Dialogue Session at the 8th Informal Ministerial Meeting – Bergen

Access to Water for Basic Needs

This is a UNED FORUM summary of stakeholder background papers, created for the preparatory process only. Please read in conjunction with the full papers submitted by the stakeholder groups. 

Context

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs & Women

Water Services should contribute to economic, social and human development of people – not just technical perfection or cost efficiency.

Action requires a bottom-up approach, multi-stakeholder partnerships, integrated water resources & services planning

Emphasis on Workplace assessments to improve water uses in production and personal consumption of workers.

Focus on social and employment assessments to tackle poverty and prepare for multistakeholder transition planning.  

 Goal is water security where every person has enough affordable clean water and ecosystems are protected or enhanced.

Investment is identified as the most direct route.

Conditions of access must be acceptable and affordable to local people and conform to environmental objectives

Water has a particularly strong gender dimension

Integrated global resource allocation means poorer countries and communities have most difficulty establishing a claim to water

Water– poverty nexus fundamental

Water-energy  & Poverty-Employment as RIO+10 nexus themes

Water-poverty nexus is a priority

Water – poverty nexus fundamental (Rio + 10)

Finance 

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business & Industry

NGOs and Women

Top- down privatisation ® problems of equity, governance and security.

 

 

 

 

Private sector investment requires strong, efficient, transparent government, sound economic framework, independent  regulatory regime and an orderly stable society.

Risk management needs addressing.

Top-down imposition of privatised water services is unacceptable. Must always critically assess local needs and situation first.

Understand and support the existing informal private sector.

Regulatory control of private sector is essential.

Regulations to be developed through participatory, transparent, gender balanced mechanisms.

Focus on making better use of available resources.

 

Rehabilitate existing structures rather than new investments and use cost-saving technologies.

Financial inflows must respect national sustainable development strategies.

 

Centralised ‘western’ model of water supply and sanitation are costly to maintain. Instead priority should be to employ a wider selection of technologies and locally affordable approaches.

 

 

 

Investment priorities are: -

Distribution systems.

Efficient irrigation services.

Clean up of contaminated waters.

Protect surface waters.

Priority is to deliver water and sanitation services to poor and landless

Focus must re-orientate to micro-scale projects and local level of management

 

 

Full cost recovery supported, but must be both collective and individual and structured to allow basic needs to be met.

Waste and pollution must bear an economic cost

A social tariff policy to promote access to water services and finance investment and operating costs

Gradual and transparent transition to full cost recovery for all countries by 2015 and structured to protect the poor

Full cost pricing to improve efficiency, provide resources to reinvest, encourage demand management and promote pollution control and prevention

Greater water efficiency might be achieved by full cost recovery but the price must relate to nature of consumption and be structured to protect the poor

Bear costs collectively

Full cost transparency, classification of water price and to account for environmental costs

Socio-economic implications of full cost recovery must be debated in public

Locally experience impact of demand management tools need to be assessed

Flexible funding arrangements which encourage community involvement

 

Supports participatory approach as a principle for investment

Defining and monitoring use of financial resources must be participatory

Emphasis on transparency, democratic and gender balanced mechanisms

Donors must invest in appropriate technologies for long-term sustainability (e.g. solar pumps, rainwater harvesting).

 

Donors should assist countries with IWRM strategy

Donors must make access to water a development priority

 

 

 

Debt cancellation necessary to release funds. Governments must honour existing agreements (e.g. 20/20 initiative)

 

 

Governments should facilitate access to credit and encourage micro-credit development for investment at the community level

 

Private profits should be limited due to monopolistic and social aspect of service.

Understand financial flows and introduce financial instruments to support transition

 

 

Institutional  

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs

Accountability and transparency must be guaranteed by a public authority or recognised indigenous authority.

Regulations must define and protect socio-cultural and ecological values.

Whether under private or public control, water must always retain the character of a public service.

Public authorities must maintain accountability for water services and management.

Regulatory frameworks and dispute settlement procedures that encourage good governance will thereby promote private sector activity.

Private control of water must be regulated.

 

Regulations must be developed in a participatory, gender balanced, transparent way

Participatory management is key.

Participation requires full information,

Civic rights and new institutional mechanisms

Involve workers in monitoring and reporting of workplace activities and in implementation.

Stakeholder engagement at all levels.

International Water Code as means of establishing consensus on water

 

 

Cooperation and participation are key

Review local points of entry for participatory decision-making

Participation should be iterative

Participation requires full, free and equal access to information and decision making

A legislative framework for river basin management could formalise civil society participation.

 

Need to demonstrate to workers that the transition to sustainable development will improve their socio-economic security.

Improve awareness of the value of water resources and their use for sustainable development.

 

 

Access to water is a fundamental human right

 

Access to water is a fundamental human right

Local capacity building for local authorities and communities

Local decision- making and control

 

Local capacity building

 

 

Where water is scarce, government to formalise and clarify property rights for water

Need for more equitable systems of land tenure to guarantee for local access, particularly for women.

 

Need for high level political commitment to respond to locally developed needs and priorities

 

Need for high level political commitment to respond to locally developed needs and priorities

 

 

Formulate and implement sub-national and national and regional IWRM strategies

Continue with Agenda 21 recommendations for each country to adopt a national water policy

National governments must develop a clear strategy to guide selection of water related projects

Institutional reform to reflect crosscutting nature of water from the social, to economic to technical.

 

 

 

Institutions must be accessible by local agents; working together with local agents to define consumption patterns

 

 

 

Capacity building needs time, resources, support and skilled facilitators

Make transition plans for change

 

 

 

Use workplace and TU capacity to educate for public awareness. Engage with workers to change workplace production and personal consumption.

Use public health and sanitation links with Occuppational health structures and springboards to workplace action

 

 

 

Improve coordinatation of policy making by global institutions.

 

Coordinate national and international policies and take water impacts into account.

 

Establish a standing committee of ILO to deal with water (alongside electricity & gas)

 

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure development is critical for inclusion/exclusion and ensuring equitable allocation.

Operational

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs

Demand Management, including efficiency and conservation is key.

Use local economic instruments (tariffs, charges) to transform water users into economic actors.

Joint worker/trade union Workplace Assessments of water uses in the production of goods and services.

Assess water used in production or delivery of materials, labour and resources to workplace.

Assess workers personal and domestic uses of water as they relate to performing their work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use local economic instruments (tariffs, charges) to transform water users into economic actors

Service providers must unlock water needs and demand at local level.

Socio-economic impacts of demand management tools need to be assessed.

Community managed programmes often best at defining and meeting own needs.

Urgent political will to address demand management of aquifers used in food production.

Allocation decided on basis of watershed boundaries.

Watershed plans can be nested within one another to achieve a complementary management schemes for large systems.

 

 

Inter-sectoral allocation must prioritise access to water for basic needs, over broader economic interests.

Food production leading to groundwater depletion needs urgent political will to address problem.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) – coordinated land and water planning to maximise social and economic welfare equitably without compromising ecosystems.

 

Develop national and sub-national IWRM strategies.

Supports the IWRM initiatives taken by the Global Water Partnership

Primary goal of river basin management and restoration is to enable rivers and watersheds perform ecological functions and benefit those who rely on them for basic needs.

Integrate IWRM into National Strategies for Sustainable Development.

Supply management is important in coming years of water stress and climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognition that human activities cause many of the worlds floods and droughts affecting water supplies

 

 

 

Indicators are useful to monitor progress – must be sensitive to gender, ethnicity and place of residence.

 

 

 

Review locally experienced water impacts of global production and consumption patterns.

 

 

 

Prior impact assessments of water resource management projects or large-scale economic development on river basin. Credit Export Agencies in particular

Technical  

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs & Women

Emphasis on appropriate, small scale technologies

 

Capacity building to supply technical skills, goods and services and a trainable workforce.

Learn from local experiences and scale up successful micro-projects based on traditional and new technologies.

 

Measure innovation and technology transfer against social and employment indicators

 

De-materialisation and use efficiency.

 

 

 

Public policy must adopt technologies that assist poor people access water for basic needs.

 

 

 

Foster local competition to deliver low cost technologies to farmer or for community water supply and sanitation.

 

 

 

Simple soil and water conservation practices work. Including afforestation.

Partnerships

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs & Women

Local Government initiate dialogue between local stakeholders – e.g. The new ICLEI Water Campaign.

 

 

New workplace culture of cooperation. Industrial relations as a tool for sustainable development

New partnerships are key to creating investment.

Participation and cooperation are key.

Increase opportunities to share experience and expertise

Adopt Workplace Assessments as means of developing partnerships among employers/trade unions and with surrounding communities, as means of evaluating progress

Donors: should build government capacity; underpin basic human needs, support ecosystems and public health. Foreign aid should focus on capacity building and projects that can be replicated.

Stakeholders & government: cooperate to develop policies and include landless, women, indigenous people in the policy making process.

Educate on importance and meaning of participatory water resources management.

Develop frameworks for participation and multi-stakeholder processes.

Build on LA 21 processes where they exist.

Governments:

Use inspectors and inspections systems to promote voluntary measures as means of strengthening target-setting, through regulation and standards

Governments: Create competitive transparent level playing field; impartial regulators; rules based trade system.

Provide seed funds and guarantees for World Bank or EBRD loans.

Education. 

Information Sharing: NGOs & Womens groups to collate information on small scale water projects. Document impact of large-scale projects. Connect micro to the macro.

All sectors should work together to increase dissemination of research.

 

 

International Private:

Develop standardised concession agreements to reduce risk.

Foster financing partnerships linked to environmental goals.

Regional networks:

Environment and development NGOs should network to work together on policy, monitoring and good practice

 

 

Domestic private:

NGOs can articulate local needs.

Direct investments in services, micro-industries and manufacturing, repairs.

NGOs & Business: Private sector can work with NGOs to uncover the local needs to inform design of systems and technologies.

Also partners for service delivery.

 

Promote OECD guidelines for Multinationals 

Water code as means of promoting partnerships

Voluntary approaches must strengthen regulation and standards

 

International Joint Venture: between multinationals, international financial institutions and NGOs to inform on local context.

Public-private partnerships.

Promote eco-efficiency and voluntary initiatives.

Tripartite pubic-private-community partnerships.

Build-Operate-Transfer partnerships.

Governance:

Greater integration between local, national and international levels. Impact is local but driven by national and international processes.

 

ILO & tri-partite constituencies:

Should be involved in addressing social and employment implications

 

UNEP:

Could create centralised technology and good practice database and map information on populations without access.

International Cooperation  

Local Government

Trade Unions

Business

NGOs & Women

 

More coordination between global institutions to tackle social impacts of globalisation. e.g. ILO, WTO, IMF, World Bank. UNCTAD, UNDP

 

Institutional coordination to prevent fragmented approach

 

Integrated Action in relevant public policy areas, particularly integrate all the agreements on poverty and water since 1992

 

Integrated policy making. Governments must ratify all related MEAs, in particular RAMSAR, CBD and Kyoto Protocol

 

Develop system of enforceability for the multilateral environmental agreements

 

Regional cooperation is essential to mobilise political and financial commitment

 

Energy-Water &

Poverty-Employment as nexus themes for Rio + 10

 

Water-Poverty Nexus prioritised as a theme for Rio + 10.

 

 

 

Precautionary principle must be invoked now

 

Link water policy with social policies through WTO and ILO (e.g. sanitation) to become integral to trade related activities

 

 

 

 

 

Assess progress on Ch.18, Agenda 21

 

Trade unions propose Global Code of Conduct

 

Global Code of Conduct and Enforcement Strategy for water management and pricing