How can partnerships with business increase access to safe, clean water for all?

Photo: SABMiller

In many countries both the quantity and quality of water are in decline as populations – and associated demand from agriculture, energy generation, industry and households – grow. The Water Resources Group (WRG) estimates that the shortfall between freshwater supply and global demand could reach 40% by 2030, an average that conceals even more acute shortfalls in certain water-stressed countries.   Goal 6 of the proposed SDGs calls for the “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

 

All those whose demand for water puts pressure on supply, and all those who feel the impact when supply falls short, share the same risks. It is now recognised that this interdependency requires a collaborative response.

 

As a result, partnerships are becoming increasingly central to strategies for delivering Goal 6 and securing shared water resources for business, local communities, and ecosystems.  Companies, governments, donors, and civil society organisations, often in multi-stakeholder alliances, are joining forces to increase water use efficiency, to improve water management and governance, and address the root causes of water risk. 

 

Questions:

  1. What are the most promising partnership models designed to tackle shared water risks, and what impacts are we starting to see on the ground?
  2. What are we learning about how to develop and sustain successful water partnerships on the ground, particularly the role of governments, and what are the greatest barriers to progress?
  3.  How can we build, strengthen and scale up partnerships that aim to tackle shared water risks?

 

Editor's Note:

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Thanks for hosting this discussion.  

What kind of support and facilitation do essential partners (government, companies, donors and CSOs/NGOs) need to be able to develop and grow such partnerships around shared water risk?  Thank you!

Welcome to this online written discussion about building partnerships with business to increase access to safe, clean water for all.  We're joined by a grate panel (listed above).

Over the next hour we'll work through the three questions set out in the introduction.  Please share your thoughts, and feel free to post additional questions in the comments box.

You will notice that every few minutes you see a notification of new messages in the right hand column.  If you would like to refresh this feed more often, click here.

I'd like to begin by asking our panelists to introduce themselves.

Hi I’m Lucy Lee, Water Stewardship Manager at WWF-UK. Looking forward to the discussion today!

Hi, I am David Grant, Senior Manager for Water Risk & Partnerships at SABMiller.

Hello,

I'm Kathy Rostkowski, Environmental Protection Specialist in USAID's Water Office. 

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Welcome to this online written discussion about building partnerships with business to increase access to safe, clean water for all.  We're joined by a grate panel (listed above).

Over the next hour we'll work through the three questions set out in the introduction.  Please share your thoughts, and feel free to post additional questions in the comments box.

You will notice that every few minutes you see a notification of new messages in the right hand column.  If you would like to refresh this feed more often, click here.

I'd like to begin by asking our panelists to introduce themselves.

Hi, I'm Will Davies, Africa Head for the 2030 Water Resources Group.

Nathaniel Mason here, Research Fellow in the Water Policy Programme at ODI - the Overseas Development Institute 

Let's start with question 1:

What are the most promising partnership models designed to tackle shared water risks, and what impacts are we starting to see on the ground?

Looking forward to the discussion. Mercy Corps has partnered with Twinings in Darjeeling, India, to support tea growing communities in its supply chain through a water and sanitation project and we've seen waterborne diseases reduced by 66% and absenteeism at work reduced by 73%. I would love to hear of other examples from the sector. 

Neil Jeffery, CEO Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor ( WSUP). Looking forward to a fascinating discussion.


 
Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Welcome to this online written discussion about building partnerships with business to increase access to safe, clean water for all.  We're joined by a grate panel (listed above).

Over the next hour we'll work through the three questions set out in the introduction.  Please share your thoughts, and feel free to post additional questions in the comments box.

You will notice that every few minutes you see a notification of new messages in the right hand column.  If you would like to refresh this feed more often, click here.

I'd like to begin by asking our panelists to introduce themselves.

It all depends on the context of the water risk that you are seeking to address, but there are a variety of successful models that we are starting to see.

For example, if there is a need to address cross cutting water issues at a national or state level, then an initiative such as the Water Resource Group has been demonstrated to be successful due to the nature of partners they attract at both national government, private sector and civil society level.

In agriculture, we have made use of the “model farmer” partnership structure successfully for both commercial and smallholder farmers.

Partnerships around payment for ecosystem services are also proving to be successful, such as the Aqua Fund model which the nature Conservancy has been working on, particularly in Latin America.

Although one has to bear in mind that the broad frameworks of these models need to be considered as replicating them step by step is seldom going to work due to the very specific local dynamics that play out from one location to another.

Rachel - thanks for your great question!

Rachael Clay said:

Thanks for hosting this discussion.  

What kind of support and facilitation do essential partners (government, companies, donors and CSOs/NGOs) need to be able to develop and grow such partnerships around shared water risk?  Thank you!

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