First work visit of 2024 to Peru

In January, a Dutch team from Dutch Water Authorities visited the Blue Deal partnership in Peru. 3 main themes were the core of this first work visit of the year: climate adaptation, wastewater management, and data for water availability.

Climate adaptation

The Blue Deal Peru team from the 2 Dutch water authorities Wetterskip Fryslân and Noorderzijlvest visited the Casitas Bocapán creek in Tumbes and the proposed areas for a reforestation project. This is an initiative of the Regional government and the technical team of the Tumbes Water Council-ANA. We are looking forward to share expertise on the resilience and water components of the project.

In Piura, the mayor of Lagunas, one of the districts in Ayabaca province and initiator of the feasibility study for carbon credits project, and other involved stakeholders, renewed their commitments to work together this year under the support from the Chira-Piura Water Council. This feasibility study is financed by the NWB Fund.

Wastewater management

In both regions, Piura and Tumbes, we visited different wastewater treatment plants to see how wastewater techniques can be improved and to assess options for water reuse. In Piura, during the visit to the San Martin wastewater treatment plant and under the coordination of the Chira-Piura water council, we held a workshop to gather information from operators and managers about relevant themes for a tailor-made training to be executed this year.

Data for water availability

The Blue Deal Peru team from the 2 Dutch water authorities Hunze en Aa’s and Rivierenland, with the support of Deltares and our Young Experts from Piura and Tumbes, gave a training on the hydrological model W-flow. The training’s objective was to support local capacity generating data for water availability, and enhance interaction amongst organisations responsible for water management in the regions. The training was organised by the technical teams of the water councils of Tumbes and Chira-Piura. A primary exercise during the training involved modeling the Zarumilla River. Triggered by the training, the participants committed themselves to work together, sharing information in follow-up sessions and improving the model for their areas.

National and regional positioning of the partnership

Finally, the national and regional positioning of our partnership and the work with our local partners were also core activities of this first work visit. Our coordination team discussed in Lima the follow-up actions of our visit from last year with the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation and the General Manager of the National Water Authority (ANA).

We also visited the regional governors of Tumbes and Piura, explained our current projects and the potential themes for cooperation in both regions. With universities’ representatives from both regions, we discussed the next call for scholarships for young professionals. We finished this work visit presenting our project and exploring synergies for cooperation with the professionals of the ANA’s Direction of Water Resources Planning and Development.

Carbon Credits project of Blue Deal Peru approved

The last week of November, the Blue Deal partnership in Peru received the official notification from the NWB Fund announcing that they approved our proposal for a project to evaluate the feasibility of Carbon Credits market in 2 communities in Piura, Peru.

The initiative responds to the needs of local partners, with the aim to improve the livelihoods for the local communities through agroforestry. And to protect the catchment area against erosion and surface run-off water.

This is a joint proposal written by the Dutch team from the so-called KIWI learning programme and the Piura technical team working on the framework of the Blue Deal Peru partnership. The project starts next year and it involves organisations and tools, such as the NWB Fund watershed reforestation tool which the NWB Fund has also supported in other parts of the world.

Video Blue Deal Peru wins NWB Award 2023

"And the winner is… Blue Deal Peru with their video on research into water for rice cultivation!" With these words, Luzette Kroon, board member International Affairs at the Association of Dutch Water Authorities, announced the winner of the NWB Award 2023 during the Dutch Water Authorities' Network Day on November 27.

The NWB Award, presented annually by the NWB Fund during the DWA Network Day, recognises the most inspiring video on international water management work. The NWB Fund, established by the NWB Bank (the bank for water authorities in the Netherlands), aims to invest in enhancing integrated water management elsewhere in the world. The victorious team stood proudly on the podium, and rightfully so. The winning team receives a cash prize of 5000 euros to invest in their project and eternal fame. Milagros Sosa, from the Blue Deal Peru, exclaimed, “This is so beautiful! Our partners in Peru will be thrilled.”

Nearly 1000 votes

This year, 9 videos were submitted by project teams from Asia, Africa, and South America. A professional jury comprising representatives from the NWB Fund, Blue Deal, and professional filmmakers selected a shortlist of 3 videos. The selection criteria included: Is it a compelling story that can be shared? What is the technical quality of the video? Does it align with this year’s theme of ‘smart collaboration with stakeholders’? Consequently, the videos from Peru, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia stood a chance to win. A digital vote was then conducted to choose the winner. Both water experts and international partners were eligible to vote this time, and the turnout was significant: nearly 1000 votes were cast.

What is the movie about?

Using local research, the video shows an example of smart cooperation with a concrete goal of saving water in rice production in Piura, and therefore having a reduction of the water footprint in food production. The research shown in the video is the first initiative of a scholarship programme launched by Blue Deal Peru to support young researchers from local universities working on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) themes to achieve their professional titles. This video has been made by our Young Expert and the Piura technical team.

Intensive lobby?

Bert van Boggelen, director of the NWB Fund, asked partnership manager Kees de Jong if they had lobbied intensively. Kees replied matter-of-factly, “Simply shared the video.” Nonetheless, the enthusiasm in South America evidently prevailed. The research on water supply for rice cultivation has significantly impacted farmers in the Piura region in northern Peru, where rice cultivation is prevalent. More effective and efficient water management practices are now in place, crucial in times when water is becoming scarcer due to climate change.

Water is crucial for liveable earth

All entrants will receive a jury report along with an offer of feedback from a professional filmmaker. This is the NWB Fund’s effort to support the creation of increasingly better videos, a great medium to raise awareness of international water management work. These projects contribute significantly to climate adaptation. During the network day, climate general Tom Middelkoop was a guest speaker. In his presentation, he emphasised the impact of climate change on geopolitical relations and the necessity to enhance livability in severely affected regions. This is precisely what the water management projects aim to achieve, as water is crucial for a liveable earth.

Watch the videos

> Watch all 9 submitted videos

Second work visit to Peru for Blue Deal Phase 2

From 10 to 22 September, a Blue Deal work visit took place in Lima, Piura and Tumbes. This included a high-level meeting and making plans for 2024.

High-level meeting

The journey started with an official high-level meeting and presentation to the Vice-minister of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Director of the National Water Authority. Kees de Jong and Milagros Sosa, from the Dutch water authority Noorderzijlvest (partnership’s leader), presented the achievements and outcomes of Phase 1 and the projections of Phase 2.

Also technical observations were given to the preventive measures being implemented by the government to mitigate the effects of the El Niño climate phenomenon in the north. El Niño is expected from December onwards, with similar strength as in 2017. The Viceminister invited Blue Deal Peru together with the Dutch Embassy in Lima for a second briefing before finishing the visit.

Planning for 2024

In the regions, the visit focused on project management tasks: 2024 year planning, reviewing commitments and assessing budget execution. In 2024 we plan: implementation actions of the plans for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), wastewater treatment plants, issues of Water Councils’ representation, scholarships funded by the partnership for young researchers from local universities, water quality and transboundary IWRM, social inclusion and water culture.

During the work visit we discussed climate adaptation and feasibility aspects for carbon credit projects focusing on reforestation and conservation. The technical teams analysed and organised visits to the floods’ prevention works currently implemented in the areas.

Saving water in rice cultivation

The delegation also visited the fieldwork sites of one young researcher working on water saving in rice cultivation. The Director of the National Agrarian Institute (INIA-Piura) highlighted: “This research is very relevant for the watershed. We need to carry out these tests in other areas and show the results to the water users.” This research is a cooperation between INIA, University of Piura and the Water User Associations.

All in all, this work visit served to position the partnership at high authority levels, review the project commitments and define the main activities for 2024.

Wastewater treatment new theme in Blue Deal partnership Peru

The third Blue Deal work visit of this year to Peru took place from November 20 until December 6. This time, the focus was on flood prevention plans, water distribution and water purification – with the latter subject being tackled thoroughly for the first time.

Dutch and Peruvian colleagues inspecting a wastewater treatment plant

In addition, work continued with the 2 Water Councils in Piura and Tumbes and their technical teams on the last stage of the update of the water management programs.

Workshops by experts

A Dutch specialist in wastewater treatment (installations) provided sessions on water treatment plants and visited several existing water treatment plants in the field. The intention is to provide further input for improvement on this subject in the coming years, together with other experts.

2 other Dutch experts provided workshops on forecasting water availability, spatial planning and climate-adaptive working. Field visits also gave them a better picture of the river basin and the problems faced by residents and water users, This will enable them to provide better input and feedback on the water management and distribution plans in both regions.

Economics and protection of ecosystems

Another 2 Dutch colleagues were working on project management matters for Phase 2 of the Blue Deal programme. They also consulted extensively with the drafters and the Water Councils on the flood prevention plans in both regions. Finally, the Dutch team was also able to educate themselves about how an important economic activity can (or cannot) go hand in hand with the protection of an important ecosystem, during a visit to the coastal shrimp farms and the nearby mangrove forests.

Boost for the programme

The work visit was concluded in Lima with consultations at the Dutch embassy and at the Autoridad Nacional de Agua (ANA) of Peru. Here, the team shared the final reports with the ANA headquarters and the Dutch embassy in Lima. They used this opportunity to address identified bottlenecks in the regional flood prevention plans that require action from Lima. Once again, the team concluded that personal contact and consultation through the work visits is essential to get things done, to initiate and to boost the programme.

Work visit from Peru to the Netherlands

On December 12, José Alberto del Corral Parodi visited the office of the Dutch water authority Noorderzijlvest in Groningen. Del Corral Parodi is Advisor Politics, Development and Trade and is the contact at the Dutch Embassy in Lima for the Blue Deal partnership in Peru. Water authority Noorderzijlvest is responsible for the partnership management of this partnership.

A bridge in Peru that regularly has to be rebuild due to floods

During the visit, Del Corral Parodi learned much about the organization and work of a water authority in the Dutch and international context. He also had the opportunity to see some project realizations during field visits. He always has been closely involved in the project implementation, and is very positive about the impact of the Blue Deal activities and method – regionally and nationally. That is why he is an excellent advocate for the Blue Deal Programme.

The goal of the visit was to inform him about the principal aspects of the functioning and activities of water authority Noorderzijlvest, and about the international cooperation activities of Dutch Water Authorities in the Blue Deal setting. Secondly, the Blue Deal was interested to hear about his point of view regarding the impact and importance of the Blue Deal programme in his country.

Besides meetings with the Dutch team, Del Corral Parodi visited De Onlanden, a water storage area that is part of a set of flood prevention measures. The team also showed him the climate adaptation measures in the industrial area Euvelgunne, in the city of Groningen.

Successful work visit to Peru

From April 16 until April 30 a team from Dutch Water Authorities visited Peru for the Blue Deal. This was the second work visit since the corona pandemic.

The team spoke with its local partners, the water boards of Piura and Tumbes. Together they analysed the progress of their collaboration. The team also looked into the challenges of water scarcity and the distribution of the available water and where extra support from Dutch experts is needed. Another topic was the planning for the rest of the year and the second phase of the Blue Deal programme, which will last from 2023 until 2030.

Water scarcity and flooding

The work visit therefore consisted of a lot of meetings and discussions, for example with the National Water Authority and with users of the water and stakeholders. Field visits to several sites provided insight into the local situation. In both Piura and Tumbes the problem is pretty much identical: water scarcity during part of the year and danger of flooding during the rainy season. The work visit also showed that the quality of the surface water needs to be improved through waste water treatment plants.

Stronger relationship

The work visit strengthened the bonds between Dutch Water Authorities and the local partners and the perspectives for future collaboration have been broadened. The partnership aims to send in Dutch experts to Peru for several times in the coming years to establish a strong work relationship that helps to improve the water management in Peru. In between these work visits there will also be online meetings to exchange knowledge.

Ambassador provides new impulse in partnership Peru

Thanks to the visit to the water council of Chira-Piura by the Dutch ambassador in Peru, a new impulse has been given to the partnership.

In the central square of Piura, a young professional gave an explanation about the Blue Deal to the ambassador and representatives of the agricultural council and the national water authority. Afterwards, they visited projects that should prevent flooding and improving agricultural irrigation.

The ambassador visits Blue Deal projects in Peru

The afternoon ended with a visit to the local government.

OECD investigates water governance in Peru

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report on water governance in Peru. Although Peru is making progress in water management, there are still issues with flooding, drought, pollution and access to clean water.

Waste water management installation in Peru
Waste water management installation in Peru.

The OECD report provides an analysis of water governance in the country and gives policy recommendations to strengthen the multisectoral approach to water in Peru. For example, it recommends improving the use of economic instruments to protect and sustainably use water resources, its sources and related ecosystem services. Another recommendation is to strengthen regulatory conditions to improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation in urban and rural areas.

View the OECD report

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.