Despite progress on many fronts, governments around the world are still confronted with the need to reform their existing water policies in order to meet current objectives and future challenges identified by the OECD Environment Outlook to 2050. Population growth, urbanisation, and changing lifestyles as a result of economic growth are key drivers of these challenges, while increasing spatial and temporal water variability resulting from climate change will exacerbate these pressures.
Building on these water challenges, this report examines three fundamental areas that need to be addressed whatever reform agendas are pursued by governments: financing of the water sector; the governance and institutional arrangements that are in place; and coherence between water policies and policies in place in other sectors of the economy. The report provides governments in both OECD and non-OECD countries with practical advice and policy tools to pursue urgent reform in their water sectors.
After framing the water reform challenge, the book examines the policy challenges surrounding the financing of water supply and sanitation and presents a policy toolkit that can underpin policy dialogues to stimulate much needed reform. The chapter also addresses the growing problem of financing the broader water resources management functions of government.
The next chapter highlights the key governance challenges confronting water policy reform, focusing on the issues arising from the multi-level governance structure that generally characterises water resources management.
The final chapter examines the coherence issues raised by the linkages between water, energy and agriculture and presents a number of steps that governments need to take to address the water coherence challenge.
OECD (2012). Meeting the water reform challenge. (OECD studies on water). Paris, France: OECD Publishing. 172 p.: 17 boxes, 25 fig., 16 tab. ISBN: 9789264169999. Available at: <doi: 10.1787/9789264170001-en> [Accessed 18 May 2012]
Watch a video on the global water challenge and OECD’s response.
This multimedia web site is an initiative of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting that allows students and teachers to interact directly with Pulitzer Center reporters — and with each other — to learn about and discuss the importance of water around the world. The public is also invited to explore the reporting, post their own story about water, and participate in special features, such as the “Ask the expert” section.
The Pullitzer Center launched the site in 2008 with a series of stories from East Africa, focussing on Ethiopia and Kenya, “two countries at the forefront of the world’s coming water crisis”. The Center partnered with the Choices Program at Brown University’s Watson Institute to develop a two-day lesson plan based on water challenges faced by people living in East Africa.
Since then more stories have been added about Desertification in China and South Asia’s Troubled Waters (covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal).
Users can access the stories with related videos, short video interviews with water and sanitation experts recorded during the World Water Forum in Istanbul, and videos posted by users, through a 3D-Viewer.
See below a report on the Water Wars portal that was highlighted in a special edition of Foreign Exchange devoted entirely to global water issues. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Pulitzer Center journalist Alex Stonehill and draws on the portal to share video reports and student perspectives.
Slow sand filtration is a filtration system for relatively small scale waterworks. Since it is cheaper to install and maintain than rapid sand filtration which is current mainstream in Japan, it can be more suitable for developing countries depending on the conditions.
The video (26 min) can be viewed in 6 parts. Parts 1-5 provide background information on large-scale and small-scale application of slow sand filtration technology in Japan. Part 6 is about a JICA project in Sierra Leone.
This animated short film [5 min, 22 sec] details the travails of a barefoot consultant who promotes sanitation in villages in Pakistan. The barefoot consultant prospers in his work and develops a working sanitation market, he achieves such success that he is soon asked to travel to other villages to help them become Open Defecation Free.
The film was directed by Numair Abbas of Gogimation, a division of Gogi Studios in Islamadad, Pakistan. It was produced for the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) and posted on WSP’s YouTube Channel.
Arghyam and the WASH Institute have launched the India Sanitation Portal, as a sister web site of the India Water Portal. The new Portal is a collaborative effort with content initially provided by Arghyam, Plan International, Stockholm Environmental Institute, UNICEF, WASH Institute, WaterAid, Water and Sanitation Program, Water for People, and Wherever the Need.
An important part of the Portal is the section on GIS applications and maps related to the performance of Total Sanitation Campaign and Nirmal Gram Puraskar, the flagship government programs related to rural sanitation. These applications were created through data obtained courtesy of the Department of Drinking Water Supply, Government of India.
Other sections are a searchable database of organisations and a Knowledge & Resources section with full text case studies, course materials, videos, research papers and policy documents.