Access to clean water and sanitation in afghanistan election,vin decoder europe toyota,gas vs electric water heater ontario - For Begninners

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The proportion of the population with access to safe drinking water has increased significantly to 56 per cent in 2009, from 37.3 per cent in 1997. Protected areas share total land area in Angola Another indicator of environmental sustainability is the proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected. Carbon Dioxide emissions in Namibia Carbon dioxide emissions have increased slightly since 1999 due to urban growth and increased use of fossil fuels, but the increase shown in the graphic, is largely due to improved monitoring. Protected areas share of total land area in Malawi The extent of protected land area in Malawi has remained at 10 585 sq km since 1990, amounting to nine per cent of the total surface area in a densely populated country, as shown in the figure. More worrying is the sanitation situation for almost all developing countries, in that access to sanitation remains below the world average. Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target, World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 2006. The supply of safe drinking water and the provision of sanitation are management issues that raise concerns about inequitable service provision, particularly in developing countries.
Total population: access to an improved water source The 2004 global image sadly shows that the lack of access to clean water remains a burden for the poorest countries, preventing them accelerating their development. Renewable surface water produced internally It is difficult to determine the amount of renewable water produced internally from the total renewable water resources (external and internal).
Suspended sediment discharge Asia exhibits the largest runoff volumes and, therefore, the highest levels of sediment discharge. Industrial areas and seasonal zones of oxygen depleted waters This graphic illustrates the strong link between areas with high densities of industrial activity and zones of seasonally oxygen-depleted waters. Planet index 2007 for marine species population The Marine Species Population Index provides an assessment of the average changeover time in the populations of 217 species of marine mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The MDG drinking water target, which calls for halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water between 1990 and 2015, was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule.
An infographic that describes the challenges facing developing countries in sourcing water. Environmental stresses imposed by population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change have become a prominent theme of international concern, especially since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Survival and healthWhen water first rose to international importance in the 1970s, it was identified as one of the ‘basic needs’ common to all humanity – alongside food, water, shelter, means of livelihood - whose fulfilment had become a stated goal of international development policy.
A number of concerns, in addition to those surfacing as a consequence of the Water Decade, have subsequently exerted a significant influence on international thinking about water. Until recently, water service provision has been primarily the exclusive concern of governments and municipal authorities, often in accordance with standard philosophies and belief systems concerning a ‘free’ resource essential to human health and well-being. Climatic conditions and water prioritiesAlthough there is growing evidence of a global consensus on the critical importance of water, there are nonetheless wide differences between regions - and within them - concerning the priority issues for development.
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Thanks to the efforts of Monsanto Indonesia, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia and the Monsanto Fund, approximately 1,700 residents in two villages in Malang, Indonesia, have gained access to clean water, sanitation facilities and programs that use manure to produce biogas in households.
In addition to building facilities, Monsanto Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity Indonesia, are also providing training to 500 village residents.
James Tumbuan, national director of Habitat for Humanity Indonesia, said prior to the construction of these water facilities, many village houses did not have proper toilets.
Monsanto Indonesia is committed to improving the welfare of Indonesian people, especially in agricultural areas, to assist the government in realizing the Millennium Development Goals and to be able to help alleviate poverty and reduce half of the number of people who do not have access to clean water by 2015. Progress in this matter is particularly important for development, as it is well known that a lack of appropriate sanitation is a factor in the spread of water born diseases - something that could be avoided with minimum investment. Although several successful initiatives have been launched to supply safe drinking water to urban populations, efforts still fall short of the required targets for sustainable development.
Graphic captioning the time at which Waste water will become suitable levels of consumption. In aquatic systems, nitrogen and phosphorus are the two nutrients that most commonly control the growth of aquatic plants, algae and bacteria.
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The fulfilment of population’s basic needs for access to a supply of safe drinking water and a safe disposal of human waste, remain important parts of today’s social and economic challenges. Some - such as environmental stresses, water scarcity, climate change and potential conflict - have already been touched upon. However, the increasing challenges in some settings towards government-delivered services, coupled with a new appreciation of water scarcity, water value (including also as resource development) and the shortage of financial resources, have led to a reappraisal of the roles of potential actors. At the global level, this is reflected in a broad dichotomy of view between North and South about priorities.The idea that water must be seen as a highly-valued natural resource is now common international thinking in developed countries - is far from new to the majority of developing countries. That's why we're committed to getting the public involved in a global conversation about the methods we're using in order to help grow enough food for a growing world. We think holistically about how our food is grown so farmers have the tools they need to have better harvests - to make a plate of meats, grains, fruits and vegetables within reach for every family. This training will help them gain knowledge about safe and healthy homes, family finances and economic welfare, and healthy lifestyles.
Within one year of development, the installation of a fire hydrant pump system, two main storage units, six small reservoirs, and the installation of pipes along 452 meters have been completed. The proportion of the population with access to improved sanitation has increased from 40 per cent in 2003 to 45 per cent in 2009, with a target of 50 per cent for 2015. In developing countries water delivery systems are plagued by leakages, illegal connections and vandalism, while precious water resources are squandered through greed and mismanagement.
While this a tremendous achievement, efforts should continue to give access to remaining 663 million people who still relies on unimproved water sources (surface water from lakes, rivers, dams, or unprotected dug wells or springs) for their drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Demands upon the world’s supply of freshwater resources are increasing the threats and risk to both the quantity and quality of a natural resource essential to human life, health, social and economic activities.
Others need to be mentioned here in the context of a path to a new international consensus on water.In recent years, economic, environmental and ‘common good’ perceptions of water resources have come to assume greater importance.
Many developing countries are located in semi-arid areas, have semi-arid regions within their borders, or suffer from dry and wet season extremes. Ask your own questions regarding anything from honey bee health, GMOs, to sustainability in agriculture and more.
The World Bank recently estimated that US$600 billion is required to repair and improve the world’s water delivery systems (UNCSD, 1999).
These risks to water resources have raised political attention which has been translated into political commitment, within and between countries, for the protection of this vital resource. Despite the increase in attention and resources generated by the Decade, achievements in quantifiable terms fell short of stated targets (Choguill et al. Concerns over poverty reduction, democracy and human rights have increased the emphasis on equity and participatory approaches. The two last decades have seen a growing acceptance that the state is not the only owner and operator of water-related services, including sewerage and irrigation works. In some countries - India, Iraq, Sri Lanka, China and others - ancient civilisations’ foundations were built upon hydraulic engineering to manage water flows, and water management still remains central to social, political, and cultural life.
Not only do the residents now have access to clean water, but they also now have public baths, toilets and laundry facilities.
Growing concerns related to climate change highlight the urgency of the freshwater situation. According to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) definition, aid to water supply and sanitation includes water resources policy, planning and programmes, water legislation and management, water resources development, water resources protection, water supply and use, sanitation (including solid waste management) and education and training in water supply and sanitation. Problems of water scarcity, overabundance at times of seasonal flood, or both, are accepted as on-going realities and not as extreme events. Climate change impacts are expected to affect populations directly by more frequent extreme events such as floods and droughts, rising sea levels, changes in the seasonal distribution and amount and type of precipitation such as snow and rain, Climate change is also expected to impact on the storage components of the Water Life Cycle such as glaciers, snow pack and groundwater via recharge.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is an intergovernmental body with the aim to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences. Only in the context of rural water supplies did coverage manage to outstrip population growth and urbanisation. This theme has gained some popularity due to the premise that involvement of the private commercial sector can overcome problems as budgetary shortages, poor management and lack of effective cost recovery. Relevant reports produced by the IPCC and others cover all continents and regions, with focus on developing regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and South East Asia where most vulnerability to climate change is perceived.
International commitments were reiterated in 1990 within the goals of ‘Water and Sanitation for All” by the Year 2000. Governments have considered that a delegation of the management of public services to private companies could offer a potential solution to financial constraints and systemic problems of inefficiency.Among the shortcomings of publicly-owned and run utilities in many developing countries that gave a strong impulse to privatisation it was emphasised that, beyond the stage of implementing projects that are funded or supported, by donors, authorities have often not been able to commit adequate resources to future operation and maintenance. From the Newly Industrialized Countries (NIC) China has 7% of the world’s water and 400 of China’s 660 main cities face water shortages with one-third of the rural population still drinking unsafe water ; by 2020 India’s demand for water is expected to exceed their current sources of supply.
To provide a framework within which nations can act in concert to address climate change, the United Nations hosted the formation of a Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In September 2000, during the UN Millennium Summit eight development goals to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations by 2015 were adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state and government. These bodies may, in addition, suffer from weak technical and managerial capacity required to run existing and new infrastructures effectively. Article 4, paragraph 1(e) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change commits Parties to develop appropriate and integrated plans for coastal zone management and water resources management for the protection and rehabilitation of areas affected by drought, desertification and floods.
Relevant indicators to measure progress towards the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) were selected by national and international statistical experts.

Until recently, they have taken their water supply for granted and its volume has not been a matter of concern except during occasional floods or droughts.
While the initial focus of the Convention has been on CO2 emissions, the importance of water has been working its way firmly onto the international agenda.There are large differences between regions and countries regarding the availability of fresh water resources, especially those in temperate and tropical zones.
The need to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the application of Official Development Assistance (ODA) resources, both from the perspective of intended beneficiaries and from that of donors, became compelling for pragmatic reasons (such as financial)as well as an evolving geopolitical and ideological framework.The Paris Declaration of 2005 is one of the major steps in recent years to address these ODA shortcomings. Service infrastructures consequently fall into disrepair due to a lack of resources required to implement a proper operation and maintenance strategy.
This lack of industrialised world concern has long influenced international attitudes; the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report on environment and development - Our Common Future - did not even consider water resources as an issue.
Given the current technologies, approaches and skilled human resources, the targeted goal is in principle reachable.
It was endorsed by over one hundred Ministers, Heads of Agencies and Senior Officials who committed their countries and organisations to increase efforts in harmonisation, alignment and managing aid for results, with a set of actions and indicators to be monitored (OECD, 2005).
Unless specifically mandated to do so (and supported by sufficient resources), water authorities - often in urban areas - are also deficient in reaching poorer communities. However, by the time of the 1992 UN Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, attitudes had begun to change and include water quality concerns.
It laid down a practical, action-orientated roadmap to improve the quality of aid and its impact on development.
The prospect of their being able to expand services is reduced where service management is economically and technically inefficient and cannot generate the required financial or water resource surplus. Although water was not prominently discussed, the inclusion of a chapter on Freshwater Resources in Agenda 21, the key Summit document, provided a catalyst for future actions.Although the increasing frequency of water scarcity and seasonal flood events remain priority issues for much of the developing world, water quality issues and financial investments are beginning to intrude on this agenda, while at the same time scarcity issues are becoming more prominent in parts of the industrialised world. Questions relating to water resources management and usage cut across many economic and social sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, industry, urban development, energy, environment, tourism and public health.
When trying to solve these series of shortcomings through the establishment of public-private partnerships, this approach led to a variety of results with sometimes limited success. Rapid population growth and an increasing urbanisation in the South, have recently begun to exert new pressures on what is fast becoming an over-stretched resource.
The comprehensive country-based PRSP strategy was launched in 1999 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), aiming to provide the link between national public actions, donor support, and development outcomes in order to meet the United Nations' MDGs. Cities in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America are facing critical water problems as a result of overloading demand on limited resources, improper waste disposal, contamination of rivers and streams and the unregulated extraction of water from increasingly depleted aquifers.
Freshwater resources have traditionally been regarded as something to which all members of the human community have rights to access. Although the overall purpose of development cooperation remains the same - to redress imbalances and create opportunities for underprivileged and under-served populations - a number of new concerns have emerged. In the urban areas tariffs were sometimes set too high with the public budget covering anyways the differences, the rural areas continued not being served because often they are seen as unprofitable investments.
Agriculture remains the major water user in many countries and the diversion of water to other uses has implications for agriculture and food security.
Access to clean water –and sanitation - is considered by many current international agendas and platforms as a basic human right, indispensable for leading a healthy and dignified human life. The latter is being reinforced more and more by best practices which include more efficient techniques of water storage and transportation, greater efficiency in water use in industry and agriculture, and promoting behavioural change among water consumers to minimize excess consumption, wastage and water loss.Food and livelihoodsAlthough water is also needed to support other basic needs- especially food and livelihoods- issues relating to the use of water for economic production have not been accorded the same level of discussion and scrutiny.
They now reflect the importance and the need for good governance, institutional reform, administrative decentralisation, and the participation and involvement of both the civil society and the private sector. While welcoming an overdue international recognition of the importance of water, some stakeholders in the developing world have expressed reservations on the sudden pre-occupation of the industrialised world with environmental issues.
Most existing water supply systems are the result of public investments for social improvement, and as such are invariably subsidized. While water use in agriculture accounts for more than 75 percent of water consumption in the developing world, in the developed world the sectors of industry and even energy are having very strong impacts on water consumption and more specifically water quality. Water-related development cooperation and the new international thinking on water address these concerns and form an integral part of this Water Project Toolkit.While the debate on water in the 1980s was largely focused on water and sanitation as essential for public health, the scope of the debate in the 1990s expanded, and the wider objective now includes the management and use of water as an important component of environmental management and sustainable development. Resulting demands to impose global limits on the exploitation of the natural environment, to which the developed countries were not subjected during their own industrialisation process, are sometimes seen as unfair and inequitable. With the promotion of economic development as a solution to poverty in some developing countries, such as many in Asia,there will also come an increasing evolution of the water consumption profile which will be less agricultural and more industrial.This evolving profile of water usage will differ among the world regions as a result of their available resources. This wider approach generally embraces water resources management and reflects environmental and economic concerns as well as good governance, transparency, and cross-cutting issues such as gender and poverty alleviation.Consequently the afore-mentioned overlapping and complementary trends have prompted the development of an integrated approach to water resources management. In between these options are those whereby the management of existing systems, or the construction of new installations, has been organised through private operators under various kinds of contractual arrangements including leases (affermage or delegation of public services), concessions and build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) schemes.Most of these options apply principally to the context of municipal water and wastewater treatment, but are also used in the context of major irrigation works and environmentally sensitive activities such as recreation and tourism, transport and waterway management. Since the Earth Summit, the views of North and South have indeed moved closer together, but reservations towards blanket global prescriptions for resolving resource management issues remain.
In the face of water shortages and environmental concerns, discussions in some international fora have called for water to be regarded as a social and public good and not to be available for the marketplace. The role of the public authorities as regulator is to ensure equity and to monitor subsidy levels and tariffs paid by water consumers. These concerns need to be taken into account, and they underscore the challenge of matching the international consensus on principles to the realities of local situations.Implications for water policyContained within the international consensus on principles that should govern the response to global water problems, is the recognition that problems must be identified within the local context, and solutions developed which take local specificities into account. However, regardless of where the responsibility of management is placed, costs must be met to ensure sustainability of services. The public authorities are also responsible for determining, or at least approving, investments to be made, and for ensuring the control of private management within the framework of partnership. However, the implications of putting into effect some of the most important features of the international consensus - given the particularities of water realities in the developing world - have not always been given due recognition by donors. There can be a clear distinction between the rights-based “value” of water and the value as represented by charges or tariffs for different consumer groups, but herein lie the roots of a dispute. Since 2006, developing countries have leased from 15 to 20 million hectares of farm land to foreign companies, investment funds and foreign governments with a turnover between 20 and 30 billion dollars, but not all of this land is allocated towards food production.
They contribute to a stated determination to identify actions consistent within a framework of integrated water resources management.The drive to operationalize these principles began initially with the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in June 1997, which called for urgent action in the field of freshwater.
The growth of international unanimity of view demands more flexibility concerning the practical application of policy principles.
The view which upholds water as a commodity to be bought and sold, in which the community and especially its poorer members might thereby lose their rights, cuts across deeply held beliefs and long-established ideologies, now upheld in some areas that access to water is a human right.Lack of a holistic perspective regarding water has led to dispersed and sometimes disorganised systems of water management. While alternative economic land use could bring new opportunities to local populations, they could also over-ride important local issues such as priorities for land allocation or even unresolved land ownership issues. In its 2000 Millennium Declaration the UN set an ambitious agenda for improving the access to water and sanitation by 2015.
Many governments undertake or facilitate special efforts for rural areas, but less often for urban and peri-urban areas.
Responsibilities for the management of the resource in areas such as water transport and the construction of dams, pipelines, pumping stations, treatment plants, sewerage systems, and maintenance, are often allocated to a variety of different administrative departments. These competing land-uses also impact directly on water consumption and therefore water management requirements. In 2002, at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the “European Union Water Initiative” EUWI-Water for Life was launched “to create the conditions for mobilising all available EU resources (human & financial), and to coordinate them to achieve the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in partner countries”. Service provision to poorer populations often depends on partnership with local community-based organisations, whether administrative entities - such as Village Councils - or non-governmental organisations.Local NGOs, supported by their international counterparts, have attracted considerable attention recently due to their relative effectiveness in reaching the poor, and in particular for their knowledge and experience of working closely with local communities. Until the present much attention has been given to deadly diseases that contaminated surface water can bring, causing a significant burden of sickness and mortality in many developing countries. Water-related activities and their management are also present within a wide range of user sectors, are subsequently managed by that sector’s institution, and result in often uncoordinated management. This highlights the need for a sustainable and also consultative management process which takes into account due consideration of local populations’ land and water needs, ownership issues, environmental issues, the competing demands of other sectors, and the future challenges of climate change. They also have a reputation - in many cases deserved - of achieving large results with limited resources, and their methods have therefore attracted interest from a cost-efficiency perspective.
To solve this health problem many aid agencies since the 70’s invested massively in projects to install tube-wells to provide ground water that was presumably assumed as a safe source of drinking-water for the population. As the water resource is finite and its utilisation needs to be equitable, efficient and planned, the challenge will be to bring all sector strands of management together.The need to examine collectively the entire range of uses to which freshwater is put, and to design services which neither squander precious resources nor fail to respect other competing and complementary water needs, was translated into a policy and programme principle and strategy known as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
While Governments have a vested interest in promoting foreign investment, they also must balance this with the responsibility to address the needs of the population and maintain an agenda of good resource management.Although less pertinent to the fulfilment of basic needs, the growth of industrial and manufacturing processes which depend on water cannot be left out of the management picture. More efforts are needed on an inter-governmental level, especially in promoting good international management. Local NGOs have become increasingly key actors in promoting the willingness, and measuring the ability, to pay for water and sanitation services, even in the most economically marginal of communities.
From the 80’s up until today some developing countries such as Bangladesh, parts of China, India and Sri Lanka suffer from the largest mass poisoning in history given the natural toxic substances that can be found in ground water such as arsenic and fluoride.This tragic case study illustrates a typical example of a well-intentioned development cooperation project that eventually went wrong due to a lack of knowledge of local realities and characteristics.
This principle is the response to the growing pressure on water resources resulting from growing population and socio-economic developments. Because of the pioneering role they have played in demonstrating the practicability and essential role of user participation in the management of community improvement schemes - including food production, catchment dams, small-scale irrigation, disease control and public health - NGOs are now regarded as mainstream actors in water development cooperation. Blanket prescriptions can be dangerous and have devastating consequences on local populations. It comprises a holistic approach that makes the management and protection of water resources compatible with the development of systems serving all types of consumers. However, the size of their contribution is often proportionately small, and not all NGOs have the capacity to operate effectively without technical or financial support.Thus, although the involvement of the ‘private sector’ is also advocated internationally as a way of reaching poorer communities with basic water supply and sanitation services with little additional administrative expenditure, the participation of civil society implies the involvement of a very different kind of ‘private sector’. Urban and industrial environments are also known sources for creating severe upstream pollution, often with far-reaching implications for rural livelihoods, agricultural production and public health in rural areas.
Their motivation is usually community benefit; commercial profit plays almost no role except at a very marginal economic level such as in the manufacture by village artisans of latrines or local cost recovery for spare parts. Proposed reform measures can easily clash with customary views about rights, or undercut entrenched interests and existing systems of administration. The necessary investments in wastewater treatment and the needs faced by cities to tap freshwater resources from ever further distances result in rising costs and increased competition between rural and urban users.

15 on the Right to Water, adopted by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its twenty-ninth session in November 2002 (UN Doc.
Indeed, the perceived lack of opportunity for cost recovery, often seen as an automatic corollary of expanding services for the poor, is one reason for the dependence of many developing country governments on external cooperation for such schemes. There are also significant technical and resource constraints affecting the means whereby, and the degree to which, the consensus emerging at the international level can actually be made operational at sub-levels. Given the complexities implied in the implementation of IWRM especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the concept of IWRM has been joined with the concept of ‘Water for Growth and Development (WfGD, see part 3)’.
Increased urbanization is often accompanied by economic growth but this is not only an urban phenomena.
Even schemes which do involve user fees and participatory management often still require governmental or extra-governmental support for components such as human resources, capacity building for local government departments and NGOs, and perhaps a continuation of tariff subsidies or pro-poor tariffs.Some schemes are operated by NGOs and community associations independently of government-run services and without their support, albeit with their knowledge and within an established administrative framework. Factors such as climate, hydrology, terrain, human settlement patterns, infrastructural capacity, investment requirements and financial procedures, economic considerations, and the socio-cultural setting all have to be taken into account.
This concept re-emphasises that water cannot be dealt with in isolation, but requires a high degree of collaboration and engagement between the ministry responsible for water ministries and the ministries responsible for driving social and economic development, such as ministries of infrastructure, energy, mining, agriculture and trade.
The demands to intensify agricultural production, accompanied by crop fertilization practices, are also becoming a serious threat to the groundwater environment. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights”.The growing international unanimity of vision concerning water is an important feature for the policy-making level. These are in the minority; local community associations more often occupy a partnership role with either the authorities or with private commercial mini-enterprises, depending on their particular situation. This list of factors required for successful operationality explains why moral commitment to, for example, the Dublin and Rio principles, still remains stronger than their practical realisation on the ground.Developing countries tend to be more concerned with increasing supplies through new infrastructure rather than with water efficiency or managing water demand within existing services.
Water is therefore seen more as a horizontal cross-cutting issue within many facets of development, rather than as a stand-alone ‘sector’ The concept of WfGD also aims for a better interfacing between water resources and water services issues with a strong focus on how both can together support growth and development. In addition, primary resource sectors such as mining and forestry also have huge impacts on the use and quality of water resources and are also in competition with the urban and rural areas.The challenge, therefore, in terms of improving access to water and sanitation services to satisfy basic human needs is not simply one of maintaining a high profile of water needs and reversing a political trend which has led to under-resourcing of the sector.
It provides force and recognition to the view that the development approaches applied in the past were unsustainable. However, with promotion from the international consensus, government officials are becoming more aware of the need to manage resources efficiently, and that the construction of new infrastructure has to take into account environmental and social impacts, and the fundamental need for systems to be economically viable for maintenance purposes.There are differences of view concerning the involvement of the private sector. At the forefront of the concept is the assumption that links exists between the scale and range of investments in water and successful economic development, and therefore barriers to financing measures for water development must be overcome (World Water Council, 2011).
Lessons learnt a number of which were highlighted by the Water Decade, must incorporate all water users and uses – such as agriculture, urban and industrial, as well as public health – within one strategic approach.
They not only failed to address water scarcity and environmental issues; they also lead to a wider gap between served and under-served populations. In some cases this can be in contrast to government services that may still provide free or heavily subsidised services following the principle of water as a ‘public good’, but which can still fail to serve the poorest populations. A perception has been developed that the turning over of state-run water-related functions to the private sector is a panacea for efficiency gains, but still many developing country governments are wary of doing so, reflecting a sometimes necessary degree of prudence on their part. A gap still remains between ideas, policies and actions endorsed in the macro-level debate, and their translation into policy-making structures and programmes in developing countries. As with the private sector, the challenge here is to recognise the potential of partnerships with NGOs and incorporate their role appropriately into project design and implementation.In towns and cities, the informal private service sector plays a supplementary role. In parts of Asia and in Latin America, the private sector is relatively developed; elsewhere, it is weak and poorly regulated and thus, it may genuinely be the case that transfers to the private sector is either not viable or is undesirable. While some projects stand out as beacons illuminating positive results from implementing new directions in development strategies, many programmes and projects are still challenged to change policies and ideas into actions. Residents of slums and shanty-towns often have to fend for themselves outside the reach of government services; their water is often supplied by small-time vendors and water-carriers, and human and solid waste disposal services are operated by ‘sweepers’ or carters. Where regulation is limited or unenforceable, an uncontrolled private sector can be predatory, exploiting the vulnerability of the poor (Bakker et al. 2008).While there is clear evidence that, under regulation, some kind of private sector involvement is beneficial to users, local circumstances have to be taken into account.
The river basin offers many advantages for strategic planning, particularly at higher levels of government, though difficulties in their application should not be underestimated. This also applies to the involvement of community-based organisations in management of services.
Groundwater aquifers frequently cross catchment boundaries and, more problematically, river basins rarely conform to existing administrative entities or structures. This ‘willingness to pay’ is rarely, if ever, the taken into account during the design of investment by authorities and formal sector companies in such areas. The ability of small-scale farmer associations and village groups to manage complex water schemes without expert help is normally limited.
To attempt to address these challenges, a number of river basins around the world are the focus of river basin organisations whose membership is usually composed of by a wide range of stakeholders from different sectors, levels and geographic representation. Meanwhile, the private service providers who do supply them are unregulated and often exploitative.There is undoubtedly scope for the incorporation of manufacturers and suppliers from the informal private service sector into water supply and sanitation services and small-scale irrigation schemes.
Their capacity is usually confined to the management of low-level technologies, such as small catchment dams, gravity-flow schemes, rainwater harvesting, hand pumps and simple sewerage systems. A range of artisans, masons, mechanics, well excavators and local handymen are often informally involved in the provision of water and sanitation services. Through the mediation of NGOs and motivated water authorities, such approaches have been successfully implemented in many parts of the developing world. This regional committee was set up by the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.
The challenge is to build on these available skills resources and incorporate their activities into programme and project frameworks in an appropriate, equitable, and well-regulated manner. However, they are very difficult to integrate into a systematic area-wide or nation-wide framework.For many reasons, therefore, developing country governments consider water resources planning and management to be a central part of government responsibility. Its aim was to jointly manage the shared water resources and economic development of the Mekong River through scientific investigations and some water resources projects.
This view is consistent with the international consensus that promotes the concept of government as facilitator and regulator. Many European countries have longstanding experience in the developing world and close historical ties with many countries and regions where water-related issues are critical.
This unique relationship enables a shared vision of policy priorities to be promoted between EU and ACP partners.The most influential multilateral lending organisation offering support to water resources development and management is the World Bank.
Water sharing between states which host major rivers such as the Ganges, Nile, Jordan and Mekong is an important political and strategic issue for the states concerned. The World Bank is active within the full range of economic and social water-related sectors and has been a leading exponent of the new agenda in water policy.
Historically there are numerous examples of projects designed to meet national objectives but which ignore their impacts on the river basin as a whole; not acknowledging potential conflicts of the needs of downstream users other national or sub-national states. The World Bank’s own water policy emphasises the adoption of a comprehensive policy framework, decentralised management of services, economic pricing of water, and a greater participation by stakeholders. The 1997 Convention on the Non-navigational Use of International Water Courses provides a basis for establishing common user rights and obligations along transboundary rivers and a framework for the management of international river basin systems (UN, 2005). A major role is foreseen for community organisations and the private sector in planning, financing and delivering services. The regional Development Banks echo the World Bank prescriptions, only with a regional focus. By its declaration of an International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-90), the UN acted as catalyst in promoting the international drive for improved basic water supply and sanitation services. The ‘Water Decade’ was spearheaded by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and a number of other UN organisations actively participated.
Since the UN Conference for Environment and Development - the 1992 Earth Summit - which precipitated a major re-thinking about water as an essential natural resource, the UN has also provided the key fora where the new agenda for water resources management has been articulated.
After the 1992 Earth Summit the UN set up a new international mechanism, the UN Commission for Sustainable Development (UNCSD), in which the interrelated dimensions of water management and environmental sustainability can be addressed.Within the UN system, a number of funds, programmes and specialised agencies have long been involved with water-related activities, usually by providing technical expertise or material assistance to a wide range of projects. In keeping with their mandates and operational modalities, UN organisations interact with the governmental policy-making and administrative apparatus at different levels, some only at the macro level, a few right down to micro. There are obvious areas of common goals and objectives, most evidently in the context of addressing basic human needs, infrastructure, community development, food security and public health.All of the UN organisations’ water policies subscribe to the Rio principles and position their activities within the ‘sustainable development’ framework. All equally echo the need for a comprehensive policy towards water which considers the protection of the resource, and its management and use in the light of competing demands. There have also been a number of joint initiatives between UN organisations, often with World Bank partnership. Many countries have ‘centres of excellence’, whose specialists, research programmes and training courses are designed to make available the latest technical and operational information to those involved in water-related programmes and project activities. The GWP was set up in response to the Dublin and Rio conferences to encourage members to adopt consistent and complementary policies and programmes for water resources management. It provides a forum in which to share information and experience, offer technical advice, and facilitate collaboration among partners.
Some of these are at the forefront of innovative solutions and awareness raising and run training programmes for engineers and other specialists from developing countries, and thereby help to promote ‘best practices’.
Ultimately many ‘centres of excellence’ associated with water resources management disciplines influence the international water agenda, but there is no single institution that covers water in its entirety.Among the variety of experts and practitioners associated with organisations which contribute to programmes and projects, consultants of different profiles have an important role to play. Sophisticated technical expertise, only available at the international level or from ‘centres of excellence’, may be one obvious requirement. Programme or project implementation, especially in the early critical stages, can be facilitated by the involvement of consultants from NGOs or neighbouring countries with extensive experience of - for example - health education, capacity-building among user groups, or project support communications and social mobilisation techniques.

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