Improving the Impacts and Effectiveness of Corporate Water Stewardship Initiatives

Alliance for Water Stewardship;

Businesses increasingly recognize that partnering with stakeholders can help them better address their greatest water-related risks. Donors are investing in these partnerships to leverage private sector involvement for sustainable water management. Although the case for water stewardship partnerships appears strong, it comes with governance challenges for all parties involved. 


There is still much to learn to move from short-term projects with positive local impact to long term shifts for better water governance and societal benefits. While good practices are regularly brought to international attention, the perception of ‘bad practice’ can undermine the opportunity these partnerships present. Two key inter-related questions urgently need addressing:

  1. how can these partnerships be made most effective to tackle shared water-related challenges to support water security, and
  2. how can their societal benefit be ensured?


The seminar will explore:

a) how to design and establish high-integrity partnerships that serve the public interest;

b) how to conduct participatory water risk assessments to develop broad consensus on priorities and build momentum for collective action;

c) how to strengthen public sector capacity and policy implementation;

d) how to transparently monitor, evaluate and communicate impacts. Audience inputs will contribute to a framework for assuring integrity in water stewardship partnerships.

09:00  Opening and introduction

  • Dr. Tania Rödiger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General-Directorate 31 (Sustainable development; natural resources; economic issues and infrastructure), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Robert Greenwood, Principal, Ross Strategic (meeting facilitator)


Part 1 - Managing Integrity: How to Improve the Impacts and Effectiveness of Corporate Water Stewardship Initiatives that Serve the Public Interest

09:10  Scene Setters:

  • Jason Morrison, Technical Director, CEO Water Mandate; Program Director, Pacific Institute
  • Janek Hermann-Friede, Programme Coordinator, Water Integrity Network Association

09:30  Fishbowl panel discussion

Discussion Questions:
1)    Do the key integrity risks presented by the scene setters reflect your experience with WSIs and do you sense the operating principles are adequate to address such WSI integrity risks?
2)    What are the key contextual factors (i.e., situation within the river basin) that most influences integrity issues relating to an WSI (i.e., what are some of the key barriers/challenges in managing the integrity of an WSI)?


  • Bert Share, Senior Global Director, Beer & Better World, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Sonja Berdau, Advisor to International Water Stewardship Programme, GIZ
  • Peter Newborne, Research Associate, Water Policy, Overseas Development Institute
  • Ron Hoffer, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Carlo Galli, Water Resources Advisor, Nestlé

10:15  Discussion round with audience

10:30  Coffee Break


Part 2 - Reflecting on water stewardship collective action within the context of broader water governance

11:00 Scene Setters:

  • Håkan Tropp, Managing Director, Knowledge Services, Stockholm International Water Institute
  • Liese Dallbauman, Chair, WBCSD Water Leadership Group; Director - Water Stewardship, PepsiCo

11:20  Fishbowl panel discussion
Discussion Questions:
1)    What are some of most important ways that WSIs can improve or undermine water governance at the watershed level?
2)    What are important safe guards that can be implemented to ensure that the capacity of public entities is not undermined or negatively influenced?


  • David Hillyard, Head of Major Partnerships, WaterAid
  • Professor John Langford, University of Melbourne, representing Alliance for Water Stewardship
  • Bastiaan Mohrmann, Country Representative India, 2030 Water Resources Group & Head - Water Advisory, South Asia, IFC
  • Brigitte Dittrich Kraemer, Senior Sustainability Manager, BASF

12:10  Discussion round with audience

12:25  Concluding remarks
Gavin Power, Head, CEO Water Mandate; Deputy Director, UN Global Compact

12:30     Close of seminar

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