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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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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).
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.
A 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.
Discussions focused on water solutions across the themes: Peri-urban Water Security through Harvesting and Recharge, Watershed ++ Model: Soil Moisture Security and Agri Water Use Efficiency, Sub-Basin Management/ Integrated Water Resources Management and Municipal Wastewater Reuse in Industry. Dr Goel, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra chaired the workshop, with participation of various industry partners, government, civil society and other stakeholders.
Kenya is an exciting new addition to this year’s portfolio. Although the idea for a partnership in Kenya was only first discussed with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water, and Natural Resources in March of 2014, strong progress has been made in a very short period of time. Both the Analytical and Convening stages are well underway, setting a strong foundation for the partnership as we move towards the goal of transformation in 2015 and beyond.
Kenya represents a paradox: it is both water-rich and water-poor. It is home to some of the great “water towers” of East Africa. Yet 90 percent of the country is either arid or semi-arid, resulting in annual renewable freshwater supply of only 650 cubic meters per capita, well below the threshold for chronic water scarcity. Rainfall patterns are highly variable both annually and across seasons, a challenge that could be further exacerbated by climate change. At an aggregate level, the country does possess sufficient water to meet current demand, but this disguises local stress, not only in the arid areas but also in more water-rich regions, where water-intensive economic activity has grown rapidly (Naivasha, Greater Nairobi, and Northern Mt. Kenya).
Looking forward, water demand is also expected to grow rapidly, especially in the context of ambitious irrigation plans. This could create a substantial water gap by 2030, given the backdrop of low levels of water storage infrastructure. Sustainable management and development of water resources is therefore recognized as a critical challenge by the government, including in its Vision 2030. The same is true for Kenya’s development partners, civil society, and the country’s vibrant private sector, especially those in leading water dependent sectors such as horticulture, food and beverages, tourism, and the growing oil and mining sectors.
Formal commitment made
Although less than a year old, the Kenya 2030 WRG partnership has made good progress: a preliminary hydro-economic analysis has been undertaken; far-reaching stakeholder consultations have been held, culminating in a multi-stakeholder workshop in October attended by over 30 organizations from across the public sector, private sector, and civil society. A formal commitment to launch the partnership was made by the Government of Kenya at the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen at the end of 2014. Key next steps will be to put in place the formal structure for the partnership and identify the most critical issues around which multi-stakeholder working groups can be established. Another priority will be to ensure that the partnership strengthens and reinforces existing multi-stakeholder collaboration efforts at a basin level, especially in the context of the country’s devolution agenda. “Whatever happens in the water sector has a ripple effect into other sectors,” said Sareen Malik, Programme Coordinator of the Kenya Water and Sanitation CSOs Network.
A wide range of organizations have expressed interest in the Kenya partnership. The formal structure of the partnership and working groups will take shape in early 2015. At this stage, 2030 WRG would like to recognize the leading role of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in helping achieve the progress to date; Nestlé for its help in convening various early stakeholder consultations; the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) for its role in representing the private sector, and the Kenya Water and Sanitation Network (KEWASNET) for a similar role in representing civil society.
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