SWWW 2018: Blue deal seeks wisdom on water management from both sides
‘Every community has a drive to solve its water problems. They have their own knowledge and expertise on water management. We want to build on this expertise in partnerships, supporting these communities to improve the management of their water resources´, said vice chairman Hein Pieper of the Dutch regional water authorities at the Stockholm World Water Week.
Together with Dutch water envoy Henk Ovink and Kidist Ketema Bekele of the Ethiopian Awash Basin Authority (AwBA), Hein Pieper gave an update of the Blue Deal programme at a TV broadcast edition of SIWI Sofa on 28 August.Ambassador of the Blue Deal programme Hein Pieper expects the announcement of the first partnerships on next World Water Day in March 2019.
The Blue Deal programme is jointly set up by all 21 regional water authorities of the Netherlands and two ministries to improve the access to clean and sufficient water for 20 million people in 40 catchment areas.
Pieper expected to be able to announce the first local partnership by March next year.
Long term commitment
Pieper explained that the regional water authorities are already conducting many water projects in developing countries and are now revising them under one programme, with the aim to turn the projects into partnerships for at least twelve years.
‘We want to build real partnerships. We know in the Netherlands that you are never finished with water management and we can use wisdom from all over the world to solve our future water problems’, he said.Kidist Ketema Bekele is already combining Ethiopian and Dutch knowledge on water management in the Awash river basin.
‘Our government in Ethiopia spend much money on new water infrastructure, but little of the management of it’, said Kidist Ketema Bekele during the interview.
As a young water professional Ketema Bekele worked some years at one of the Dutch regional water authorities and is now using her knowledge to set up an integrated river basin plan for the Awash catchment. ‘The Blue Deal programmes provides an opportunity to strengthen the management of the river basin on a peer-to-peer approach’, she explained.Water issues are complex, timely and local specific. Do not waste time on trying to find the silver bullet, said Dutch water envoy Henk Ovink.
Interventions that last
Water envoy Henk Ovink mentioned the importance of the long term partnerships that make the Blue Deal programme so different. ‘To address water issues, It is important to develop a long term perspective with short-term impacts. Long term does not mean a plan on the shelf but it is an outlook from the future to the current. This allows to take measures and do interventions that last.’
There is no silver bullet, warned Ovink. Water issues are to complex, changing in time and local specific. ‘People live differently with water. It is cultural’, he said. ‘In long lasting partnerships we can combine these local cultures with our own Dutch culture and find localized solutions.’
The Blue Deal programme contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 6.3 (water quality), 6.4 (sustainable water use), 6.5 (water management at all levels/IWRM) and 6.6 (protection of water resources).
Read also on this website
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● SWWW 2018: Latest generation water-related apps for small farmers shown at African Spatial Delight, 4 September 2018
● SWWW 2018: Leave no one behind in WASH programmes demands a new mind-set, 3 September 2018
● SWWW 2018: Potential of blending finance remains untapped for water infrastructure in developing countries, 31 August 2018
● SWWW 2018: Water.org joins Finish Mondial to team up for affordable toilets worldwide, 31 August 2018
● SWWW 2018: Delft biotech pioneer Mark van Loosdrecht receives Stockholm Water Prize, 30 August 2018
● SWWW 2018: Open data on water availability can prevent that water scarcity leads to conflicts, 29 August 2018
● SWWW 2018: ‘Forge strong partnerships to scale up action’, 28 August 2018
● Meet the Dutch water delegation in the Netherlands pavilion at Stockholm World Water Week (booth 1 )
● World Water Forum 8: Launch of Dutch Blue Deal programme in support of SDG6 on water, 23 March 2018
Stockholm World Water Week
Dutch regional water authorities
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Broadcast session of SIWI/Sofa on the Blue Deal programme.