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Call for innovative solutions for managing water scarcity

Managing Water Use in Scarce Environments - Cover

The impact of water crises around the world has been recently recognized as a top risk by the World Economic Forum with business leaders reporting concerns over looming water crises. This highlights the importance of innovative and novel solutions to help manage and mitigate the risk of water crises affecting society, industry and the environment.

The 2030 Water Resources Group is taking a leading role in identifying and publishing examples of initiatives that have been implemented to manage water scarcity.  In 2013,  on behalf of the 2030 Water Resources Group, Arup identified 39 case studies from around the world that showcased such innovative solutions in  ‘Managing Water Use in Scarce Environments: A Catalogue of Case Studies’. The publication inspires action and is utilized throughout the world by leading industry, policy makers and the 2030 WRG country programmes.

Following the 2013 publication, the 2030 WRG is launching a revised and updated catalogue of initiatives that have been undertaken to reduce water use or manage water risk. This will be launched at Stockholm World Water Week 2015 and disseminated widely across leading corporates and national policy makers.

Submit an initiative

If you have an initiative that you would like to be considered for inclusion in this extended publication please get in touch at with the following information:

  • Where was your initiative located?
  • What were the objectives and outcomes of the intervention?
  • When was the intervention undertaken?
  • What data is available?


About 2030 WRG

The 2030 Water Resources Group is a unique public-private-civil society collaboration. We facilitate 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 an informal collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Economic Forum (WEF), multilateral and bilateral agencies (Swiss Development Corporation), private sector companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company), and other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

2030 WRG presentation at United Nations General Assembly in New York

2030 WRG presentation on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Interactive Dialogue
“the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life”

United Nations, New York, March 30, 2015

Anders Berntell, 2030 WRG Executive Director, speeches at NYC UN General Assembly

Anders Berntell, 2030 WRG Executive Director, speeches at NYC UN General Assembly

Anders Berntell at the UN GA in NYC

Anders Berntell, 2030 WRG Executive Director, speeches at the UN General Assembly in NYC.










View the recording of the presentation

View the agenda and background information for the event



Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The World Economic Forum in their annual Global Risk Report, building on the expert opinion of some 1000 international experts, leaders of companies and international organizations, has for five years ranked water among the top five Global Risks. This year it is ranked as number 1. Similarly the CDP Water Disclosure Report has over the last years reported on an increasing number of companies that share this belief. In the 2014 report 68% of the companies (all of them are amongst the Global 500 companies) reported that water poses a substantive risk to their business, and 22% reported that issues around water could limit the growth of their business.

It is clear that water availability and/or water quality poses a real risk not only to people and ecosystems, but also to countries and their economies.

Growth is thirsty, and all production has a water footprint, 130 liters of water was required to grow the beans that produce one cup of coffee. My total water footprint for food only, as an average US/European citizen, is probably above 4000 liter per day, because of all the meat and dairy products I use. A vegetarian Indian or a Chinese with less meat in the diet has a footprint of about 2 000 liter. But not only food has a water footprint, any production of any goods requires water.

The growing number of people in the world increases demand for food, commercial goods, energy and water. Changing patterns of consumption – not just the growing head count – creates demand for more water. To provide the energy and quality of food that people need and want to make a better life, particularly in developing countries, there are shifts to more water-intensive production methods; grain-fed meat, for example, is now part of the food chain in developing countries as well as developed markets.

The Global Risk Report acknowledged that concerns over a looming water resource crisis reflect the fact that “past warnings of potential environmental catastrophes have begun to be borne out, yet insufficient progress has been made.”

Global water requirements are projected to be pushed beyond sustainable water supplies by 40 percent by 2030 in a business as usual scenario. A big component of this is increased agricultural water needs.

Agriculture already accounts for 70 percent of total average water consumption worldwide. By 2030, food production will have to increase by 50 percent to meet needs of a growing population and dietary changes, with a potential increase of water demand of the same size, unless we produce that food more water efficient.

The International Energy Agency further projects water consumption to meet the needs of energy generation and production to increase by 85 percent by 2035.

Today, many regions of the world are already water stressed due to population and economic growth. 2.5 billion people (36% of the world population) live in these water stressed regions and more than 20% of the global GDP is already produced in risky, water-scarce areas.

A recent report by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute), found that 4.8 billion people – more than half the world’s population – and approximately half of global grain production will be at risk due to water stress by 2050 if status quo/business-as-usual behavior is followed.

The IFPRI study also found that 45% of total GDP ($63 trillion) will be at risk due to water stress by 2050. That’s 1.5 times the size of today’s entire global economy.

The nexus of food, water, energy and climate change is “one of four overarching mega trends that will shape the world in 2030,” and these risks are further related to other risks like large-scale involuntary migration, according to the Global Risk Report.

And we know that water scarcity and water pollution is already today affecting economies in many countries.

We see investments being stopped because the investors are not sure that the water that is needed for the operation of the production is guaranteed. Examples are found in agriculture and hydropower in Africa, mining in Peru and coal power plants in China, amongst others. Other examples are found where water quality becomes an issue not only for people and ecosystems, but for the requirements of industry itself such as the textile industry in Bangladesh, and other industries in China and India.

And we also know the effects of lack unsafe drinking water and inappropriate sanitation has on people’s health, and thereby also on the economic development of countries.

The 2030WRG is a Public-Private-Civil Society initiative. We were founded on the understanding that the challenges ahead of us are too big, and too complex, for anyone to resolve if working on their own. We need to join hands and work together across sectors (agriculture, energy, water, industry, financing etc) and also across the divide between public, private and civil society actors.

We were established, couple of years ago, by a few global companies, food and beverage, (Nestle, PepsiCo, and the Coca Cola Company) but many more companies have joined our work in the countries where we operate. Bilateral donors such as Sweden and Switzerland and IFC (World Bank Group) were also among the founding partners, but also others are supporting our work in different countries such as Germany, USA, AfDB and IDB. Many other organizations are working closely with and supporting us such as UNDP, GWP, WWF GGGI and others.

The reason why we were established is beyond the direct self-interest of the companies involved, and the concern for their own production/manufacturing of products.

We were established because these companies were concerned about what water scarcity, and other challenges such as water quality, will do to the development and the economy of countries where they operate. One can describe it as a long term, enlightened, self-interest of the companies. They depend on countries where the economy is growing, where development is not jeopardized because of lack of water and where people’s livelihoods is improving.

In the countries where we work, we create a platform where the government in that country can sit down with the water using private sector from that country and the civil society, and discuss together what needs to be done to address the water challenges they are facing, and how they can do that by working together.

We call these platforms “Multistakeholder platforms”, and the objective is to facilitate and stimulate collective action for improved management of the water resources and reduced demand by using the water more efficiently. In the countries we have worked, we have been able to show how effective and powerful this approach can be, such as in Mexico and Peru, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, India (including in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka) Bangladesh and Mongolia.

We are convinced that this approach, by making the various stakeholders work together to develop concrete solutions to the challenges they are facing, is a very effective way to reduce the risk of water scarcity in their country.


Mongolian Water Scientist Forum

A Mongolian Water Scientsts Forum was organized on 19 March on the occasion of World Water Day. The Forum was sponsored by the Global Water Partnership and 2030 WRG and sought to prioritize and analyze water issues in the sector and make recommendations and provide proposals for an appropriate solution and approach to implementation.

Approximately 150 participants attended, including government officials and representatives of private sector, NGOs, research institutions, and universities. The Mongolian Country Representative, Dorjsuren Dechinlkhundev gave a presentation on “water resources and trends of water demand increase in the Mongolian context”.


More Stakeholder Engagement, Effective Communication Key to Ensuring Water Security: World Water Council Conference

Anders Berntell at WWC meeting DCMarch, 20 – Washington DC

Engaging more stakeholders and more effectively communicating the importance of sustainable water management are key to ensuring future water security, participants agreed during a one-day conference organized by the World Water Council (WWC). 

“A huge challenge lies ahead of us: we must invent our water future together,” WWC President Benedito Braga said at the event, “Water Security: A Pathway to Sustainable Development,” held in Washington, DC on March 20th ahead of World Water Day 2015.

“To succeed, we need the political decision-makers and the international community to come together to implement changes,” Braga said. “Through investment in water security, we will guarantee security in most other domains, including energy, environment, food, and health.”

As negotiations over the new Sustainable Development Goals, which replace the Millennium Development Goals that expire this year, move into the home stretch, “we must concentrate and mobilize all our efforts to make sure water is appreciated, not only as an end in itself, but as a means for sustainable development as a whole,” Braga said.

“The year 2015 is not an opportunity the world can afford to miss. There is no time to waste.”

But panelists agreed that the water community has not done as effective a job as it could to communicate why policy- and decision-makers should prioritize water.

They also agreed that more work is needed to bring all stakeholders to the table in discussions of water security.

“We have been trying for 40 years to get water to rise up on the political stage,” said Zafar Adeel, director of the United Nations University-Institute for Water Environment and Health. Water has had to “ride in on the coattails of food and energy, because that’s where it’s easier to see monetization.”

Adeel said the private sector has an important role to play in addressing water challenges. It can bring in needed capital resources; is better geared to scaling up from the local to the national level; and is better at applying appropriate technologies and partnering with stakeholders to determine what works and what the market responds to.

But as Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the 2030 Water Resources Group, noted, the private sector is one of the actors often left out of discussions on Integrated Water Resources Management.

John Oldfield, CEO of NGO WASH Advocates, stressed the need to get finance ministers and prime ministers, rather than just water ministers and presidents, invested in solving the global water and sanitation crisis. He cited recent work by the World Bank and US national intelligence agencies, which respectively made a case for the high economic costs of poor sanitation and water as a national security issue, as examples of the kind of work needed.

Other participants noted that cultivating political will to address water challenges can be a question of providing the right kind of data to decision-makers.

Berntell said his organization is trying to do just that. “With statistics and figures, the government does take action,” he said.

John Tubbs, Director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, noted that there is often a “disconnect between science and policy … Science needs to recognize what [kind of data] policy needs.”

Richard Damania, Global Lead, Economics, at the World Bank Water Global Practice, said the links between water and climate change are “very deep,” and “if you don’t get management of water right for changing climate, there will be economic repercussions”.

But “We haven’t done a good job of communicating this,” he said.

WWC President Braga said he saw growing political will for a standalone water SDG, and was “confident” that there would be financial resources to back political commitments to solving global water problems.

“If you have good projects, money will come through the government and private sectors,” he said.

He said as part of its efforts to continue engaging stakeholders in discussions on water and sustainability, the WWC has reached out to the agricultural sector and to hydropower producers.

The WWC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to promote more efficient water use in irrigation, and is also working with agribusiness and farmers’ unions to promote balanced water use at the river basin level, Braga said.

“I have the expectation that during the (World Water Forum) in Korea, agricultural water use will be more important,” he added.

The 7th World Water Forum will be held from April 12-17 in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, South Korea.

Bangladesh discusses program scope in MSP workshop

2030 WRG organized a multi-stakeholder workshop on March 18 in partnership with the Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO) under the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), WWF and H&M. The Chief Guest and Special Guest was the Minister of Water Resources (Mr. Anisul Islam Mahmud) and State Minister (Mr. Muhammad Nazrul Islam) respectively. The workshop was participated by over 70 participants from the government, private sector, NGOs, development partners and civil society organizations.

The Minister of Water Resources in his speech suggested that 2030 WRG should focus on the greater Dhaka watershed as opposed to the entire country to achieve greater impact. The workshop included a break-out session in which three thematic areas (Water Governance, Greater Dhaka Watershed Restoration and Efficiency in Agricultural Water Use) were discussed.

Prior to the workshop, the 2030 WRG has had preliminary discussions with the Ministry of Water Resources on launching the Steering Board for the 2030 WRG’s Bangladesh program. Key next step is to prepare the preliminary design / concept notes for the Bangladesh program focusing on Water Governance and the Greater Dhaka Watershed Restoration; and reach an agreement with the Ministry of Water Resources on the scope of work for the 2030 WRG Bangladesh program.

Paving the way forward toward a water secure Bangladesh

Bangladesh women carry water

Two women carry clothing, produce, and water jugs in Bangladesh. Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank

2030 WRG is co-organizing a Multi-Stakeholder Engagement on Water Resources Management in Bangladesh on 18 March, 2015. The event will be jointly hosted by the Water Resources Planning Organization of the Ministry of Water Resources. Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud and State Minister Muhammad Nazrul Islam (Bir Protik) from the Ministry of Water Resources are among the invited high-level delegates.

The event is a follow-up on the High Level Dialogue held earlier on October 18, 2014 and aims to present the recommendations of the analytical studies and bring high-level stakeholders from the government, private sector and civil society together to discuss potential next steps towards initiating a 2030 WRG program to address water security and resource management issues.


Unlocking PPPs in Integrated Agriculture Development in Maharashtra

Mumbai, 2 March — A project development workshop was organized in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the Government of Maharashtra, agribusiness companies, and enabling institutions to identify Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project concepts across the cotton, sugarcane, grain/pulses, and fruits and vegetables sector value chains to address the Aurangabad area water security issues.

The workshop is part of a larger engagement in the State of Maharashtra focusing on unlocking PPPs  for Integrated Agriculture Development (PPP-IAD) with an emphasis on ‘More Income per Drop’ to enable water-efficient Agri GDP growth in the State.

PepsiCo recognized for CEO leadership and achievement in corporate societal engagement

New York, February 23, 2015 – PepsiCo and PwC US are the recipients of the 15th annual CECP Excellence Awards. The Chairman’s Award, the award category for companies with revenues of $20B and more, was presented to PepsiCo for its Safe Water Access program. This initiative prioritizes clean water as a key building block for ending world poverty. 2030 WRG is proud to partner with PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation as one of the six strategic water partners to offer sustainable, game-changing solutions.

“Global companies are judged not only by the shareholder value they create, but also by the positive contributions they make to society. Great companies think in terms of quarters and generations to create value for all stakeholders,” said Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo. “Water is both a precious resource and a human right. All around the world, we have significantly reduced PepsiCo’s water usage and operating costs through conservation, while also greatly expanding access to clean water in our communities. PepsiCo’s commitment to water stewardship is a great example of aligning the needs of business with the needs of society, and it’s emblematic of the way we do business around the world.”

Doubled the goal

In 2010, PepsiCo announced its commitment to provide access to safe water for 3 million people by 2015, focusing specifically on water conservation, distribution, purification, and sanitation in countries across the world. PepsiCo has exceeded in its original commitment and doubled the goal to six million people by 2015.

Invaluable support and commitment

“I would like to congratulate Pepsico on the CECP Chairman’s Excellence Award. We are excited to have joined hands with PepsiCo to deliver access to safe water through our partnership program,” said 2030 WRG Executive Director Anders Berntell. “The PepsiCo Foundation has supported 2030 WRG since our inception at the World Economic Forum in 2011. The support and commitment from the PepsiCo Foundation has been invaluable to the progress and success of 2030 WRG initiatives in Peru, Mexico, Jordan, Tanzania, South Africa, India, the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and Mongolia. Local PepsiCo representatives contribute to the development of national and regional programs and projects that are important for the improved management and better use of water resources.”

About CECP

CECP, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, is a coalition of over 150 CEOs across all industries, who believe that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. Presented annually since 2000, their award program is juried by an external Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the corporate, nonprofit, consulting, media, and academic communities. The award winning companies were chosen by an independent jury as global leaders in corporate societal investment, exemplifying the Award’s four rigorous Standards of Excellence: CEO leadership, partnership, dedication to measurement, and innovation.

More information

See the press release about the award on the CECP website

See the Delivering Access to Safe Water through Partnerships report

For Tweets please tag: @2030WRG @PepsiCo @CECPTweets #CECPwinningpurpose


About 2030 WRG

The 2030 WRG emerged in 2009 through an informal collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Economic Forum (WEF), multilateral and bilateral agencies (Swiss Development Corporation), private sector companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company), and other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


Discussing drip irrigation for sugarcane cultivation in Karnataka

Bangalore, 20 February — A multi-stakeholder workshop was organized on the financial, technical and institutional mechanisms to implement drip irrigation for sugarcane cultivation across Karnataka. Recommendations included the appointment of a project implementation team, arrangements for which are currently under finalization by the government.


Financing solutions for drip irrigation in Karnataka

Sugarcane leaves IndiaA recent November workshop focused on deliberating financing solutions for drip irrigation in the sugarcane industry. The meeting brought together 60 participants from sugar mills, financial institutions and government. A small follow-up discussion was held on December 5. The discussions are part of a larger initiative to bring together the private and public sectors around the topic of CSR funding to financing drip irrigation in the sugarcane industry.

Joining hands to conserve water in Karnataka

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 and mobilizing CSR contributions.

Read or download the brochure here


Joining hands to conserve water in Karnataka