Less flood risks and clean and sufficient water on the scale of a river catchment, to be achieved in a 12-year partnership with local water authorities in Africa, Europe and Latin America. That is the aim of first eleven partnerships of the Blue Deal programme that were announced on 8 April in the Hague, the Netherlands.


The first Blue Deal partnership was signed in Colombia with five regional water authorities to improve the water security along the Magdalena river. (Photo: Regional Water Authority De Dommel)

Water secure environment
The Blue Deal programme was launched last year by the Dutch regional water authorities and the Dutch Government as a joint contribution to achieve sustainable development goals 6.3 to 6.6 by 2030.

The overall goal is to help 20 million people in 40 catchment areas around the world to gain access to clean, sufficient and safe water.

Building on the expertise of the Dutch regional water authorities the programme focuses on long term partnerships with local water authorities in Africa and Latin America to create a water secure environment.

Local water management
‘We have a long history of addressing local water issues involving stakeholders such as citizens, farmers and businesses and we want to share our experiences with water authorities in developing and fragile states’, said Hein Pieper on the occasion of the announcement.

Pieper is vice-president of the Dutch regional water authorities and one of leaders of the Blue Deal programme.


Vice-president Hein Pieper of the Dutch regional water authorities explained the important role of the partnerhsips.

‘However, in the Netherlands we have our own culture and own way dealing with water issues. In order to create a water secure environment in other parts of the world, it is essential to include the local culture and local governances. Therefore we chose to set up long term partnerships.’

Making plans happen
The eleven partnerships involve 35 local parties and address a variety of water issues, such as enforcement, data collection, improving waste water treatment, increasing water retention capacity.

In many river catchments around the world, national and regional authorities have developed water management plans but face the difficulty to implement the measures that are needed to address the issues of too much, too little and too polluted water.

According to Pieper the Blue Deal programme is about getting plans into action and making water management operational. Often water infrastructure fails to deliver, such as waste water treatment plants (on top photo in Mali) or dams. 'By listening to our partners and sharing our experiences, we can gradually improve the siuation', said Pieper.

Read also on this website
Stockholm World Water Week 2018: Blue deal seeks wisdom on water management from both sides, 6 September 2018
World Water Forum 8: Launch of Dutch Blue Deal programme in support of SDG6 on water, 23 March 2018
Amsterdam International Water Week 2017: Ambitious coalitions want to realize new breakthroughs in the world, 3 November 2017
Expertise: Water for all

More information
Dutch Water Authorities
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 351 97 51

Blue Deal: The Movie. About the different Blue Deal partnerships in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Colombia, Argentina and Ethiopia.