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.