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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.

An ecosystem-based adaptation approach to address sewage overflow, floods and droughts

It’s the essence of the Water Balance Pilot project, carried out at Chennai’s Little Flower Convent Higher Secondary School for the Deaf and the Blind in Chennai, India, by the City of 1000 Tanks team. This Partners for Water-funded project aimed at enhancing water security and has come to a successful conclusion. Now it’s time to scale-up.

The City of 1000 Tanks is a multidisciplinary team and the driving force behind this pilot project. The team was established through Water as Leverage, a programme of the Dutch government spanning across India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The Water Balance Pilot project is an initiative of Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs. It is funded by Partners for Water, in partnership with the city of Chennai, UN-Habitat and Resilience Cities Network and supported by the UN High-level Panel on water, amongst others.

Minister K.M. Nehru is being toured around the Water Balance Project by the team leads of City of 1000 Tanks team, accompanied by Mr. Henk Ovink, First Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Little Convent School’s headmistress Sr. M. Jesintha Rosalind, City of 1000 Tanks teamleader Eva Pfannes and Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs. © Cynthia van Elk

Addressing water security issues

The multidisciplinary team discovered that the campus of the Little Flower Convent (LFC) had three main water issues: sewage overflow, floods during monsoons and drought during summer months. The city of Chennai, where the Convent is located, is also facing similar issues of floods and droughts in the same year and with rapid urbanisation the groundwater levels are severely impacted. Applying a community-led approach, the City of 1000 Tanks demonstrated a sustainable solution which can also be applied in other parts of the city.

The Water Balance project shows what Water as Leverage is all about: delivering a game-changing approach, that is people-centered and community-led aimed at solving the world’s most pressing water challenges. The pioneer project in Chennai demonstrates the value of community-led, Nature-based Solutions by design, that can pave the way for scaling up and replicating: spreading from the city itself and the Ganga basin to the world which is putting the UN Water Action Agenda into practice. Yes, we can do it!”

Henk Ovink

Blueprint for the city

The project serves as a model for how a city can become water-secure using Nature-based Solutions. It harvests rainwater and treats wastewater before recharging into the underground aquifer through infiltration gardens. Eva Pfannes, Director of Ooze Architects and Urbanists and team leader of City of 1000 Tanks shared details about the project: “The Water Balance Pilot project is the  first example that will reach its full potential when replicated in institutions across the city. In parallel, we plan to scale it up through a flagship project in Mylapore.”

Partners for Water

Partners for Water is honoured to make the Water Balance Pilot project financially possible. The objectives of the Partners for Water programme are to encourage knowledge sharing, innovation and an integrated approach. Through these efforts, we strive to contribute to the expansion of sustainable solutions that enhance water security. The City of 1000 Tanks seamlessly exemplifies these principles. The pilot initiative has gathered valuable knowledge and experience that can be harnessed in scaling up this innovative solution across various parts of the city and potentially beyond.

The outcomes of this project can be enjoyed by all at LFC as the sewage infrastructure has been eased, the impact of flooding has been reduced and the local water security in underground aquifers has been strengthened. This project is in line with SDG13 which is to limit and adapt to climate change. Urban cooling and increased biodiversity are additional benefits.

Dr. Jayshree Vencatesan

Ecologist and Managing Trustee of Care Earth Trust

Dual-aquifer recharge wells

Generated by the 300 residents, the Water Balance Pilot project collects 27,000 litres of wastewater per day which is then treated in two stages: the first stage is where two underground anaerobic tanks, rich with microorganisms, work on the pollutants to achieve 80% of the treatment capacity and the following stage is where the water is then allowed to flow through created wetlands with helophytic plants enabling aerobic treatment. No toxic chemicals are used and the project is completely supported by solar power. Bad odours and mosquito breeding are also eliminated.

The treated water is then released to the ground through infiltration gardens. This minimum-maintenance project is equipped to harvest rainwater during Chennai’s short and intense monsoons. Dual-aquifer recharge wells collect, store, filter and finally recharge rainwater to the shallow and deep aquifers.

What is next?

To scale-up the Water Balance project to other parts of the city, the City of 1000 Tanks-team aims to involve the government such as the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Greater Chennai Corporation for the greater good. In order to make Chennai water secure, they also welcome the participation from resident welfare associations, vulnerable communities, CSR partnerships and institutions.

The Partners for Water programme has granted a subsidy to a total of fifteen innovative projects in ten countries

These feasibility studies and pilot projects are designed to test innovative products or services locally, with the goal of further improvements and upscaling. The projects are all centred on water security. Many of them have been set up by a consortium of international organisations and are carried out in various countries: Brazil (two), Costa Rica and Jordan to Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Namibia, the Philippines (two), Suriname and Vietnam (four).

Kick-off meeting

The project teams submitted applications for the second round of Partner for Waters’ subsidy scheme and all received the good news in May 2023 that their application’s had been approved. They also received an invitation for a special kick-off meeting at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in The Hague on June 15th.

At that event, project team members met the RVO employees behind Partners for Water and everyone celebrated the beginning of their respective initiatives. Additionally, they had the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions and to hear about the ten projects that had received Partners for Water subsidies in the first round of funding, in December 2022. Managers of these first-round subsidised projects were there in attendance to share their experiences to date.

RVO employees and team members of projects that successfully applied for subsidy in the second Partners for Water funding round.

The fifteen projects

Which organisations are behind the innovative pilot projects and feasibility studies that were granted subsidies? What are their aims? And how do the projects carry out their objectives?

Improvement of wastewater (Brazil) [pilot project]

The SolidUS consortium aims to develop a low-cost ultrasonic sensor for real-time monitoring of solids concentration in wastewater treatment plants. This innovative sensor can be used in water treatment facilities with a UASB reactor. The sensor will save time enabling better control of the installations outflow, which will improve waste water quality. The consortium consists of NHL Stenden Hogeschool, Lamp-lon, YNOVIO, CR-ETES and Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Sustainable water from the air (Brazil) [pilot project]

The goal of the Solaq B.V. consortium is to further develop their ground breaking air-to-water technology. Called ‘WaterWin’, the technology powered by solar energy extracts drinking water from the air in semi-arid regions of Brazil. Thanks to its cost-effectiveness, WaterWin enables more affordable water rates. The consortium consists of NHL Stenden Hogeschool, the Brazilian research institute FUNCEME and the Brazillian NGO SISAR.

Detection and monitoring Harmful Algae Blooms (Costa Rica) [pilot project]

Globally, Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) can threaten water quality, coastal ecosystems and industry sectors such as seafood, fishing and tourism. Without reliable information, as to the location of HABS, no proper measures can be taken. The consortium MAReS (Water Insight, the Costa Rican University UNA and Kaune Ingenieros & Arquitectos) will use remote sensing technology and on-site measurements to provide near-real-time and spatial information on HABs in Costa Rican coastal areas.

Seawater Desalination (Jordan) [pilot project]

The Dutch company Delft Offshore Turbine B.V. intends to test a device that combines wind energy production with a reverse osmosis-based purification technology and state-of-the-art brine management. The device will produce high quality desalinated water along with electricity derived from wind energy. The project will be located in the port of Aqaba in Jordan, a country in dire need of water scarcity solutions.

Reducing water losses in utility systems’ (Kenya) [feasibility study]

The consortium Smart City Kenya will test the Upande Non-Revenue Water (NRW) system. This innovative combination of hardware and software aims to reduce water losses of utility systems through real-time, automatic water flow/pressure measurement. At the same time, consumers will be able to view their water consumption data via their smartphones. The consortium consists of Upande BV, TagMeter Systems BV, Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company Lt., KIWASCO and Runda Water.

Water-efficient method for vegetable cultivation (Morocco) [pilot project]

There is a severe water shortage in the Souss-Massa plain in southwestern Morocco where agricultural activities use the most amount of water. Seed2Feed, Priva, Hortitech, the Agricultural University of Agadir and the Moroccan Fruit Export Association are addressing this issue together. They want to demonstrate a water-efficient method for vegetable growing that uses closed and manageable irrigation systems that recycle and disinfect water, eliminating the need for a growth medium, like soil.

Rewilding Namibian oceans (Namibia) [pilot project]

On a 1,5-hectare offshore site off the south coast of Namibia, Kelp Blue Holdfast B.V. will initiate a pilot project to cultivate giant kelp forests. The goal of the project is to absorb CO₂, deacidify the water, restore damaged ecosystems and enhance biodiversity. Kelp Blue will monitor and evaluate the project and test a business model for selling kelp-based products that would help to finance the project’s future expansion. The local community will also be closely involved as well as two Namibian universities.

 

Roads for landscape improvement (Nepal) [pilot project]

MetaMeta Research, FutureWater and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development will collaborate in order to address the declining and irregular flow of water springs in Nepal’s mountainous Dhankuta municipality. The project aims to protect and enhance natural springs while ensuring reliable water supplies and maintaining road infrastructure quality by reimagining roads as tools for landscape improvement. The Department of Local Infrastructure will oversee the projects implementation.

Decentralised wastewater treatment (The Philippines) [feasibility study]

Y-Consultancy will conduct a feasibility study to demonstrate the viability of their decentralised wastewater treatment (WWT) technology in Luzon, the largest island in The Philippines. This innovative solution is based on a ‘drainblock’: a water filter that works on a trickle-down method. The WWT technology is meant to improve the quality of water resources, reduce the risk of waterborne diseases and serve as a blueprint for other communities in the region for improving their wastewater treatment.

Fungus removal from water for bananas (The Philippines) [pilot project]

The company VGE has developed an innovative ultraviolet (UV-C) disinfection system, specifically meant to disinfect water from the fungus TR4 fusarium. This fusarium is an increasing threat for banana plantations around the world. Together with A-Banana Foundation (ABF), VGE will conduct a pilot project installing their TR4 disinfection system on a full-scale banana plantation in The Philippines. The objective is to achieve safe irrigation, resulting in improved water security for banana plantations.

Increased mangrove restoration (Suriname) [feasibility study]

Consortium partners Deltares, Boskalis, InterConnect, Conservation International Suriname and the Anton de Kom University of Suriname will study the feasibility of using sediments dredged from the Suriname river to accelerate mangrove restoration. Using sediments for intertidal area restoration is unique and promises to be an effective solution. In addition, lessons learned will be valuable for replicating and mainstreaming this restoration method in other regions.

Rainwater filtration and water purification (Vietnam) [pilot project]

Wageningen University, WIC, PBI International, Can Tho University and Stepsvn Installation Company joined forces to test an innovative technology for rainwater filtration and water purification. The aim of the consortium is to remove waterborne diseases and pesticides in an efficient and cost-effective way. In doing so, they hope to increase water security in the Mekon Delta and provide the inhabitants with safe drinking water.

Sustainable adaptation to salt intrusion (Vietnam) [pilot project]

Consortium Mekong Salt Lab will test an operational model for smallholder farmers in the Mekong Delta. This solution includes a number of cutting-edge techniques and services that provide sustainable alternatives to effectively adapt to increasing salt intrusion in the region. This will also increase farmers livelihoods. The consortium consists of The Water Agency, The Salt Doctors, Acacia Water, SkillEd, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Saxion University, Kim Delta Vietnam and Tra Vinh University.

Aquifer storage and recovery system (Vietnam) [pilot project]

The HaWaSuCo, BGR and WWF consortium will begin a pilot project to implement a single aquifer storage and recovery system. It will be the first infiltration well in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. The consortium aims to demonstrate its success, share the results, carry out marketability and cost-benefit analyses and engage stakeholders in scaling up. If successful, this innovative solution could have a significant impact on water security in the region.

Optimising irrigation and fertiliser application (Vietnam) [pilot project]

Fresh Studio, HollandDoor, Ridder Group and Royal Brinkman will conduct a pilot project to re-use drain water on two farms in Lam Dong province. Applying ViaLite and FertiMix technologies will reduce the spread of diseases and ensure plants receive the right amount of nutrients. The technologies will also eliminate drain water leakage, optimise irrigation and fertiliser applications, increase water availability and improve the regions quality of both fresh and groundwater

Are you interested in the next subsidy round?

The intake interviews for 2024’s first round of the Partners for Water subsidy scheme just closed. However, a second subsidy round will open in July. To be eligible, you can apply now for the mandatory intake interview. For more information, you can visit the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) website.

Visit the RVO website for more information

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