Dutch Water Authorities can offer expertise in regional water management and water governance through joint projects, expert capacity, field visits and presentations. Here are some examples of past and current Dutch Water Authorities projects and collaborations.
Administacao de infra-estruturas de agua e saneamento (AIAS) is responsible for drinking water, sanitation and waste-processing outside the large cities in Mozambique. Dutch Water Authorities is supporting AIAS in building capacity in 15 cities, which can then serve as models for the country’s other cities.
Dutch Water Authorities is helping to draw up a plan for sanitation and waste processing for one city. Drinking water installations are also being renovated.
Before this project, sanitation In Mozambique was not organised very structurally. The project is therefore giving efforts to improve sanitation in the country a considerable boost and substantial support.
Safe drinking water and sanitation are essential in densely populated cities and this project is an example of how both can be organised as part of the water cycle, with sustainability an important criterion in all respects.
Royal HaskoningDHV asked Dutch Water Authorities to help them market their Nereda installations around the world.
With their knowledge and experience, Dutch Water Authorities can help organisations that have just had a Nereda installation built, work with this wastewater treatment technology.
Nereda is a biological purification technology for wastewater treatment plants. Dutch Water Authorities built the first Nereda installation in Epe in the Netherlands. Nereda uses hardly any chemicals and only a quarter of the space and half of the energy of a traditional treatment plant.
As Dutch Water Authorities has experience with these plants, it supports and assists local operators in other countries. This also allows staff of Dutch Water Authorities to gain international knowledge and experience that can be used later in the Netherlands.
In 2014 Dutch Water Authorities received a request to send expert teams to England, which was suffering from serious flooding. Dutch Water Authorities sent two teams to the affected regions.
One conducted inspections and the other had primarily an observer’s role, watching how the British government responds to serious water crises.
Visiting crisis situations helps to increase the knowledge of Dutch Water Authorities. As a consequence of their cooperation during the flooding, the Netherlands and England have shared their knowledge on multilayered security, crisis communications and awareness-raising among local residents.
In addition, the Dutch inspections helped the English water authorities to obtain a clear picture of the instability of their dykes.
Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania. The city depends entirely on Lake Victoria for its water supply. With the support of grants, drinking water and wastewater treatment plants have recently been built here.
The plants work well in technical terms, but the level of knowledge and organisation of the local drinking water and water management companies are problematic.
In this project, a water partnership has been formed to enable knowledge to be passed on directly from colleague to colleague.
The project focuses on the entire water cycle: drinking water extraction, purification, distribution, customer service, sewage disposal, wastewater treatment and water quality.
Dutch Water Authorities is helping to draw up manuals and guidelines for the wastewater treatment plant, improve water quality and set up a data management system. The knowledge transferred is practical, can be used directly and produces immediately observable results.
Bangladesh is one of the focus countries of the Netherlands’ development cooperation. The country lies on the largest delta in the world, making water management an important theme in its development.
Dutch Water Authorities has been involved in development cooperation with the country since 2014.
The first project that Dutch Water Authorities is participating in is the ‘Urban Dredging Demonstration Project (UDDP)’ in Dhaka.
This project was initiated by Vitens Evides International and the water authorities are supplying two specialists in urban water management. UDDP aims to improve drainage in Dhaka.
In addition, knowledge is being transferred on asset management and the management of the city’s drainage system. Dutch Water Authorities is also helping to draft policy and management & maintenance plans.
The capacity building programme for the Steering Centre for Flood Control (SCFC) in Ho Chi Minh City is a two-year cooperative project involving Ho Chi Minh City, Dutch Water Authorities, the Technical University of Twente and Royal HaskoningDHV.
The programme aims to build the capacity of the SCFC staff and improve cooperation with other authorities. Dutch Water Authorities also supports their Vietnamese counterparts in effectively addressing increasing risks of flooding in urban and industrial areas.
To achieve these aims, Dutch Water Authorities have developed five training modules, each lasting a week. In these modules, Vietnamese counterparts learn about the Dutch approach to strategic planning and risk management.
During an earlier project that Dutch Water Authorities conducted with the Turkish Ministry of the Environment and the Illerbank, the techniques used for water purification in Turkey proved to be efficient, but there were still quite a lot of problems relating to management and maintenance.
At that time, each municipality had its own purification system, but insufficient qualified staff and financial resources. This led to inefficiency, high costs and inadequate purification results, and in some cases even to installations being shut down.
Dutch Water Authorities presented alternative organisational models, which ultimately led to a new project in which the water authority had joint responsibility for setting up an umbrella organisation to manage and maintain several wastewater treatment plants.
Municipalities can join this organisation on a voluntary basis. This makes water purification a dedicated and unique task, for which qualified staff can easily be hired.
It also allows the operational management of wastewater treatment to be organised more efficiently, which will keep costs to a minimum. It has also improved the quality of the effluent water, which has a favourable impact on the very vulnerable environment in that part of Turkey.
Dutch Water Authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ARA-Sul in 2012 on cooperation on integrated water management.
ARA-Sul is the water authority in southern Mozambique, which includes the catchment basins of the Umbeluzi, Incomati, Limpopo and part of the Save rivers. Its responsibilities include river management, including a number of large dams, and groundwater management.
Dutch Water Authorities provides support in setting up sustainable dyke management in the Limpopo basin, ensuring efficient water distribution and updating the water management and implementation plan for 2015 to 2020.
Dutch Water Authorities is also assisting with groundwater management in the coastal zones.
To make these projects possible, the NWB fund provided co-financing for the period from 2012 to mid-2014. In addition, Nuffic funded two tailor-made training courses on flood forecasting and dyke management.
The Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is providing funding for 2014 to 2016, through the Dutch embassy in Mozambique.
Because the South African government has been exchanging knowledge with Dutch Water Authorities since 2004, it became clear that both countries were conducting research into the use of remote sensing for efficient water use.
They decided to join forces and share their knowledge. As a result, South Africa is now able to use HydroNET, a Dutch programme for measuring precipitation.
The project is still in the demonstration phase. The aim is that Dutch Water Authorities’ South African partners use HydroNET to acquire greater insight into precipitation volumes, so that they can use and manage water more efficiently.
Dutch Water Authorities and the Mozambican water authority ARA Centro work as partners and conduct joint projects. One of thse projects is Water Planning Tools to Support Water Governance (WATPLAG).
In WATPLAG, UNESCO-IHE, the Future Water advice agency, Dutch Water Authorities and ARA Centro are creating a water distribution model for the River Pungwe, which can be used to assess permit applications from water users. A system of permits for discharges into the water has also been set up.
The project will enable ARA Centro to better fulfil its task as an integrated water manager. Various symposia are also increasing the involvement of stakeholder organisations in water management and strengthening ARA Centro’s status and therefore its position as a water manager.
In this way, the WATPLAG project is setting an example for other water authorities in Mozambique.
In South Africa, nine Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) – the equivalent of water authorities in the Netherlands – are being set up under the new National Water Act. This process is being supported by Dutch knowledge and experience.
Since 2004, Dutch Water Authorities have been exchanging knowledge with the South African Department of Water Affairs and the first two CMAs in a number of areas.
These include decentralisation and the political, strategic and operational aspects of water management, permits and enforcement, cross-border water management and how to involve external stakeholders in decision-making.
Based on positive experiences with this collaboration, the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs has asked Dutch Water Authorities to extend the exchange project to all nine CMAs from 2014. In 2014, this extended cooperation was formalised in a strategic agreement.
The Kingfisher programme is partly financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through VNG International’s Local Government Capacity Programme (LGCP), and the NWB fund.
In 2007, the European Union established a Joint Operational Programme for the Black Sea. One of the projects within the programme is ‘Improvement of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Black Sea Region’ (ICZM). Romania is leading the project, with Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria also taking part.
The project aims to establish a joint strategy for coastal zone management, to increase public participation in the decision-making process, and to raise awareness of coastal zone management.
Dutch Water Authorities is partnering Romania in the programme and offers advice on request or at its own initiative. Together with other Dutch partners, including Stichting Kust en Zee and the municipality of Zandvoort, Dutch Water Authorities is developing a toolbox for integrated coastal zone management.
The toolbox will offer, for example, information on indicators for good coastal management. The aim of the toolbox is that the five parties will eventually be able to solve their problems themselves.
In the Ethiopian region of Adama, Dutch Water Authorities is leading a project called Resource Oriented Sanitation Services in Adama (ROSSA).
Through the project Dutch Water Authorities is aiming to increase the quality of sanitation in the region by collaborating with local businesses. It is, for example, working with a local bank and local waste processors to reduce water pollution in the region.
The Dutch project team gives workshops on sanitation and hygiene to local health-care professionals. The aim is that they share their newly acquired knowledge with local residents to increase awareness of the importance of clean water.
Dutch Water Authorities is active in the Awash River basin in Ethiopia, helping Ethiopian counterparts to protect their water resources. They are monitoring the water quality of the river and setting up information systems and training centres.
Dutch Water Authorities is also providing support in the area of governance. It has drawn up a Water Governance Programme for the Awash basin and is linking the programme to the activities of the Awash Basin Authority, increasing the authority’s control of the situation in the region. Here lie the greatest benefits for Ethiopia.
By establishing administrative order in the complex reality of decentralised water supply and management, the Ethiopian government can count on more support for its national policy goals in the water sector. This can give the country’s economic progress a strong boost.
Since 2011, Dutch Water Authorities and Waterbedrijf Groningen have been collaborating with Apa Canal S.A. Galati, a drinking water and wastewater company in eastern Romania.
In this Water Operator Partnership, Dutch experts are supporting their Romanian counterparts in a range of areas. These include improving customer relations, optimising wastewater treatment, monitoring water quality, asset management, managing and maintaining installations, conducting a sludge strategy study and retraining the company’s employees.
The partnership has also realised the acquisition of a new sewage treatment plant.
Dutch Water Authorities is working together with drinking water company ‘Brabant Water’, the Dutch municipality of Tilburg, the Esacal water company, and the city of Matagalpa in Nicaragua on flooding issues, wastewater treatment and the supply of sustainable drinking water in the city.
The water authorities are helping to improve water management in this region by sharing their knowledge of problem analysis, field research, scenario development and project formulation with their Nicaraguan colleagues.
They also organise workshops to teach local officials how to put theory into practice. In addition, they are making their network of potential financiers available to the project.
The Banger Polder Project is founded on many years of cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands on water security. The joint project aims to solve the problem of flooding in low-lying urban deltas in Indonesia.
The Banger district in Semarang has been selected as a test site: a polder is being constructed in the district and a polder board set up. The board will manage the polder and collect contributions from local residents and businesses.
Dutch engineering company Wittenveen + Bos developed the technical design for the polder. The Banger district will be surrounded by dikes and quay walls. Together with a drainage system, this will eventually lower the water level by two metres.
Other Indonesian cities have already shown interest in a similar water system.
MULGRO is an international partnership between Nicaragua, Honduras, the Netherlands, Italy and the Basque country. These partners are working together to improve local government policies and integrated water management in the regions of San Carlos in Nicaragua and Marcala in Honduras.
The partnership makes every effort to combat water pollution. It also trains local officials to implement the policy and conducts awareness-raising activities among the wider public.
The participating municipalities, local and national water authorities, NGOs and knowledge institutes are actively supporting the project. It is financed by the European Union and the NWB Fund.
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Harmke Berghuis and Marjan van Wijngaarden
Julius Keijzer, Vectrus Internet
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