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Governing Council meets in Davos & transitioning of 2030 WRG

Davos 2017Davos, Switzerland, 17 January, 2017 –  The 2030 WRG Governing Council met in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings. The members discussed 2016 results and prepared for the next strategic plan.

Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe reiterated the world’s joint resolve to implement the SDGs, and to take a stance on tackling climate change with a key emphasis on water and adaptation. He reflected on the development of the 2030 WRG, from the first meeting in Davos with just 10 people in the room, to the broad network that it represents today.

The number of partners connected to the network has increased to 500 partners in over 11 countries/states, 40% of which are private sector companies.

The council members expressed their deep concern about the fact that what has been achieved globally to counter the water crisis has not been very efficient so far. The ten percent water demand-supply deficit back in 2009, has grown to 30 and could be 40 percent in 2030, as earlier predicted. This means that we are indeed on track, but rather to achieve what we did not want to achieve. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report has put water at the top for three consecutive years. Even though there is increased awareness now, we are still far from finding sustainable solutions.


2030 WRG Executive Director, Anders Berntell, presented the progress, achievements and results from 2016 specifically showcasing how the work contributes to the SDGs and addresses effects of climate change on water; how we foster partnerships in countries where they did not exist earlier, often with very high level participation from Government, Private Sector and Civil Society and overall results from the country multi-stakeholder platforms.

In 2016 we have joined together 505 partners in 36 working groups in 11 countries/states, and in 2 new countries we have already begun work. Together we have decided on 53 priority areas, which led to the development of 57 concept notes to concretize those areas. 43 proposals have been developed, preparatory arrangements for 35 of these proposals have been set up, and for 14 of these programs we have seen the full implementation on the ground.

Fruitful discussions were held around the issue of scaling up, maintaining quality and ensuring inclusivity, continuity and sustainability of the 2030 WRG programs. The partners with local presence in the 2030 WRG countries of engagement, have offered their partnership and assistance on the ground to further develop the programs.

The 2030WRG has now reached the end of the five-year hosting period within IFC and will be transitioning to a more ambitious phase. The council members present agreed with the development of the long term 6-year plan (2017 – 2023) with an evaluation cycle in the 3rd year. The Council members were satisfied with the way that 2030 WRG has been able to build and institutionalize effective and committed partnerships in the countries where it is active. They expressed their organization’s continued commitment and support, and wanted to see the program continue its work.

Results highlights

  1. Bangladesh textile industry where 2030 WRG works on technical and knowledge support, PPPs for wastewater treatment, and institutional strengthening. Potential impacts are 20% reduced water use, industry-wide wastewater reduction, 3 million additional jobs (80% women) and 500 USD million investment by the private sector.
  2. Mongolia mining industry where 2030 WRG influences dialogue, builds awareness on demand-side water management solutions, helps develop incentives for water use efficiency and wastewater treatment and onsite implementation by mining companies of these schemes. Expected impacts include the use of the Voluntary Code of Practice developed with IFC used by 8 mining companies, the prioritization of demand-side management, economic incentives leading to reduced abstraction of water and decreased emissions of wastewater and regulatory improvement.
  3. South Africa water savings in irrigation water delivery where 2030 WRG supports the roll-out of the Water Administration System through the SWPN. Already achieved impacts include reduced water use by 64 million m3 per year with a substantial potential to scale up.
  4. Peru groundwater tariffs where 2030 WRG has supported the national water regulator to develop the world’s first groundwater management and monitoring tariff for industrial users. Potential impacts include reduced water use by industry, increased water security contributing to sustained economic growth. The program is now going to be implemented in two major urban areas, including Lima, and will be replicated in other municipalities later.

Hindon Yatra Workshop in Gautam Budh Nagar

Opportunities for Sustainable Flood Plain Livelihood, Organic Farming, Horticulture and Social Forestry

A Project Development workshop on” Opportunities for Sustainable Flood Plain Livelihood, Organic Farming, Horticulture and Social Forestry” under Multi-stakeholder Action for Hindon River Rejuvenation was jointly organized in the auditorium of the Vikas Bhawan, Surajpur, Gautam Budh Nagar, (Greater NOIDA), Uttar Pradesh by 2030 Water Resources Group, India Water Partnership, Government of Uttar Pradesh and Ganga Jal Biradari on 21st December, 2016.

The workshop was organized under the Chairmanship of Chief Development Officer (CDO) , Mr. Makhan Lal Gupta, with the aim above broad objectives to rejuvenate the Hindon river. Apart from a number of concerned officials of the district; several representatives of NGOs, VOs, CBOs in the State participated in the workshop and expressed their views and suggestions for rejuvenation of Hindon river and also to make it free from pollution. Mr. Rakesh Chauhan, District Information Officer was too present in the workshop.

The representatives of NGOs, VOs, CBOs  expressed their opinions in detail about the organic cultivation, illegal construction, the method of the purification of the water of river and different suggestions were given by all of them. Upon this, the CDO expressed that “all the organisations, which want to give their suggestions with regard to the revival of the Hindon river, are most welcomed to provide their suggestions, so that the joint action can be taken by all of us. To mention few organizations were; Muskan Jyoti, Water Resource Group, Irrigation Department, Indian Water Partnership, FICCI, HNB, Somashram, A TO Z group, The Art of Living, Ganga Jal Biradari, Tarun Bharat Sangh, etc. Outline of some of the innovative works already undertaken/being undertaken by few stakeholders for Hindon river rejuvenation were also discussed in the workshop.

The workshop ended with the conclusion with the remarks by Dr. Vivek Kumar, IIT, Roorkee, Dr. Veena Khanduri, Executive Secretary-cum-Country Coordinator, India Water Partnership and Ms. Annelieke Laninga (Anna), 2030 Water Resources Group (Coordinator, Hindon River Rejuvenation) to prepare tangible proposals for organic farming and waste water treatment for submission to 2030 Water Resources Group or India Water Partnership to take-up this initiative at ground level for collective action from vision to action for rejuvenation of the Hindon River.

.Other pictures of the workshop




Innovative mechanism in Peru facilitates public-private partnerships

December 15, 2016 – Works for Taxes (OxI), is an innovative mechanism created in 2009 in the Peruvian State that allows a company to invest directly in public infrastructure, charged to income tax that can be paid annually. In other words, it is an advance of public investment by the private in a state program. In the case of water, this instrument allows the company to help the State directly to close water efficiency gaps.

The 2030 WRG works together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and together with the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation to encourage the private sector to participate in this mechanism, and at the same time to identify the obstacles and difficulties of the mechanism itself and make it a more agile and efficient process. To this end, it has hired acceleration consultants who work in each of the ministries in that task and who can identify the best investment opportunities.

The OxI mechanism is considered an innovative practice because of the way it links the State and the private sector, and it has also generated the interest of other countries in the region to develop and implement further.

The 2030 WRG negotiations have enabled large private companies such as Backus (beverages) – Ferreyros (construction), Minsur and Antamina (mining companies) to be involved in Tax Works that will generate water infrastructure works with tangible and beneficial results for the communities in the areas in which they operate.


[Spanish below] Innovador mecanismo en Perú facilita las alianzas público-privadas

Obras por Impuestos (OxI), es un innovador mecanismo creado en 2009 en el Estado peruano que permite a una empresa invertir directamente en infraestructura pública, con cargo al impuesto a la renta que anualmente paga. En otros términos, es un adelanto de inversión pública por parte del privado en un programa estatal. En el caso del agua, este instrumento permite a la empresa ayudar al Estado directamente al cierre de brechas de eficiencia hídrica.

2030 WRG trabaja junto al Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego, y junto al Ministerio de Vivienda, Construcción y Saneamiento para alentar al sector privado a participar en este mecanismo, y al mismo tiempo para identificar las trabas y dificultades del propio mecanismo y hacer que sea un procedimiento más ágil y eficiente. Para ello ha contratado a consultores de aceleración que trabajan en cada uno de los ministerios en esa tarea e identificando las mejores oportunidades de inversión.

El mecanismo de OxI es considerado como una práctica innovadora por la forma que permite vincular al Estado y el sector privado, incluso ha generado el interés de otros países de la región por desarrollarlo e implementarlo.

Las gestiones de 2030 WRG han posibilitado que grandes empresas privadas como Backus (bebidas) – Ferreyros (construcción), Minsur y Antamina (mineras) ya estén involucradas en procesos de Obras por Impuestos que generarán obras de infraestructura en agua con resultados tangibles y beneficiosos para las comunidades de las zonas en las que operan.

[Spanish only] Certificado Azul para la promoción de la Huella Hídrica empresarial en Perú

Desde el año 2015, la Autoridad Nacional del Agua del Perú (ANA), viene impulsando a las empresas del sector privado a que realicen la medición y reducción de la huella hídrica en sus procesos y operaciones. Esta iniciativa que vincula estrechamente al Estado y al sector privado hacia una gestión sostenible del agua, tiene el apoyo y respaldo de 2030 WRG en Perú.

Las empresas que participan y ejecutan con éxito los pasos para la medición de su Huella Hídrica, su reducción y su plan de Valor Compartido, reciben el reconocimiento del Certificado Azul. Ello beneficia la gestión y ahorro del agua en sus procesos, muestra su compromiso con este escaso recurso y mejora su reputación.

2030 WRG junto a la ANA propició la realización del evento de lanzamiento del Certificado Azul el 9 de agosto al cual asistieron alrededor de 40 empresas del sector privado interesadas. A partir de allí se han generado reuniones bilaterales para explicar en profundidad sus características y beneficios. Hasta el momento ya se ha logrado que las empresas privadas Mexichem y Duke Energy se inscriban y formen parte de este programa.

2030 WRG sigue promoviendo este espacio privilegiado de acciones público–privadas en todas las instancias de encuentro con el sector privado, inclusive al interior de su Consejo Directivo.

Para mayor información sobre el Certificado Azul, ver el brochure ilustrativo aquí.

Preliminary Market Assessment Launched For Urban Wastewater Public-Private Sector In Bangladesh

bangladesh1Greater Dhaka has been a major engine of growth and prosperity in Bangladesh, representing more than 40% of Bangladesh’s national GDP. The Dhaka Sewage Master Plan (DSMP 2035) area has suffered alarming levels of environmental degradation, which was induced by the rapid growth of the poorly regulated export-based and local industry, agricultural run-off and an overall unplanned and
un-serviced urbanization. As a result, pollutant levels in the groundwater are increasing, and many sections of the rivers and canals in the city and surrounding areas, especially the Buriganga and Sitalakhya, are biologically dead during the dry
season, spurring widespread public concern over sustainability of Dhaka and promoting reaction at the highest political levels.

In the light of the challenges that Dhaka is facing with respect to untreated sewage, the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Dhaka WASA with World Bank/ International Development Association (IDA) support, developed the recently completed DSMP 2035. Its primary goal is to “reduce significantly, and, in the long-term, to eliminate the pollution arising from unhygienic disposal of wastewater, of all industrial, commercial and domestic origin, up to the planning horizon (2035)”. This partnership looked at addressing the sewage and waste water management primarily through public sector investments.

A high level Preliminary Market Assessment (PMA) exercise is being carried out which will lay the groundwork for an investment strategy for industrial and municipal Waste Water Treatment in the Greater Dhaka Watershed (GDW) which covers a geographical area of about 6,700 sq. km. The area includes the watercourses of Greater Dhaka plus the surrounding urbanized areas that are greatly influenced by industrialization. The PMA is being carried out in close collaboration with the relevant World Bank team.

bangladesh2The scoping exercise which will collect key information which will feed into the investment strategy and implementation plan for Waste Water Treatment solutions for the GDW and major WASAs. The PMA aims to provide input into a dialogue with the relevant authorities on the value proposition possibilities of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) or Private Sector Participation (PSP). The PPP/PSP concepts include a) commercial financing for both investments and operation; and b) private operations with public financing. Other options will also be explored which includes different ways to share risks among the public and private sectors.

Water Governance and Institutional Reform in Bangladesh

92% of Bangladesh’s all water resources are external, i.e. entering Bangladesh via trans-boundary waters, resulting in high dependency and uncertainty on future water availability. A large part of the country also suffers from salinity intrusion in water. Of the water that is available, over 90 percent is used for agriculture. Irrigation efficiency in Bangladesh is the lowest in South Asia. Industries such as textile, leather, beverage, chemical, forest products, food manufacturing, utilities, paper products, etc. altogether consume significant amounts of groundwater and create large volumes of polluted discharge.

Water governance issues started getting attention some twenty years ago and a great deal of research and studies were conducted by different government and development agencies since then. However, the recommendations for reforms that resulted from such initiatives failed to get implemented for various reasons, including lack of broad consensus, inter-ministerial-agency coordination and private sector representation. Water Governance in Bangladesh has been the responsibility of a multitude of government bodies who have been largely unsuccessful in coordinated action so far.

The National Water Resource Council (NWRC) is composed of mostly government ministries and agencies and headed by the Prime Minister. Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO) which is the secretariat to the NWRC and its Executive Committee (ECNWRC) has not been adequately resourced to perform as a regulatory agency. The first serious action taken by the agency was development of the Bangladesh Water Act (BWA) which was passed in 2013.

Improving inter-agency coordination is vital for the successful attainment of water reforms. Equally, the private sector plays an integral role in working towards sustainable water management, as not only they are a main water user, they also have the financial resources to have a significant impact on improving the water resources situation.

Given the increasing pressure on water resources, Bangladesh has welcomed the support of 2030 WRG. The government has acknowledged the value proposition of 2030 WRG’s unique multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP) approach which has been endorsement by the highest level of government (The Prime Minister of Bangladesh) to address the water security issues. 2030 WRG would ensure equal representation of the public, private and civil society to steer further work on identified priority areas.

The 2030 WRG, in consultation with the MSP has already adopted multi-focal short to mid-term strategies to tackle initially the most pressing governance challenges. The Water Governance and Sustainability Work-Stream (WGS) under supervision of the National Steering Board (NSB) of the MSP and Chaired by the Senior Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources of the Bangladesh has established two Task Forces (TFs), one each for (a) Institutional Reform and, (b) Economic Incentives for Sustainable Water Management, comprising of experienced sector professionals and stakeholders.

The MSP includes active representation of the private sector and business associations. Recommendations have been taken from the existing study and research work done by various research institutions, academia, donor agencies, and NGOs on how to improve aspects of the regulatory environment. 2030WRG has managed to mobilize stakeholders to take action based on those recommendations. The private sector’s regular and active participation has been instrumental in prioritizing challenging reform agenda items in the multi-stakeholder consultation sessions and thereby bringing in real value to the process.

The WGS work-stream through the two TFs have already developed two Concept Notes, on ‘Strengthening of Institutional Framework’ and ‘Economic Incentives’ for Sustainable Water Management which have been approved by the NSB, and which will now be developed into detailed proposals. The TFs will begin by building and establishment of broad consensus on the nature of the problems faced by the water sector by reviewing and validating the reasons for past failures of previous reform attempts and how they might be overcome. The actionable reforms which the TFs are expected to recommend will be based on a variety of institutional scenarios. This approach to selection of final recommendations is expected to produce maximum impact with least possible disruption.

2030 WRG will continue to promote multi-sector synergies to establish efficient, coordinated and sustainable partnerships, to address the growing concerns behind the long history of failed institutional reform in Bangladesh.

2030WRG, EU Water Experts Collaborate to Diffuse Industrial Water Pollution in Ganga River Basin

The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), together with European partners and the Paper Manufacturer’s Association, organized a first of its kind industry workshop in the northern town of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), September 6, 2016. The objective of the workshop was to share best practices from Europe and India, focussed to address the waste water challenges of the Hindon River, as a demonstration case for the Ganga Basin tributary approach that the 2030WRG is supporting in India.




The workshop brought together global and local experts to discuss the future needs for sustainable water reuse by the local paper and sugar industry.

Speaking about the success of the workshop, Mr. Pankaj Aggarwal, Chairman Muzzafarnagar Paper Manufacturers Association said: “The workshop provided an opportunity for local stakeholders in the water sector in Muzaffarnagar to engage with global experts in waste water treatment, share their challenges and showcase the progress being made in operating existing effluent treatment plants within the paper mills.”

The Ganga River Basin is one of the largest and most polluted river basins in the world today. Flowing through the Yamuna, into the Ganga River, the Hindon tributary is a major source of water for western U.P., India’s most populated state with over 200 million inhabitants. The 300 km long river is heavily polluted with untreated waste water from domestic and industrial sources that include nearly 300 paper and sugar mills. The National Green Tribunal has issued strict orders exhorting the state government to take immediate action to halt the pollution of Hindon River.

The EU has recently signed a MoU with the Government of India to share best practices, technologies and technical cooperation in the water sector. 2030 WRG is helping operationalize the EU-India Water Partnership by creating concrete linkages with stakeholders in the Hindon basin, specifically among European experts in water treatment technologies and processes, to address the challenges of industrial pollution in one of the most polluted towns of the Hindon basin.hindon5

Experts from India, including FICCI, close to 40 local paper and sugar mill owners, Council for Science and Industrial Research, India Water Partnership and SustainAsia shared experiences and challenges. European experts came from UNESCO-IHE, VITO from Belgium, the European Innovation Partnership on Water Reuse and Recycling, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and Institute of Ecopreneurship. Discussions revolved on leveraging the EU experiences to address the larger challenges facing the future growth and sustainability of the paper mills. Ideas were shared on how the paper industry could comply with the Indian Government’s ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ charter by April 2017 by reusing and recycling water, possibly for agricultural purposes. The Central Pollution Control Board, in consultation with the local industries, developed this charter to help reduce the untreated industrial discharge into the Ganga Basin.

As a follow up to the workshop 2030 WRG, the EU Indigo Policy project, FICCI and Muzaffarnagar Paper Manufacturer’s Association are developing a demonstration project to help reduce the industrial water consumption and discharge into the river. This project is expected to contribute to the wider knowledge base and industry responses from about 200 pulp and paper factories spread across the Ganga Basin. Lessons will apply to other industrial sectors that are facing stringent pollution control requirement.




Working on waste water reuse for Ulaanbaatar

An agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, signed in 2013, paved the way for 2030WRG to conduct a Hydro-Economic Analysis (HEA) to examine the water demand and supply in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Alarmingly, there is a projected water demand-supply gap by the year 2030 due to which, all the stakeholders have shown a sense of urgency to work together on this issue.

As per the analysis, with 43% of the total water demand (92 mn m3/yr) in Ulaanbaatar is estimated to not be met with given supplies in the high demand scenario. The Analysis brought about tremendous learnings regarding the situation, as it helped identify cost-effective water demand reduction solutions and water supply alternatives. The water supply and wastewater infrastructure is in need of a major overhaul in order to meet the current demand and protect the environment.

In the current scenario, Wastewater reuse has been shown to be less expensive than primary supply augmentation, particularly where wastewater network systems and treatment plants are planned and designed for reuse in this region. Wastewater reuse was included as a measure in the Ulaanbaatar City Master Plan 2030.

Various stakeholders such as Ulaanbaatar Development Corporation (UBDC), National Secretariat of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Invest Mongolia Agency are currently exploring projects and programs for wastewater reuse in the city, and are considering Public Private Partnership (PPP) amongst other options. With the planned upgradation and capacity augmentation of the Centralized Wastewater Treatment Plant (CWWTP) in Ulaanbaatar with tertiary-level water treatment, there is significant potential for re-using treated wastewater.

As per our country representative, Dorjsuren Dechinlkhundev, “Working on waste water reuse for Ulaanbaatar is critical as the demand of water is drastically expanding. Every day, the effluence of treated but polluted waste water from old and outdated waste water treatment facilities into the Tuul is polluting the river and threatening the environment (downstream). Reusing waste water is essential to the development of industry clusters in the region and surroundings.”

A concept note on 2030 WRG working to achieve substantially more municipal wastewater reuse in Ulaanbaatar, particularly by industry, through the development of a comprehensive policy framework, developing capacity, and facilitating the setting up of processes and mechanisms to implement relevant wastewater reuse projects has been developed and accepted by the Steering board of the 2030WRG on 6 October 2016.

The Policy Document aims to synthesize global best practices, applicable to Ulaanbaatar. The focus is to develop a targeted policy that provides incentives for wastewater use. Many industrial operations are able to access water from other alternatives and cost considerations relate to the tariff for water supply. Therefore, whereas the policy enforcement as well as a higher cost per unit of water within the city could be a deterrent, a realistic solution could consider some form of incentive mechanism as well. The policy aims to bring together wastewater producers (STPs) and off-takers of treated wastewater like the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, UB City Govenor’s Office, Ulaanbaatar Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, large-scale industries and industrial zones/estates.

A project Facility is envisioned in the concept note, to develop transactional capacity amongst the relevant government departments to conceptualize and negotiate wastewater reuse initiatives, design transactions and implement PPP projects. The Facility will also structure appropriate financing mechanisms.

2030 WRG conducts high-level overview assessment of the Vietnam water sector

After receiving a positive response from the local stakeholders on its approach, 2030 WRG is conducting a high-level overview assessment of the VietnamVietnam1 water sector.

The assessment will cover the overall water resources situation, including a high-level water demand-supply analysis and identify solutions required to optimize the use of water. It will also cover mapping of stakeholders/ Institutional arrangements. Further, the assessment will evaluate existing and upcoming funding models to close the water gap.Vietnam is among the top five countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Vietnam has 2360 rivers. The country’s river network includes several vietnam3international rivers. Two thirds of Vietnam’s water originates outside the country. Sustainable water management is fast on the rise driven by dramatic increases in water demand from growing urbanization, agriculture and industrial growth, combined with pollution from untreated waste water as a key issue in Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

In Vietnam, 2030 WRG aims to accelerate water sector transformation with regard to water security for long-term economic growth, environmental as well as domestic needs
and shared prosperity, with a focus on improved demand-side management involving public, private and civil society stakeholders across agriculture, industry and urban development.

A kick-off workshop on a high-level Vietnam Water Sector Analysis, was convened by Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (“MARD”) and 2030 Water Resources Group (“2030WRG”) on October 14th, 2016. The workshop was a small roundtable of 12-15 participants, focused on structuring
a multi-stakeholder Advisory Board of to guide next steps of the Analysis. The discussion focused on key Vietnam water sector challenges and priorities, including private sector perspectives, which are being prioritized under 2030WRG’s Vietnam Water Partnership.

After the analysis is done and based on response from various stakeholder, 2030 Water Resource Group will build up a Multistakeholder process and structure thematic work streams to tackle key issues.vietnam4vitnam2

Hindon Yatra Exhibiton & Symposium 2016 in Baghpat


In Baghpat the District Magistrate and Chief Development Officer spearheaded a Water Walk on 9 September,2016  attended by more than 2000 youth. Mr. Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India and Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2015 was special guest at the Hindon Yatra Exhibition & Symposium held in his ancestral town. Youth demonstrated their environmental awareness and concern with the water situation in the Hindon basin. In a technical discussion chaired by District Magistrate and moderated by 2030 Water Resources Group in the afternoon, many good practice examples were presented and constructive suggestions were made to improve the situation and work towards a healthier water system. For example, Mr. Vinod Saini, a progressive farmer from Meerut district said, “It is essential to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer, in place of which a natural vermi compost fertilizer can be used.” Farmers from Baghpat may attend a training in organic farming which will be organized by Jal Biradari Meerut. Another suggestion was to make a cropping map and encourage farmers to conserve water either by changing the cropping cycle or increasing water use efficiency.



Photos from the Baghpat event

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Read the minutes from the Baghpat event