Blue Deal Ethiopia presents case at World Water Week

During the World Water Week in Stockholm on August 22, Blue Deal Young Expert, Joy Pengel, presented a case on the Water Agreement and water allocation planning in the Awash basin in Ethiopia. She did this together with an expert from cooperation partner Woord en Daad.

The pressure on the water system in the Awash basin is very high. Various governments at federal level (Ministry of Water) and regional level (including Regional Water Bureaus from 3 autonomous regions) must arrive at a joint (catchment) approach. Cooperation in Ethiopia does not come about by itself. This movie explains this well.

Fair distribution of the available water

In various projects, the Blue Deal stimulates multi-level cooperation to achieve a better river basin approach. For example, the Blue Deal has supported the formulation of a Water Agreement between these parties. Together with one of our partners, Woord en Daad, we are helping these parties to implement the Water Agreement. The Water Agreement provides a framework for structural cooperation, coordination and harmonization of upstream and downstream interests.

One of the main goals of the Water Agreement is to promote a fair distribution of scarce water (equitable water allocation planning). Together with other partners, we are introducing a taxation system for water use, registration and licensing of water use, setting up irrigation water user associations, and rolling out a measuring network to monitor water availability. Every year we try to improve one or more parts of the water allocation planning process, for example through evaluations via an explanatory infographic.

Water quality and water allocation

During the presentation, the emphasis was placed on 2 specific topics of the Water Agreement: Waste water treatment/water quality and water allocation. Mainly around water allocation, we explained about the use of an infographic to start discussions and to ensure that everyone is talking about the same thing. The question that remained with the audience at the end of the presentation was how Water Pricing is addressed within this project. On this subject, we also mentioned how registration and payment of water are topics we are working on. There was also attention for the implementation of a Water Allocation Priority Ladder to indicate where the water should go during periods of scarcity.

Watch the session online

Would you like to hear more about our experiences? The title of the session was ‘Water Pricing: valuing and allocating water in the Awash basin in Ethiopia’. If you pre-registered online for World Water Week, you can replay the session here.

Lecture: solutions for complex water problems

The KIWI learning programme recently organised a lecture by professor Guy Alaerts about the unruly nature of international water management and solutions for complex water problems.

Water managers worldwide are looking for integrated solutions for complex water problems. Major investments are often required to become climate proof, but finding financing is difficult. Water managers and financial institutions do not know where to find each other and converting globally available financing into concrete projects on a large scale is difficult. Watch the lecture below. The lecture is in Dutch, but can be viewed with subtitles.

Study: water management knowledge exchange

TU Delft and Erasmus University, in collaboration with Dutch Water Authorities, have launched a study into water management knowledge exchange. The universities are investigating which lessons the Dutch regional water authorities take abroad.

Meeting room with people seated at tables for a traning session. One man is stood, giving a presentation.
Dutch Water Authorities and local partners attending a training session.

As part of the study into water management knowledge exchange university researchers are looking at the lessons learned at an individual level, group level and organisational level. The aim is to find out exactly what effect these lessons have on organisations.


A questionnaire is sent out via the Dutch Water Authorities foreign coordinators. It is hoped that insight can be gained into the possibilities and limiting factors of international knowledge sharing.

More on Dutch Water Authorities and knowledge exchange

Blue Deal Annual plan 2021

The 2021 annual plan of the Blue Deal programme has been approved by the steering committee. The partnerships will continue their work in 2021 to improve water management in 14 countries.

Two men inspecting a waste water treatment plant.

The focus of the Blue Deal Annual plan 2021 is on three crucial elements: sufficient knowledge and skills, a well-functioning organisation and collaboration with key stakeholders.

Online learning

As COVID-19 continues into 2021, the Blue Deal partnerships focus on online learning and training in the first six months. This is not easy in all countries, for example due to slow internet connections or recently initiated partnerships. Therefore, the partnerships also focus on additional local representation. Dutch Water Authorities hopes to physically meet its partners again in the second half of 2021.

More on the Blue Deal