International Conference on Freshwater
Bonn, Germany; 3 - 7 December, 2001

  Tuesday, 4 December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Wednesday, 5 December HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily Reports: Thursday 6, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Friday 7, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Summary  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily coverage (pictures and RealAudio): Monday, 3 Dec , Tuesday, 4 Dec , Thursday 6 Dec , Friday 7 Dec


Wednesday, 5 December
Delegates met all day in three parallel thematic working groups. The Working Group on Governance, Integrated Management and New Partnerships considered infrastructure for the poor, allocation of water, and transboundary waters. The Working Group on Mobilizing Financial Resources discussed attracting investment, sustaining operations and investment, and the role of development assistance, while the Working Group on Capacity Development and Technology Transfer deliberated on sharing knowledge, effective institutions, innovative technology for water efficiency, and coping capacities for extreme events. Keynote speeches and case studies introduced the subjects. The Ministerial declaration was informally circulated to the Working Groups for consideration during discussion


The Working Group was co-chaired by Wu Jisong, China, and Rougatien Biaou, Benin, and facilitated by Josefina Maetsu, Spain. Rapporteur Aizaz Chaudhry summarized the deliberations after each topic

Infrastructure for the Poor:
Keynote speaker Gourisankar Ghosh, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, discussed the link between infrastructure development and poverty alleviation, while Kalyan Ray, UNCHS, examined the challenge of providing infrastructure for the urban poor. In the case studies, Mukami Kariuki, World Bank, outlined the role of small-scale water providers in urban Africa, while Oswald Chanda, Water Supply and Sanitation Council, Zambia, shared Zambia’s experience with water reforms and Dennis Mwanza, Water Utility Partnership, presented on water and sanitation reform.



Mukami Kariuki

They recommended, inter alia: adopting a rights-based approach to basic service provision; identifying innovative financial mechanisms; providing enabling environments for small-scale service providers; taking a flexible approach to reform; disseminating good information; and adapting regulation to local conditions



Allocation of Water: Frank Rijsberman, International Water Management Institute, discussed balancing water allocation between uses, proposing knowledge centered cross-sectoral and basin-level cross-sectoral dialogues that are informed by local action. Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute, proposed, inter alia: prioritizing basic and ecosystem needs; acknowledging, but treating water as more than an economic good; reorienting water policy to demand; and reducing risk from water-related conflicts

Rougatien Biaou

The issues raised during discussion include: the link between the ability of, and willingness by, the poor to pay: the dilemma of assigning economic value to water uses; the social, economic and spiritual values of water; national sovereignty over freshwater; the relevance of trade regimes to water; the risks of privatization; the need to review before the Johannesburg Summit, private-public partnerships and private sector performance in the water sector; consideration of the capacity for privatization in developing countries; the cost of non-provision of clean water; and the value of public sector success stories


David Grey

Transboundry Waters: David Grey, World Bank, emphasized, inter alia, inclusiveness and subsidiarity, shared vision, fairness, the equal importance of process and product, and the need for an instrument to support the process


Josefina Maetsu


Effective Institutions: Torkil Jonch-Clausen, Global Water Partnership, highlighted the roles of water management institutions in policy formulation, education, water allocation, and water quality management. He defined institutional challenges as clarity of mandates, political acceptance, and strong leadership. Ingvar Andersson, UNDP, presented a case study on capacity building in African IWRM institutions. He highlighted challenges to reforming management systems, inter alia, building capacity for new roles, encouraging information flow, and reaching future decision makers

Overheads from the presentation

Sustaining Operations and Investment:
Jon Gibbs
, PricewaterhouseCoopers, described means for structuring private sector participation. He stressed that tariff raises without service improvements are unviable, and that international finance institutions' involvement, government preparation and targeted, time-bound subsidies are important. He recommended progressing gradually from management contracts to concessions, rather than sudden divestiture

Listen to the RealAudio



Pictures from the Working group on Mobilizing Financial Resources


Mike Muller

Mike Muller, South Africa, noted that with only 0.6 percent of its budget invested in infrastructure, South Africa has halved those without water access since 1994, through balancing cost recovery, donor assistance, private sector expertise and domestic capital, under government management. He noted, however, that the critical level of domestic financing may not be available in poorer countries

Listen to the RealAudio

Finding the way from Johannesburg to Kyoto...

Innovative Technology for Water Efficiency: Co-chair Zuleta opened the discussion by stating that developing countries require technology transfer, not aid. In his keynote speech, Ralf Otterpohl, Institute of Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Management, demonstrated how low- and high-tech water reuse technologies, based on separating grey-water from sewage, can promote sanitation and reduce scarcity in developing and developed countries. S. Rashid, NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, presented a case study on community-based rainwater harvesting in Bangladesh, concluding that interpersonal communication was most effective for generating awareness

Claudia Martinez Zuleta

John Soussan

Coping Capacities for Extreme Events: Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, gave an update of global and regional climate variability, illustrated possible strategies for flood protection and management, and underscored the need to improve forecasting to enhance preparedness. In his presentation on helping water managers cope with climate variability, Roberto Lenton, Columbia University, suggested considering the full spectrum of climate events and not just extreme events, adopting win-win strategies, improving mechanisms for decision-making under uncertainty, and strengthening links between the water management and climate communities. Chaiyuth Sukhsri, Mekong River Commission, presented a case study on the holistic and coordinated approach to managing the Mekong basin, and elaborated on strategies to enhance services, address differences, facilitate dialogue, and build capacity



Sharing Knowledge: Co-chair Zuleta’s introductory remarks focused on the value of sharing information at different levels and developing indicators that are understandable to all. In his keynote presentation, Arthur Askew, WMO, stressed the importance of collecting data to obtain information, create knowledge and attain wisdom, which in turn can help forecast problems, plan solutions, reach agreements and resolve conflicts. Walter Jülich, International Association of Waterworks of the Rhine, presented a case study on Rhine management, explaining how countries overcame the obstacles of disparate cultures, attitudes and expectations through compromise and consensus building

Listen to Arthur Askew

Lars Engfeldt


In ensuing discussions, participants emphasized: fostering empowerment at all levels; transferring appropriate technology; promoting capacity enhancement and retention; training young professionals; and rethinking how knowledge is presented and used

Listen to a part of the discussion

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International Conference on Freshwater (Homepage)
Conference Documents
UN CSD Freshwater site
Background and Briefing to the Conference
Background - Past and Future Conferences
NGOs and Freshwater (Homepage)


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