In many countries both the quantity and quality of water are in decline as populations – and associated demand from agriculture, energy generation, industry and households – grow. The Water Resources Group (WRG) estimates that the shortfall between freshwater supply and global demand could reach 40% by 2030, an average that conceals even more acute shortfalls in certain water-stressed countries. Goal 6 of the proposed SDGs calls for the “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.
All those whose demand for water puts pressure on supply, and all those who feel the impact when supply falls short, share the same risks. It is now recognised that this interdependency requires a collaborative response.
As a result, partnerships are becoming increasingly central to strategies for delivering Goal 6 and securing shared water resources for business, local communities, and ecosystems. Companies, governments, donors, and civil society organisations, often in multi-stakeholder alliances, are joining forces to increase water use efficiency, to improve water management and governance, and address the root causes of water risk.
- What are the most promising partnership models designed to tackle shared water risks, and what impacts are we starting to see on the ground?
- What are we learning about how to develop and sustain successful water partnerships on the ground, particularly the role of governments, and what are the greatest barriers to progress?
- How can we build, strengthen and scale up partnerships that aim to tackle shared water risks?