Succesful exchange trip Mali and Burkina Faso

From 28th November to 2nd December, the Malian waste water operator (ANGESEM) visited the Burkinabe operator (ONEA) in Burkina Faso. During the working visit the partners exchanged challenges, approaches and opportunities for collaboration.

To develop ANGESEM’s knowledge of wastewater valorisation, the partners visited utility and household scale biodigesters to understand the transformation process. Read more here.

Threatening water hyacinth turns out to be a business opportunity in South Africa

The suffocating water hyacinth is a threat to water quality and biodiversity in South Africa. Together with the residents of Blesbokspruit, South Africa, the Blue Deal partners turned this threat into a business opportunity.

Residents weave beautiful baskets, lampshades and even armchairs from the dried plants and sell them. Watch how they do this in this short video.

Celebrating 10 years of cross-border cooperation in southern Africa

Regional water managers in the Netherlands, Germany, eSwatini, Mozambique and South Africa have been sharing experiences for ten years now. What binds them is how you work together in border regions.

From 17-19 November, the lustrum took place at the River and Environmental Management Cooperation in South Africa. Problems such as drought, flooding, climate change and women empowerment were discussed. The Deputy Minister of South Africa endorsed the importance of seeking solutions in the Blue Deal partnerships.

Visit the water authorities virtually

Foreign water managers and interested parties can now be inspired remotely by Dutch regional water management. Nine films of innovative water projects show how the Dutch work on safe, clean and sufficient water. The films offer a solution for international delegations who are unable to travel due to the corona pandemic, but who are seeing the water problem increasing in their country.

Current themes (climate-proof construction or drought) and regular water authority tasks (dyke improvement or water purification) are discussed. Visit the water authorities virtually.

Ghanaian Delta programme explored

At the end of November 2021, the Dutch water experts from Dutch Water Authorities paid a visit to their Blue Deal partner in Ghana. During the multi-day working visit, the Dutch Delta Programme was on the agenda as a source of inspiration for Ghana.

The Ghanaian partners are looking for more structure, more integrality, better frameworks and better long-term solutions. The Delta Programme offers a long-term vision and scenario planning for climate change and socio-economic growth. The Blue Deal partners are exploring what a similar approach could mean for Ghana and how it could be linked to the Inegrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan.

The partners also paid a working visit to the north of Ghana to improve the water management of the Vea Dam and the Tono Dam. Because sand washes back into the waterways and reservoirs, the water and soil quality worsens. Because the water is not clean, residents are forced to get their water elsewhere. The partners are therefore committed to improving the water quality and the quality of life for residents, among other things.

Importance of reciprocity in international cooperation emphasized at the Delta Congress

What can the Dutch learn from international cooperation abroad? Several water experts answered this question from different perspectives during a session at the National Delta Congress on 4th November.

For example, the Blue Deal partners in South Africa are working on a business case to turn a problem into a business opportunity for the local community. Professor Ellen Minkman (TU Delft) shared her findings about learning abroad by water authorities. Conclusion: reciprocity must be part of international cooperation.

Launch of umbrella organisation for water authorities in eSwatini

After five years of hard work, the Blue Deal partners in eSwatini launched an umbrella organisation for water authorities on 10th November with a festive African ceremony.

Among others, Peter Bhembe, Minister of Natural Resources & Energy and ambassador of the Blue Deal was present. Prior to his speech, the minister noted that water is a women’s issue in Africa. He was referring to adding more women to the boards of water authorities and to the fact that it is women who fetch water.

The Dutch Water Authorities wants to learn from innovations abroad

The Dutch Water Authorities (DWA) are open to learn from other countries and partners and want to ensure that knowledge from abroad is applied in the Netherlands. This is why Blue Deal’s water experts will discuss the lessons they have learned from abroad for Dutch water management at the Delta congress (11th November) and Water Innovation festival (2nd December).

Delta congres on 4th November
Professor Ms Ellen Minkema and the partnerships of South Africa and Colombia are represented at the Delta congress. The professor tells us more about her research into learning from abroad. You can register for the Delta Congress here.

Water innovation festival on 2nd December
During the Water Innovation Festival on 2nd December the Blue Deal will provide insight into which lessons you learn and how you can apply them. Dutch Water Authorities organises this annual festival together with the Waterschapsbank, Het Waterschapshuis and STOWA in DeFabrique in Utrecht. You can register for the Water Innovation Festival here.

Hein Pieper says goodbye as vicechair of Dutch Water Authorities

After six years (two terms on the board), Hein Pieper stepped down as vice-chairman of the Dutch Water Authorities (DWA) past 8th October.

He also temporarily transfers the International portfolio to the president: Mr Rogier van der Sande. His replacement will be announced in the DWA board in April 2022. Hein played a major role in the establishment of the Blue Deal and was chairman of the Blue Deal Steering Committee in recent years. Fortunately, Hein is not saying goodbye to the water authority world yet, he remains dijkgraaf (water major) of the Rijn en IJssel water authority.

Wetskills and Blue Deal are taking on the challenge

Wetskills organises worldwide challenges in which participants from different countries, backgrounds and experiences solve water issues from the sector. The Blue Deal proposes one of the cases: How can the Blue Deal programme institutionalise, innovate and optimise ‘learning’? The team with participants from the Palestinian territories, Romania and South Africa, among others, will come up with a creative solution to this question during the final on 4th November at the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW). Sign up here