Building Resilient Water Systems for the 21st Century

Published in GWOPA News

Developing Caribbean operators’ capacity on operations and maintenance of water supply systems

Published in GWOPA News

GIZ Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Program (CATS) facilitated an information tour to Germany on “Current Issues in the Field of Water Management” 

Published in GWOPA News

On July 11-12 members of the Cari-WOP and supporting organizations will come together in Miami for a two-day coordination and proposal development meeting.

Published in GWOPA News

On August 23rd and 24th, 2015, over 40 participants from 14 countries gathered in Miami, Florida for a training workshop entitled: “Building a Climate-Resilient Water Sector in the Caribbean: Strategies for Water Utilities”.

Published in GWOPA News

In 2014, GWOPA began to more actively support learning and exchange between WOP platforms from different regions.

Recognizing the regional diversity of the platforms, GWOPA’s efforts in 2014 were directed to consolidating well-performing platforms, such as WOP-LAC, and to increase the direct support to strengthen existing and growing platforms such as WOP-Africa and Cari-WOP.

Monday, 10 February 2014 01:00

7th Pacific Water Conference and Expo

The 7th Pacific Water Conference and Expo was hosted by the Pacific Water and Wastes Associationin partnership with the American Samoa Power Authority from the 9th – 11th September in Utulei, American Samoa.  The conference was opened with a cultural ceremony, organized by the host, and featured international and Pacific speakers, technical papers and workshops focused on the theme “Water and Energy in the Pacific”. With around 150 participants, this was yet another successful conference for utilities worldwide.  

GWOPA representative took part in the plenary panel after the official opening of the Conference and presented the WOPs global movement and GWOPA's activities worldwide, focussing on the actions in Asia and the Pacific region. During the Conference, GWOPA also held some bilateral meetings with potential partners, including Pacific Water and Wastes Association (PWWA),Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) and New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  

Among the many highlights for GWOPA's activities during the conference, the agreement with the PWWA to sign a cooperation agreement is particularly pertinent. Through this agreement, GWOPA will support the Secretariat in developing their capacity to facilitate WOPs as well as to implement WOPs related activities in the region throughout 2015.

Also noteworthy was the participation of a representative from the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA). Inter-regional cooperation between the Pacific and the Caribbean regions was strongly requested by representatives from the two regions during the GWOPA Steering Committee in March 2014 in Marrakesh and based on their similar geographical characteristics. In both regions, operators face water challenges such as water resources management, climate change adaptation and sustainable water and sanitation service provision. GWOPA had an opportunity to discuss with PWWA and CWWA at the Conference how this new partnership should be facilitated and agreed that the next step is to send a PWWA member utility to the CWWA annual conference taking place in October 2014 in Bahamas with the support of GWOPA.  

The conference showcased interesting new partnerships in the Northern Pacific sub-region or Micronesia, notably with the new membership of the Guam Waterworks Authority in the PWWA. Water utilities in Northern Pacific have now started to discuss partnership activities in this sub-region. Given that the Pacific countries are geographically very disperse and travel from the North to the South is difficult, this is very reasonable approach to facilitating peer exchanges in the region and GWOPA is committed to supporting a, "one to many" pilot WOP in this sub-region with Guam Waterworks Authority playing the mentor role. The details of this WOP, such as the focus area, will be discussed further with partners.  

Published in Asia and Pacific

Representatives of water utilities from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras and the Caribbean participated in the 3rd WOP-LAC Steering Committee meeting held in Santiago de Chile this April 15th. Within the framework of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)'s annual meeting for its Water and Sanitation Division, the WOP-LAC Steering Committee discussed results of the 2010 activities and adopted the Work Plan for 2011. 

The meeting was organized by WOP-LAC's joint secretariat, made up of representatives from the IDB, the International Water Association (IWA), UN-HABITAT (the Global WOPs Alliance Secretariat).

The results of a study evaluating 12 WOPs carried out by the WOP-LAC platform since its launching in 2007 was a key item on the agenda. A chief recommendation in the report was to extend the duration of the WOPs carried out under the platform, as the evidence suggested these yielded greater results. The Steering Committee accordingly agreed to shift towards longer-term technical cooperation/framework agreements, following the example of recent agreements entered into by AyA (Costa Rica) and SABERSP (Brazil) as well as between EPM (Colombia) and EMAAP-Q (Ecuador).

The Steering Committee concurred on the need for systematic monitoring and evaluation of WOPs agreements. Accordingly, the WOP-LAC Secretariat committed to hiring a consultant to monitor ongoing WOPs and evaluate completed ones. EPM (Colombia) and AA (Chile) offered to lead the development of a first draft evaluation toolkit that, upon adoption by the Steering Committee, would be made available for the all WOPs implementers under the platform.

Participants also stressed the importance of having formal agreements between the WOP-LAC Secretariat and its sub-regional platforms, like Cari-WOP for the Caribbean or NEXOS HÍDRICOS for Central America, as well as with national platforms such as WOP-Mexico, WOP-Brazil and WOP-Colombia.

The following insights were offered in a session intended to share lessons from WOPs implementation:

  • Sustaining the initial interest of the recipient utility is essential to ensuring the expected performance improvements are achieved through the WOP.
  • The WOP-LAC and GWOPA platforms need to help utilities understand what support they can access in implementing WOPs.
  • At the utility level, WOPs must systematically feed into strategic action plans in order to ensure the managerial or institutional follow-up required for change. The involvement of governmental bodies would also facilitate follow-up, such as in the example of the intergovernmental WOP agreement by SABESP (Brazil) for its WOP with AyA (Costa Rica)
  • The potential impact of WOPs is compromised when a utility's management is not officially and actively involved. A success requirement, managers' support needs to be assured to avoid undermining the credibility of the WOPs mechanism.
  • Pre-feasibility studies that examine legal and regulatory frameworks and existing governmental support can help implementers design more effective WOPs interventions.
  • Greater support from national associations of water operators is needed to realize the objectives of the WOP-LAC Platform and sub-regional WOP platforms. Similiarly, greater political and financial ownership of the WOP-LAC Platform would help in the realization of activities.

The members of the steering committee also discussed the idea of an on-line capacity building program to reach more utilities interested in addressing specific performance topics. The Centro del Agua, hosted by IADB, FEMSA and Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico), was identified as a suitable implementer for such an activity. The upcoming launching of the official website of WOP-LAC Platform will be an important milestone that will also offer the possibility of hosting this training.

Finally, there was a discussion on innovative ways of mobilizing resources for WOP-LAC in 2011, in light of a reduced funding scenario, coupled with the heightened expectations of WOP-LAC partners.