Some of the world’s most intractable water challenges manifest in urban areas, and there are numerous emerging examples of how cross-sectoral collaboration can play a significant role in addressing some of them
What are your expectations on the Zaragoza conference on water cooperation?
To be able to explore how the emerging field of corporate water stewardship, which has collective action as a central tenet, can align with and support UN-Water’s 2013 efforts relating to water collaboration. I see this conference a huge opportunity to build bridges across two worlds that heretofore have been fairly isolated from one another.
Your session focuses on “furthering water cooperation in cities”. Why is it important to specifically focus on water cooperation in cities?
Some of the world’s most intractable water challenges manifest in urban areas, and there are numerous emerging examples of how cross-sectoral collaboration can play a significant role in addressing some of them.
What are the main challenges that cities are facing in terms of water cooperation?
Often times, stakeholders find it difficult to see where their interests are aligned with others, and thus where cooperation can benefit a range of actors. This myopia leads to a lot conflict around water resources, but particularly if one takes the long view, many shared benefits can come from multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Which tool or approach to promote water cooperation would you like to highlight?
New forms of public-private partnerships stand to move the needle in terms of improved water management in urban areas – they take various shapes and involve a range of actors, but all build on the unique contributions and respective strengths of those involved. Businesses (as large scale water users) can bring a lot to the table in terms of contributing to solutions, and based on the number and variety of companies using the Mandate’s Water Action Hub, there’s significant appetite to work with others to address water problems.
Which key lesson learnt would you like to deliver for the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013?
There’s a growing number of companies that recognize there’s a real business case for working collaboratively with other segments of society to address long-standing water challenges.
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