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2017 World Water Week

August 27-September 01, 2017

Stockholm, Sweden


  • World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. It is organized by SIWI. This year, the theme is Water and Waste: Reduce and reuse.

    Experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries come to Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today. 

    The World Bank Group will convene and participate in several sessions, which are listed on the "Sessions" tab. You can also follow along via Twitter using #wwweek.

  • Below are a list of World Bank Group (co)-convened sessions and sessions with World Bank Group participating speakers. 

    Also download the PDF version of the list here

    August 27August 28August 29August 30August 31

    SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017

    Urban Lessons from Japan: Technical Exchange on Water and Waste

    Sunday 27 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH Cabaret

    The linkage between solid waste management and disaster risk management, particularly flood events, is an area of emerging focus for developing countries. It includes issues about improper waste treatment leading to river blockage, sludge accumulation, and potentially water-borne diseases following disasters. Japan’s wealth of experience in comprehensive flood management to reduce urban flood risk provides important lessons and viable solutions relevant to challenges faced by developing countries. Rapid urbanization, particularly in areas below known flood levels, and proximity to water hazards have warranted these innovative and evolving approaches. This session presents practical knowledge and lessons learned from Japanese city partners of the World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) program.

    Safely Managed Sanitation in Small Towns

    Small towns, where most of the urban growth globally is taking place nowadays, will be at the heart of SDG 6 aspirations of safely managed sanitation for all. But they frequently face difficulties in delivering sustainable sanitation services to all their citizens, especially with regard to the full sanitation chain - collection, transport, treatment, reuse and safe disposal – which tends to present formidable institutional, financial and technical challenges.

    The two sessions will highlight and discuss the importance of small towns for meeting the sanitation SDGs, bringing together experiences from several small towns in developing countries including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Mauritania, Nepal, Madagascar, Tanzania, South East Asia, and Latin America. 

    Understanding the Gender Dimension of Water and Waste

    Sunday 27 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 357

    Participation is a fundamental human rights principle, and it is widely accepted that participation of women is critical in decisions about water and wastewater. It is also clear that to institutionalize active and empowering participation systemic changes are required at all levels. A keynote on participation as the key to gender equality will be followed by group discussions on a range of practical experiences and tools that promote and support meaningful participation. We aim to shift the water sector from being largely ‘gender neutral’ to fulfilling its potential for transformative change in the lives of women and men.

    From Global Policy to Local Project: Managing Water through NDCs

    Sunday 27 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Auditorium / Aulan

    In 2015, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement was signed using Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as the country-level mechanism for climate mitigation targets. While many of the NDCs explicitly prioritize water, they describe goals and aspirations rather than projects or necessary financing. Thus, the intensifying use of water for climate mitigation and adaptation at the project level may not represent national policy coherence or best practices. How can we ensure that the water necessary for clean energy, equitable transboundary management, robust adaptation and economic development, cities and sanitation, and resilient ecosystems reflects best practices? Here, we will discuss how global climate policy is reshaping both technical and political cooperation, synergies, and tensions between governance levels, sectors, policy areas, and countries.

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    MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2017

    Reaching Millions: Future Capacity Development for the Sanitation Sector

    Monday 28 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH 202

    In response to the need for capacity development in wastewater management and sanitation, in the past few years several universities and institutions have begun to offer new distance learning products. We are at an inflection point in how education for sanitation will be organized in the decades to come. These courses are also beginning to blend distance and onsite learning by producing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with locally supervised content/exercises.

    We will present some state-of-the-art online educational tools and discuss the potential and limitations in reaching sanitation and water professionals through eLearning. The seminar will give the opportunity to share experiences from diverse locations and training formats. 

    SDG-Synergies: Countries Link WASH and Nutrition to Reduce Malnutrition

    Monday 28 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 357

    WASH and Nutrition are inextricably linked. Operationalizing these linkages requires aligning policies, budgets and programs, and political recognition. Some countries have made significant strides in policies, that have yet to be budgeted and implemented, others have gone as far translating them into budgets and implementation, whilst others have focused on experimentation and implementation, waiting until later to capture their learnings in future policies.

    During the session, Senior Public Officials from these countries will share their successes and learnings in advancing these WASH-Nutrition linkages. The event is designed for Government officials, civil society representatives, donors, and academics, from the WASH or Nutrition spheres.

    Operationalizing Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: Right tools? Right use?

    Monday 28 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen

    Business as usual won’t deliver citywide inclusive sanitation. Sector professionals must transform their thinking so they deploy customer-centric service solutions. To do so, they need a suite of tools, including planning/design guidelines, good practice examples, standard TORs/contracts, to make preparation/implementation of urban sanitation interventions more efficient and effective. The event will discuss: (i) an overview of the spectrum of existing urban sanitation planning/design tools and how they are used by cities at different levels of development/readiness; (ii) which tools are able to change policy, plans, actions; (iii) how effectively tools are employed by intended users and barriers to wider uptake; (iv) alignment of those developing/disseminating tools, identifying gaps in the suites of tools; and (v) implications for urban development/sanitation practitioners.

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    TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2017

    Call to Action: Radically Shifting Mindsets for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation

    Tuesday 29 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL 253

    Although urban sanitation is critical to achieving the SDGs, cities struggle with providing sanitation for all. To accomplish this, we need to debunk the persistent myths around urban sanitation and agree on specific actions. Urban development professionals need to understand how sanitation impacts a city’s form and function and supports economic development; sanitation professionals need to transform their thinking to design and deploy customer-centric service solutions accessible to all. The event will present a series of activities initiated by a coalition of partners under the banner of a Call to Action for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation, designed to stimulate stakeholders globally to address urban sanitation differently such that the Sanitation SDG can be achieved.

    MENA Focus: Water Security and Water Integrity Challenges

    Tuesday 29 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    MENA is the world’s most water stressed region.

    Where public institutions are facing a range of challenges in modernizing as a result of political challenges and uncertainties, and civil society is weak, governance bottlenecks and integrity disparities jeopardize and hamper the sustainability of the water sector. Good water governance is seen as the centerpiece of the water crisis; ensuring good governance at all levels is essential. Effective water governance that is integrity-bound can assist with overcoming the challenges, deliver concrete benefits for the people and the environment of the MENA region, and contribute to regional peace and stability.

    MENA Focus: Investment Potential in Wastewater and Reuse

    Tuesday 29 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    Wastewater management is an exceptional example of the paradigm shift towards sustainable development, providing multiple social and environmental benefits: from respect to the human right to water and sanitation and reduced health risks, to resource reuse and depollution efforts. Further to strong linkages with the SGDs (SDG 6, target 3; SDG 12, target 5), wastewater treatment can play a significant role in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, while integrated approaches through the lens of the water-food-energy-environment Nexus can maximise benefits.

    This event aims to take stock of relevant country and Financing Institutions’ strategies and of best practices so far, to explore how good governance can attract private investments, to identify regulatory or institutional gaps, to strengthen the potential for PPPs.

    Scaling up Social Accountability for Water and Waste

    Tuesday 29 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 307

    How can social accountability be applied across different country realities and programmes towards attaining SDG 6? Drawing on recent urban and rural examples, the discussion will set out practices necessary in the water sector to ensure that excluded groups are able to actively hold to account governments and service providers to ensure their rights to water and sanitation are respected and fulfilled. The session will explore how citizen engagement can be adapted to transform accountability relationships, empower communities and activate government responsibility for water governance, service delivery and pollution control. 

    Addressing Conflict Risks in Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts

    Tuesday 29 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH 300

    When the UNSC first identified climate change as a ‘threat multiplier’, evidence was lacking. Now it is accepted that in certain contexts climate change can affect social and economic conditions. This may then lead to an increase in societal inequity, social disruption, migration, and sometimes even violent conflict. The main question of interest has now shifted to how adaptation and mitigation efforts can be shaped in way that they contribute to reducing those risks instead of exacerbating tensions.

    This event will address this question by presenting sound and unfortunate examples from practice, global scale tools to identify conflict risks, and by discussing the possible role and knowledge needs of international finance providers to account for and reduce conflict risks.

    Gender and Water: Framing the Relationship

    Tuesday 29 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    The discourse on the relationship between gender and water has been dominated by a narrative that considers mostly women (rather than the relations between men and women), focusing largely on female vulnerability. Such a narrative is problematic as it ignores women’s agency & their role in the management of water resources in the household and beyond. It pays little attention to social movements that empower women & men, and creates an artificial dichotomy between water as a service and as a natural resource. This event will unpack the complexity of gender & water. A panel will discuss how a more nuanced narrative, based on empirical evidence & real world experience of complex interventions, can be promoted to influence policy and practice.

    Launch of Rising to the Challenge: WASH Poverty Diagnostic Initiative

    Tuesday 29 August | 16.00-16.45 | Room: NL 253

    Presenting new evidence from a two-year investigation into WASH poverty diagnostics across 18 countries.

    Equity and inclusion are front and center on the agenda in striving for universal access to WASH. The SDGs have raised the standard that defines access to services; with higher standards comes increased costs. Decision-makers need to be more efficient in allocating and spending resources when deciding how best to reach the most vulnerable.

    A starting point is identifying what are binding constraints to improve WASH services, and how to overcome them. 

    Valuing Water: Towards Common Principles and Political Enthusiasm

    Tuesday 29 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    This WWW-2017 workshop will form part of a one-year initiative to arrive at common principles to better weigh values of water in decision making and energize political leaders to optimally use and reuse water. The process will include events in the global south and north, as well as with businesses, government institutions, academia and civil society.

    Valuing water can help create a common language amongst water users in different sectors and places, yet is not easy and faces many dilemma's. The eleven leaders of governments of the High Level Panel on Water, an initiative launched by the UN and World Bank in 2016, would like to invite you to join in the initiative.

    Water Security in Fragile Contexts

    Tuesday 29 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: FH 202

    The session will look at how investing in water security in fragile states, through the operation and maintenance of existing water supply systems, and strengthening governance and capacity provides multiple benefits such as cost effective and equitable water supply, a reduced risk of further displacements, an increased resiliency to absorb further shocks on access to water and a foundation for sustainable development.  Case studies will be used to foster a discussion on just how far can we build such governance, capacity and systems, how to engage in a conflict sensitive manner while taking into consideration political, social and environmental factors, and how to ensure that humanitarian and development policy and programming can be bridged.

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    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2017

    Smart Solutions in Water and Waste Management for Livable Cities

    Water supply, sanitation, and stormwater are integral components of and/or directly interfere with the urban water system, yet they are often not planned or operated in an integrated way.

    • Session 1 Wednesday 30 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL 357
    • Drivers of change in urban water and waste management (session 1 of 3) will present the compelling factors driving the need for new thinking in water and waste management for cities, e.g. demographics, spatial constraints, infrastructure required, and more. It will review why changes of approach are essential and identify enablers of change. It will conceptualize strategies to operationalize global instruments such as the SDGs, the new urban agenda of Habitat III, and the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities.
    • Session 2 Wednesday 30 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 202
    • Innovations in Water and Waste Management for Livable Cities (session 2 of 3) will examine how urban form and integration can help minimize water footprints and maximize potential for resource recovery and reuse. Innovative approaches for urban water management will be discussed, including rural-urban linkages that generate mutual benefits/synergies at the water-food-energy nexus. Presentations will be conducted through a “world café” approach to stimulate dialogue, collect insights and maximize discussion.
    • Session 3 Wednesday 30 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 461
    • Systems Thinking for Water and Waste Management for Livable Cities (session 3 of 3) will present real-life application of systems thinking to integrated urban water management, including the interactions of water supply, onsite/reticulated sanitation, stormwater and more, especially in developing countries. By examining exemplary cities from around the world, challenges and successes will be highlighted, which can feed into strategies to operationalize the SDGs, the new urban agenda of Habitat III, and the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities.

    Eye on LAC: What is New on Wastewater Reuse Financing?

    Wednesday 30 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH Congress Hall A

    To advance a circular economy agenda in the region it is essential to identify the barriers that are obstructing wastewater reuse. This event will present innovative cases of wastewater reuse projects and financing in LAC, focusing on the instruments and incentives used to address these barriers all across the investment cycle (from river basin planning to engineering, normative/regulatory, procurement, construction and operational issues). By identifying these innovative cases, the session will provoke a lively discussion (based on short presentations of the most representative reuse projects) on the status of wastewater development in LAC and the potential for a circular economy agenda around wastewater reuse.

    Results-Based Financing & WatSan: Improving Systems & Accountability

    Wednesday 30 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL 353

    RBF has been successful in ensuring accountability in the delivery of water and basic sanitation services. Three illustrative examples come from Indonesia, Senegal, and Sri Lanka. To share experience and learn from other countries about intergovernmental transfers for basic infrastructure, a South-South Knowledge Exchange was held in May 2017.

    A rich body of multimedia-based knowledge products will be available to complement the presentation and engaging discussions. 

    Scaling-Up Wastewater Treatment and Management From Source to Sea

    Wednesday 30 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 307

    To manage wastewater, the Global Environment Facility has supported investments in 36 freshwater basins and 23 Large Marine Ecosystems by supporting IWRM, ICM, and LME approaches. GEF projects have demonstrated measures to enhance wastewater management and treatment, restore nutrient sinks, improve catchment management, and reduce runoff. These investments and policy actions resulted in significant nutrient pollution reductions with the consequent recovery of freshwater and coastal ecosystems along the source-to-sea continuum.

    These projects have led to sectoral transformation and scale-up of successful demonstrations of various approaches to wastewater management. This session will highlight unique combinations of water and coastal management tools, to create the enabling environments to realize change and help countries achieve associated SDGs, especially 6.3, 6.5 and 14.1.

    High Level Panel on Water

    Wednesday 30 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    Launched in April 2016, the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) is co-convened by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group, and is made up of 11 sitting Heads of State/Government and a Special Advisor. The core focus of the Panel is the commitment to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, SDG 6, as well as other SDGs that rely on water resources. The Panel has initiated a set of transformative global initiatives coupled with an emerging set of national actions demonstrating leadership by the respective Panel member countries.

    This session will provide information and updates on the progress of these global initiatives and domestic actions and to give an opportunity for dialogue.

    SDG6: Searching for Universal Sustainability Metrics for Rural Water Services

    Wednesday 30 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    The session presents evolving metrics of performance and sustainability of rural water services and discusses the feasibility of agreed core metrics. The session uses ignite-style presentations from the conveners showcasing experiences, followed by analysis of commonalities and differences:

    • Simplified sustainability checklists for country monitoring;
    • An assessment of rural water monitoring to aid convergence of sustainability indicators;
    • Determining drivers of groundwater supply underperformance;
    • Post-implementation sustainability monitoring by local actors;
    • Process for the definition, adoption and expansion of common metrics among different countries.

    Panelists from governments and rural service providers will debate desirability and feasibility of universal core-indicators across diverse contexts, and how governments can include them in national monitoring and incentivize better service delivery and water safety.

    Water Scarce Cities - Towards Urban Water Security Under Scarcity

    Wednesday 30 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen

    The Water Scarce Cities Initiative aims to bolster the adoption of integrated approaches to managing water resources and service delivery in water scarce cities as the basis for water security and climate resilience. This event will convene a panel of practitioners to discuss their experience with managing water in resource-stressed urban environments. Much of these efforts have focused on the recovery of urban generated water resources (wastewater, stormwater) to build water security. The panel will bring together experts and representatives from water service providers, academic and global organizations pioneering advanced urban water management approaches and shaping current global thinking on these issues. 

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    THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2017

    Financing Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery
    Thursday 31 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen

    The session will bring together practitioners, representatives from the public and private sector and development partners to review state of the art knowledge about the policy architecture, market mechanisms, institutional arrangements and incentive frameworks to facilitate RRR at scale. The session will identify regulatory barriers that are constraining revenue generation. With a mix of speakers from developed and developing countries, the session aims to identify both universally applicable and context-specific policy and enabling environment conditions.

    Implementing Integrated Urban Water Management: Tools, Approaches, Real World Experiences

    Thursday 31 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL 253

    IUWM aims to improve the way resources are managed across the urban water cycle by promoting resource diversification and reuse, system efficiency and conservation, while taking account of all water users and related services in the city and wider catchment through broad stakeholder participation. Drawing on practical examples of both IUWM challenges and responses, this showcase event will present and discuss the key principles and phases of employing an IUWM framework for reviewing and prioritizing integrated water interventions in cities. It will introduce participants to IUWM tools and approaches while showcasing experiences from cities in Brazil, Sweden, Ethiopia and the USA.

    Private Finance and Equitable Delivery of WASH Services

    Thursday 31 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 300

    Commercial finance can take many forms. At first sight, commercial finance may seem more expensive than development financing. However, domestic commercial finance in particular can reduce foreign exchange risk, help service providers adopt robust commercial principles, and allow tapping into pools of domestic financial resources that have so far been largely ignored. 

    Mobilizing domestic finance will not work if this is done at the expense of preserving affordability. This session will examine how equitable WASH calls for overall sector financial strategies, to leverage commercial finance for credit-worthy service providers, support others to become more credit-worthy, and target essential public funding for the poorest customers. 

    Tackling WASH Inequalities in the Era of the SDGs

    Thursday 31 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH Cabaret

    The SDGs put the issues of inequality and inclusion front and center and in striving for universal access to WASH, they raise the standard that defines access to services.  But with higher standards come higher costs. Therefore, decision makers need to be more efficient in how resources are spent to reach those who are more vulnerable. A renewed focus on the politics of reform is also required. And interventions and initiatives need to be coordinated across sectors to improve human development outcomes.

    All of this implies a need to think and work differently. To better understand these issues the World Bank developed the Global WASH Poverty Diagnostic Initiative with support SIDA, with whom this event is co-organized. 

    Waste, Water, and Undernutrition: Evidence and Policy Perspective

    Thursday 31 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL 357

    Enhanced understanding of the links between WASH and undernutrition in recent years has informed improvements in multi-sectoral policies and programs. However, substantial knowledge gaps remain.

    Through a review of empirical evidence and policy and practice examples, this session will both summarize what we know on water, sanitation, and stunting, and promote a greater focus going forward on two specific areas where significant knowledge gaps remain: (a) how these elements interact in peri-urban areas; and (b) how the WASH sector – not just the nutrition sector – can adapt its plans and policies to address these.

    Operationalizing Resilience Within Water Security

    Thursday 31 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen

    Resilient solutions call for incorporating not only climate and disaster risk consideration into analysis, but also innovative solutions to ease water scarcity constraints as well as socioeconomic and environmental considerations. These strategies are needed to identify the most serious constraints and risks as well as the areas of greatest unexploited potential by understanding that not all water-related challenges are equally significant in their impacts on people, ecosystems, and economies. Strategies and tools that point to some extension of traditional decision analysis are needed and significant developments occurred in the last few years. By convening world leading experts in freshwater resource management and fields not previously integrated, this event will allow sharing practical examples with other organizations and practitioners. 

    Designing for Freshwater Resilience

    Thursday 31 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL 353

    Rising demand for fresh water among and within sectors leads to overuse of water supplies, degraded ecosystems, and the associated loss of ecosystem services upon which poor and vulnerable people rely to meet their basic needs.

    Resilient freshwater systems handle changes, particularly the increasingly common ones wrought by climate change, and continue to deliver the essential services upon which communities and ecosystems depend. This event will showcase emerging solutions for building the resilience of freshwater systems (e.g., lakes, rivers, aquifers, and other natural and built infrastructure freshwater) to meet the water needs of economic growth, poor and vulnerable communities, and freshwater ecosystems under a wide range of possible futures.

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    Scaling up Social Accountability for Water and Waste
    Tuesday 29 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 307

    At the heart of the SDGs is a philosophy to “Leave No One Behind”. For water governance, management, and services the challenge is immense, as millions of people remain excluded from water resources and services. How can social accountability be applied across different country realities and programmes towards attaining SDG 6?

    The discussion will set out practices necessary in the water sector to ensure that excluded groups are able to actively hold to account governments and service providers to ensure their rights to water and sanitation are respected and fulfilled. The session will explore how citizen engagement can be adapted to transform accountability relationships, empower communities and activate government responsibility for water governance, service delivery and pollution control. 

    Last Updated: Aug 26, 2017

  • Download World Bank Publications on Water for Free

    Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative

    The WPD Initiative was launched in 2015 to better understand trends in access to WASH services, the impacts of unequal service provision on the poor, and the reasons why service delivery continues to be inadequate and inefficient.  This analysis has been completed in 18 countries ranging from low to middle income and fragile states across six regions. Built on in-depth country level analysis, the WPD Initiative aims to provide evidence to help policymakers, stakeholders, and donors to plan more strategically and equitably at the country level and provokes a wider discussion on how to think and work differently to improve services to the poor.

    The Rising Tide - A New Look at Water and Gender (to be launched at World Water Week 2017) 

    The report reviews a vast body of literature and offers a framework for visualizing water as an asset, a service, and a space. It shows how water is an arena where gender relations play out in ways that often mirror inequalities between the sexes. And it examines how norms and practices related to water often exacerbate ingrained gender and other hierarchies. Informal institutions, taboos, rituals, and norms all play a part in maintaining these hierarchies and can even reinforce gender inequality. The report’s key message is clear—interventions in water-related domains are important in and of themselves and for enhancing gender equality more broadly. The report discusses examples of initiatives that have had intended and unintended consequences for gender equality, and makes the important point that gender inequality does not always show up where we might expect. 

    Beyond Scarcity - Water Security in the Middle East and North Africa (to be launched at World Water Week 2017) 

    Water security is about much more than just coping with water scarcity. Water governance issues – in particular, the failure to create incentives that signal extreme water scarcity and promote water conservation – are the common denominator of water resources management in the Middle East and North Africa. Strategies that seek to “desalinate their way out of water insecurity” have made limited progress towards water security. Global experience shows that technology, policy and institutional management needs to evolve together to achieve water security.

    Easing the Transition to Commercial Finance for Sustainable Water and Sanitation

    Providing sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in developing countries remains an immense, and increasingly urgent, challenge. This report reviews how the sector is currently funded and why business as usual is insufficient for meeting WSS-related goals. It proposes a financing framework toward more effective use of existing funds to enable the mobilization of commercial finance. After setting out the benefits and costs of commercial finance, the report highlights country experiences and provides practical advice on how countries can plan strategically to diversify financing sources for delivering universal access to safely managed WSS. 

    Uncharted Waters - The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability (coming soon) 

    The powerful collision of burgeoning population growth and climate change is creating unprecedented dry and wet shocks that perpetuate poverty across generations, permanently marking the lives of those who experience them. Rainfall shocks – either in the form of droughts or floods - are hitting farms, firms and families hard. Dry shocks, made worse by climate change, are hitting poor farmers the most, reducing their agricultural yields and hampering their ability to feed themselves and others. Losses in produce each year could feed 80 million people, or roughly the population of Germany. Dry shocks are accelerating farmers’ expansion of crop lands into forests and other natural habitats, threatening water supplies, hastening climate change and destroying the natural forest resources available to farmers.

    Turbulent Waters: Pursuing Water Security in Fragile Contexts

    Water insecurity—ranging from chronic water scarcity to lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, to hydrological uncertainty and extremes (floods and droughts)—can cause severe disruptions and compound fragilities in social, economic, and environmental systems. Untangling the role of water insecurity in contributing to fragility is difficult, yet it is becoming a fundamental question for water policy worldwide given the scale of the fragility challenge. This report explores the dynamics between water insecurity and fragility. It suggests that water security is more difficult to achieve in fragile contexts because of a range of factors, including weak institutions and information systems, strained human and financial resources, and degraded infrastructure.

    Thirsty Energy

    This research focuses on incorporating a representation of water supply and infrastructure costs into an energy systems model (SATIM-W) to better reflect the interdependent nature of the energy-water nexus in South Africa and the water supply challenges facing the energy system. This methodology embeds the various water supply options in a least cost optimization energy planning tool, so that the cost of water is captured. The results of this investigation demonstrate the process and type of tools that can be employed to examine the energy-water nexus in a national level planning context, and the insights that can be gained from water-smart energy planning. A number of relevant policy scenarios in South Africa were explored.

    Performance of Water Utilities in Africa

    This report describes the outcomes and lessons learned from an assessment that identified and analyzed the main features of water utility performance in Africa. The report includes an introduction; description of  the methodology, including details on the data collection process; a trend analysis of utility performance of the sector; an examination of the efficiency of utilities using a data envelopment analysis (DEA) while also using an absolute performance approach; and investigation of the effect of institutional factors on utility performance; an econometric analysis of the drivers of utility performance, using various definitions of utility performance; and the results from the econometric models triangulated with a set of case studies of five utilities.
    (Available in English and French)