Romania

Dutch Water Authorities is working with the National Administration Apele Române on structural solutions for flooding, water scarcity and financing in Romania.

Operational improvements are being trialled in pilot projects, which can then be scaled up to national level.

Specialised workshops in Romania

Specific issues like EU directives, coastal management and surface water management are discussed in specialised workshops, attended by representatives of both the Dutch and the Romanian water sector. The Blue Deal partnership provides scope for intensifying and expanding the programme with new partners and themes.

Three people gathered around a large sheet of paper covered in post-its. A PowerPoint presentation is visible in the background.
Brainstorm session with Romanian partners

Dutch Water Authorities and Apele Române work together on various projects in Romania. For example, software has been installed for a Decision Support System and a water management plan has been drawn up for the JIU catchment area. Long-term strategies are also being devised to combat water scarcity and improve stakeholder management.

Large dam and man-made lake surrounded by hills in Romania.
Testing the quality of surface water.

World Bank cooperation agreement

In 2020 the partnership entered into a cooperation agreement with the World Bank, focusing on flood defence infrastructure. The World Bank is enthusiastic about the way the partnership is strengthening institutional and financial water management in Romania. The World Bank sees such strengthening as necessary for overseeing its infrastructural projects.



Palestinian territories

In the Palestinian territories, the Blue Deal partnership is working to improve water quality and water management. The partners are building on previously initiated knowledge exchange on water management reform in the West Bank.

Activities mainly focus on improving operational water management in two municipalities. Amongst other things, the partnership is working on funding proposals for Dutch and international innovation funds and the creation of small-scale pilot projects relating to wastewater treatment. The Palestinian partners acquired three wastewater installations for the West Bank.

Outdoors group picture of Dutch Water Authorities team members and Palestinian partners during a visit at a building site.
Blue Deal partners visiting a wastewater treatment plant under construction.

Sustainable financing

In addition, Dutch Water Authorities is supporting the implementation of sustainable financing for water management. A local expert from the Young Expert Programme (YEP) has been appointed project leader.

The increase in trust, commitment and collaboration between the partners has led to various requests for support and information from the Palestinian Water Authority and other bodies in the Palestinian territories, for example to set up systems to monitor COVID-19 levels in wastewater.

Mali

In Mali, Dutch Water Authorities is working with the local agency ANGESEM, which oversees 8 wastewater treatment plants. Their work focuses on improving wastewater treatment processes and working more sustainably.

The partners have three priorities: professionalising maintenance and supervision of the wastewater treatment plants, increasing institutional resilience, and enhancing relationship management.

Improving maintenance and management in Mali

Training courses have been set up to improve management of wastewater treatment plants. Standard checklists are now used for maintenance of the treatment plants. Improving wastewater treatment processes has also had other positive effects. For example, the quality of the natural surroundings and the water quality of the Niger River have improved.

In addition, the partners are engaged in relocating the laboratory to ANGESEM’s head office in Sotuba.

Group of people gathered outdoors at a building site in Mali, discussing the work. Builders are visible in the background.
Blue Deal partners on a field visit with Daviz Mbepo Simango, mayor of Beira.

The partners are also working on two pilot projects. These focus on monitoring the quantity and quality of industrial waste water in Mali.



Colombia

In Colombia, Dutch Water Authorities is working to improve the management of wastewater treatment plants. Other areas of focus are water management plans, permitting, enforcement of industrial discharge rules and the effective use of data.

In this Blue Deal partnership Dutch Water Authorities works with Cormagdalena, the authority that manages the catchment area of the Magdalena River in Colombia, to improve water management of the surrounding area. Acquiring greater knowledge of the area and charting communal problems makes it easier to see how roles and tasks should be allocated between the various organisations. This results in a much more efficient approach.

Tailor-made for Colombia

A tailor-made approach has been devised per location. In the case of the Huila cluster, the need for information on setting up a good water management system is being explored, while the focus for the Santander cluster is on setting up participatory monitoring and a data system for water management. In the Valle del Cauca cluster, such a data system is already in use.

Group of people standing near water management related construction site.
Field visit with partners in Colombia

In order to be able to stay in contact during the coronavirus pandemic, the partners organised various webinars and a collective digital conference in 2020.

Alvaro Hernán Roldán Álvarez, Director of Planification, Corporación Valle del Cauca (CVC): “The collaboration is not a consultancy, but an exercise based on a free methodology. At no time do the Dutch impose models – instead it is a dynamic process that enables us to know ourselves better and to find solutions to various issues through reflection.”



Burkina Faso

In recent decades, Burkina Faso has increasingly struggled with a shortage of clean water. In the Blue Deal partnership in Burkina Faso, Dutch Water Authorities is working to draw up water management plans, as well as to improve the monitoring of water quality and quantity.

One of the biggest users and polluters of water in Burkina Faso is the gold mining sector. The partnership helps local water authorities to combat the negative impact of gold mining on the water system. For example by setting up monitoring programmes and getting the Burkina Faso Ministry of Mining and the local water authorities to work together.

Re-use of water

The partnership also works on enabling the re-use of water around mining locations. Efforts are also being made to promote gold extraction without the use of harmful chemicals.

Meeting with Blue Deal-partners in Burkina Faso

Sanitation and water management

The partnership was involved in the launch of new sanitation and integrated water management projects. Dutch Water Authorities helped local partners set up a project to construct eight water reservoirs and to train staff.

Judith Kolen, strategic alliance manager with Dutch Water Authorities: “The local water authorities in Burkina Faso haven’t existed for very long. We show them ways of giving shape to their role. But it’s not just a one-way process. Our partners provide us with a different perspective on how we tackle issues like drought in the Netherlands. In West Africa the problem of drought is commonplace. We can learn from their approach.”

Kenya

The partnership between Dutch Water Authorities and the Water Resources Authority (WRA) in Kenya broadly focuses on enhancing the capacity of WRA technical officers with regard to water allocation planning.

The Dutch Water Authorities team has paid multiple visits to the project area in Kenya, so as to become familiar with the project area and activities as well as the local communities. The partnership has identified some areas of interest for capacity and skill enhancement, namely basin planning; permitting, compliance and enforcement processes; water resources monitoring and data management concerning water allocation. It also pays attention to stakeholder engagement (awareness, participation, processes and guidelines).

Water management plans

Water management plans have been drawn up for two catchment areas, and the partners have made major strides towards modelling the water system and implementation. The Dutch Water Authorities team has provided training and capacity building sessions on hydrological modelling as well as on water resources monitoring.

Dutch Water Authorities worked with the partners to make an inventory of stakeholders. A project to provide training on water use in agriculture was also launched.

Group of people bending over a table. They are looking at a sheet of paper covered in Post-It notes.
Training session with Kenyan partners

The Dutch Water Authorities team is learning a lot from the way water resources are managed by their partners in Kenya. It is hoped that the outcomes of this project in the initial project area will be replicated in other catchment areas in the near future.

During 2020, local partners were provided with online support where possible. Intensive communication with partners had a positive effect on commitment and collaboration. The deployment of two Kenyan experts and one Dutch expert through the Young Expert Programme (YEP) also boosted continuity and involvement.



Peru

In Peru, the Blue Deal partnership is working on clean water, sufficient water and flood protection. Activities are geared to improving water governance with an emphasis on boosting collaboration between the various stakeholders.

Attention is focused on flood prevention, improving the availability and allocation of water, and improving wastewater treatment in Peru.

Technology and management support

The collaboration between Dutch Water Authorities and its Peruvian partners provides two regional Water Resources Committees in the Tumbes and Chira-Piura catchment areas with support in the field of technology and management. Water Resources Committees are regional network organisations within which affiliated organisations carry out water management tasks.

Group of people gathered round a water management device on the banks of a river in Peru. A man is showing them the workings of the device.
Dutch Water Authorities field visit with partners in Peru

For example, the partnership advises the Water Resources Committees on studies into flood prevention measures. Work is also being done to improve water management plans in both catchment areas. Activities are supervised locally by two experts from the Young Expert Programme (YEP).



Vietnam

In Vietnam, Dutch Water Authorities is working to improve water management in the densely populated Mekong Delta. The Blue Deal partnership focuses on improving collaboration between the various local authorities and urban regions, as well as on a more sustainable, climate-proof way of working.

The Blue Deal partnership is contributing to socio-economic development in the entire Mekong Delta. Expert groups have been set up, consisting of Vietnamese and Dutch experts, to carry out this task.

Blue Dragon

There is also a Blue Dragon Academy, Accelerator and Community (named after ‘Blue Dragon’, the local name for the Blue Deal partnership in Vietnam) that provide local courses for trainers, as well as scope for scaling up and knowledge sharing.

Training with local Blue Deal partners in Vietnam

A website has been set up, making it easier to share knowledge and experience between the various provinces. In 2020, the first Vietnamese translation was made of the ISO standard for asset management.

Better management and maintenance

The partnership has also given the international programme of the Dutch drinking water companies access to asset management training courses, contributing to better management and maintenance throughout the water treatment and supply system as a whole. A local secretary is coordinating activities in Vietnam and maintaining contact with all stakeholders.



South Africa

Within the Blue Deal partnership in South Africa, Dutch Water Authorities is working with South African partners to improve operational water management.

The main focus is on the Vaal, Inkomati-Usuthu and Pongola-Umzimkulu areas. Various projects are being carried out relating to water quality and water availability.

Hans Waals, strategic policy advisor with Dutch Water Authorities: “Our experience of decentralised water management is proving very useful in South Africa. Local water authorities have been set up. In practice, it is proving difficult to decentralise.

Water management in South Africa is regulated nationally, and hierarchically. So we’re focusing more on operational water management. We tackle concrete problems, for example in the area of wastewater treatment: training operators and analysing installations.”

People sitting behind conference table. There are flags and a wall of logo's behind them. One man is talking through a microphone.
National launch of the Blue Deal in South Africa

The partnership has already achieved significant results regarding water quality. An inventory has been made of how wastewater treatment plants can be managed more safely and efficiently.

Water hyacinths in South Africa

Work is also being carried out to tackle the issue of water hyacinths, an invasive species. Local authorities are working together to remove water hyacinths from wetlands, because their rapid growth and decay harms water quality. Together with the local population, ways are being explored of processing the removed water hyacinths, for example by turning them into artificial fertiliser. In this way, the project benefits both the water quality and the local economy.

People standing next to a waste water reservoir during a Dutch Water Authorities field visit in South Africa.
Visit to the Crocodile River project in South Africa

Dr Konanani Khorommbi, director for institutional management in the Gauteng Provincial Office: “The partnership is working very well. The Dutch bring their own skills, but they do not undermine the South Africans’ local expertise. We own the process and we are responsible for managing the resources.

It’s not just about improving water quality. We are using the Blue Deal to achieve more and higher objectives, like integrated water resources management and integrated land use management. If we continue like this, the country is going to benefit a lot economically, environmentally and socially.”



Mozambique

In this Blue Deal partnership, Dutch Water Authorities is working with five Mozambican water authorities and the water and sanitation department of the municipality of Beira to strengthen their capacity in the fields of water security, water allocation and water quality.

Mozambique is regularly hit by natural disasters. Climate change is making floods and periods of drought more intense and water quality is under pressure. This calls for effective water management. The main focus of the programme is on improving operational work processes, and training Mozambican professionals.

Young Expert Programme

The Blue Deal partnership is speeding up complex processes, like a fairer allocation of water. The partnership is investing in the long term: 10 professionals from the Young Expert Programme (YEP) have been taken on to support the water experts locally.

Michiel van der Pompe, head of development cooperation and deputy ambassador at the embassy in Maputo: “Like the Netherlands, Mozambique is a delta country. We both have a great deal of knowledge to share. Not just about water management and water governance, but also about training water experts. Capacity building is a matter of perseverance. The long-term nature of the Blue Deal programme underpins this.”

Man standing by water's edge. He is holding a cup with a water sample, which is attached to a short pole.
Water quality engineer takes a sample to test water quality

Pilot projects

The partnership is working on various pilot projects. These are aimed at timely flood prediction and protection measures, as well as measures to improve water quality, to allocate available water more fairly at times of scarcity, and to improve operational plans.

The partnership has also improved the permitting and charging system, and identified water users who had previously gone undetected. That is crucial, because water authorities rely on sufficient funding to function properly. So all users need to pay.