The annual meeting of the Governing Council of the 2030 WRG

On Thursday morning at 7.30am in Davos it was still dark outside as I chaired the annual meeting of the Governing Council of the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG).

The meeting place was a 20 minute walk from where I’m staying this year. It was sufficiently cold to make sure I was fully awake when I arrived there!

Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the WRG, reported its important steps and achievements in 2030, followed by an excellent discussion among the council members, a discussion leading ultimately to some major decisions.

2012 was still about preliminary work to create the institutional set-up. In 2013, work on the ground accelerated, with additional countries being added to the programme - among them Tanzania and Peru - with a first evaluation to check and improve, and with a first product, namely the catalogue of case studies of good practice “Managing water use in scarce environments”. The catalogue shows what the WRG is about: concrete solutions adapted to the situation of a watershed, but also how to learn from, and share knowledge with others in full transparency.

There are a number of new elements; the disruptive nature of the partnership in 2030 WRG was underlined, and one council member from an intergovernmental organisation stressed the excitement that the value proposition included the unusual leadership of the private sector in a structure of this kind.

At our meeting this Thursday, the council took several decisions, among them:

1. To embark on the second phase of 2030 WRG for a further three-year period, with an enhanced level of ambition for the program during that time. This next phase of work will allow us to become a more relevant player in global efforts to address water withdrawals exceeding sustainable supply: the main driver of risks for water security.

2. To mandate a full evaluation of 2030 WRG in 2014, to make sure it continues to respond effectively to needs in view of the increasing risk of a water crisis.

During our discussions, it became clear we need all the support we can get. If you are interested, and if one of your countries is already, or will become, part of the 2030 WRG work, please take a look at the activities of your local stakeholder group.

For more information on the second phase of the 2030 WRG, see the press release.