International Women’s Day: Highlighting the importance of women in water resources management

By Neema Ndikumwami

While checking in on partner Nestlé, Neema from the 2030 WRG Tanzania team took the opportunity to co-lead a discussion on women professionals in water management.

A partner visit turned out to be an important meeting on highlighting women as key stakeholders in water management.

It was meant to be a routine partner update visit. I was visiting Nestlé Tanzania’s office in Dar es Salaam to give an update on the progress of the Private Sector working group to Ms. Marsha Macatta-Yambi, Nestle’s Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, and a team of sales and nutrition specialists. Instead, the meeting turned into a discussion about the importance of involving women in water projects and policy planning.

The inspiration for what I shared came from a 2018 article entitled “Women are the secret weapon for better water management” by Ayushi Trivedi, a Gender and Social Equity Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute. In the article, Trivedi gives examples of water projects that have been saved after women were given the opportunity to take a leading role in their management and implementation. While traditionally women have been excluded from decision-making roles, “a growing body of evidence shows that water projects can become more effective when women participate.” The article reports that when women are involved in water committees and provided with training, they can “influence water management” and “their communities get measurably better outcomes – including better-functioning water systems, expanded access and economic and environmental benefits.” A UNDP study referenced in the article, which looked at 44 water projects across Asia and Africa, found that “when both men and women engage in shaping water policies and institutions, communities use water services more and sustain them for longer.”

This is also true in my own experience. In 2009, the Tanzanian government built a community water infrastructure in a neighborhood in Mwanza, a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, in northern Tanzania. The water user committee in charge of the construction and maintenance of the project involved predominately men. After just six months, the project was failing – water revenues were not being collected, and the project was forced to close due to poor maintenance. Before the project shut down, women from the nearby villages volunteered to take over its management. After three months, the water revenues collections were up-to-date, the water source was in good working order, and once again, the community was able to access clean water.

A dominant perception that a woman’s place is in the home means that their potential contributions to community projects are often overlooked. More effort is required – from the government, NGOs, and their male counterparts – to ensure that women are given an opportunity to participate in projects that target their community.

During the meeting, I welcomed others to share instances they have come across where women’s participation impacted the success of a water project. Many shared stories from their communities, where women have become critical in managing community water and agricultural projects. The common theme across the stories shared was that once women were given the opportunity to participate in decision-making, they were able to provide critical management skills.

The meeting ended with each participant pledging their commitment to women and gender equality. The participants were requested to make true their pledges as they will be required to report them in next year’s International Women’s Day event. My pledge is “to contribute ideas and actions toward addressing women equality in my household and my community, in particular in water-related issues.” What is your pledge?

 

#eachforequal

 

Neema is the Partnerships Coordinator of the 2030 WRG in Tanzania. Feel free to contact her at nndikumwami@worldbank.org.

Lessons from the field: A conversation with the 2030 WRG Ethiopia team

As 2030 WRG enters an exciting new expansion phase, it is an opportune time to reflect on the experience of setting up multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in other countries. How did expectations differ from the reality on the ground? What lessons can be taken forward and applied in new engagements?

For this article, 2030 WRG sat down with members of the 2030 WRG team in Ethiopia to discuss the challenges of engaging with a nascent private sector.

Background: In September 2016, the Ethiopian government invited 2030 WRG to explore opportunities for establishing an MSP to support sustainable water management. In December 2017, the Planning and Development Commission (PDC and formerly National Planning Commission) formally invited 2030 WRG to jointly coordinate and undertake analytical work in the form of a hydro-economic analysis (HEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) to provide insights into the 10-year planning strategy for Ethiopia. The HEA is currently under review and is expected to be published later this year.

Rain clouds gather over Tigray, Ethiopia. Rod Waddington, 2018.

2030 WRG: Let’s start by setting the scene. What are the major water challenges in Ethiopia?

Mekuria Tafesse, Ethiopia Country Coordinator: The challenges are many and interdependent. For example, rainfall variability in the country is high, which could be managed through sufficient storage capacity, but per capita storage is very low. Likewise, if we look at policy, the regulatory provisions are largely in place, as are the institutional arrangements, but enforcement capacity is limited. The result is the unconstrained use of water and unmanaged effluent disposal.

Nina Clara Jansen, Program Advisor: And there are exacerbating factors as well. Climate change, worsening instances of drought, and low resilience in combination with the unregulated abstraction of water results in inequality around water usage. For example, there are cases where factories have access to water, but the communities next to them do not.

Girum Bahri Tegegn, Industry Workstream Coordinator: Yes, agreed. And linked to that is the challenge around valuing water and wastewater treatment services appropriately. There is a flat rate for water, and therefore no incentive for the private sector to economize usage.

Joy Busolo, Senior Water Resource Management Specialist: Industrial production in Ethiopia is almost exclusively reliant on groundwater, so although it is less susceptible to the fluctuations in water availability that are commonplace given extreme rainfall variability, there are concerns around long-term sustainability if abstraction is not managed appropriately. But industry accounts for just around 1 percent of total water withdrawals. By comparison, the agricultural sector accounts for over 75 percent, and agricultural output is highly sensitive to variations in water availability. Reports show that accounting for knock-on impacts in other sectors, a drought in the Awash basin – which hosts a large concentration of agricultural and industrial production – could cause GDP to decline by 20 percent. So like Mekuria said, Ethiopia’s water challenges are interconnected.

2030 WRG: What type of barriers exist to multi-stakeholder cooperation in a setting like Ethiopia where economic growth has been driven largely by the public sector over the last decade?

MT: There is a strong desire from the public sector to engage the private sector, but there is not yet an established framework for private sector engagement.

Deborah Mekonnen Kefale, Program Coordinator: The private sector in Ethiopia has primarily participated in the water sector as a supplier to big infrastructure projects. In this sense, they have acted exclusively as service providers contracted through the public sector, unlike in other contexts where there is a robust private sector with established firms that deliver services directly to the population. The private sector, in general, has not been very active in many sectors of the economy.

NCJ: Within the private sector there is a varying appetite for partnership. Where firms have easy access to water, the business case for engagement is not obvious. But in cases where companies are dealing directly with issues around availability for their operations or for the communities around them, they are keener.

 

2030 WRG: So the context in Ethiopia differs significantly from many of the countries in which 2030 WRG operates, with the major standout factor being a fledgling private sector. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as a result, the timeline for launching the MSP in Ethiopia has been much longer than what has been the average across other 2030 WRG countries. How have expectations differed from experience on the ground?

NCJ: The expectation was that by now there would be an active national MSP with several workstreams operational. The reality is that we are not there yet.

MT: Typically the first step of the 2030 WRG workflow is the HEA, which is the primary advocacy tool for driving interest and participation in the MSP. Setting up the MSP is the second major milestone. In Ethiopia publication of the HEA has been delayed. When it first became apparent that we would not be able to launch the HEA according to the original timeline, we decided to shift the strategy and develop the MSP in parallel to the HEA, but this turned out not to be possible, so we had to shift our strategy again. In the end, we were able to adapt the original HEA advisory group into two standalone private and public sector forums. In Ethiopia’s unique context, these separate groups enabled us to build trust among the stakeholder groups first, which has led to increased trust between both groups.

DMK: There is now more openness to the private sector, especially with the recent political changes. We are seeing the public sector take initiative to engage with the private sector, which is a very big step forward.

MT: The next step now is creating a framework for constructive engagement, which will require a shift in mindset as to what constitutes the private sector. Typically, they are viewed only as service providers and not as water users. This is especially relevant when we look at water efficiency measures. Where water availability is not a problem, the focus has been on building new infrastructure rather than managing existing supplies and curbing demand.

 

2030 WRG: It sounds like a factor underpinning the future success of a national MSP is shifting attitudes and perceptions around water risks and private sector cooperation. Is that accurate?

GBT: The aggregate numbers don’t show the water stress, the stress is localized. Consequently, people are not worried about managing the resource. This is contrary to the 2019 World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks to Doing Business assessment, which counts water as one of the top 10 risks to business. In Ethiopia, water was rated as number two. As business and consumerism grow, so will demand for water.

NCJ: In areas where the stress is being felt, companies are well aware of the water risks. Likewise in cases where demand is quickly increasing, there are calls for a more stringent regulatory framework to address issues of water availability and quality. For example, in locations where increased industrial activity is planned, there is a trend towards urbanization as work-force settle in the surrounding towns. Regulatory frameworks are required to allocate water for both industries and citizens.

JB: In some cases that shift is already happening but on an individual basis. As 2030 WRG we can leverage these opportunities to move to accelerate the transition from ideas to action. As an example, off the back of the consultations we were doing as part of the HEA development, a coalition of beverage companies approached 2030 WRG with a desire to improve their water management practices. Working together with these companies, we were able to create a national Beverages Alliance for Water to help raise awareness of water scarcity, stimulate collective action to lower the sector’s water footprint and drive dialogue around policy frameworks.

DMK: In this regard, the HEA will be an important tool to help raise awareness about the risks and build the business case for demand management.

 

2030 WRG: What lessons do you think can be drawn from Ethiopia’s experience in terms of launching an MSP?

DMK: MSP development can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. We have learned that what works in one country won’t necessarily work in another. There are always alternatives. And most importantly, the approach and even the MSP itself must be responsive to local needs and capacities.

MT: There needs to be careful planning around identifying key stakeholders, being mindful of frictions that may exist. It is also a good idea to work closely with those entities that will be involved in clearing any research for publication. Be aware of the workflow and clearance process, and plan accordingly.

NCJ: Scope out what could be a goal – is it realistically an MSP? Every country has a different environment and approach. Identify which partners to put in the driver’s seat and for what. What could their contribution be? Create a clear agenda and vision.

GBT: Until such a time as the HEA is done and there is a systematic way of identifying constraints, look for low-hanging fruit and quick wins that can help build relationships and trust.

JB: Successful multi-stakeholder partnerships are effective because those that participate are dedicated and share a mutual understanding of the challenges and priorities. That isn’t something that happens overnight. Taking the time to align incentives and build collaborative, trust-based relationships is crucial.

2030 WRG: Ethiopia team, thank you so much for sharing your insights.

-END –

Making Progress on Water Governance in Peru: An Ongoing Collaborative Effort

The 2030 WRG and the World Bank Water Global Practice supported the Ministry of Environment in organizing a workshop in Lima aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities for strengthening collaborative water governance in Peru.

Left to right: Patricia Garcés Peralta, Vice-minister of Women, Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations; Gabriel Quijandría, Vice-minister of Natural Resources Strategic Development, Ministry of Environment; Amarildo Fernández Estela, Chief, National Water Authority; Rita Cestti, Practice Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank Water Global Practice

The two-day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment and the National Water Authority, which is a specialized agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, as a complementary activity to the ongoing policy dialogue process on water governance in light of the elaboration period of the forthcoming Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country report on water governance.

Participants from more than 10 local public entities learned from international experiences in key areas related to water governance, shared their experiences on these topics, and offered recommendations on the draft report about Water Governance and Policies in Peru.

The event brought together representatives from local entities of key sectors related to the water stewardship system in the country and provided them with a unique opportunity to discuss current initiatives and challenges, as well as future opportunities and critical actions to strengthen water governance in the country.

World Bank experts shared successful experiences, knowledge, and lessons learned on water governance and water security from diverse countries within the Latin America region. Topics such as water security assessment, circular economy, and economic instruments for water resources management were covered during the workshop. Experts also shared the results of the long-lasting collaboration with the Peruvian Government on the water agenda.

By the end of the workshop, participants put together a list of recommendations for the OECD draft report. This document to (i) strengthen water governance in the country not only across related sectors but also at the different levels of water resources management; (ii) improve the regulatory framework; and (iii) analyze economic instruments for water resources management.

Participants included representatives from the National Water Authority, the Ministry of Environment, the Presidency of Council of Ministries, the Water Supply and Sanitation Regulator (SUNASS), the Ministry of Energy and Mining, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Social Inclusion, and the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, among others.

Financing the Water Sector – An Alternate Approach

By Kavita Sachwani*

Water – the universal solvent

With a strong causal relationship between water security and economic growth already evident, investments in the water sector are key for sustainable development and inclusive growth, leading to the realisation of multiple SDGs, including those on food security, health, and clean energy. Water-related investments address a multitude of inter-related needs viz., irrigation for food security, providing drinking water and sanitation services, and reducing pollution by promoting wastewater treatment services.  In the emerging spectre of climate change, water has moved centre-stage as improving its efficient use as a resource holds promise for sustaining farm-based rural economy towards bringing about urban stability. Given that there is either too little water, too much water, or too polluted water, lack of investment at the desired level hampers water security.

Investment in water security

Large, long-term investments are required in resilient water infrastructure, climate-smart agricultural systems, improved drainage, nature-based flood protection, etc.  Stringent regulations around water quality and the need to promote a circular economy are forcing water users across sectors to invest in newer cutting-edge technologies to meet these standards. For example: (i) emerging contaminants are accumulating in water and require innovative technologies for efficient removal, (ii) digitization is rapidly penetrating the water industry (such as smart real-time sensors, AI, ML, smart metering, leak detection, satellite imaging, large efficiency gains, and increased water security), and (iii) water infrastructure around the world is ageing and so require replacement coupled with incorporating new technologies to increase efficiency.

The financing gap

However, there is a big financing gap that exists between investments required and current investments flowing in these key areas. The UN estimates the gap in financing to achieve the SDGs at USD 2.5 trillion per year in developing countries alone.[1]  For irrigation, the FAO estimates that some USD 960 billion will be required between 2005/07 and 2050 to ensure water for agricultural production in 93 developing countries (Koohafkan et al. 2011). For water supply and sanitation, an estimated USD 1.7 trillion will be needed (Hutton and Varughese 2016). Failure to address investment in the water sector could diminish growth rates by as much as 6 percent of GDP by 2050.[2]

Aligning the financial case for water with the social, environmental, and economic case for water

The economic argument for water is often weak on account of its public good nature and the tragedy of the commons, leading to a disregard for sustainability. Even where investment in water security makes economic sense, the economic argument has not translated into a compelling financial case for investment, and water continues to be an under-valued and underpriced resource. Aligning the financial case for water with the economic case for water towards bridging the investment gap requires a multi-stakeholder financing approach towards maximizing finance for development and systematically leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to support developing countries’ sustainable growth. This can be done by improving the enabling environment, developing regulatory conditions, building capacity, putting in place standards financing a first mover or innovator, and reducing risks.

Alternative financing for the water sector

Investments in innovative approaches to finance water security require appropriation of inter-institutional spaces to mobilize resources going beyond traditional financing and subsidy-driven models. The following Alternative Financing avenues can be explored through structures and products that reorient markets and investors away from short-termism and encourage greater sustainability in performance, while also developing domestic capital markets.

(1) Blended Finance

Blended finance is a structuring approach using “catalytic capital from public and philanthropic sources to increase private sector investment in sustainable development.”[3] Catalytic capital bears higher risk and/or seeks lower returns than the market would accept. This framing distinguishes finance by purpose rather than by source and highlights it in terms of development and commercial finance, rather than public and private actors. Blended finance transactions have three signature markings – (1) Development impact & SDGs: Contribute towards achieving the SDGs, (2) Return: Expected positive financial return, and (3) Leverage: Philanthropic parties are catalytic – improve the risk-return profile to mobilize/attract “additional” private sector investment.

(2) Impact bonds

Impact investing is replacing the approach to investing from one based on risk and return, to risk, return, and impact; and seeks to create social or environmental benefits, directing capital to enterprises that accomplish impact goals that traditional business models cannot. In impact investing, social and environmental considerations are not lenses for rejection of opportunities; they are front and centre in the decision-making criteria for investors. Impact bonds monetize social/development outcomes by capturing the value between the cost of prevention now and the price of remediation in the future. Outcome payers in case of DIBs are generally DFIs / private sector, who pay the upfront funders / risk investors of the project along with returns based on the outcome of the project. In SIBs, the Government is the outcome payer.

(3) Pension funds

There is growing consensus among institutional investors including pension funds, on infrastructure as an asset class, and these investors are participating in the financing, building, and operating of infrastructure through PPPs. Investments in infrastructure[4] are characterised by long-term contractual arrangements and regulation, and a means to reduce portfolio risks through diversification and to access higher risk-adjusted returns.

(4) Green bonds

Green bonds are fixed-income financial instruments, where the proceeds are earmarked for financing green projects with a potential to attract capital that can generate a positive investment cycle for green projects. In India, SEBI has introduced certain guidelines for green bonds[5] and has allocated 8 high-level categories as “green projects”: renewable energy, clean transportation, sustainable water management, climate-change adaptation, energy efficiency, sustainable waste management, sustainable land use, and biodiversity conservation. (i) Agriculture – Under the SEBI guidelines, organic farming, Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), and sustainable irrigation practices come under sustainable land use and sustainable water management. Some capital intensive technologies such as drip irrigation can be linked with Green Bonds to fast track fund-raising[6].  (ii) Water Infrastructure and Management – The RBI has recognised the need for funds in this sector, at both household and enterprise levels. WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) has been included in priority-sector lending.

The need to change the way we “treat” water

Tapping into these alternative sources has the potential to create a transformation in financing the water sector, but that in turn requires a transformation in the way we “treat” water. As an ecosystem, we need to move from “hunting for water to cultivation of water” and from “pricing water to valuing water,” and we need to look at “water not just as a sector, but a connector” on which human survival and well-being depends. Water is virtually the docking station for all SDGs, and removing water from the equation would render all our efforts in moving the needle on other SDGs useless.

[1] UNCTAD 2014

[2] World Bank Report on Financing the 2030 Water Agenda December 2016 and World Bank report High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy

[3] According to global group Convergence

[4] Irrigation Infra, STPs are given ‘infrastructure’ status per notification on Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure subsectors by DEA, Ministry of Finance.

[5] Securities and Exchange Board of India, Disclosure Requirements for Issuance and Listing Green Bonds, 2015

[6]Kumar, Neha; Vaze, Prasant; Kidney, Sean, Moving from Growth to Development: Financing Green Investment in India, ORF Special Report, April 2019

 

* Kavita Sachwani is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and a public policy and development sector professional and works with the 2030 Water Resources Group, World Bank.

2030 WRG and Vietnam Environmental Administration to tackle Water Pollution in Vietnam

Hanoi, December 20, 2019 – The Vietnam Environmental Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) together with the 2030 WRG convened a multi-stakeholder working group to endorse the launching of an Urban Industrial Water Pollution Workstream. The main objectives of this initiative are: (i) to provide concrete policy recommendations and (ii) to ideate, design, and provide implementation support for transformative actions such as programs, projects, and initiatives to prioritize water pollution and to take concrete actions to address this space.

In addition to the MONRE, members of this working group include: the Ministry of Construction (MOC), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Ministry of Industrial and Trade (MOIT), and Ministry of Finance (MOF); Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Bao Minh Textile Group, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry / Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VCCI/VBCSD); and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN), Center for Environment and Community Research (CECR), Vietnam Water Supply and Sewage Association (VWSSA), Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) among others. International observers include the German International Development Agency (GIZ), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and International Financial Corporation (IFC). Other organizations will also be involved to work on specific taskforces based on their expertise. The 2030 WRG and VEA/MONRE will be the joint secretariat of the working group.

The workstream endorsed the activities to be undertaken in the context of this initiative, including the establishment of three task forces to work with the textile sector, the identification of the next sector, and the search for alternative financing options. Under the textile taskforce, an assessment of the sector water footprint and a feasibility study for water recycling and reuse within 1-2 industrial parks will soon be implemented.

2030 WRG and SABESP team up to tackle wastewater treatment in São Paulo Metropolitan region

Versão em português abaixo

By Stela Goldenstein, 2030 WRG Brazil Country Coordinator

The São Paulo Metropolitan Region, with 39 municipalities and more than 21 million inhabitants, has a complex sewage collection, removal, and treatment system. Currently, 87% of the volume of sewage generated in the region is collected. According to the government’s targets, by 2025, the collection should cover 92% of the generated sewage, and 85% of it should be sent for treatment.

Although these are very significant indicators of sanitation as compared to most large Brazilian cities, the volume of water that the rivers of the São Paulo Basin (Alto Tietê Basin) provide is still insufficient to dilute all the sewage load in natura that these rivers receive, making them extremely polluted.

Most of the collected sewage in the region is sent to five large wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), which were designed according to international manuals and standards of sanitary engineering from developed countries. However, due to the specific characteristics of the sewage in a large Brazilian city like São Paulo and to other technical factors, these facilities have operational problems that reduce their pollution removal efficiency. Considering that the expansion of the collection networks in urban areas is underway, and that there will be an increase in the sewage flows to be sent to these same facilities, it is crucial to prioritize strategic investments in maximizing the performance of the existing WWTPs instead of duplicating or building new infrastructure (as is traditionally thought), which is far more costly and time-consuming.

At the beginning of 2019, the 2030 WRG and SABESP, the public sanitation company of the State of São Paulo, joined efforts to develop and implement a performance optimization program in the five largest treatment plants operating in the São Paulo metropolitan area, starting with the Barueri and the Parque Novo Mundo WWTPs. The program aims to improve the quality of final effluents discharged back to the environment and prepare these facilities to properly receive increased sewage loads and also incorporate circular economy processes.

The adopted methodology for the next steps, developed with technical support from international expert Daniel Nolasco, involves the evaluation of historical data of operations, the introduction of measuring and monitoring equipment, and the auditing and performance analysis of each step of the sewage treatment process at every WWTP, including monitored tests. These steps will allow for the checking of the current efficiency of each process or phase, the detection of operational bottlenecks, and the identification of corrective measures for maximizing performance at a reasonable cost, without the need for new infrastructure.

Very positive results of this program have already been obtained at the Barueri WWTP (ETE Barueri), such as the expansion of the plant’s capacity to remove grit and sand materials (pre-treatment) and the reduction of BOD concentration in the final effluent discharged into the Tietê River. Other positive outcomes include the consolidation of a performance-based contracting strategy for the purchase of equipment, and a greater integration of the different boards of SABESP around common goals.

With the continuity of the program, this set of WWTPs will have a significant increase in operational performance. The five facilities will be able to guarantee compliance with the project standards on pollution removal and even exceed them, which will significantly contribute to the improvement of water quality in the region. By 2022, the program’s goal is to achieve a 90 to 95% pollution load removal capacity in the 5 regional WWTPs, which should receive a total volume of about 21 m3/sec.

Versão em português:

A Região Metropolitana de São Paulo, com 39 municípios e mais de 21 milhões de habitantes, conta com um complexo sistema de coleta e tratamento de esgoto. Atualmente, 87% do volume de esgoto gerado na região é coletado, e 78% é enviado para tratamento. De acordo com as metas governamentais, até 2025, a coleta deverá abranger 92% do esgoto gerado, e 85% do esgoto coletado deverá ser enviado para tratamento.

Embora sejam indicadores de saneamento muito expressivos em comparação à maioria das grandes cidades brasileiras, os rios da bacia paulistana (Bacia do Alto Tietê) têm volume reduzido de água, insuficiente para diluir a carga de esgoto in natura que ainda recebem, gerado pela significativa concentração de população, o que os torna extremamente poluídos.

O esgoto coletado é enviado para 5 grandes estações de tratamento (ETEs). Com a ampliação da rede de coleta nas áreas urbanas, em andamento, e o aumento das vazões de esgoto a serem enviadas para estas mesmas ETEs, torna-se dramaticamente importante investir para melhorar a eficácia dos processos de tratamento. No início de 2019, em um trabalho conjunto, o 2030 WRG e a SABESP deram início a um programa de otimização do desempenho das ETEs da Região Metropolitana de São Paulo, visando a melhorar a qualidade dos seus efluentes finais, a receber os novos volumes de esgotos e a prepará-las para incorporar processos de economia circular.

O desafio foi aceito, o projeto está em andamento e o 2030 WRG apoia ativamente a SABESP na implementação do programa. A metodologia adotada, desenvolvida em conjunto com a equipe da SABESP e o especialista internacional Daniel Nolasco, envolve vários procedimentos, como: a avaliação de dados históricos; a introdução de equipamentos para medição e monitoramento; a auditoria e a análise do desempenho de cada etapa do processo de tratamento de esgoto em cada ETE, etc. O objetivo é identificar as deficiências, os gargalos infraestruturais e operacionais, e as necessidades de investimento para a sua correção.

Concebido, facilitado e financiado pelo 2030 WRG e pela SABESP, o programa, em suas etapas iniciais, envolveu a realização de visitas de reconhecimento às ETEs, a discussão dos achados em workshops internos, e a definição conjunta das etapas, procedimentos e metas do programa. Resultados muito positivos já foram obtidos na ETE Barueri, como a ampliação da capacidade de remoção de sólidos grosseiros e areia (pré-tratamento) e a redução da concentração de DBO no efluente lançado no Rio Tietê. Outros resultados já alcançados pelo programa são a consolidação de uma estratégia de contratação por performance para a compra de equipamentos e uma maior integração das diferentes diretorias da SABESP em torno de metas comuns.

Com a continuidade do programa, o conjunto das ETEs da RMSP terá expressivo incremento em sua eficácia operacional, atingindo e superando as metas de projeto quanto à remoção das cargas de poluição, o que contribuirá significativamente a melhoria da qualidade das águas na região.

Para 2022, o programa estabelece como meta alcançar uma capacidade de remoção de carga de poluição entre 90 a 95% nas 5 ETEs em operação na região, as quais receberão uma vazão total de esgoto de cerca de 21 m3/s.

Strengthening the Mexican Water Financial System

March 2020 – The World Bank Water Global Practice, the International Finance Corporation, and the 2030 WRG met with CONAGUA to discuss the prospect of collaborating on a comprehensive technical advisory process focusing on ways to strengthen the Mexican water financing system.  The meeting took place in CONAGUA’s headquarters and included the participation of personnel from different units dealing with water resources planning, project structuration, project finance, and legal advisory.

The outcome of this meeting is a comprehensive work plan that includes the following activities: (i) the mapping and diagnostics of the water sector’s existing financing sources and instruments; (ii) the analysis of the 1928 trust fund’s operations and prospects; (iii) the identification and sharing of international best practices regarding water financing systems; (iv) the establishment of a PPP-specialized office; and (v) the implementation of a capacity-building process on PPP project structuration.

These technical advisory activities are part of the longstanding collaboration between the World Bank Group and CONAGUA, and hopefully will help strengthen the Mexican water financing systems to respond to important budgetary cuts and financial gaps in the water sector.

Mexico: Session of CCA’s Water Security and Legal Certainty Thematic Committee

March 11, 2020, Mexico City – The Water Advisory Council (CCA)’s Water Security and Legal Certainty Thematic Committee held a meeting with the special participation of Mr. Eugenio Barrios, CONAGUA’s Deputy Director for Water Resources Management. The meeting’s objectives were (i) to discuss the highlights of the Collaborative Document: Towards the Strengthening of the Water Allocation Regime; (ii) to learn from the Deputy Director about CONAGUA’s perspective and current activities to reform the water allocation regime; and (iii) to discuss the orientation and content of the Committee’s present collaboration with CONAGUA.

This collaboration will focus on helping CONAGUA look at some policy instruments that could help bring greater adaptive flexibility and resilience to the water allocation regime and at a mechanism/protocol to support the management of collective community concessions. The meeting counted the active participation of several of its members, including among others: Agua Capital, CESPEDES, Coca-Cola, FEMSA-Coca-Cola, Constellation Brands, FEMSA Foundation, Grupo Bal, Grupo Modelo-AB InBev, Heineken, Nestlé, The Nature Conservancy, Suez, and Veolia.

The Water Security and Legal Certainty Thematic Committee was created to support a multi-stakeholder dialogue process and technical advisory on matters concerning the strengthening and modernization of the Mexican water allocation regime and ways to develop a more enabling environment for corporate water stewardship.

Need for Alternative Financing for the water sector as an actionable solution for the water crisis

L to R: Tom Williams, Director Water, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Siddharth Sharma, IAS, Chief Sustainability Officer – Tata Sons; Archana Shukla, Assistant Editor, Network18; Ajay Dua, IAS, Former Union Commerce Secretary; Kavita Sachwani, 2030 WRG Maharashtra State Coordinator; Pierre Rousseau, Global Sustainability Head, BNP Paribas

Mumbai, February 2020 – 2030 WRG Maharashtra State Coordinator Kavita Sachwani represented the 2030 WRG as a panelist at the Forbes India Sustainability Changemakers Summit championed by BNP Paribas for a discussion on actionable solutions to India’s water crisis. She spoke about the need for the recently introduced workstream on Alternative Financing for the Water Sector:

We really need to move from pricing water to valuing water. We have the Jal Jeevan Mission, Atal Bhujal Yojana, and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana; we are also talking about raising tariffs and taxes, and we also have CSR funds. All these sources of finance together are also not enough to finance the gap. There is a gap of 2.5 Trillion USD in developing economies for meeting SDGs, and a significant portion of this is for water. We need to move beyond traditional models of financing and subsidy-driven models to newer and more innovative models of financing such as impact investing, alternative investment funds, blended finance, pension funds, and insurance companies.

Maharashtra: Growing Through Partnerships

The 2030 WRG signed a joint Expression of Interest with Hinduja Foundation and Sterlite Technologies Ltd. in February 2020.

Hinduja Foundation has a large focus on water through its Jal Jeevan program and plans to explore joint programmatic interventions in watershed development in rainfed/irrigated areas, restoration of water bodies, gender mainstreaming, and alternative financing mechanisms. Similarly, discussions are in progress to firm up a joint work plan for innovations in groundwater recharge in Aurangabad. Sterlite’s commitment to ensuring water security for the communities goes beyond building and maintaining water harvesting structures to water conservation awareness, sustainable agriculture training, and groundwater recharge to achieve increased water productivity and farm incomes.

L to R – Yuvraj Ahuja; Meghana Rao Pahlajani; Kavita Sachwani; Anil Sinha; Ajith Radhakrishnan; Paul Abraham, President; and Niyati Sareen, Director Water, Hinduja Foundation

 

L to R – Akanksha Sharma; Ankit Agarwal; Ajith Radhakrishnan; Anupam Jindal, STL; Kavita Sachwani; Dr. Anjali Parasnis