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The Singapore International Water Week, held every two years, welcomes global leaders from businesses, governments and academia to discuss innovative water solutions. Taking place from 18-22 June at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

Click here for more detailed information about participation

Unique opportunity

This year’s event features distinct topics such as water technology and coastal and flood resilience and is a unique opportunity for the Dutch water sector to showcase collaborative and integrated experiences on such projects as coastal and urban resilience to participants from the wider Southeast Asian region.

In addition to participating in the pavilion, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands will host several events to strengthen existing and new partnerships including a welcome drinks and networking reception.

Why join?

By joining us at this event, you will gain visibility in the Netherlands Pavilion with a booth of 2×1 metres with your company logo, photos and text. In addition, 2 people will be on hand to help host your booth and special social media posts with participating companies including logos will be shared across Partners for Water channels.  You will also be featured in a dedicated newsletter about SIWW with over 800 subscribers and in an article on the Partners for Water website. Participants will have access to two round table discussions on the exhibition floor.

Participation in the Pavilion and at Singapore International Water Week events will highlight and strengthen the already strong position of the Dutch sector and open up greater business and research and development opportunities.

We hope to welcome you in Singapore.

Visit the event page

Interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity?

Please send an email to Tessy Miltenburg

E-mail Tessy Miltenburg

Mission to Singapore International Water Week

Participants who join us at the Netherlands Pavilion in Singapore are automatically part of the mission from Netherlands Enterprise agency to Singapore International Water Week.

Find out more here

Transboundary river management of nine international rivers, frequent cyclones, a 2,650 km shoreline, the dichotomy of water scarcity and abundance, salinisation of groundwater aquifers, and a lack of proper sanitation delineate the intricate water management challenges in Mozambique

These are compounded by the limited operational capacity and broad mandate of water institutes, financial mismanagement, 70% of the population residing in informal settlements, national conflicts, and reliance on funding and subsidies.

In The Hague, over 40 individuals from public and private organisations, knowledge institutions, and NGOs gathered to discuss the bilateral delta collaboration between the Netherlands and Mozambique, forging new connections and uncovering business opportunities in Mozambique’s water and climate sector.

Jaap Kroon from RVO, a project advisor for the Partners for Water programme remarked, “It’s been a while since our last water sector meeting, and given the turnout, it was time to organise another. I’m happy to see everyone here.”

As the world evolves, so do the challenges

The Netherlands’ enduring cooperation with Mozambique started nearly 50 years ago after the independence of the country. Water has been a main topic of the cooperation. The delta cooperation focuses on the coastal city of Beira and aims to make Beira a climate-resilient city and enhance the well-being of its inhabitants. As the world evolves, so do the challenges. Ivo van Haren from the Dutch Embassy in Maputo shared, “Our current policy, ‘doing what we know best,’ focuses on a smaller area for greater efficiency. We’re targeting water and food security programmes, seeking synergies and collaborating across sectors and with donors to address Mozambique’s complex issues.”

Challenges in Mozambique encompass frequent policy shifts, economic fluctuations, climate change impacts like cyclones and floods, financial mismanagement, and water resource management issues, including transboundary water coordination and infrastructure capacity. Coastal protection and institutional capacity are also significant concerns, alongside the financial sustainability of water and sanitation systems.

Delta cooperation since 2011

Since 2011, the Netherlands has engaged in various projects through the delta cooperation, focusing on water governance, drainage systems, coastal protection, and social inclusion. The impact of climate change, particularly the increased risk of cyclones and the aftermath of cyclone Idai in 2019, has catalysed significant developments.

Real-world impact and co-creation

Maarten Gischler, delta coordinator and senior water advisor at BZ, reflected on the cooperation journey, highlighting the shift from isolated projects to a more integrated approach in Beira, focusing on real-world impacts and co-creation with the local government institutions and communities.

“In the Netherlands, we live in a world of master plans, feasibility studies and projects. People in Beira, especially the poorer people that are inexistent on any map or registered in any administration, live in the real world. A world in which they sleep on the table during territorial rains. During the past thirteen years of the partnership with Mozambique, and specifically with Beira, we have made progress in ensuring that 250,000 individuals will sleep safely during severe weather events. But assembling the puzzle piece by piece with governments, businesses, NGOs, and the local community has refined our approach to working with and for the people of Beira. It’s about co-creating with and for people. Ultimately, our work is about people. And that is something we should remind ourselves of every day.”

It’s about usage, not about quality

The Beira Masterplan, criticised for being more of a “shopping list” than a strategic guide, underscores the need for a coherent strategy that aligns various initiatives. “The shopping list has been on the table for the last 13 years. So it’s not in the quality of the plan, but in the use of the plan that makes it relevant.”

 

200 million dollars of new water infrastructure

The city of Beira, comparable in size to Rotterdam, faces the challenge of operating and maintaining new water infrastructure worth 200 million dollars in the coming 3 years, with a municipal annual budget of 0.3% of Rotterdam’s annual budget. Community involvement in climate change awareness, maintaining drainage systems, and financial sustainability through improved local revenue generation are crucial in sustainable development of these infrastructures.

Focus points Delta cooperation in Beira

Summarising, the main focus points of the Netherlands-Mozambique cooperation in Beira have been:

  • Climate resilience: Enhancing the city’s resilience to climate change, particularly in preparing for and responding to cyclones and flooding.
  • Water governance: Improving water management systems, including drainage, to prevent flooding and ensure sustainable water use.
  • Social inclusion: Engaging local communities in the maintenance and decision-making processes related to urban infrastructure, ensuring that interventions are inclusive and beneficial to all, especially the marginalised informal sector.
  • Nature-based Solutions (NBS): Implementing NBS for coastal protection and urban water management, favouring ecological solutions over traditional concrete barriers.
  • Capacity building: Strengthening local institutions and building the capacity of local actors to manage and sustain the implemented projects.
    Financial sustainability: Enhancing local revenue generation mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of infrastructure investments and maintenance.

Promising opportunities for future cooperation

Some promising opportunities for future cooperation and business can be found in:

  • Integrated planning: Ensuring that all interventions are part of an integrated master plan that is realistic, strategic, and adaptable to changing circumstances. This plan should bridge the gap between formal and informal sectors and consider the city’s overall ecological and socio-economic context.
  • Community engagement: Deepening community involvement not just in implementation but also in planning and decision-making processes. This can enhance the sense of ownership and ensure that projects are more attuned to the needs of the residents.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Establishing robust mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the impact of various projects. This can provide valuable feedback, allow for course corrections, and ensure that the initiatives deliver the intended benefits.
  • Financial models: Developing innovative financial models that can support the sustainability of infrastructure projects, including exploring public-private partnerships, microfinancing, and other funding mechanisms.
  • Knowledge sharing: Facilitating the exchange of knowledge and best practices not only within Mozambique but also with other countries facing similar challenges. This can foster innovation and provide new insights into effective climate resilience strategies.
  • Scalability and replication: Ensuring that successful projects are scalable and replicable in other parts of Mozambique and similar contexts, thereby maximising the impact of the cooperation

In the last session ‘round table discussion on opportunities for the Dutch water sector’, many of the participants shared their experiences on several of the issues that were discussed at the Mozambique water sector meeting, mainly on working with local communities and private sector. During lunch many of the discussions continued and information on each other’s activities in Mozambique were shared and opportunities for collaboration were explored.

Contribute with help of the Partners for Water subsidy scheme

Do you want to contribute to a climate resilient and sustainable Mozambique? And do you have an innovative technology, methodology or an innovative prototype in the field of water management? It can be challenging to independently introduce and market innovative water applications abroad. Partners for Water – Innovations for Water Security Foreign Deltas, Delta Cities and River Basins (PVW-IVWW) is a grant scheme that offers participants the opportunity to research the feasibility of their innovative applications abroad as well as to test and modify them.

Interested in the Partners for Water subsidy scheme? You are encouraged to apply from July 2024 to explore funding opportunities.

Taking place in Bali, Indonesia, from 18-24 May 2024, the World Water Forum is the largest international conference in the water sector attracting a range of stakeholders

Including governments, multilateral institutions, academia, civil society and the business sector. Held every three years, it presents an opportunity for sharing knowledge, experiences and best practice on a variety of water related topics.

What we offer

Are you a Dutch company or organisation aiming to work or already working in the international water sector? If so, please join us at the Netherlands pavilion at the World Water Forum. Hosted by Partners for Water, the 75m2 exhibition space will include network areas and room for presentations. It will attract international customers and potential partners who will learn more about the innovative approaches and state-of-the-art solutions that the Dutch water sector has to offer.

How registration works

Registration is now open to host a session in the Netherlands Pavilion. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please email Ylva Veldhuis. You will receive an email by the end of March indicating whether your submission has been accepted.

Further details

Upon acceptance, you will receive a designated time slot in advance. Host your innovative inspiring panel discussion or workshop for a maximum of thirty individuals. For audio and visual requirements, we use a Silent Disco System and offer two microphones along with a presentation screen. A technician will be present onsite to assist. The space is set up in a theatre presentation style.

  • Location: Netherlands Pavilion
  • Date: Monday 20 May until Saturday 25 May 2024
  • Email: For more information, please contact Ylva Veldhuis

What does the future hold for international water innovation? Last week, over 20,000 water professionals gained insights into the promising answers to this question at Aquatech 2023 in Amsterdam.

Many visited the NL Lounge, which was hosted by Partners for Water (PfW) and was part of the NL Pavilion. One thing is clear: the future of water innovation looks very exciting.

Kick-off

Enthusiasm was in the air when Marieke Leenhouts from Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) inaugurated the NL Pavilion at Aquatech 2023 on Monday 6 November. Together with NWP and Water Alliance, Partners for Water co-hosted the NL Pavilion and facilitated the NL Lounge. Over 23 exhibitors were ready to showcase their innovative water technologies and solutions in the inviting Dutch area amidst the vast international expo.  “Today is the start of a promising week,” Leenhouts said, “The programme is packed with inspiring talks, engaging network lunches and valuable delegation visits, without forgetting the free drinks during Wednesday’s networking event in the NL Lounge.” The stage has been set; let the unveiling of water innovation begin.

Marieke Leenhouts NWP, photo by Ruben May

Aquatech Innovation Award

Earlier that morning, three Dutch companies were recognised with the Aquatech 2023 Innovation Award for their contributions to water innovation. Software developer Factorylab received an award in the category ‘Water Supply’ for their ClipR temperature sensor and product developer Acquaint was awarded in the ‘Transport, Process & Control’ category for their inline inspection dashboard.

Various Dutch exhibitors showcasing their innovations in the NL Pavilion, photo by Ruben May

The overall Innovation Award was received by REDStack BV, who were recognised in the categories ‘Wastewater Treatment’ and ‘Innovation Not To Market’ for their Blue Energy Technology. With membrane stacks they generate renewable energy out of contacting flows of fresh and salt water. Pieter Hack, founder of REDStack, honoured the NL Lounge with a presentation about their innovative technology. Hack remarked: “At the end of the day, we rely on the Earth’s five available energy sources: solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and hydropower. So the question isn’t if our Blue Energy technology will become mainstream, but rather when it will happen.”

Incoming missions

Delegations from Guinea, France, Peru, Brazil, India, Oman, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain and Chile visited the NL Lounge. Additionally, Partners for Water hosted two platform meetings —one for India and one for Vietnam. These incoming missions served to strengthen the relationship between the Dutch water sector and its international counterparts, leading to fresh perspectives on water-related business opportunities overseas. Willem Timmerman, First Secretary at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam, remarked: “Vietnam aspires to become a high-income country by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Currently, the nation is facing significant water and climate challenges. However, there is a strong willingness to invest in high-quality solutions, resulting in valuable business opportunities for the Netherlands”

Various delegations networking at the NL Lounge, photo by Ruben May

Enlightening presentations

“Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed leak identification from a reactive to a proactive process,” declared Robert Lodewijk. The founder of AI company Hulo gave an engaging presentation about the potential of AI in water systems. Lodewijk continued: “By utilising AI in conjunction with pressure and flow sensors, we can detect, localise and quantify leaks with the highest possible accuracy.”

“We integrate data from diverse atmospheric and soil sensors into a single forecasting system. Through a user-friendly dashboard, farmers receive severe weather warnings and irrigation advise,” shared Lisa Verschuren, from FutureWater. She presented MAGDA, an elaborative weather forecasting system and explained how this data empowers farmers to anticipate and prepare for extreme weather conditions.

Participants listening to the presentations, photo by Ruben May

These presentations offer just a snapshot of the numerous insightful discussions that took place over the course of the week. Topics ranged from AI and robotic solutions to water energy consumption and socio-technical integration, all woven together by a shared goal: to advance global water security through innovative solutions.

Funding opportunities

“For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), covering working capital needs when exporting can be challenging. That’s where we come in,” explained Marc Cabret from impact investment organisation Invest International. Alongside his colleague Joris Kreulen, he presented the organisation’s financial solutions. Kreulen added, “We offer Dutch and Dutch-linked SMEs aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals tailor-made and blended funding solutions for export, investment and value chain needs .” Invest International is not the only supporter of the water sector. Earlier in the week, Hugo de Vries of Partners for Water highlighted in a discussion on RVO support instruments: “Numerous innovations addressing global water challenges are being developed within the Dutch water sector. The PfW subsidy scheme can play a supportive role in accelerating these innovations.”

Interested in the Partners for Water subsidy scheme?

Young water experts

Undoubtedly, the youth hold the key to our future. That is why Wavemakers United (WU) and the Young Expert Programmes (YEP) are dedicated to constructing a global impact community and fostering connections among young professionals in the water sector. Partners for Water was pleased to contribute by hosting a facilitated networking lunch in the NL Lounge for young water experts. Young professionals from various sectors within the water sector came together to discuss the future of water and to listen to an inspiring presentation on the work of YEP and WU.

Young Professional Experts discussing the future of water collaboration, photo by Abe Jonker

“We all have varied expertise and come from different backgrounds. Progress towards a sustainable and water-secure world happens when we find each other and aim for mutual learning and understanding,” remarked one of the young professionals. It was not only an outreach to the participating water sector but also beautifully encapsulated the essence of the networking event.

NL Lounge

From early morning until late afternoon, the NL Lounge was abuzz with the lively chatter of busy water professionals. Over cups of coffee crafted by skilled baristas, new business ideas were introduced, international connections formed, discussions held and thoughts exchanged on the future of water and innovation. The journey towards a sustainable water world is progressing incrementally – and the visitors of the NL Lounge certainly took a collective step forward.

Networking at the NL Lounge, photo by Abe Jonker

We reflect on a fruitful week and extend our heartfelt thanks to all our collaborative partners and visitors for their enthusiasm and commitment to advancing a sustainable and secure water future.

What does it take to implement and scale up Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in the global water sector?

This was the central question at the ‘Scaling & Improving Together – The next steps in Nature Based Solutions’ conference. The much-anticipated NBS professionals event was held on 22 June at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in The Hague.

One of the frequently cited success factors was making sure implementation and scaling-up processes are inclusive and collaborative.

Enthusiastic panel discussions

“Every country has its own challenges, yet we all face similar problems. For example, too much water in one place and not enough in another. Together, we can develop solutions that benefit us all.” Said Sergio Lopez, the executive coordinator at the Argentinian Ministry of Public Works, getting to the heart of the matter. He and his fellow officials from Chili and Indonesia talked enthusiastically about their recent field trips to several Dutch NBS projects as part of a delegation from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and national governments visiting the Netherlands ahead of the event.

It was so interesting to hear the perspectives from overseas delegates. It is wonderful to see their enthusiasm, openness to learn and commitment towards implementing NBS.

Trang Vu

Participant
Ecoshape and Boskalis

Inspiring plenary presentations

The lively buzz in the room fell silent as keynote speakers Bregje van Wesenbeeck (Deltares) and Eva Pfannez (OOZE) took turns inspiring the 150 attendees with their vision on integrating NBS into spatial design. “We are in energy, infrastructure and agriculture transitions”, Bregje says, “but we’re taking on each transition individually. We need solutions that support all of these transitions together. NBS meets this ‘multifunctionality’ criterion.”

Eva emphasised the versatility of NBS by demonstrating how the Indian city of Chennai plans to face both flooding and water shortage by storing excess water in aquifers. A pilot project on a school site in the centre of Chennai provides valuable lessons learnt: “For instance, we now know that to mitigate risk, we need to incorporate the cost of client management, capacity building and awareness raising.”

Bregje supported this observation and pointed out the added significance of collaboration. “It helps to have diverse people at the table. Different people offer different perspectives and solutions. This encourages us to let go of tunnel visions.”

Valuable breakout sessions

Fortunately, the event featured plenty of diverse perspectives. The NBS professionals were given the opportunity to break out into small groups to delve deeper into the relevant themes and discuss them together. These were the key outcomes of those breakout sessions:

  • NBS are likely to be an outcome of integrated and inclusive processes during project initiation.
  • The IUCN NBS Standard can help to effectively design, implement and scale up NBS.
  • An inclusive, bottom-up approach inspires more ownership, creativity and fun.
  • Some stakeholders might seem more important than others, but in the decision-making process, you’ll need all of them.
  • When implementing NBS, nature should be able to do its work. It should be managed as little as possible.
  • Enhancing biodiversity is as important as improving the water safety for inhabitants.

Make sure all people from the designated area benefit from your solution. They’ll want to know what’s in it for them. And you should be able to answer that.

Jan Zijlstra

Speaker break-out session
Holwerd aan Zee

Informal networking

As the final speaker concluded his remarks, the power of collaboration and the value of diverse voices were enthusiastically embraced. The attendees then continued to share their insights and look for collaborative opportunities. They did this at either the informal social gatherings or at the so-called ‘country tables’, which were set up for participants interested in water sectors in specific countries.

When the time came for the participants to head home, there was a collective sense of confidence. The NBS community came together, connected and listened to each other. Now it’s up to everyone to continue doing so. With the evident determination, innovative ideas and enough people at the table, this goal certainly is attainable.

 

I love the fact that such a diverse group of people came together today. And I think everyone here is aware that we all need to work together.

Gregor van Essen

Managing Partner at The Water Agency

Questions about the event or about Nature-based Solutions?

Please sent an e-mail to administratiepvw@pvw.nl, or reach out to Matthijs Zijlmans. 

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