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6th World Water Forum
Home Page  > + Forum Programme  > Sessions > Theme 4

Theme 4: Governance and Management

4.1 Implementing the Right to Water and Sanitation for Improved Access

4.1.1 From right to reality - good government practices for implementing the human right to water and sanitation: Many States have recognised the Right to Water and Sanitation as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, and between 20 and 30 have included the right to water in national legislation or policies. However, use of the right to drive reform at the national level is embryonic in most countries. What measures need to be put in place by Governments to ensure that these rights impact sector reform, budgeting and policy formulation?
Contact: Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNESCO Etxea

4.1.2 Rights in Action: Sharing experiences on how civil society utilizes the RTWS as a tool to improve access for the poor and the marginalized: In some cases, users have successfully mobilized their communities to advocate for the right to water, resulting in improved access to water. However, many have achieved this result through other means and pathways. Does a rights-based approach truly help to get to scale? In cases where it did, improving the understanding of water rights for people was essential. How can the gained knowledge then be used as a tool truly to gain access?
Contact: Freshwater Action Network

4.1.3 Making the right to sanitation work: The right to water was clarified significantly during the 4th World Water Forum. Today, however, there still seems to be a considerable lack of clarity on the right to sanitation. What does it truly entail? And how can its definition contribute to progress on access to sanitation? Following the International Year of Sanitation and the emerging focus on water and sanitation by UN human rights bodies, it is imperative to consider what exactly comprises the right to sanitation and where and how can it be applied.
Contact: Water Aid, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UN-HABITAT

4.1.4 Water Right in Emergency: Be principled or get practical?
In disasters and conflicts, evoking right to water and sanitation principles could support emergency measures. But where does the buck stop? Can entrenching human rights in the humanitarian sector improve the quality of response? And, does a rights-based approach in this context aid in transitioning from emergency response to long-term rehabilitation and development?
Contact: Action against Hunger (France)

4.1.5 Wrap-up and Synthesis: Contact: COHRE, FAN  (Freshwater Action Network)

4.2 Institutional Arrangements and Regulatory approaches for Efficient and Effective Water Management

4.2.1 The Big Picture: How to make institutions and plans deliver progress? For water management at any level to be improved, institutions must include water from the outset in economic development plans. Can local systems that are successfully delivering services and wisely managing resources inspire wider economic planning? Water plans can provide an effective framework for actions, including economic regulation, benchmarking and other stimuli for improved performance in the water sector. But, are management and efficiency plans an effective way forward to gain wider momentum behind the water agenda?
Contacts: International Water Association (IWA), Global Water Partnership (GWP) 

4.2.2 Optimizing and improving water systems: the regulation as a key issue for the water and sanitation sector: Responsibility for water management being handed over from central Governments to local authorities can be cause for concern to users who question whether the quality of their services will change. In order to be successful, decentralisation of water governance should be accompanied by assessment of equity, efficiency and effectiveness of water utilities. National authorities and professional associations have already developed such tools for assessing water utilities (e.g. benchmarking). Would the application of a set of mandatory indicators for this assessment be helpful, harmful or without consequence? Moreover, ensuring transparency, accountability and user involvement in different decentralised water management systems can only better their chances for success.
Contacts: National Association of Water and Sanitation Utilities of Mexico (ANEAS), VEOLIA Water

4.2.3 River basin management in federated countries: Is this realistic? In countries where water management is decentralised, states or provinces encounter many specific challenges--not only between states, but also between the central and local Governments: Who develops infrastructure? Who manages? Who pays? Who profits? Who is responsible for what? Institutional arrangements and legal frameworks can help to clear up some of the confusion, while encouraging public participation.
Contacts: Agencia Nacional de Aguas (ANA), UNESCO/ICIWaRM

4.2.4 Water Safety Plans (WSPs) and Safe Water Re-use: One of the objectives of regulation is to keep populations safe from harm, for example, from insufficient drinking water quality, floods, or droughts.  However, in practice, the effectiveness of regulation in improving the safety and livelihoods of millions while safeguarding the environment can be rather limited. What are the enabling and constraining factors for the development and enforcement of water laws and regulation? Does effectiveness come from enforcement of or from creating a normative reality?
Contacts: International Water Association (IWA), World Water Institute (WWI)

4.2.5 Opening Glass Doors: What regulation can improve openness and transparency? New agreements and legislation, such as the Aarhus Convention or the Public Information Act, establish that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders. Moreover, these stakeholders are endowed with rights to information access. Such regulation, therefore, aids in forging a new relationship between citizens and their Governments, one in which public participation and Government accountability, transparency and responsiveness become linked in a democratic context. What kind of regulation assists in achieving transparency and public participation, particularly for the poor and marginalized?
Contacts: International Development Research Centre (IDRC-WaDImena), Arab Water Council (AWC), United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat)

4.2.6 Wrap-up and Synthesis: Institutional Arrangements and Regulatory Approaches for  Effective Water Management: Topic 4.2 is one of four topics under the theme “Governance and Management”.  The topic covers institutional arrangements and regulatory approaches for effective water management and includes both water resources management and water service delivery.
This session is the concluding session that brings together all the outcomes from the five sessions of the topic. Contacts: Global Water Partnership (GWP), International Water Association (IWA)

4.3 Ethics, Transparency and Empowerment of Stakeholders

4.3.1 It’s up to YOU! Can public participation lead to better water management? Public participation is considered to be at the base of good water resources management. This session addresses how to deal with competing interests and preferences from different water stakeholders, and how to ensure stakeholders’ participation in water management beyond tokenism. The session will also tackle the possibility of developing international guidelines to assist as a benchmark in promoting a participatory approach in water management.
Contact: French Water Partnership

4.3.2 Keeping a Close Watch: On transparency and accountability in the water sector. Despite the general acceptance of transparency as a key element of water governance, there is no clear understanding of exactly what that entails. Transparency in the public water sector is often associated with making information available to the public. Nevertheless, where are the boundaries for transparency? Should entities that collaborate with Governments also be subject to this obligation? Where are the limits and what are the standards of transparency in the water sector?
Contact: UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee

4.3.3 Beyond Water Bribes: How to build a corruption-resistant water sector. A lack of integrity in decision-making and poor accountability leaves the door open to corruption in the water sector. A huge proportion of investments are thus lost, or inappropriate technologies are put in place at higher overall costs. What has been done and can be done to close the door on corruption?
Contact: Water Integrity Network

4.3.4 Wrap-up and Synthesis: Contact: UNESCO Center for Water Law

4.4 Optimizing Public and Private Roles in Water Services

4.4.1. Towards a Vibrant Local Marketplace – Opportunities and trends, experience to date, and policy options for the future– Opportunities, trends, experience to date and policy options for the future Creation of an enabling environment for varying scale of water providers is essential for service delivery especially when seeking to establish connectivity to diverse geographic and economic environments.  What policies and incentives could be developed to stimulate both supply and demand in the full-spectrum (and scale) of the supply chain?
Contact: International Water Association (IWA),World Bank

4.4.2 Options for the delivery of Water and Sanitation Services in a Rapidly Changing Environment. Regional manufacturing and supply chain management could reduce costs and increase sustainability of water and sanitation provision. This session will seek to uncover optimization practices for water in varying social conditions by seeking alternatives to current delivery regimes that may improve sector performance.  Discussion will also raise the value of differing performance standards to improve access and delivery in the local level while working within the current structures of public-private participation.   Finally, it will question if institutional policy regulation can bridge the need to recognize water as an inherent “right” as was declared on the 4th Fora.
Contact:International Water Association (IWA)

4.4.3 Building Sustainable Water Supply Chains with Strong Regional & Local Contribution - Experience & potential policies: Experience and Potential Policies This session will focus on stimulating partnerships leading to sustainable water supply chains with strong regional and local contributions.  The session will seek to identify conditions for enabling environments that enable local supply chains in water service delivery, while understanding the role of technology transfers in increasing this capacity, and understanding how the role of finance can be encouraged to stimulate the sector performance of water delivery in locally-understood conditions and technologies while promoting entrepreneurship.  
Contact: International Water Association (IWA), Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

4.4.4.Wrap-up and Synthesis, Including a Discussion of Policy Options:
Session 4.4.4 is a wrap up session that summarizes the debates and outcomes of Sessions 4.4.1-4.4.3 and then focuses on how the policy recommendations presented in the sessions should be finalized and how these recommendations could and should be implemented. Contact: International Water Association (IWA), World Bank, Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)




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