Aug 22, 2019

Government of the Netherlands: Embracing long-term water management

World Water Week is a unique platform bringing policy, research and practices together. To do so, we join forces with several institutions from a variety of sectors. The Government of the Netherlands (GoN) is one the newcomers to join our partner network in 2019.

Through this partnership, World Water Week aims to mainstream water issues among high-level leaders and on global agenda. The GoN’s in turn aspires to draw from the Week’s trend setting capacity and influential role to be more effective in its contribution to the water sector. World Water Week is at the crossroads between content and dialogue and the GoN particularly appreciates its Week’s multi-stakeholder nature, interactive sessions and excellent network opportunities.

This year, the GoN will (co-) convene several sessions sharing experiences which integrate various elements of SDG 6 on Water and Sanitation, see climate adaptation as a water agenda and vice versa, leverage domestic investments with aid money, and promote investments in long-term natural capital accounting. Sessions include:

  1. Climate resilient development in coastal cities – a 1000-piece puzzle; with the participation of Mr. Davis Simango (Mayor of Beira – Mozambique) and Henk Ovink (Dutch Water Envoy – Government of the Netherlands)
  2. Valuing Water Initiative: driving systemic change to boost water-related SDGs; with the participation of Erin Jordan (Water Youth Network), Jan Willem Vosmeer (Heineken) and Ayat Soliman (World Bank)
  3. Using the natural capital protocol to strengthen inclusive water management; with the participation of Martin Lok (Natural Capital Coalition), Bianca Nijhof (Netherlands Water Partnership), Colette Grosscurt (Actiam), Gordon Rogers (Yorkshire Waters), Chris Brown (Olam), and Ines Gasmi (Water Youth Network)
  4. All sessions

The GoN is also staging a fully integrated Dutch Pavilion the exhibition hall.

The Netherlands’ Water Ambition 2030

While most of the work in the Water sector is currently broken down in short projects and political cycles, the “Government of the Netherlands” has embraced the 2030 Agenda which sets the stage to act long-term and collectively. It has created an environment in which 4 of its ministries, including Infrastructure and Water management, and Foreign Affairs increasingly “operate as one”, under a shared Water Ambition 2030. The Netherlands further:

  • has developed a WASH strategy (2016-2030)
  • applies sustainability clauses
  • has Water Operator Partnership programs (WaterWorX and Blue Deal) with a 2030 horizon
  • engages long-term with urban deltas at the frontline of climate and disaster risk
  • integrates elements of SDG 6.3-6.6 in the process to achieve SDG6.1 and 6.2
  • sees climate adaptation as a water agenda and vice versa
  • commits long-term to leveraging domestic investment with ODA
  • invests in long-term natural capital accounting to make hidden costs of economic development explicit