Five global “multi-stakeholder partnerships” have announced a new collaboration effort designed to accelerate progress toward ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation around the world.
The World Bank Water Global Practice, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Water Partnership, World Water Council, and UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate committed at last week’s triennial World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil, to coordinate a set of actions toward increased water security, defined as “(underpinning) economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability”.
The collaborating entities represent business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations.
The new collaboration was catalyzed, in part, by the United Nations High-Level Panel on Water report, “Making Every Drop Count”, presented at the Forum, which says that if the world continues on its current path, it may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030.
The report highlights that health, food security, energy sustainability, jobs, cities, and ecosystems are increasingly at risk due to exacerbating natural variability of the water cycle and growing water stress.
The panel warned that as many as 700 million people could be displaced by 2030 in search for water; more than 2 billion people are compelled to drink unsafe water, and 4.5 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation.
Aiming to find collaborative solutions to better manage and value water, the collaborating partnerships will explore how to more effectively coordinate and align their efforts toward the urgent goal of water security, in line with the achievement of the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals.
The five partnerships announced March 22 that their collaboration will:
- Take into account the outcomes of the 8th World Water Forum, proposed by the various political, thematic, regional, citizen, and sustainability processes
- Endorse the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water “Making Every Drop Count”
- Recognize the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG17) that promotes partnerships as a key means of implementation of the 2030 development agenda – in particular for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals calling for a Water Secure World (SDG6)
- Commit to convene a series of discussions between the leaders of the organizations, starting in August 2018
- Explore and agree on pathways towards improving global coordination and collaboration among these and other organizations, in view of accelerating progress towards a water-secure world
Leadership of the five partner organizations welcomed their collaboration:
“Through this partnership, the World Bank Group aims to build an alliance of committed stakeholders to catalyze change and implement the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water. The goal of global water security requires an urgent coordinated response amongst dedicated international development organizations”.
Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director, World Bank Water Global Practice
“The Global Water Partnership is prepared to offer its on-the-ground multi-stakeholder networks to advance better water governance. It is time for policy makers to make SDG6 implementation a top priority".
Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, Chair, Global Water Partnership
“2030 WRG is committed to this global framework. Contributing to sustainable implementation models at scale, we will leverage our country partners, particularly private sector, as key collaborators in this effort".
Karin Krchnak, Program Manager, 2030 Water Resources Group/World Bank Group
“Water challenges pose critical risks to businesses, governments, and communities alike. The only way we can tackle them is by deepening our collaboration within the water sector".
Jason Morrison, Head, CEO Water Mandate
“The World Water Council is pleased to offer its expertise in gathering stakeholders from every horizon to mobilize political will and catalyze positive action for the cause of water. We are stronger together than we are individually, and joining our voices gives new inspiration and opportunity to accelerate and enforce our efforts towards an integrated agenda at the global, regional and local levels".
Benedito Braga, President, World Water Council