Water Papers

168 items available

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Water Papers are produced by the Water Global Practice, taking up the work of the predecessor Water Unit, Transport, Water and ICT Department, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.

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From a Humanitarian to Development Approach: Uganda’s Ground-Breaking Journey to Achieve Sustainable Provision of Water Services to Refugees and Host Communities

2023-06-20, Huang, Ai-Ju, Njoroge, David Githiri, Otiego, Lilian, Danilenko, Alexander

The number of refugees in Africa reached 6.9 million in 2021, nearly tripling over the past 15 years. Uganda alone hosts 1.5 million refugees, making it the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and third in the world. Uganda has progressive refugee management policies that have welcomed refugees into the country for more than 70 years, with the average length of stay being seven to eight years. The pressure on water resources and infrastructure arising from the massive inflow and protracted stay of refugees is high and cannot be sustained solely through humanitarian interventions. The provision of water services in the refugee settlements under the humanitarian context is fragmented, and the actors supporting the refugee response can no longer provide effective and quality services because of financial and capacity constraints. This paper outlines Uganda’s pioneering shift from a traditional humanitarian water service model, designed for short-term emergencies, to a holistic approach that integrates refugees and host communities in long-term national development planning. It illustrates how Ugandan policy makers, the World Bank, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have come together to collectively design interventions at the national and local levels that have advanced this transition. The critical analytics, tools, and road maps generated through those interventions anchored the policy dialogues, reforms, and financing mechanisms that supported the transfer of water systems and provision services from humanitarian partners to national utilities. As a result, US$57 million of donor funds were mobilized and 50 water systems have already been transferred to national water providers, serving approximately 12 percent of the refugees and their host communities. Sharing the lessons learned from Uganda’s experience with World Bank project teams, partners, and other countries managing forced displacement may be beneficial as they strive to improve provision of water services to refugees and hosting communities.

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From Source to Sea: South Asia Water Initiative Completion Report 2013 - 2021

2022, World Bank

This Completion Report summarizes cumulative results and outcomes for the South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) Phase 2 (from 2013-2021). SAWI’s objective was to increase regional cooperation in the management of the major Himalayan river systems in South Asia to deliver sustainable, fair, and inclusive development and climate resilience. Four interlinked pathways supported the outcomes: (i) building confidence and trust among the countries – mainly by convening regional technical dialogues; (ii) generating new technical knowledge, including in partnership with others, for national programs to use and to help shift stakeholder perceptions; (iii) building capacity of key institutions and stakeholders by exposing them to regional collaboration efforts elsewhere and training them in the use of new tools and technologies to strengthen water resource management; and (iv) scoping and leveraging investments, most notably World Bank investments so that these new approaches could be embedded and taken to scale.

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Troubled Tariffs: Revisiting Water Pricing for Affordable and Sustainable Water Services

2021-12-02, Andres, Luis A., Misra, Smita, Joseph, George, Thibert, Michael, Fenwick, Crystal

Tariffs are essential but not the only pathway to cost recovery, addressing affordability, and managing water conservation. To maximize their potential, they must be well designed, complemented by appropriate instruments, adequately regulated, and understood by customers. This report builds upon that one, and provides policy makers with the information needed to design better tariffs to further the economic efficiency, affordability, and environmental sustainability of water supply services. Through a layered and comprehensive analysis of the most prevalent tariff structures, it provides policy makers with specific guidance on pricing water supply services in response to the sector’s often-competing goals. This document comprises a synthesis of fifteen unique research papers that, combined, articulate a step-by-step thought process for designing effective tariffs with a view to achieving sustainable development goal (SDG) 6.

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Water in Circular Economy and Resilience: The Case of Aguas de Portugal

2021-09-02, World Bank

This case study is part of a series prepared by the World Bank’s Water Global Practice to highlight existing experiences in the water sector. The purpose of the series is to showcase one or more of the elements that can contribute toward a Water in Circular Economy and Resilience (WICER) system. This case focuses on the experience of Portugal.

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Groundwater Quality: A Strategic Approach

2022-03-17, World Bank

This policy brief highlights the key messages for policy makers from the World Bank report “Seeing the Invisible: A Strategic Report on Groundwater Quality” (Ravenscroft and Lytton 2022a). This report and “A Practical Manual on Groundwater Quality Monitoring” (Ravenscroft and Lytton 2022b) describe the types of contaminants in groundwater, tools and resources for their measurement and long-term monitoring, and techniques to protect the resource from being contaminated in the first place.

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Glaciers, Rivers, and Springs: A Water Sector Diagnostic of Nepal

2022, Joseph, George

Nepal is rich in water resources with a dense network of glaciers, lakes, rivers, and springs that originate in the Himalayas. However, only an estimated 15 billion cubic meters (BCM) of the 225 BCM water available annually is utilized for economic and social purposes. Several elements have contributed to this low rate of utilization, including Nepal’s rugged geography, inadequate institutional capacity, a history of prolonged political instability, and highly skewed seasonality - more than 80 percent of the precipitation in a year falls within a span of four months. For sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, and to enhance shared prosperity, Nepal must increase its investments in water-related infrastructure and institutions and improve the effectiveness of these investments. Although there is much to be done to harness this vital resource, it is important to broaden the development focus and integrate hydropower in a larger water resource management strategy. This strategy will ensure that water is available for basic and economic needs - even through the dry season - as a core component of Nepal’s overall development plan. Given Nepal’s development context and challenges, this document aims to analyze the most pressing sector challenges and identify strategic sector priorities that are aligned with the country’s partnership framework. It offers a snapshot of water in Nepal’s development story and situates the water sector in the broader context of the national economy, highlighting the importance of managing water resources for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. It then presents five pressing sector-related challenges and concludes with a set of priority areas.

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Water in Circular Economy and Resilience

2021-09-15, Delgado, Anna, Rodriguez, Diego J., Amadei, Carlo A., Makino, Midori

Rethinking urban water through the circular economy and resilience lenses offers an opportunity to transform the urban water sector and deliver water supply and sanitation services in a more sustainable, inclusive, efficient, and resilient way. Circular Economy principles have emerged as a response to the current unsustainable linear model of "take, make, consume, and waste." In a circular economy, the full value of water – as a service, an input to processes, a source of energy and a carrier of nutrients and other materials – is recognized and captured. This report presents the Water in Circular Economy and Resilience (WICER) Framework together with global case studies that show the benefits of becoming circular and resilient. It describes the key actions needed to achieve three main outcomes: 1) deliver resilient and inclusive services, 2) design out waste and pollution, and 3) preserve and regenerate natural systems. The report sets out to demystify circular economy by showing that both high-income and low-income countries can benefit from it.

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Advancing Knowledge of the Water-Energy Nexus in the GCC Countries

2022, Jägerskog, Anders, Barghouti, Shawki

Climate change and increasing population pressure make it increasingly urgent to find ways to improve the management of the water-energy nexus. The desalination, pumping, distribution, and treatment of water use significant energy resources. The extraction and production of energy consume substantial amounts of water resources. In addition, negative effects on the environment are often the consequences of the management of the water and energy sectors. The report highlights the prospects for addressing these and other challenges at the water-energy nexus. It does this by drawing, in part, on some of the most important breakthroughs in the nexus that have come from the region.

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Water Matters: Resilient, Inclusive and Green Growth through Water Security in Latin America

2022, World Bank

Water security is a matter of increasing concern across the world and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is no exception. With rapidly growing demands for water and increasing variability due to climate change, ensuring water access to all users and mitigating water-related risks should be at the center of national and regional adaptation strategies. With nearly a third of the world's water resources, the LAC region's development has been inadvertently driven by water. This rich water endowment has allowed LAC to position itself as the world's largest net food-exporting region and greenest in terms of electricity production through hydropower. Water has played a fundamental role in reducing poverty, preserving LAC's natural wealth, and accelerating economic growth. More importantly, access to safe drinking water and sanitation services has contributed to improve the health and living conditions of millions of people. Despite this progress, there are urgent water sector challenges that threaten the region's sustainable development. Access to water and sanitation services is inequitable, with greater gaps in rural, indigenous, and peri-urban communities. In addition, water-related extremes such as floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, having negative effects in lower-income communities. These gaps are more likely to be broadened by unsustainable water management practices, growing demands by competing water users, increasing pollution, and climate change impacts. In LAC, inadequate infrastructure results in a lack of storage and limited investment reduces the capacity of institutions to achieve integrated water resources management and improve service provision. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) conducts research, convenes multi stakeholder dialogues, builds institutional capacity, and provides policy advice to water decision-makers. Focused on improving water governance, the authors aim to contribute to more prosperous and inclusive societies.

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Water in Circular Economy and Resilience: The Case of Dakar, Senegal

2021-09-09, World Bank

This case study is part of a series prepared by the World Bank’s Water Global Practice to highlight existing experiences in the water sector. The purpose of the series is to showcase one or more of the elements that can contribute toward a Water in Circular Economy and Resilience (WICER) system. This case focuses on the experience of Dakar, Senegal.