The annual 2030 WRG Governing Council meeting was recently held on 22 January, during the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings in Davos, Switzerland. Council members reviewed the achievements of 2030 WRG to date and discussed the outlook for the year ahead. Acting Chair, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO, led the discussions on the role that 2030 WRG should play in addressing the daunting water challenges ahead, taking into consideration the global water agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Council members expressed their excitement about the diverse and large number of partners and organizations engaged with our country work programs as well as with some of the early concrete results from our work in places such as South Africa, Maharashtra and Peru. The discussions also touched upon whether the work program should focus on broadening the scope rather than deepening our reach and impact further and most importantly, how to better measure and track these results and progress.
Magnifying our reach
The Council members spoke in favor of magnifying the reach of our work by including more sectors to the governance of 2030 WRG, beyond the current food and beverage industry members. The Council also welcomed a larger representation of civil society organizations to become part of its global leadership. The New Year will soon reflect these changes as the team is working closely with support from our current partners to bring new partners on board.
Importance of collaboration
Participants around the table were also pleased to see that the various recommendations from the Dalberg evaluation were already being implemented at various levels. The Governing Council members stressed the importance of continued collaboration with our partners on the ground. With currently 7 national multi-stakeholder platforms operational, and 177 active partners across our countries of operations, actively developing proposals together in 21 working groups, significant progress has already been made in this area.
Paving the way forward
Governing Council member and South African Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, said: “In the 2030 WRG South Africa Strategic Water Partnership Network we appreciate this common platform for messaging around water issues. This is where we can bring in water and sanitation topics related to raising awareness, communicating and reaching out to critical players and inviting them to become part of our discussions and working groups, such as the women from rural areas. This approach is beginning to yield results and we are now engaging with financial and research institutes on a number of topics, including innovation. But in the end, success depends on the political will and commitment of a government. We need more political leaders to take things forward.”
The Global Water Agenda
The event was followed by a session on the global water agenda where participants discussed the mobilization of the private sector to step up to support, partner and leverage new models of cooperation to implement the ambitious (water related) Sustainable Development Goals. 2030 WRG tries to leverage its work through our partners. Find out more about our partners »
Water number 1 global risk
The Global Risk Report 2015 has identified water as the number 1 global risk of highest concern. This will be the 3rd consecutive year, in the top three. The true measure of success of the Sustainable Development Goals will fall squarely on implementation and action. This will prove to be a window of opportunity for 2030 WRG to ignite a fresh push on this agenda. Our work programs can help manage that risk by making Governments, the Private Sector and Civil Society work together to develop concrete proposals for policies, programs, projects that will reduce these risks in terms of available water quantity and water quality. Programs we are currently working on in countries, include:
• Water use efficiency (agriculture, industry, urban)
• Wastewater reuse/recycling
• Financial solutions
• Economic incentives
• Increased storage capacity
The Indian State Government of Karnataka recently co-published a brochure with 2030 WRG to highlight opportunities for the private sector to collaborate with the government and public institutions specifically on water conservation measures. One of such measures is the sugarcane drip initiative for which Karnataka is currently mobilizing CSR contributions.
Read or download the brochure »
Two analytical studies, commissioned by 2030 WRG, were conducted in August, 2014, in Bangladesh: an economy-wide information analysis of water issues and challenges, and research on water security issues in the textile and leather sectors. Government officials and key decision makers in the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources showed a keen interest to collaborate with 2030 WRG during an initial scoping mission in 2013. Momentum for action was created after a high-level dialogue on October 18, 2014, attended by representatives from the government, private sector, and civil society organizations. The Planning Commission requested the 2030 WRG to submit a concept note as a prelude to signing an agreement in early 2015.
Bangladesh is located downstream of three large basins, the Ganges, the rahmaputra, and the Meghna. Surface water pollution, seasonal variability of surface water, and the largely flat geography of the country have resulted in a major dependence on groundwater resources. Only 0.4 percent of surface water runoff is stored for effective use. However, groundwater resources are not viable no-risk options. On the one hand, arsenic, salinity, and pollution levels pose challenges related to water quality. On the other hand, the groundwater table is going down by 2 to 5 meters every year in some parts of the country. This poses a threat to sustainability and reliability of groundwater use.
“In Bangladesh we live with extremes. Too much water during the monsoons and too little during the dry season,” said Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan, Secretary for the Ministry of Water Resources in Bangladesh. He explains: “Managing water resources is crucial and of high priority because of seasonal variations and the ever-increasing demand-supply gap in the agricultural, industrial, domestic and other sectors. We have immense challenges to face in the water sector due to population increase, land use changes, economic development and climate change. The Ministry of Water Resources aspires to work closely with the 2030 WRG to address those challenges.”
Presentation preliminary findings
A high-level dialogue was held on October 18, 2014, moderated by 2030 WRG, involving government, industry, buyers, think tanks, water NGOs, and media to present preliminary findings of analytical studies conducted by PwC and ARUP.
In Bangladesh, the 2030WRG initiative includes identifying, collecting, and aggregating water security-related data and information sets, at the national level with a specific focus on two industries, leather and textile. Raising awareness of the water challenge in Bangladesh (scale and urgency), in an effort to mobilize, and engage ‘new actors’ to engage in the water debate and activities in Bangladesh is essential. In light of these activities, a stakeholder mapping will be conducted to identify relevant and active water stakeholders. Key focus areas within the industrial water sector will also be recommendations on where a 2030 WRG Bangladesh partnership could add value.
The 2030 WRG hosted a session on ‘Collective Action for Agri-Water Efficiency and Non-Point Source Pollution in the Ganga Basin – A Multi-stakeholder Approach’, and also supported a session hosted by the FICCI Water Mission on ‘Imperatives for Urban Waste Water PPPs: towards a viable business model for municipal sewage treatment’.
Both events were held during the 2015 India Water Week from 13 to 17 January. Session outcomes and recommendations will be made available soon.
Photo: Har Ki Pairi, Hardwar in India. By Lord of the Wings.
“The 2030 Water Resources Group and the World Economic Forum (WEF) collaborated to organize a private session on Collective Action towards Water Enabled Growth in India on Tuesday Nov. 4 in New Delhi. The session was moderated by Mr. Anil B. Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. Anders Berntell, executive director of the 2030 WRG show cased their multi-stakeholder approach in India and across the globe.
Panel members were Dr. S.K. Goel (Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra), Etienne Benet (Managing Director, Nestle India) and Arunabha Ghosh (CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water), representing government, private sector, civil society and development agencies respectively.
The round table discussions were framed by Dr. Amarjit Singh (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India) who called for private sector involvement in the government’s Ganga Rejuvenation initiative. A lively round table discussion then focussed on challenges and opportunities for multi-stakeholder involvement in the Ganga river basin. Consensus seems to build up that government, private sector and civil society need to hold hands to make the Ganga clean-up successful.”
The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane yesterday met with the leadership team of the public – private sector led multi-stakeholder platform called the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN).
Minister Mokonyane emphasised that water management should be driven by national objectives such as job creation, eliminating inequality and reducing poverty. The Minister offered her full support to the SWPN, emphasising that the partnership has the value of being a two-way sounding board that both the DWS and the corporate sector should use to improve the country’s water management.
The SWPN was launched in late November 2011 by the former Minister with the help of the World Economic Forum and the 2030 Water Resources Group. Since then it has transformed itself from an engagement forum of a small leading group of pathfinders to a robust functional multi-stakeholder partnership that is inspiring other sectors, other countries and starting to achieve significant results on the ground.
In his presentation of SWPN projects, Andre Fourie, Co-Chair of the SWPN and Head of Environmental Value at SABMiller, said that the rallying point of this public-private-civil society partnership was to develop and to bring to scale projects that would close a 17% national gap between water supply and demand that is projected for the year 2030. Mr Fourie added that driven by this goal, the SWPN is a collaborative space where the public and private sector work together to develop solutions to address current water management challenges. He further acknowledged that the success of this partnership is owed to continued political leadership from the department.
Ravi Pillay of Nestle talked about the No Drop programme that was developed by the SWPN and is now being implemented by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The programme has developed a regulatory and partnership strategy, as well as tools to incentivise a reduction in water losses (leaks, meter problems and theft) in municipalities from the current 32% to 18% by 2025. This result will save the country over R2.5 billion in annual revenue that would otherwise have been lost from municipal water systems.
On the issue of water quality challenges related to mine impacted waters, Nandha Govender from Eskom spoke about how the SWPN is providing guidance on planning for mining and water management at wider scales beyond individual mine facilities.
In the area of agricultural water, Ian Hirschfeld of Coca-Cola said that the SWPN is developing a business case to enhance private sector investment in the rehabilitation of the Vaalharts irrigation scheme, the largest in South Africa. The project has the dual objective of improving productivity and water access to new farmers.
The work was appreciated by the new DWS Director-General (DG), Ms Margaret-Ann Diedricks. The DG also recommended that the partnership, in addition to municipal water reduction, looks at industrial water use efficiency as well. She then committed that the Department will assign relevant senior members to be involved to ensure continued success of this partnership.
Minister Mokonyane concluded that she saw great potential in the SWPN, saying that an open, long lasting and robust relationship between the private sector and the department including its entities is essential for addressing water security and national development goals. She provided some guidance to the SWPN leadership with regard to additional issues that include addressing sanitation, direct interaction with community groups, and the role of the private sector in financing infrastructure.
Financial support for the SWPN is provided by the following organisations: the 2030 Water Resources Group, Absa, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Coca-Cola, the Department of Water and Sanitation, Eskom, Exxaro, GIZ, Nestle, Sasol and South African Breweries. The NEPAD Business Foundation hosts the SWPN Secretariat.
For more information contact:
Cell: 082 874 2942
The SWPN Secretariat
Tel: +27 10 596 1888/1893
We are excited to have joined hands with PepsiCo in jointly launching the Report “Delivering access to safe water through partnerships”. It illustrates various ways partnerships leverage support to enable creative new strategies that achieve measurable and sustainable progress in the fight to alleviate water insecurity and provide access to safe water.
This includes water conservation, distribution, purification and hygiene for underserved communities in China, India, Mali, Brazil, Colombia and other Latin American countries.
By Desirée Mohindra
- Water demand set to rise by 52% within the next 30 years in South Africa
- South Africa joins the governments of Jordan, Mexico and the State of Karnataka in India as a partner with the Water Resources Group
Cape Town, South Africa – At the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa Edna Molewa, Chairman of Nestlé and Chairman of the Water Resources Group Peter Brabeck-Letmathe announced today a Declaration of Partnership. Recognizing the critical role that water plays as a catalyst for both economic growth and social development, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) of South Africa forges a partnership with the Water Resources Group (WRG), an influential public-private global network on water supported by the World Economic Forum and the International Finance Corporation. This new public-private group, chaired by the director-general of the DWA, will oversee the activities of a partnership called “South Africa Strategic Water Partners Network” to address critical water issues in South Africa: water conservation, demand management and developing more sustainable management of groundwater resources.
“This new partnership between the Government of South Africa and the Water Resources Group will help identify how South Africa’s plans for growth can be met with the water it has safely available. The foresight and leadership of Minister Molewa in this regard should be applauded” remarked Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé and Chairman of the Water Resources Group.
In South Africa, water demand is expected to rise by 52% within the next 30 years while the supply of water is sharply declining. If current trends of leakage from aged and poorly maintained municipal infrastructure and the loss of wetlands persist, this growth in demand will intensify competition for water resources across all sectors of the economy (agriculture, energy industry and domestic). Should status quo in management practices remain, a gap of 17% between water demand and supply is forecast by 2030. This gap will have serious social and political implications and strongly impact South Africa’s plans for economic growth.
“The Water Resources Group partnership will enable South Africa to access best practice economics, projects and policies in water management from public, private and civil society sectors around the world, enabling officials to field-test and replicate actions for implementation domestically,” explained Dominic Waughray, Senior Director, Head of Environmental Initiatives at the World Economic Forum, and member of the Water Resources Group.
The group will focus on key areas:
- Water conservation and demand management: increasing water use efficiency (in agriculture, industry and households) and reducing leakage from distribution networks (municipal and others, including irrigation)
- Diversifying the water mix: increasing the reuse of effluent and desalination (sea water and acid mine drainage), and developing more sustainable management of groundwater resources, in particular for rural areas
The partnership will deliver two primary outputs: first, it will assist the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in developing sector strategies (agriculture, energy, industry) related to the key areas. Each sector strategy will:
- Identify a pipeline of potential projects and access its collective potential to close the water volume gap if implementation takes place
- Identify challenges for project replication
- Recommend a strategy to overcome challenges, including incentives for widespread adoption and contributions by each stakeholder to enable replication
Second, the partnership will provide expert support to help the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) consult with domestic stakeholders and design these pilot projects. Expertise provided from the WRG network will help NBF to:
- Develop joint public-private expert collaborations to structure and take forward the pilot projects
- Highlight the DWA-WRG partnership at COP 17 in Durban as a practical example of what South Africa is doing to manage its water security and adapt to climate change
Clear government ownership of the process is crucial to success and the inclusion of domestic public and private stakeholders. To this end, a public-private expert leadership group, chaired by the director-general of the DWA, will be formed to oversee the work. This new group will formally be called the “South Africa Strategic Water Partners Network”. Stakeholders to be invited will include:
- Department of Water Affairs (chairperson: the director-general)
- Industry (key economic sectors such as food/beverage, mining and metals, energy)
- Other governmental departments (national treasury, national planning commission, local government)
- Development finance institutions (Development Bank of Southern Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, International Finance Corporation)
- Business organizations (NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF), Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), National Business Initiative (NBI)
- Civil society organizations (including WWF South Africa)
- Multilateral and bilateral development agencies working in South Africa
- A senior representative of WRG
Key partners of the WRG include The Coca-Cola Company, International Finance Corporation, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Veolia Environment. The Water Resources Group (WRG) is a public-private platform for collaboration. It mobilizes stakeholders from the public and private sector, civil society, centres of academic expertise and financing institutions to engage in fact-based, analytical approaches and coalition building initiatives that help governments to catalyse sustainable water sector transformation in support of their economic growth plans. WRG engages with those governments who invite it to work on a comprehensive water sector reform strategy and then it provides a public-private approach to support them.
Notes to Editors
For more on Water Resources Group (WRG) go to http://www.weforum.org/issues/water
Read the Declaration of Partnership
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The Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development has established a cooperation memorandum with the 2030 Water Resources Group.
The document was inked on Tuesday at the end of a sub-meeting themed “Water resources of Mongolia is a developmental accelerator” within the World Economic Forum Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Mongolia.
The Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN-SA) is in the process of identifying institutional and pricing models to incentivise collaboration between government and mining companies in ‘closing the water gap’ by increasing the treatment and reuse of mine water, reports Legalbrief Policy Watch.
This is according to Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, who made the announcement during an address to participants in a water session at the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Summit on Africa. According to the Minister, the work of the SWPN-SA was pivotal in developing the second draft of government’s national water resources strategy, published during July last year.