Following a mid-cycle review of its 2003 water strategy , the World Bank says it is moving from stand-alone water supply projects to those that link water use to resource management. The report, endorsed by the World Bank Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE), also directs the Bank Group to provide, with partners, improved sanitation to the 2.6 billion people who still live without it, in both rural areas and fast-growing urban slums.
The strategy review found significant improvement both in funding levels and project performance, with satisfactory ratings consistently higher than the Bank-wide average of 75 per cent. The Bank’s water commitments will continue to rise to an estimated US$ 21-25 billion for the coming three years.
Some other important new strategic directions covered in the review include:
- scaling-up of support for hydropower
- more focus on water for climate change adaptation and mitigation
- increased assistance to agricultural water management; and
- exploring opportunities for private financing for and corporatisation of water utilities
The scaling-up of its water activities has led to a recruitment drive, so that now the Bank employs 158 sector specialists. Nevertheless, there are several areas like (surprisingly) economics and finance, and wastewater reuse where expertise is missing. To compensate for this the Bank set up the Water Anchor which can call on experts as short-term consultants, through various technical support facilities. One of these is SWAT, the Sanitation, Hygiene and Wastewater Support Service. Since its inception in 2005, SWAT has committed about US$ 1 million for operational support in 28 countries and 33 projects. The service has influenced a total sanitation and wastewater investment valued over US$ 1.1 billion.
 Vandycke, N. (2010). Sustaining water for all in a changing climate : World Bank Group implementation progress report of the Water Resources Sector Strategy. Washington, DC, USA, World Bank. xiii, 105 p. Download full report
Related web sites: World Bank – Water | SWAT
Source: World Bank, 31 Aug 2010
The World Bank has approved a loan of $50 million to China to improve rural wastewater management and township infrastructure in Ningbo Municipality.
Ningbo Municipality is a major city in the southeastern coastal zone of China, about 300 km south of Shanghai, and has a population of 5.65 million. Despite rapid economic growth since the late 1970s, Ningbo is facing increasing urban-rural disparities including per capita income of rural residents much below than that of urban residents, fewer economic opportunities, inadequate basic infrastructure, shortage and low quality of drinking water supply, and insufficient sanitation services in the rural areas. The Ningbo Municipal Government is working to implement the New Countryside Development (NCD) Program, a national strategy aimed at reducing the urban-rural disparity, balancing urban and rural development, and promoting human-centered, quality-based, resource-saving and eco-friendly growth in the countryside.
In support of the municipality’s efforts, the Ningbo New Countryside Development Project will focus on improving rural waste water management in about 150 selected villages in Ningbo Municipality and enhancing infrastructure development in Chunhu Town of Fenghua City by financing construction of an access road, water supply networks, and wastewater collection and treatment facilities. In the meantime, the Bank will provide technical assistance to build local capacities.
The total project cost is $107 million with the World Bank contributing about 47 percent.
The World Bank has a close working relationship with Ningbo Municipality. In recent years the Bank financed a number of projects in Ningbo, including the Ningbo Water and Environment Project, Zhejiang Urban Environment Project, and the Global Environment Facility-supported Ningbo Water and Environment Project.
For more information go to the Ningbo New Countryside Development Project page
Source: World Bank, 25 Feb 2010
John Kalbermatten. Photo: Connell Funeral Home
John Kalbermatten, 77, former Senior Water & Wastes Advisor at the World Bank, died on Thursday, 26 February 2009. Born in Luzern, Switzerland, he worked as a professional engineer for the city of Bethlehem, USA, the World Health Organization, retiring from the World Bank in 1986. John continued as a private consultant for 14 years.
In his blog, Prof. Duncan Mara writes: “low-cost Sanitation has lost its greatest Champion”. Realising that the World Bank’s “investments in sewerage were not reaching the poor, [Kalbermatten] persuaded the Bank to fund the 1976-78 low-cost sanitation research project”, says Mara. “This produced some truly ground-breaking publications – for example, the three books on Appropriate Sanitation Alternatives […] – some people, including some sector ‘specialists’, are even now “reinventing” quite a bit of what’s in the first two, simply because they haven’t read them (and probably don’t know about them)”, Mara continues. (More references to publications by John Kalbermatten can be found in IRCDOC).
“John then obtained funds from UNDP in 1978 for project GLO/78/006 for the Technology Advisory Group (TAG), which he established, to start putting the lessons of the research project into practice. TAG’s successor today is the Water and Sanitation Program. Maggie Black’s 1999 publication 1978-1998: Learning What Works – A 20 Year Retrospective View on International Water and Sanitation Cooperation details the work of TAG.
View John Kalbermatten’s guest book on the Connell Funeral Home web page.
Water Week took place at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC from February 17-20, 2009. The event was organized by the Water Anchor in partnership with the Water Sector Board. Titled “Tackling Global Water Challenges”, the discussions focused on the urgent challenges currently faced by the water community including inter alia: adapting to climate change, responding to the food crisis, keeping the momentum for the MDGs, and dealing with the potential impact of the global economic crisis.
All presentations are now online here.
Below are links to some of the sanitation-related presentations:
HANOI – The World Bank has appointed Grey to promote the first ever Global Handwashing Day in Vietnam. (…) The appointment followed work done by Grey in mid-2008 to launch a social awareness drive – which included a TVC and events – to encourage rural communities to adopt better hygiene practices in 50 communes in rural Vietnam. (…)
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