World Water Forum Bulletin

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 82 No. 10
Saturday, 18 March 2006

4TH WORLD WATER FORUM HIGHLIGHTS:

FRIDAY, 17 MARCH 2006

On Friday, participants at the 4th World Water Forum convened in plenary for the Americas regional presentation. They also heard a keynote address by Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and an introduction to the Forum’s framework theme “Water for growth and development,” which was further explored in numerous thematic sessions throughout the day.

REGIONAL PRESENTATION

Benedito Braga, Vice-President of the World Water Council (WWC), opened the Americas regional presentation.

Abel Mamani, Bolivia’s Minister of Water, expressed hope that water as a human right will soon be recognized in Bolivia’s constitution. Noting that advance negotiations on the draft Ministerial Declaration of the 4th Forum did not reach consensus, he urged including in the Declaration a provision relating to a human right to water, which he said was also called for by activists taking part in street demonstrations in Mexico City on the opening day of the 4th Forum.

Maureen Ballestero, Global Water Partnership (GWP) Central America, presented the regional document for the Americas, noting the region’s high degree of water variability, predominately urban character, vulnerability to natural disasters, and hydropower potential.

On water for growth and development, Ballestero said water is vital for the region’s economic and social development, which must go hand in hand with proper management and sustainability. She said that while the region has adopted sustainable development principles, implementation mechanisms have not yet been put in place. Noting environmental costs of water infrastructure development, she emphasized the need to achieve a balance between “hard” and “soft” components of infrastructure.

On integrated water resources management (IWRM), she highlighted advances in several countries’ implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) commitment to developing IWRM and water efficiency plans by 2005, in particular through approaches such as payments for ecosystem services.

On water supply and sanitation, she noted that sanitation services vary across the region and that treating wastewater remains a major challenge for some Latin American countries.

Ballestero highlighted the importance of irrigation for the provision of food in several countries, including Brazil, Chile and Peru, and its links with risk management. She said water extraction across the region is relatively low, with agriculture accounting for 60 percent of total consumption.

On risk management, she said that while preventive measures have improved, capacity building remains a priority.

Summarizing, she stated that the Americas region has many shared challenges with other continents, highlighting those related to governance, institutional frameworks, public participation and water infrastructure.

Jorge Mora Portuguéz, Central American Network for Water Action, elaborated on the region’s preparatory process for the 4th Forum. Noting the participation of civil society, academia, financial institutions, international organizations, national institutions and the private sector, he highlighted the establishment of an Advisory Board of the Americas and several preparatory meetings held in the region. Stressing that this coordination will be pursued beyond the 4th Forum, he called for continued participation of all sectors, increased economic investments, and continued dialogue and efforts to establish water as a priority in public policy.

Addressing water management in the region, Abel Mejía, World Bank, said modest breakthroughs have been achieved in the preservation and management of water resources, although decreasing investment, increasing competitiveness and other challenges persist. He noted the lack of resources to integrate legislative structures and water infrastructures in the region, but expressed confidence that watershed management, water quality and sanitation, disaster reduction management, and information and monitoring will improve substantially by 2015. He called for decentralization and sustained efforts in maintaining water supply for cities.

Antonio Vives, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), addressed the challenges of financing water supply. Noting the need for supplies to reach the lowest-income groups, he observed that the countries where investment is most needed have the lowest level of tax collection coupled with inefficient water supply and institutional management. Among the challenges in establishing markets for water, he identified insufficient financial flows, which are generated in local currency. He emphasized that water is not a common marketable good and called for collaboration in exploring options for finding resources, including in areas that may be self-financing.

On governance and water, Scott Vaughan, Organization of American States, highlighted progress in identifying what constitutes good governance and in monitoring and evaluation based on principles of transparency. He underscored meaningful participation, and drew attention to addressing climate change and variability, stressing the need to include risk assessment in development plans.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan gave a keynote address on Edo (currently Tokyo) and water transport, drawing parallels between water infrastructure development in England and Japan and how these contributed to the Industrial Revolution in the case of England and to the growth of Edo as Japan’s capital since the 17th Century. He outlined the development of water engineering solutions and their use in modern water infrastructure.

On the history of water management in Edo, he highlighted several water management and infrastructure projects, including an eastward diversion of the Tone River from Tokyo Bay into the Pacific Ocean, land reclamation through drainage, and Japan’s oldest Minuma-dai irrigation canal.

In closing, he noted the special relationship between people and water that has contributed to the creation of present-day Tokyo, and encouraged participants to draw inspiration from pioneering water management solutions throughout history as well as from local knowledge.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FRAMEWORK THEME

Introducing the theme “Water for growth and development,” Luis Alberto Moreno, IDB President, called for a systematic and continuous approach to tackling water issues, especially through improving sustainable funding for water infrastructure. He said that to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), investments are an urgent priority and especially effective when focused on sanitation. He opined that changes in economical and political systems pose administrative and financial challenges, and advocated: universal access to water, combined with the promotion of efficient use; mechanisms to solve water-related conflicts; efficient financial structures to ensure reasonable prices for local communities; and subsidies to ensure maintenance of water infrastructure to limit water waste. He also recommended: well-regulated private sector involvement at micro- and macro-levels; incentives to promote efficient financial administration; attracting new financial resources while strengthening existing ones; and additional multilateral financial programmes. Highlighting the financing of local-level projects, he said the IDB is establishing a fund for infrastructure to benefit rural communities while taking into account social and environmental variables, and underscored progress made, including the launch of new strategies and management programmes.

THEMATIC SESSIONS

EUROPEAN INITIATIVES ON WATER AND POVERTY: Jean-Pierre Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, chaired the session. Noting the existence of several decentralization initiatives, he lamented that many local stakeholders remain outside participatory processes in water initiatives.

Antonino Crea, European Commission, described the EU’s Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP-EU) Water Facility, which aims at, inter alia, improving governance, water services and sanitation. He said that the ACP-EU Water Facility seeks to provide 10 million people with sustainable access to drinking water by 2010. He described lessons learned, including: promoting partnerships between NGOs and local authorities; promoting innovation; and providing support to applicants during project proposal elaboration.

Wolfgang Stalzer, Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, said that Austria is committed to the EU Water Initiative and the ACP-EU Water Facility. He underlined that the EU Water Facility could become the leader in international water financing.

Stef Lambrecht, Protos, presented ongoing ACP-EU Water Facility projects in Benin and Haiti, noting their expected capacity-building results. He described the strengths of the projects, including their multiple-scale, catalytic, and federating effects. He noted as challenges harmonization and co-management planning, and concluded that projects must: be supported in the long term by the ACP-EU Water Facility; accelerate achievement of the MDGs; and support “real and concrete” decentralization. Maggie White, Eau Vive, added that some ACP-EU Water Facility projects have fostered local financing to ensure project continuity.

Evelyn Otim, National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda, addressed the funding gap between national- and community-level water projects, underscoring the importance of women in these projects.

In the ensuing discussion, panelists discussed: the continuity of the ACP-EU Water Facility; co-financing issues; local communities’ ability to fulfill administrative steps to achieve financing; and funding arrangements with UN organizations. 

PARTICIPATION OF THE MAYORS: Over ten Mexican State representatives took part in a day-long session on their experiences in water management. Cristóbal Jaime Jáquez, Co-Chair of the 4th Forum and Director General of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), Mexico, opened the panel discussion.

Luis Armando Reynoso Femat, Governor of Aguascalientes, presented two projects undertaken in his State to address water supply and management: the “Clear Water” strategic project, which resulted in a saving of 50 million cubic meters of water per year through modernized irrigation; and the rehabilitation of the San Pedro River. He stressed coordination amongst all levels of government and local participation across different sectors of society.

Eugenio Elordi Walter, Governor of Baja California, stressed the need for bilateral communication and cooperation regarding the management of transboundary watersheds, and said that unilateral decisions can have detrimental effects on the environment and local livelihoods. Highlighting the US All-American Canal in the Colorado River watershed, he noted its negative impacts on ecosystems and agriculture in Baja California, and stressed that any decision should take into account the interests of all stakeholders, particularly at the local level. Noting that another similar infrastructure project is being planned, he called for constructive bilateral diplomacy, asked for the international community’s support, and pledged his State’s commitment to dialogue and cooperation. Jaime Jáquez supported transboundary management of the Colorado River, and suggested that this be regarded as one of the outcomes of the 4th Forum.

Ismael Hernández Deras, Governor of Durango, presented “Prossapys,” a programme established to address drinking water supply and sewage systems in highly underserved and sparsely populated rural areas in Mexico. He highlighted organized participation of the community, co-responsibility and effective decentralization, and proposed, inter alia, to devote a percentage of the budget to achieving the MDGs and promoting transparency in projects and subsidies.

During the ensuing discussion, the Governors and participants noted: the advantages of using treated wastewater for irrigation; the need for federal, state, local and private resources to fund such projects; access to drinking water and payment for water services by people living in unplanned settlements; methods to promote awareness and commitment in youth and children; and whether the pricing of water services should be the responsibility of water operators or governments.

Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez, Mayor of Mexico City, spoke on the challenges faced by one of the world’s megacities with almost 20 million people, characterized by a historically determined irrational use of water, which comes mainly from external sources involving enormous amounts of electrical power. He outlined work undertaken in the last nine years, including improvements in infrastructure. Noting that rainfall availability in the area is equivalent to water consumption, Encinas said that a package of solutions, including rainfall catchment and treatment of residual water, would allow a more rational and sustainable use of water, and emphasized the need for a long-term vision and an integrated approach.

Ney González Sánchez, Governor of Nayarit, spoke on water and hydroelectricity, presenting the El Cajón and La Yesca projects. He emphasized that water is a common good that needs to be managed in close collaboration across different levels of government with a comprehensive outlook for the benefit of local development. He called for international funding to States and municipalities for infrastructural development and for supplementary actions, such as sustainable forestry and watershed management.

Fidel Herrera Beltrán, Governor of Veracruz, described his State’s policy proposal for sustainable water management, noting the importance of treatment, reuse, and sufficient quantity and quality, while acknowledging the challenge of creating integrated water policies. He called for developing a new financing strategy for promoting public and private investments for the benefit of autonomous governments.

Félix Arturo González Canto, Governor of Quintana Roo, provided an overview of Quintana Roo’s water use and management. He presented successful and replicable projects, including: a comprehensive water management plan in Cozumel and a water and sanitation project in Playa del Carmen. González Canto identified as challenges maintaining access to clean water for a growing population and weather-related disaster preparedness.

During the question and answer session, participants addressed: options for the treatment of sewage water for electricity generation and industrial and agricultural applications, and differential water tariffs in Mexico City; under-exploitation of water resources, IWRM and projects in the agricultural sector in Veracruz; and the reestablishment of the conurbation system in the Mexico City metropolitan area.

Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, Governor of Guanajuato, outlined various projects in his State, highlighting a programme for the treatment of wastewater in coordination with townships and municipalities. He emphasized States’ role in linking different levels of government, and underscored the importance of decentralization and of working with able and willing municipalities.

Manuel Andrade Diáz, Governor of Tabasco, described Tabasco as characterized by water abundance yet paradoxically affected by drought. He highlighted a project to diminish vulnerability vis-à-vis floods and sanitize 60 percent of sewage waters in the State, and called for a cultural change towards a rational and sustainable use of resources.

Marcelo de los Santos Fraga, Governor of San Luis Potosí, reported on various government actions, including a state plan for sanitation and the construction of new wastewater treatment plants. He drew attention to a new satellite city which includes its own wastewater treatment plant, and an interstate collaboration project to build the “El Realito” dam involving Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí.

Noting that 2006 is the UN Year to Combat Desertification, Amalia García Medina, Governor of the State of Zacatecas, said that her State, which is 75 percent arid, has been the hardest hit by the ongoing drought exacerbated by climate change. She offered that this opens a window of opportunity to rethink water policy and develop adequate measures based on a new water culture, stressing that all investments in water infrastructure need to go hand-in-hand with education programmes and governance reforms.

In the question and answer session, participants addressed: the need for long-term planning and budgeting; states’ policies on renewable energy and efficient water use in new buildings; links between deforestation and desertification; and states’ insufficient role in decision-making as regards water management.

DYNAMICS OF WATER AND GROWTH: ISSUES AND POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: David Grey, World Bank, introduced the framework theme paper: “Water for Responsible Growth and Sustainable Development,” which examines the concept of a “minimum platform,” a threshold that countries must acquire to achieve water security. He emphasized that the poorest people must not be excluded from the full range of infrastructural and institutional options for achieving water security.

Suresh Prabhu, Member of Parliament, India, stressed the importance of environmentally sustainable, socially desirable and politically viable water policy-making. He said all people have the fundamental need for clean air and water, and that policies must focus on long-term water security.

Mohamed El Yazghi, Morocco’s Minister of Environment, described his country’s water management efforts, stressing the importance of democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and participation of local authorities in policy-making.

Maria Mutagamba, Ugandan Minister of State for Water, said Africa is being held hostage by its hydrology, which is preventing Africans from improving their living conditions. She stressed the severity of droughts, linked water and gender issues, and urged greater awareness throughout the international community of the water crisis in Africa. Mutagamba highlighted recent dialogue and policy coordination efforts among African ministers and work on IWRM and transboundary water issues, such as the Nile Basin Initiative, and stressed the need for strategies for policy implementation.

Achim Steiner, Director General of The World Conservation Union (IUCN), suggested that the water debate needs to be framed in terms of rights and risks. He emphasized that all water management entails costs and benefits and that good governance, multi-stakeholder scrutiny and options assessment are required in decision-making processes.

Jerson Kelman, President of the Brazilian National Electric Energy Agency, underscored the need to consider not only local, but also global, impacts of water infrastructure development. He stated that the capability of governments to invest in infrastructure is limited and that some private investment, implemented within a regulatory framework that balances government, consumer and service provider interests, is needed.

Moderator John Briscoe, World Bank, summarized the session, noting that: water is a prism for discussions on development in general; rights and risks originate both from action and non-action; the only way to make progress is through participation; and elected governments at the national level need to respond to demands of individual users.

INDIGENOUS TOWNS AND WATER: Raúl Hernández Garciadiego, Alternatives, Mexico, explained that his NGO’s “Water Forever” and “Quali” programmes promote regional sustainable development for the benefit of marginalized communities, and described a water regeneration system in the Mixteca region of Mexico that reinforces indigenous knowledge combined with use of modern technologies.

Carlos Pailles Bouchez, Fideicomisos Ambientales del Istmo, presented on a project in the Mixteca region that utilizes community participation to deliver drinking water to its inhabitants. He stressed the need to blend historical skills with modern techniques, and the importance of project assessment.

Javier Jiménez Sánchez, Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA), discussed policies for drinking water and sanitation in rural areas, highlighting a national programme that aims at improving the coverage and quality of drinking water and sanitation services.

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, highlighted the Indigenous Peoples Kyoto Water Declaration from the 3rd Forum, noting that indigenous peoples are placed on the Earth in a sacred manner to care for all creation and water. He urged a rights-based, as well as an integrated, approach to water management.

Roberto Pacosillo Hilari, President of the Committee for the Defense of Lake Titicaca, Desaguadero River and Biodiversity, noted that Bolivia has one of the world’s most polluted rivers and emphasized indigenous peoples’ struggle against water privatization. He also highlighted gaps in national water legislation.

Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz, National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, emphasized the sanctity of water, urged efficient mechanisms to stop the depletion of major sources of water, and stressed the need for local communities to play a primary role in water planning.

ENSURING DAMS ARE A PLATFORM FOR GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Session Chair Ricardo Sánchez Sosa, Director of the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighted the controversies surrounding dams, and called for balanced actions in pursuit of sustainable development.

Kelman elaborated on dams and their alternatives from a developing country perspective. Addressing licensing of dams, he lamented that: some governments set excessive environmental and social standards; public hearings do not capture the views of indirect beneficiaries; and the trade-offs between local and global environmental interests are often not evaluated. Stressing the potential benefits of dams to developing countries, he called for integrative licensing, adequate compensation of local communities, and strategic planning to ensure environmental sustainability.

Gerald Galloway, Titan Corporation, highlighted two successful poverty-reducing dam projects in the US. Favoring federal involvement to support large-scale, multi-purpose projects, he said local benefits include capacity building and revenues for community development, and noted that dams can benefit tourism and recreation, provide jobs, and combine hydropower generation with flood control.

Patrick McCully, Executive Director of the International Rivers Network, said that while large-scale infrastructure projects receive the bulk of international attention and investments, only a small percentage of the agriculture sector benefits from them. Opposing the 2003 World Bank Water Resources Sector Strategy’s arguments in favor of large-scale projects, and noting that the World Bank’s definition of “good dams” differs from that of civil society’s, he argued that the MDGs can only be reached through low-cost, community-based projects and that large dams serve a limited geographical area.

Participants highlighted both positive and negative national experiences, noting that improved irrigation methods and energy efficiency would eliminate the need for large-scale dam projects.

Bryan Ashe, South African Water Caucus, presented on applying the 2000 World Commission on Dams’ report on dams and development in South Africa. He underscored that developing countries can least afford to make the mistakes of the developed countries with respect to dam development.

Arthur Walz, US Army Corps of Engineers, described dams as a tool for providing water for growth and development, and for achieving the MDGs. Noting that “food grows where water flows,” he stressed the importance of dams in irrigation, storing water and managing rivers. He noted progress in environmental impact mitigation and technology and stressed the need for a comprehensive planning process for water resources projects. 

Participants also discussed: balancing economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of dams; integrating flood control planning and climate change considerations; and proper environmental impact assessments.

Ute Collier, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), said that most rivers have lost their natural value and noted that only 21 major rivers still flow freely from their sources to the sea. She concluded that values and services of free-flowing rivers need to be given greater recognition and stressed the importance of a comprehensive, basin-wide, multi-stakeholder approach to dams planning.

Olivier Cogels, Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), said the return on investment is attractive in dam development in the Mekong Basin. Noting that floods and droughts will be important future considerations, he said that irrigation and water storage development must be planned in parallel and be based on MRC member cooperation.

Alberto Calcagno, UNEP Dams and Development Project, said the Project aims to promote improved decision-making, planning and management of dams and their alternatives through promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue and producing non-prescriptive tools for decision-makers. He said challenges include establishing efficient and transparent bottom-up approaches and involving all stakeholders, and identified actions required, including building political will at all levels, strengthening policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, and building managerial capacities.

Participants discussed: the definition of “minimum environmental impact” and “acceptable project outcomes”; international human rights; integrative studies before initiating projects; and trade-offs and scientific uncertainties.

Session Chair Sánchez Sosa recommended considering new technologies, experiences and visions while addressing these controversies, and called for increased stakeholder participation.

FINDINGS OF THE GURRIA TASK FORCE: ACCESS TO FINANCE FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Loïc Fauchon, President of the WWC, said water financing is the first and foremost issue on the WWC’s agenda. He emphasized that financing issues should be framed by demand rather than supply considerations and urged stronger links with service providers.

Margaret Catley-Carlson, GWP Chair, introduced the report of the Gurría Task Force on Financing Water for All, including its findings on: access to finance for local governments and agriculture; needs for financing water-related agricultural activities; and local implementation actions. 

Task Force Chair José Angel Gurría Treviño noted the need to have water financing issues prioritized on political agendas, increase focus on the demand side, and strengthen the role of local authorities. He also announced that the work of the Task Force will continue after the 4th Forum.

Noting the complexity of financing water for agriculture, James Winpenny, GWP Consultant, said “business as usual” practices are not sustainable. He stressed the need to focus on financing the modernization of existing irrigation schemes and on unconventional sources of financing.

On local governments’ perspectives, Jean-Pierre Mbassi discussed the need for decentralization. He said water problems are local problems that should be addressed primarily by local authorities and that financial mechanisms must directly engage with them. He added that local emerging markets must be supported and local capacities reinforced.

Arjun Thapan, Asian Development Bank, discussed financing local authorities, focusing primarily on Asian experiences. He said calls to step up water investments have been left widely unanswered, noting that there is insufficient understanding of the importance of water investments to reduce poverty and increase growth, and a lack of government reforms to strengthen investor confidence.

Alexis Bonnel, French Development Agency, presented experiences in water sector financing, stating that more “good old” official development assistance is required for preventing the erosion of existing infrastructure, groundwater and sanitation financing, and risk mitigation. He noted that the cost of water provision per person is three times higher in Africa than in developed countries, and advocated raising awareness on payments for water services and building economic confidence through improved governance and performance.

Mohamed Kadri, Director of the Moroccan Ministry of Interior’s Department of Utilities and Services under Concession, highlighted his country’s policy of water distribution based on the concept of multiple services that create synergies between the water, energy and sanitation sectors.

Antonio Vives, IDB, addressed project structure and preparation, noting that it can help attract funding and enhance the long-term sustainability of water financing. He also urged donors to implement “debt for water swaps” for financing water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

Prabin Man Singh, Water and Energy Users’ Federation, outlined Nepal’s experiences in water and sanitation provision, noting that after two decades of large-scale donor-funded water infrastructure development, results are still lacking, and advocated small-scale, locally funded sustainable projects.

Noting national imbalances in water and sanitation access, Jabulani Sindane, Director General of the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, highlighted his country’s advanced decentralized water management system, sources of financing for water and sanitation at various levels, and novel projects for cost recovery. He identified partnerships with the private sector as a way forward for increasing capital expenditure in water infrastructure to meet South Africa’s and international targets for water and sanitation.

Jean-Jacques Saint-Lezin, Director General, Dexia Group, presented a novel irrigation project in Spain, which is being implemented as a joint initiative of the public, private and financial sectors over a ten-year period, and emphasized the need for long-term commitment from all stakeholders to achieve results.

WATER AND ENERGY: Panelists underscored the need to develop energy systems that draw on a combination of renewable energy sources and highlighted the important role of hydroelectricity in addressing problems of intermittency.

Jorge Hernández de la Torre, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission, outlined the use of water for electricity generation in Mexico. He highlighted different methods to reduce water consumption in electricity generation, including: using treated sewage water and seawater in cooling systems; water recycling and zero-discharge systems; and installing air condensers in place of cooling towers.

Richard Taylor, Executive Director of the International Hydropower Association, emphasized the importance of synergies between hydro- and thermal power generation. Eduardo Rincón Mejía, National Autonomous University of Mexico, pointed to the existence of alternative electricity generation technologies, and called for a greater focus on policy.

Peter Rae, Convener of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (IREA), stressed the importance of planning and participation in energy generation and delivery, and highlighted the role of the IREA in producing a collective voice for the global renewable energy industry.

Torodd Jenson, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, outlined the local impacts of three small hydropower schemes in Norway, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He stated that appropriate technology may require a longer lead time but often benefits the local workforce as well as women.

In the ensuing discussion, participants called for addressing the environmental costs of hydropower and the relationship between public and private actors delivering renewable energy. In response to a question regarding Mexico�s policy on renewable energy, Juli�n Adame Miranda, Mexico�s Federal Electricity Commission, highlighted the development of a policy paper and research fund for renewable energy sources.

BUSINESS, WATER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Robert Martin, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, welcomed participants and Jaime Lomel�n Guill�n, Director-General of Industrias Pe�oles, chaired the session.

Alfred Mutsaars, Shell Global Solutions International, described a water purification pilot project undertaken by Shell in rural South Africa and Morocco, which aims to provide cost-effective and robust solutions for safe drinking water production. Urbano Diaz de Le�n, State Water Commission of San Luis Potos�, provided a case study on wastewater treatment and reuse activities, noting the benefits of improved local health and conservation of local aquifer resources. Mario Goudinoff Herrera, Banobras Bank, described his bank�s work to support funding systems to improve the coverage of water services.

Hans Olav Ibrekk, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, said investing in water and sanitation and in water resources management is good business and each country needs to develop a �minimum platform� for water infrastructure and water security. Jack Stein, World Bank, stressed the importance of efficiency and focusing on local needs and actors. Bowdin King, Local Governments for Sustainability, underlined that local governments play a crucial role as market actors, regulators and researchers of water issues. Pamir Tokg�z, THIMUN Youth Network, stressed that youth needs must be taken into account and that a long-term vision is needed. John Dore, IUCN, questioned the private sector�s motivation to invest in water activities.
 

The World Water Forum Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Nienke Beintema, Robynne Boyd, Xenya Cherny, Alexandra Conliffe, Bo-Alex Fredvik, Mar�a Guti�rrez, and Hugh Wilkins. The photographer is Leila Mead. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The editor is Alexis Conrad <alexis@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by 4th World Water Forum Secretariat. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA. The IISD team at 4th World Water Forum can be contacted by e-mail at <Xenya@iisd.org>.