2017 WWW Daily Wednesday_30 August, 2017

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world water week daily | WEDNESDAY 30 AUGUST | 2017

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT KEY TO VIABILITY OF

WATER PRICING

TEXT | Nick Chipperfield PHOTO | andreas karlsson and mikael ullén

DEVELOPING LOCAL SKILL SETS

ARE CRITICAL TO ESTABLISHING

SUCCESSFUL AND SUSTAINABLE WATER

PRICING PROGRAMMES. THIS WAS

THE KEY MESSAGE OF THE WATER

PRICING: FINDING THE RIGHT PRICE IN

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SESSION.

Seth Womble

The event,

convened by the

Poul due Jensen

Foundation and

Water Mission,

used an engaging

real-world simulation,

using figures

taken from ongoing

projects, to

illustrate the advantages – and honestly

assess the challenges – of introducing

water-pricing programmes.

The simulation, led by Seth Womble

and Andrew Armstrong from Water

Mission, involved people representing

local community leaders, including a

“This has to be

very participatory.”

‘president’, a local government representative,

a treasurer, a ‘lead system operator’,

a WASH promotion co-ordinator,

and a community development officer.

This group was the all-important

community water committee, tasked

with budgeting for the installation and

running a solar powered water pump.

The process was divided into three

main elements: price assessment,

budgeting, and establishing financial

targets.

“We need to review affordability first:

how much can we [the committee]

charge for water in this community?”

Armstrong said.

He explained that in discussions within

the water committee, and the local

community as a whole, the committee

needed to ask what people would pay

for water. What were typical water

prices, and what were ideal water prices;

and then consider whether these are

affordable in terms of typical household

incomes in the local community.

“When people spend more than five

per cent of their income on water, that‘s

a burden that they’re unable to bear,”

Armstrong said.

Secondly, the team focused on

the need for the water committee to

establish and agree on detailed budgets

for operating costs (OPEX) and capital

maintenance costs. This process ensures

that the local community fully grasps the

realities of implementing and running

the project – and runs it themselves on

their own terms.

OPEX included chemical costs, cleaning,

maintenance, water quality testing,

mobile phone costs and operator salaries.

This encourages water committee

members to estimate ongoing monthly

expenses, reinforce operational responsibility,

and “develop ownership of the

budgeting process,” Armstrong said.

This builds understanding and

encourages local communities to take

responsibility of projects for the longterm,

Womble added.

Establishing realistic and transparent

financial targets based on how many

households use the system, and to

what extent, was an important aspect

of the process, Armstrong said. He

noted however, that while encouraging

communities to “set targets for full

cost recovery” was controversial, it was

entirely feasible.

“This has to be very participatory,

we want [local people] to do these

calculations,” Armstrong said.

published by stockholm international water institute


WEDNESDAY: WORLD WATER WEEK DAILY

WIN-WIN WITH REUSED WASTEWATER IN JORDAN

In the second session of the seminar

Harnessing opportunities for the safe

reuse of wastewater in agriculture, the

perspective shifted from global to local.

Five presenters showcased examples

from different parts of the world, Loay

Frouk from Jordanian Wastewater and

Solidwater Reuse Organization, being

one of them. In Wadi Mousa, wastewater

from the tourist industry near

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: HOT OR NOT?

David Nilsson

Petra has been reused for fodder

production. The result is enhanced

livelihood for the Bedouin, and an

improved tourism environment.

“Yield has increased from 20 to

30 per cent due to nutrients found

in wastewater. Also, the fodder

has contributed to an alternative

income as well as social stability in

the community,” Frouk said.

Pay Drechsel from IWMI concluded

the session with some final

reflections. Wastewater irrigation in

agriculture is not without risk and

we must learn to ask ourselves the

right questions, Drechsel said.

“Should we try to double the

agricultural area under treated wastewater?

Or, shall we try to reduce the

irrigation already happening with

highly polluted water?”

Speaking at a SIWI Sofa event, exploring how technology

is changing the water and energy sectors, David

Nilsson, director of Water Centre at KTH, said: “drastic

change in the water and energy market” was underway,

changing the business logic of large organizations:

“they’re not making money in the same way they did in

the past.” Operators of water treatment plants now see

themselves as energy producers, said Östen Ekengren,

IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

WINNERS OF STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE

Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang from the USA received the 2017

Stockholm Junior Water Prize, for their novel approach to detect

and purify water contaminated with Shigella, E. coli, Salmonella,

and Cholera. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented

the prize at a ceremony at Grand Hotel in Stockholm last night.

CALL FOR RESEARCH

ON MICROPLASTICS

The remote Mongolian Lake Khuvsgul

is more than 200 kilometres from the

nearest town, and even further away from

any major city. Despite that, researchers

have found microplastics in its water,

indicating that there is still a lot to learn

about how small, harmful plastic particles

end up in, and are transported through

eco-systems.

The issue was highlighted during a session

yesterday together with a unanimous

call for more research and urgent action

to combat the spreading of microplastics

in our waterways.

USING SATELLITE DATA TO

IMPROVE “SOLUTION SPACES”

At the Contributions of Earth obser vations

and models for improved water sustainability

session, attendees learnt how NASA’s

advanced satellite technologies are used

to improve water management.

“The lack and inadequacy of surface

observations mean that sometimes the

best place to monitor a whole range of

water indicators is from space. Using

satellites, you have local, frequent, and

carbon perspectives,” explained John Bolten,

associate programme manager, NASA.

The purpose of collecting data was to

improve understanding of the water cycle,

Bolten said, and specifically to address

activities such as lake monitoring, river

forecasting, snowmelt modelling, flood

impact assessment, drought response,

terrestrial subsidence, and groundwater

depletion.

Themes echoed by Simon Langan,

from the International Institute for Applied

Systems Analysis, who provided examples

of how data can be used to “develop

scenarios” in the context of sustainable

water use, and on which to base dialogues

with local stakeholders –municipalities,

governments, organizations – thereby

creating the basis for informed decision -

making and “solution spaces”.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

6%

WATER SCARCITY, EXACERBATED

BY CLIMATE CHANGE, COULD COST

SOME REGIONS UP TO SIX PER CENT

OF THEIR GDP. SOURCE: WORLD BANK


DOULAYE KONE,

DEPUTY DIRECTOR,

WATER SANITATION &

HYGIENE, BILL & MELINDA

GATES FOUNDATION

Providing a solid foundation

TEXT | andreas karlsson PHOTO | mikael ullén

WHEN LEARNING ABOUT BEING AWARDED

THE 2017 STOCKHOLM WATER PRIZE,

STEPHEN MCCAFFREY ALMOST FELL OFF

HIS CHAIR, BECAUSE DESPITE BEING A FIRM

BELIEVER IN THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

LAW, HE HAD NEVER IMAGINED A LAWYER

BEING ELIGIBLE FOR SUCH A PRIZE.

Professor McCaffrey is particularly proud

to have contributed to the establishment

of the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention

and he stresses its importance for successful

transboundary water cooperation.

“Unless guided by written principles,

co-operations are ad hoc constructions.

It is much easier and far more efficient

if we can start from a mutually agreed

starting point.”

And not only is there a need, he says,

there is a strong will and a sense of urgency

to have such principles in place, implemented

and in operation.

“I work a lot with governments and they

are acutely aware that there has to be a

governance structure and a framework to

enable transboundary water co-operation.

They want to know what their rights and

obligations are, and they want to know what

the rights and obligations of others are.”

He takes the Finnish-Swedish Transboundary

River Commission as an example

of how even in the best-case scenarios,

there is a need for mutual principles.

“The relationship between Sweden and

Finland is of course all hunky-dory and

there is not even a visible border between

the countries, but because they are two

sovereign states, with sovereign interests,

they have created a commission, as a

framework for dealing with shared water

resources.”

One of the strengths of the Watercourses

Convention, he says, is that it was developed

through the UN system, meaning that even

countries that are not members, realize

that its principles should guide them.

Asked whether he thinks international

water law should be talked about more

within the water community, McCaffrey

says that that is not necessarily the case.

“You don’t walk around your home

every day thinking that you’re glad you

have a solid foundation for the house. The

water community is aware of this particular

field and its importance, but specialists

should of course spend most of their time

doing their job.”

“Specialists should of

course spend most of their

time doing their job.”

Looking ahead, McCaffrey says he

remains positive for the future of international

water law. For the implementation

process though, there is a need for some

form of enforcing mechanism and he

believes that the most likely construction

will be a “very robust secretariat”.

“Without it, it’s a parentless treaty so

there really has to be some kind of body

looking after it.”

Why has the percentage

of the urban population

in sub-Saharan Africa

connected to a sewage

system declined?

The population is growing

very fast and these are

very heavy and expensive

infrastructure investments.

If we’d have alternative solutions

led by the private sector

it could drive the promotion

of new techno logies and

supplement what governments

are doing.

Is it even possible to

connect the whole population

to the sewage system

or can Africa leapfrog the

development?

Exactly like when the landline

came to a limit, the industry

came up with a different

solution which today is your

smartphone. Similarly, we

have a proxy in the pit latrine,

but we need a different nonsewage

technology that

doesn’t pollute the environment.

Instead we should turn

the waste into commodity

which can benefit the user or

the service provider.

What techniques are

available?

We’ve been testing several

non-sewage systems in South

Africa. Industry partners and

university partners bring

prototypes for testing in real

use case scenarios. The idea is

to mature the technology so

that it can attract commercial

partners who can take those

technologies and turn them

into products.


WATER AS A MEANS OF COOPERATION

TEXT | görrel espelund PHOTO |Mikael Ullén

COMPETITION OVER WATER RESOURCES

IS A POTENTIAL CAUSE OF CONFLICT.

SUSANNE SCHMEIER FROM GIZ, SHOWED

EXAMPLES OF THE OPPOSITE.

The session hall was full to the brim

when Aaron Salzberg from the US State

Department and Susanne Schmeier

took the floor to speak about linkages

between water security and conflict.

While Salzberg gave examples of social

scenarios that could lead to increased

tension, Schmeier showed examples

of the opposite.

“I think we can move away from

the vicious circle of water insecurity

and conflict to a virtuous circle where

co-operation leads to water security.

One key component to achieve this

is resilience through technical,

managerial, institutional or legal

mechanisms,” she said.

As an example, she named Lake

Naivasha in Kenya, the Orange basin

in southern Africa, and the Sava Basin

in south-eastern Europe.

“During the Balkan war, water infrastructure

was destroyed and the trust

between people was destroyed. When

policy-makers looked at which area

lends itself most to co-operation, they

identified water,” she said.

All the countries had an interest

in developing and restoring water

infrastructure and this led to the

establishment of the International

Sava River Basin Commission.

“If you look at how the countries

are now managing their water in a very

cooperative way, it shows how we can

use water to foster co-operation,” said

Schmeier.

Susanne Schmeier

world water week voices

What do you do to save water on a daily basis?

Farrukh Kamolidinov,

Ministry of Energy

and Water Resources

of the Republic of

Tajikistan, Tajikistan

I make sure to

close taps properly

and only boil the

amount of water I

will actually drink,

so nothing goes to

waste.

Leonie Kappauf,

GFA Consulting

Group, Germany

I never wash my

car and I try to

discipline myself

to save not only

water, but all natural

resources, such as

limiting the amount

of paper I use.

Yasue Hagihara,

International

Lake Environment

Committee

Foundation, Japan

We have an abundance

of water in Japan,

but I still save water

because it is also about

saving money. I use

bathing water for

laundry and also try

saving water while

doing dishes.

Ruth Nganga, Water

Sector Trust Fund,

Kenya

I try to take short

showers and I do

the dishes in a sink

rather than under

running water.

José Luis Inglese,

Aysa, Argentina

Water shortage is

no problem where

I live, but I am still

fortunate because

my wife comes from

a water scarce area,

so she is used to

saving water and is

responsible for that.

Hirofumi Waki,

International

Lake Environment

Committee

Foundation, Japan

When we bathe,

we use the same

water for more than

one family member.

We have also changed

to a shower head that

uses less water.

Digital updates

Don’t forget to check in with us for digital

up-dates throughout the day, and engage with

us on social media. The online programme is

available on programme.worldwaterweek.org

and in the World Water Week mobile phone app.

World Water Week

in Stockholm

Stockholm International

Water Institute (SIWI)

@siwi_water

@siwi_water

Stockholm

International

Water Institute

App

World Water

Week App

STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL WATER INSTITUTE

Box 101 87 | Visiting Address: Linnégatan 87A

SE-100 55, Stockholm, Sweden

Tel: +46 8 121 360 00 | www.siwi.org

Publisher: Torgny Holmgren

SIWI EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor: Victoria Engstrand-Neacsu

Graphic Designer: Marianne Engblom

stockholm waterfront daily • 27 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER, 2017 • CIRCULATION: 750

WORLD WATER WEEK DAILY EDITORIAL STAFF

Görrel Espelund, Andeas Karlsson

and Nick Chipperfield

Photography: Thomas Henrikson

and Mikael Ullén

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