10th Meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI), City Hall of Vienna, Austria., 20-21 November, 2017

Summary and Key Outcomes:

  • Delegates were updated on WGI contribution to the Water Action Day of COP 23 which discussed short and long-term water- related actions towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement. The National Water Agency of Brazil (ANA) and World Water Council (WWC) presented the state of play of the 8th World Water Forum process. The Secretariat introduced the starting project on “A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals” and called upon interested cities, regions and countries to participate.
  • The OECD report “Water charges in Brazil”: The Ways Forward” was launched in the presence of Mr. Ricardo Andrade, Director, ANA (Brazil). A special issue on the OECD Principles on Water Governance of the journal Water International was also presented as a joint OECD/IWRA imitative to help bridge the science-policy gap through a series of articles co-authored by WGI members.
  • Delegates peer-reviewed the draft assessment and recommendations from the case study “Decentralised Development Cooperation (DDC) to promote access to water supply and sanitation in France”, as part of a broader OECD/EU DEVCO project reviewing financial flows, recent trends and emerging paradigms in DDC across EU countries.
  • Delegates welcomed the outcomes of the 2nd phase of the 12 pilot-test of the OECD Water Governance Indicators (Peru, Morocco, Spain, Colombia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Scotland, Austria, Cabo Verde and Kinshasa) and supported them as a valuable self-assessment tool for multi-stakeholder learning and dialogue. Next steps include complementing data and information and finalising the OECD report “Water Governance Indicators” to be launched at the 8th World Water Forum (March 2018). 
  • Delegates discussed the results of the four peer-learning webinars on “water governance stories” hosted by the Flanders Knowledge Centre Water, Suez, Israel Water Authority, and the Austrian Association of Public Services and Enterprises as well as the findings of the meta-analysis of the 55 stories conducted by AgroParisTech, The Open University, and The University of Dundee in cooperation with the Secretariat. Delegates discussed possible outputs, such as a publication on “water governance stories” and an “online portal” to be released at the World Water Forum. 
  • Delegates shared key messages from latest research and reforms related to water including a policy brief on land for flood risk management (Utrecht University), a handbook on women and corruption in the water sector (SIWI) as well as water pricing reforms in Israel. The outcomes from key water events were also discussed, in particular the 26th Stockholm World Water Week, EURO-INBO 2017 Conference, the Lisbon University Workshop on the OECD Principles on Water Governance and the forthcoming 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit. 
  • A knowledge sharing session was devoted to water governance in Austria to discuss key issues and ways forward on how to manage water at the right scale through institutions that are not catchment-based but catchment-oriented, or how to enhance the water governance performance of water services.  

Detailed Policy Highlights from the meeting have been shared with WGI members for written comments. AIDA members wishing to review them and provide their comments may request the full version of the Highlights to the Chairman of AIDA’s Executive Council, at stefano.burchi@gmail.com. Comments are to be provided by 26 January, 2018, to Hakan.Tropp@oecd.org and Antonio.Canamascatala@oecd.org.

The OECD-WGI will hold its 11th Meeting in September-October 2018, dates and venue tbc. 

The OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) is an international multi-stakeholder network of around 130 members from public, private and not-for-profit sectors gathering twice a year in a Policy Forum to share on-going policy reforms, projects, lessons and good practices in support of better governance in the water sector. It has gathered nine times since its creation (27-28 March 2013, Paris; 7-8 November 2013, Paris; 28-29 April 2014, Madrid; 24-25 November 2014, Paris; 26 May 2015, Edinburgh; 2-3 November 2015, Paris; 23-24 June 2016, The Hague; 12-13 January, Rabat; 3-4 July 2017, Paris; and, 20-21 November 2017, Vienna).

The OECD WGI aims to:

  1. Provide a multi-stakeholder technical platform to share knowledge, experience and best practices on water governance across levels of government;
  2. Advise governments in taking the needed steps for effective water reforms through peer-to-peer dialogue and stakeholder engagement across public, private and non-profit sectors;
  3. Provide a consultation mechanism to raise the profile of governance in the Global Water Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals, World Water Forum, Habitat III, COP etc.);
  4. Support the implementation of the OECD Principles on Water Governance in interested member and non-member countries by scaling up best practices and contributing to the development of indicators; and
  5. Foster continuity on governance discussions between two World Water Fora (every 3 years), in particular by supporting the Governance Implementation Roadmap of the 7th World Water Forum (Korea, 2015) up to the 8th World Water Forum (Brazil, 2018).

Further information on the WGI may be retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/cfe/regional-policy/water-governance-initiative.htm