Water Investment Is Crucial To Climate Resilience

GWP Highlights Progress And Looks Forward

8 Jun 2021 by The Water Diplomat
Edinburgh, Scotland

Smiling woman spraying water from a hose

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is urging governments to learn from its experience by improving climate resilience through water investments. A new report provides highlights from more than 60 countries to demonstrate how better management of water resources delivers direct benefits to communities.

Entitled Mobilising Change: 10 years of climate resilient water investments, the report reviews the progress and lessons learned by the GWP's water and climate programme.

"Mobilising change requires long-term commitment; there are no quick fixes to water management,” said GWP executive secretary Dario Soto-Abril, speaking at a June launch event.

With the remit to bring about transformation by moving water to the forefront of development agendas, the GWP's interventions over the last 10 years "have provided water solutions to development challenges, catalysed climate resilient development, and enhanced the transboundary cooperation that is essential for reaping the social and economic benefits of shared waters", says the report.

25 "stories of change" provide a glimpse of how the GWP's interventions have led to significant outcomes and impact. In Southern Africa, for instance, the GWP helped the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) successfully argue its case for funding assistance from the African Water Facility to develop joint water management in the basin serving 19 million people in Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

A priority project to come out of this was a proposed water transfer from Lesotho’s highlands to Botswana, which would involve transboundary work on a number of investments. This was the first time ORASECOM had helped its member governments prepare a transboundary project, moving from its role as a knowledge provider towards influencing the way storage and transfer schemes are prepared, says the report.

"GWP's track record in supporting water resource and climate resilience investments...show a leverage ratio of 1:33 for every dollar invested in GWP's water and climate programme over the past 10 years, is a testament to the transformative power of partnerships to create real impact,” said Alex Simalabwi, GWP's global head of climate resilience and the leader of the water and climate programme.

In January 2020, GWP embarked on its strategy ‘Mobilising for a Water Secure World’, which aims to influence more than €10 billion in water-related investments over the next six years and significantly advance the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for more than 4 billion people living in 60 countries and 20 transboundary basins across four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.