World Water Day: 6th anniversary of Blue Deal

On March 22 it is World Water Day. This is always an extra special day for the Blue Deal. Today, we celebrate our anniversary! Because it all began on March 22, 2018.

People in Kenia 2022

And how far we have come, and at the same time: how much more we aim for! In our Phase 1 Report, we have summarised what we have achieved, what didn’t go so well, and where we can achieve even more success.

What was Phase 1?

In 2018 the official documents for the Blue Deal were signed and we started working on forming the partnerships. In 2019, the partnerships really started their work. Phase 1 is the period of 2019-2022.

What can we conclude from Phase 1?

  • The first success was evident from the size of our programme. We were supposed to start with 6 partnerships. Now we have 17!
  • The pandemic led to setbacks and delays. But it also brought some benefits. We became better at hybrid working, and the focus shifted away from mainly work visits. We also realised the importance of individuals being ‘on the ground’. Therefore, we have further invested in local capacity.
  • Our learning programme has been professionalised with, among other things, 6 Communities of Practice and regional meetings between partner countries. And, a Blue Deal YEP batch started in 2022, which allowed our partnerships to both accelerate their work as well as accelerate learning from each other.


Overall, we conclude that we have made significant progress, particularly in the area of knowledge exchange on specific water topics. Examples include trainings on wastewater treatment, working together on Water Allocation Plans, and setting up participative monitoring of water quality.

We have also worked on strengthening water institutions, for example in the area of water pricing, or in specifying roles and responsibilities within water authorities. In this area, we see progress, but naturally, these are slow processes. This is why it is so important that the Blue Deal is there for the long run. In terms of relational management, such as actively involving stakeholders, this is something that happens more and more in the areas where the Blue Deal works.

Onwards to clean, safe, and sufficient water for 20 million people around the world by 2030!