In recent years, a growing number of public water utilities from EU member states have begun sharing their expertise with peers in lower- and middle income countries through WOPs. Yet the increasing trend is not commensurate with the needs and opportunities at stake. A major limitation is the number of utilities that have the support and resources to go out and help their peers in other countries, using skills and good will that they have in abundance.
Europe is home to thousands of water operators with great potential to participate in Water Operators’ Partnerships as mentors. The capacity and likelihood of EU water utilities operators to get involved in WOPs depends to a large extent on enabling factors. Several constraints have so far prevented a wider uptake of WOPs by European utilities and supporting institutions which need to be addressed if WOPs are to be taken up on par with the need.
The report Enabling WOPs: Mobilizing European Actors for Solidarity-based Water Partnerships examines these factors and presents recommendations to scale up WOPs in Europe by showcasing examples of enabling frameworks and best practices from countries and cities throughout Europe. It is designed to support all stakeholders: water and wastewater utilities, governments, financial institutions, development partners, civil society and anyone interested in making it easier for operators to help their peers through WOPs. It also makes proposals to provide further impetus for developing and scaling up these partnerships across Europe.