Option to Current Water Crisis

News Source: ALLAFRICA

Pretoria — South Africans must consider using groundwater on a grand scale to augment the fast diminishing surface water, says Director General of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Margaret-Ann Diedricks.

Speaking at a conference of the Water Resources Group (WRG) on Thursday, Diedricks said there was an overreliance on surface water at the expense of groundwater that could play a pivotal role to alleviate South Africa’s water woes.

The five-day conference is held under theme ‘2030 WRG Knowledge Exchange’ to develop partnerships that can assist governments to accelerate actions and increase water sustainability and efficiency.

It also raises awareness about water scarcity challenges and to find possible solutions among high level decision-makers, as well as to support in-country activities.

Diedricks told delegates from East Africa, India, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Peru and Mexico that South Africa, together with its neighbours, is experiencing the difficulties of climate change through the drought that has destroyed crops and livestock in its wake since 2014.

“There has to be definite change of mind-set with regards to the general overreliance on surface water, while there is an abundance of groundwater that can be used for basic needs,” said Diedricks.

She said the use of recycled water for industries and irrigation would go a long way towards helping to supplement surface water that had been dried up by the drought.

“There were no ready-made solutions to the current water crisis but countries had to adapt,” she said.

Diedricks’s statement comes three years after delegates, who attended a groundwater conference in Durban, heard that more than 420 towns in the country were largely dependent on groundwater and 80% of rural villages were dependent entirely on this rare water resource.

From a groundwater governance point of view, municipalities lack the human resource capacity to effectively implement groundwater governance provisions.

Renewable groundwater

Groundwater specialist at the WRC, Dr Shafick Adams, estimated that the total volume of available renewable groundwater is between 10 – 343 million m3/annum (7 500 million m3/annum under drought conditions).

Current use is estimated between 2 000 – 4 000 million m3/annum.

Adams maintained that groundwater, if managed correctly, had the potential to significantly add to the country’s water supply mix. He also argued that it was wrong for groundwater to be treated as a step-sister to surface water as the two complement each other.

“Groundwater is fairly cheap and fast to develop. Most of the groundwater is of potable quality and the areas where qualities are below standards have been mapped.

“In addition, groundwater can reduce the strain of high water demand from surface water resource, either as a sole supply source or by way of augmenting the already out stripped surface resources,” said Adams.

Zama Siqalala of the Strategic Water Partners Network said the agriculture industry is the biggest consumer of water in South Africa yet it contributed a mere 3% to the country’s GDP.

“It is about time that the industry resorted to the water use efficiency principles in order to minimise its water use,” said Siqalala.

New Vision: Developing countries look to private investors to solve water crisis


By Fredrick Mugira

Currently, financing for water infrastructure in developing countries comes predominantly from public sources

SOUTH AFRICA  – When Rudy Roberts realised the potential of investing in the water sector three years ago, he patterned with the Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos to launch the Mega Water Corporation in South Africa.

This industrial water company, which Rudy heads as Chief Executive is now credited for revolutionising water supply in South Africa and across the African continent.

Since its inception, the Guatang province-based corporation has implemented various projects in the South Africa’s water sector that range from enabling access to groundwater to rehabilitating hospital water supply among others.

Mega Water Corporation is a perfect example of private investment in the water sector which water professionals and authorities from Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, South Africa and Tanzania are advocating for to enable governments tackle water-supply challenges.

The water experts from the eight countries are meeting in South Africa for knowledge exchange organised by the 2030 Water Resource Group (2030 WRG), a global public-private-civil society partnership based in Washington USA in collaboration with Stockholm International Water Institute and the Water and Sanitation Department of South Africa.

Currently, financing for water infrastructure in developing countries comes predominantly from public sources.

But while speaking in an interview after participating in the financing water infrastructure session at Sheraton Pretoria hotel, Rudy said private investment in the water sector will be one of the most important investments in the 21st century.

“It is because I believe water is a very important component of industrialisation; in manufacturing; agriculture; personal hygiene.  It has become a very important commodity. Without water you can’t manufacture. You can’t grow food. You can’t have energy.”

Developing governments face a challenge of financing their water infrastructure. For example, the funding gap for water infrastructure alone in sub-Saharan Africa is over USD11b , according to the Stockholm International Water Institute.

In a country like Uganda, the ministry of water and environment has been receiving only three per cent of the total national budget over the years.  This results into water–supply challenges.

But like other participants at this session, Rudy believes that with more private investors investing in the water sector in developing countries, such challenges would be history in the long run.

But he also acknowledges that it is not ease to invest in the water sector in unindustrialized countries. Why? Because according to Suresh Patel, the governor for Environment, Water and Natural Resources at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, water is a very low price commodity.

“The cost of water is much lower to make profitable investment. No businessman wants to make losses on an investment.”

Suresh insists that investing in developing countries especially in Africa is generally expensive and the legislative environment is not conducive.

“Investment must be safe, protected and generates sufficient revenue to pay back the loans.”

Contrary, Dr Dana Gampel, the Executive Director for Atum Strategy Consulting based in Johannesburg says investments that focus on profits only have no space in the modern world.

“It is not only about profits. There is need for new approach to business. Investors must focus on sustainability which means long term returns.”

She elaborates that to have healthy consumers of products and services, investors must first address the needs of the communities where their businesses are situated. Such needs, she says, include water.