We are all aware of the links between water and education, gender equity, food security, climate change and almost all area of development and the #WaterIs campaign by UN-Water exemplifies the centrality of this resource in all aspects of our lives.
Although we all rely on water every day, we know very little about the work done to get it to our homes, places of work or study, or public spaces, and the efforts required to ensure it is in condition for human consumption. Water operators are on the forefront of this task, managing over 50% of the water piped to the global population. However their work is too often unseen and under-valued, except in cases of failure or error.
Climate change, ageing infrastructure, rapid urbanization and resource scarcity, are only a few of the challenges operators are facing on the ground and many lack the capacity and resources to overcome them. The good news is that others are finding innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to ensure reliable, quality and resilient services to their citizens. Learning directly from peers through Water Operators' Partnerships in a not-for-profit context allows for good practices and tried solutions from well performing operators to be adapted to local contexts for long-term improvements.
With the goal of promoting WOPs, provide a framework for the practice and support implementation, the Global Water Operators' Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) was created. This programme is hosted by UN-Habitat and has a strategic partnership with the Spanish Government, who supports the implementation of the strategy in line with its commitment to international development in this sector. The headquarters of GWOPA are situated in Barcelona and it counts on the support of Barcelona City Council.
By empowering operators to provide safe, healthy and quality water and sanitation services, GWOPA is working towards ensuring a future that is globally sustainable in the long-term. To this end, GWOPA is dedicating World Water Day 2015 to those actors that work every day to provide our most basic and essential services.