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.


The partnership in Ghana centres on drawing up water management plans with a focus on agriculture and tackling pollution. Dutch Water Authorities is working with Ghanaian partners to set up a regional water authority.

An integrated water management plan is being drawn up with the organisations responsible for water management in the region. The partnership shows local partners that integrated water management involves taking account of a broader range of elements in management tasks.

Examples of this are replanting riverbanks to combat erosion, improving the stability of flood defences, making more efficient use of water in agriculture, dredging, and small-scale solutions to domestic wastewater treatment.

Two men standing on a platform overlooking a large body of water.
Field visit of partner project in Ghana


The partnership in Ghana is also working to improve the provision of information when flooding occurs. In the video below, Jaap Bos explains how Dutch Water Authorities works with local partners to solve flooding in Ghana. These floods are caused by a dam in Burkina Faso.


Dutch Water Authorities is working with local partners to achieve fairer water allocation in the Kingdom of eSwatini. The Blue Deal-partnership in eSwatini centres on combating overexploitation of water and on more efficient use of available water.

Dutch Water Authorities is working with local water authorities to professionalise their organisations, including a greater focus on stakeholder management and raising awareness of the importance of good water governance. In 2020, the partnership achieved a major institutional breakthrough: the official establishment of a new water management organisation headed by a female CEO.

Positive impact

By entering into partnership with a local eSwatini development enterprise a greater focus has been created on combating poverty among small farmers. Improving water management in eSwatini also has a positive impact on neighbouring countries: South Africa and Mozambique.

The Dutch Water Authorities team and their eSwatini Blue Deal-partners posing for a group picture.
The Blue Deal partners in eSwatini

Marga Oosterveld, coordinator of the Blue Deal partnership in eSwatini: “eSwatini wants to decentralise water management and have the five catchment areas work together. There were already ‘irrigation districts’, which farmers would contact to regulate water levels, but there hadn’t yet been a national organisation overseeing everything.

Through the Blue Deal partnership, a joint operational organisation has been set up in which stakeholders work together to ensure fair allocation of water. What Dutch Water Authorities brings to the table is centuries of experience in setting up water authorities: how to organise and formalise collaboration.

The issue of water scarcity is something that the Netherlands is also going to be facing in the future. So I think we’re going to learn a lot from our partners in eSwatini. What happens exactly, when water runs out? What do you need to take account of, for example in crop growing?”

Young Expert Programme

In the video below, Young Expert Takhona Dlamini shares her experiences working for the Blue Deal partnership in eSwatini. The Young Expert Programme offers young professionals the opportunity to gain experience with working in an international environment.


Dutch Water Authorities works together with the Buenos Aires Province in Argentina to improve water management. The Tandil-General Lavalle catchment area is regularly hit by flooding, seawater intrusion, drought and a lack of fresh water.

The Blue Deal partnership with Dutch Water Authorities is boosting trust in authorities and promoting collaboration between interested parties in Argentina. For the first time, farmers, municipalities and provincial bodies are working on water management together. The partnership made a film about the participatory approach in General Lavalle to share their positive experience of working together.

New water management organisation

In the area that has been designated as a test site, the partners jointly identified various locations with water issues. In order to be able to tackle problems structurally, a local water management organisation has been set up.

Monitoring station in Argentina located in a field seen from above; two people are working to readjust the equipment. A pick-up truck is parked nearby.
Monitoring station in the Tandil-General Lavalle catchment area


Dutch Water Authorities works with partners in Ethiopia on equal water distribution and combating water shortages and pollution. Thanks to the efforts of three Blue Deal partnerships in Ethiopia, regional water managers are more frequently involved in decisions at national level.

Abbay partnership

In the Blue Deal partnership with the Basins Development Authority and the Abbay Basin Development Office, Dutch Water Authorities and Ethiopian partners work together to achieve a fair and efficient allocation of water in the Abbay catchment area. The partnership is working to set up an information system and professionalise the way data is processed. Work is also being done to improve the water laboratory’s quality system.

Awash partnership

The Awash Blue Deal partnership focuses on improving collaboration between the various water management organisations in the Awash catchment area. Dutch Water Authorities is also paying attention to monitoring, database management, information provision and water system reporting. This helps Ethiopian partners to improve policy and plans relating to water security, water quality and water quantity. To chart industrial discharges an app was developed, so that polluting industries pay for their wastewater proportionally.

Water technicians are sat at the water's edge with a water testing kit, getting ready to take samples.
Water technicians testing the quality of surface water.

Wastewater treatment partnership

Within this Blue Deal partnership Dutch Water Authorities is working with partners to reduce untreated industrial discharges, improve the processing of domestic wastewater and enhance local ecosystems. Plans are being drawn up on the processing of urban wastewater, planning and building new wastewater treatment plants and improving the management and maintenance of existing plants.

In 2020 the partnership made a start on support for asset management, and explanation of the procurement rules for wastewater treatment. Knowledge was also exchanged on the topic of faecal sludge management.

People talking during a field visit to a waste water treatment plant in Mekelle, Ethiopia.
Field visit to a waste water treatment plant in Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Bahiru Woldemariam Bashira of the Water Development Commission under the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy: “Our ambition with this capacity-building programme is to train our operators to manage their systems. We also want to provide experience sharing for high-level decision makers and training for professionals.

Sanitation is new for our country, there are still a lot of skill gaps. The collaboration with Dutch Water Authorities will give us greater insight into how to safely manage liquid waste and how to operate properly. We’d also like to learn more about the most suitable faecal sludge management and wastewater treatment technologies for our towns.

The team from Dutch Water Authorities provided training for our project coordinators and utility managers on sanitation, contract administration, and procurement processes. The team also visited most of the city’s sanitation services and provided support in our ongoing sanitation studies.

In addition, the team organised several webinar meetings with university lecturers on faecal sludge management technologies, waste water treatment technologies, system operations and other subjects. In the future we expect to expand our capacity-building project to other towns.”