Global Water Partnership and
Exceptional water challenges require an exceptional response. After centuries of taking water for granted, many countries are now aware that water stresses and increasing risks can jeopardize their economies and development gains. However, the economics of water security are complex, and serious effort is required to provide policy makers with the information and tools needed to identify and implement sound development paths toward water security and green growth.
Top economists and leaders of OECD, GWP, and the World Bank will discuss the process and consultations needed over the next two years to inform and influence countries and in particular Ministries of Finance and Development, and how to elevate the importance of water within the post-2015 Development Framework.
17:45 Opening Statement. Dr. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, GWP Chair
17:55 Launch of OECD Publication. Mr. Angel Gurria, OECD
18:05 Statement by a Representative of President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Liberia, Goodwill Ambassador for Water and Sanitation (tbc).
18:15 Discussion Panel
Moderator: Dr. Claudia Sadoff, WB
Not available yet.
The Global Water Partnership and the OECD have launched a joint effort to undertake a Global Dialogue on Water Security and Sustainable Growth. The Dialogue will promote global action to address water-related risks, highlight the issue of water security within the Post 2015 Development Framework, and provide substantive material to the UN Open Working Group for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The major output of this initiative will be a milestone report presented at the 2015 World Water Forum in South Korea.
The GWP-OECD project was launched at a side event at the World Water Week in Stockholm on 2 September 2013, with GWP Chair Dr. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss introducing the project. The message was clear: Exceptional water challenges require an exceptional response. After centuries of taking water for granted, many countries now acknowledge that water stresses and increasing risks can jeopardize their economies, environments and development gains.
One of the key elements of the project will be a high-level global dialogue panel, to be co-chaired by Angel Gurría, Secretary General of OECD, and President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, President of Liberia and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Water and Sanitation.
Speaking at the launch in Stockholm, Mr. Gurría highlighted the economic aspect of the project, but stressed that the perspective has to be wider than that: “If you only look at economics, you will leave out the most vulnerable people and have problems with equity. On the other hand if you only look at equity, then the infrastructure will suffer.”
Mr. Gurría said there has to be a balance, and that the key word is risk assessment: “Knowing and measuring the risks of water will give us the chance to manage it in the future.”
Mr. Bai-Mass Taal, Executive Secretary of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), represented President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson at the launch. He said that President Sirleaf Johnson had asked him to convey the message of Africa – that water security is crucial to solving many of Africa’s problems.
“Water is at the center of development, it’s a central driving force behind economic development. Water security in Africa faces a lot of challenges. We have water but we cannot access it, because there is no infrastructure. Only 3 percent of the water resources are being utilized in Africa,” said Mr. Taal.
Expert Task Force
The GWP-OECD project will include an Expert Task Force consisting of recognized economists, water managers, and scientists. The Task Force will undertake substantive research to provide new evidence and assessments of potential pathways to water security. This task force will be led by Dr. Claudia Sadoff of the GWP Technical Committee.
Additionally, a set of Country Consultations on water will be organized by GWP. These consultations will feed questions and information into the policy dialogue, as well as testing the proposed Sustainable Water Goal and associated targets.
Addressing the question of how to move from plan to action in the GWP-OECD project, Mr. Gurría explained that the challenge at hand is to look at what and where the water risks are, what works, and what doesn’t.