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✇Water Integrity Network

Water integrity is missing from the climate debate: here’s why that has to change

By: Water Integrity Network

Billions of dollars of new, urgent, often poorly traced climate adaptation funding are flowing through relatively untested channels into the water sector, a sector which is vulnerable to corruption because of its fragmentation, technical complexity, and the essential, irreplaceable nature of the services it provides 

Close to 80% of climate adaptation funds are directed to the water sector and related sectors – wastewater, disaster risk management, and natural resources management. This is already an inordinately small share of total climate finance: only 6.3% of climate finance goes to adaptation and not mitigation. It’s all the more important to make sure it is not wasted.


Corruption and poor integrity pose significant risks for climate adaptation

The IPCC scientific committee stated in 2021 with high confidence that floods and droughts are going to become more intense, water availability will be affected for human consumption, agriculture, industrial and economic activities, leading to food crisis and biodiversity loss. In its latest report of April 2022, it stresses the need for “accelerated and equitable climate action” and shows that the next few years are critical to avert disaster. Water is the primary vessel for climate adaptation work.

Effective “accelerated and equitable climate action” is threatened by insufficient funding and by corruption and poor integrity. These waste resources and talent, divert much-needed funding away from those who need it most, and drive inappropriate adaptation choices.


What happens when climate finance in the water sector is misused

Corruption does not just result in financial losses. In the water and sanitation sectors, it impacts directly on people’s lives, health, and livelihoods, on socio-economic development and on environmental sustainability. And it hits hardest in the most vulnerable communities, poor coastal and rural populations in developing countries, those affected by conflict and political instability, marginalised communities, those with limited choices of where to live and how to earn a living, women-headed households, the old and the very young, and people with disabilities.

In some cases, poor integrity can increase the risk of maladaptation, where the outcomes of climate adaptation programmes are subverted: climate-related risks increase instead of decrease or new additional risks and vulnerabilities are created.

In practice, there are already many troubling cases of corruption and poor integrity in climate projects, from funds gone missing, to dysfunctional flood protection systems that are not built according to specifications, from capture by elites, to cyclone shelters built for private purposes on private land inaccessible to the targeted community. We are only aware of the tip of the iceberg.


Anti-corruption initiatives in climate adaptation are improving

A number of climate finance actors, including major multilateral funds, have already put in place anti-corruption measures and evaluation mechanisms to ensure the efficacy of their programmes. These efforts are important and valuable even if there is room for improvement.

Transparency International’s new report of April 2022 recommends specific improvements in terms of accountability and transparency. It also highlights the need for policies on sexual harassment, related to gender policies focused on promoting equal participation and equitable outcomes for women. This is especially relevant for the water and sanitation sectors where women play a major role in managing household water and hygiene but have little representation at the sector level.


Wanted: Integrity initiatives built for and with the water sector

We see both a need and an opportunity for a broader approach that addresses the specific risks of the water sector. This has three major implications:

Focusing on the corporate governance and anti-corruption policies of funders themselves is an important first step. However much more can be achieved by also investing in the capacity for integrity of water and sanitation sector actors, and not only the direct recipients of funding. This means supporting their ability to take advantage of accountability mechanisms and their capacity to assess and preventively act on their specific sector, and water-energy-food nexus, integrity risks.

The water and sanitation sectors have a crucial responsibility: to provide an essential service – and human right – for all. There must a be focus in climate adaptation work on centering the voices, and water and sanitation needs, of the most vulnerable, those bearing the brunt of climate change, the left behind and those who run the risk of being left behind, including climate refugees. Only 2% of climate funds reach vulnerable communities and local communities seldom participate in decision-making on fund allocation and planning. This can and must change.


The water and sanitation sectors are not just about pumps and pipes. Existing financing mechanisms are already skewed towards major infrastructure developments even when these are not in line with people’s needs or with the capacity available to maintain or operate them. Climate adaptation funding has similar biases. Not enough funding is spent on improving the governance systems, with the result that governance failures, including corruption, may lead to significant risk of maladaptation. One way to address this is to assess and address corruption risks during procurement processes but also early on, in budget allocation, planning and design phases. This requires more long-term investment in building governance capacity and in corruption risk assessments.


We urgently need to prioritise and invest more in water and sanitation through climate work. We also need to make sure we use available funds to their utmost potential and to the benefit of those who need them most. For this, we need to invest in partnerships with water and sanitation sector stakeholders, and invest in governance and integrity.



See more resources on the nexus of water integrity and climate finance


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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

IWA-WHO Water Safety Conference 2022

By: Anna Nylander

Co-hosted by the International Water Association (IWA) and World Health Organization (WHO), the Water Safety Conference 2022 will be held on 22-24 June 2022 in Narvik, Norway, following the conference … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all

By: Anna Nylander

On 2 and 3 June 2022, Stockholm+50, a high-level international environmental meeting, will be held in Sweden. Anchored in the UN’s Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Dushanbe Water Process

By: Anna Nylander

The Government of Tajikistan, committed to continue providing a platform for policy dialogue, partnership and action, is organizing, with the support of the UN, high-level international conferences throughout the Water … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

World Hand Hygiene Day 2022

By: Anna Nylander

Hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC) in health facilities helps protect the health and safety of patients and health workers. Led by the World Health Organization (WHO), World … Read more

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Keeping it REAL for the Future of Rural Water Services Delivery

By: USAID Water Team

Keeping it REAL for the Future of Rural Water Services Delivery

Providing safe, reliable water supply to rural populations is among the most difficult challenges of international development. Water represents a fundamental human health need as well as a critical factor for maintaining household hygiene, enabling food production, and supporting the industries that allow societies to flourish.

While a formidable undertaking, there has certainly been progress. More than 40 years have now passed since the beginning of United Nations’ International Drinking Water and Sanitation Decade (1980–1990), and between 2015 and 2020, the proportion of rural populations covered by safely managed drinking water services did increase — by an average of 7 percentage points per year, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP)’s most recent progress report.

Still, as of 2020, less than a third (28 percent) of the rural population of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has access to safely managed drinking water services. In sub-Saharan Africa, barely over one in ten rural households (13 percent) were served by safely managed supplies in 2020; indeed, less than half of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed access to even basic services, defined by JMP as drinking water from an improved source with under 30 minutes of collection time, including queuing. Worldwide, of the estimated 800 million people who lacked basic drinking water services in 2020, roughly 80 percent lived in rural areas, and half of those were in LDCs.

APAC, UGANDA — May 14, 2021: A group of people collecting water from a handpump in Northern Uganda. Photo: Edinah Samuel, Aquaya

What policies, programs, and systems can accelerate and sustain the provision of safe water to rural populations? One of the ways that USAID seeks to answer this question is through its new centrally funded research project, Rural Evidence and Learning for Water (REAL-Water). Staffed by a consortium of academic researchers, practitioners, and sector analysts, as well as a global convening organization, REAL-Water will spend the next five years building the evidence base for increasing the performance of rural water supply systems, including protection and management of the water resources on which they depend.

Fifteen years after the end of its first declared water and sanitation decade, the United Nations pronounced the ten years between 2005 and 2015 the “Water for Life” decade. During these two celebrated water-focused periods, the dominant paradigm for rural water has shifted. Coming into the 1980s, central governments were commonly expected to build and operate rural water supply systems (even as sovereign budgets were nowhere near sufficient to meet that responsibility). Over the course of the 1990s and into the Water for Life decade, the notion of community involvement and management gained support, and along with it, an honest recognition of the limited capacities of rural populations to successfully and sustainably run their own water supply systems in the absence of financial and technical support. Of late, the community management imperative has begun to give way to the concept of service delivery. This directs focus past capital construction of pumps and pipes toward the professional operation and maintenance of water supply systems over time, along with the financial reserves required to support it. For example, the recently concluded USAID-funded Sustainable WASH Services Learning Partnership (via its partners IRC and Whave in Uganda, Fundifix in Kenya, and IRC in Ethiopia) made a convincing case that professionalized scheduled maintenance and repairs can substantially improve performance of rural water systems.

The REAL-Water project focal areas and the relationships between them. Design: Harold Lockwood, Aguaconsult; Vanessa Guenther, Aquaya

Building in part on the Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership, REAL-Water consists of three main research domains. The first, led by Aguaconsult, Ltd., asks how government oversight, professionalized support to community-managed rural water services, and alternative management models can be employed to increase the sustainability, quality, and reach of rural water services.

The second domain, led by Aquaya, focuses on the models and factors for improving routine drinking water quality monitoring and drinking water safety in rural, resource-poor environments.

The Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation (CSEI) at India’s Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) leads research in the third domain on water resources planning, seeking to identify and overcome its most important obstacles at scales relevant to rural water service authorities in low- and middle-income countries.

To test our research hypotheses in real-world conditions, REAL-Water is fortunate to include one of Africa’s premier academic research institutions –Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) — as well as two consortium partners that build, operate, and maintain rural water systems: Water Mission and Safe Water Network.

Making sure that REAL-Water asks the most important rural water supply questions in the most sensible ways requires effective engagement with both local and global water sector actors. The Skat Foundation’s Rural Water Supply Network, with thousands of members worldwide, will be instrumental in this regard.

REAL-Water podcast co-hosts Ranjiv Khush (left) and Jeff Albert (right). Photo: Kiki Photography

In addition, we are pleased to introduce the REAL-Water podcast. Tune in and check out the welcome episode now. Project Director Ranjiv Khush and Deputy Director Jeff Albert will co-host conversations asking the most important questions on rural water supply, featuring practitioners, analysts, government officials, and donors. The podcast will provoke discussions intended to “keep it REAL” by challenging our underlying assumptions, including scrutiny of the potential for research and evidence to drive big changes in policy and practice. The REAL-Water podcast will probe rural water challenges through three lenses: financing, governance, and innovation.

With respect to the first of these lenses, we must be sober about the reality that rural water supply systems are rarely financially viable. As Oxford University’s Rob Hope and colleagues have recently written, the economics of rural water are fundamentally different, because of the dual challenges of scale (low numbers of sparsely located customers) and uneven demand (a function of rural customers shifting their multiple water sourcing behaviors seasonally). The REAL-Water podcast will explore who currently pays for rural water supply services, whether they pay enough, and what service tariff “affordability” means. Under what circumstances are the collected tariffs sufficient for reliable service, where they are not, and how can we make up the difference? What do we know about how to direct public and donor funds in ways that maximize not only accountability, but also efficiency and performance?

The governance lens will probe how government institutions are equipped to deliver basic services. It will explore what kind of management arrangements are optimal in different contexts, from community-based management to public utility service provision, public-private partnerships, and delegated professionalized maintenance.

Finally, the innovation lens will examine what novel technologies and institutional arrangements can lead to better cost recovery, more consistent water quality monitoring and treatment, and ultimately more reliable rural water system performance.

We at REAL-Water are excited about this journey and hope you will join us!

Listen to the REAL-Water Podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music.

By the REAL Water Team

Keeping it REAL for the Future of Rural Water Services Delivery was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA): Sector Ministers’ Meeting

By: Anna Nylander

Sanitation and Water for All’s (SWA) 2022 Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) is taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia on 18-19 May. It is hosted by the Government of Indonesia and co-convened … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

COP15 session of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification

By: Anna Nylander

The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9 to 20 … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

WHO-UNICEF webinar: “Is your facility WASH FIT 2022?”

By: Anna Nylander

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF will run a webinar called “Is your facility WASH FIT 2022?” at 1pm CEST, on 26 April 2022. Participants will hear about the … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 Steering Committee meeting held in March

By: Anna Nylander

On 2-3 March, the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6) Steering Committee met to review the 2021 results and plan for the 2022 work. 2021 results In 2021, … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

FAO’s Building Forward Better Initiative – new website

By: Anna Nylander

The FAO Land and Water Division has launched the new website of the Building Forward Better Initiative. The Building Forward Better Initiative “addresses countries in fragility and contributes to reduce … Read more

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Using Wastewater Surveillance to Monitor COVID-19

By: USAID Water Team
November 2020- Hana Muhaisen, a lab Technician at Water Authority of Jordan Labs, is processing a sample into the Refrigerated Centrifuge equipment which was supplied by USAID. Photo credit: USAID Jordan Water Infrastructure Activity

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many national and local governments are turning to a surprising source of data to track the latest surge of the virus: pathogens in the wastewater in their sewage systems.

This approach has long been used to help monitor the spread of diseases such as polio and typhoid, notes Joe Brown, an associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and principal investigator of the Maputo Sanitation (MapSan) trial.

“For about 100 years, we’ve been looking for pathogens in wastewater as a way of informing public health response,” he says. “And the data can complement clinical data in a variety of ways — for example, to generate data on infections that are primarily asymptomatic and therefore may be underestimated in other health surveillance.”

COVID-19 often goes undetected because it leads to mild or no symptoms in many people, and thus can spread quickly. The rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant has swamped testing resources in countries throughout the world, widening the gap between reported and actual cases.

Monitoring of COVID-19 in wastewater can inform health authorities by providing community-level data on trends in infections. The SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is shed in people’s feces, offering a source of data that does not depend on access to testing, healthcare-seeking behavior, or timely reporting of results.

Wastewater surveillance can identify COVID-19 hotspots, provide early warning of new outbreaks, and confirm trends in clinical data. Given these considerations, USAID launched a new activity under the Jordan Water Infrastructure project to enhance the Jordanian government’s capacity to conduct wastewater surveillance for COVID-19.

Wastewater surveillance systems offer the possibility of earlier detection and rapid response to spikes in COVID-19 and new variants. In many cities, the surveillance data are being used to monitor the trajectory of the Omicron surge and determine when it has peaked. And some governments and universities have used these data to target testing services, refine health messages, and forecast clinical resource needs.

A global map maintained by the University of California Merced showed that by the end of March 2022, wastewater was being monitored for the virus in at least 3,393 sites in 64 countries. Almost two-thirds of those sites are in high-income countries, but wastewater surveillance can be even more useful in settings with limited resources for clinical surveillance, notes Brown, who is working with Mozambique’s national sequencing laboratory to add wastewater monitoring to its surveillance of COVID-19 variants in the city of Maputo.

Most households in Mozambique and other low- and middle-income countries are not served by sewer systems, but this lack of infrastructure may not be an insurmountable obstacle to community-level monitoring of COVID-19 and other pathogens, Brown adds. “What we need to do now is to adapt tools that can be applied at scale,” he says. “That means using these same methods on fecal sludges, impacted surface waters, drains, and other environmental matrices that are not wastewater but still contain fecal contamination.” A pre-COVID study among clusters of households participating in the MapSan trial suggests this approach holds promise for pathogen surveillance.

November 2020— Hana Muhaisen, lab Technician at Water Authority of Jordan Labs, and Rawan Abu Eita, CDM Smith representative, processing samples taken from a sewer manhole to test for genetic material in wastewater. Photo credit: USAID Jordan Water Infrastructure Activity

In Jordan, where more than 60 percent of the population is connected to a sewer system, Water Authority technicians began testing for SARS-COV-2 genetic material in wastewater in June 2020. However, they did not have a monitoring plan and lacked the necessary capacity for speedy processing of large numbers of tests.

USAID’s Jordan Water Infrastructure project worked with the Water Authority and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to develop that capacity. Conducted from August 2020 to March 2021, this pilot project resulted in a doubling of the Water Authority of Jordan’s capacity to process wastewater samples for COVID-19 measurement.

The pilot began with the development of a plan for COVID-19 surveillance in the Ain Ghazal sewer system, which serves more than 2 million people in the city of Amman. The plan identifies locations for obtaining wastewater samples, outlines different levels of monitoring to be conducted based on clinical data, and includes actions to be taken when COVID-19 is detected at one of the monitoring locations.

USAID purchased the equipment and supplies required to improve testing sensitivity and efficiency at the Water Authority’s virology laboratory. Through practical training, the project developed the skills of the Water Authority technicians in all aspects of wastewater surveillance, from sample collection to analysis and reporting.

Water authority staff involved in the activity also received training in COVID-19 health and safety protocols to ensure safe handling of wastewater samples. (Although the virus shed in wastewater has not been shown to be infective, the use of personal protective gear and other precautions are recommended).

November 2020 — Islam Asi, sample handler from Water Authority of Jordan Labs, and Bashar Khalil, CDM Smith representative, collecting samples from a sewer manhole outside the Ain Ghazal Pump Station Photo credit: USAID Jordan Water Infrastructure Activity

The lessons from the Ain Ghazal pilot project were shared during a virtual workshop on March 10, 2021. USAID and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation convened 50 experts from Jordan’s water sector, the Ministry of Health, the National Center for Security and Crisis Management, funding agencies, and academia to discuss how to use wastewater surveillance data as a supplement to clinical data on COVID-19. A member of USAID/Jordan’s water team explains that “Wastewater surveillance can identify COVID-19 hotspots, provide early warning of new outbreaks, and confirm trends in clinical data’’.

The project also used these lessons to develop a “road map” for expanding Jordan’s surveillance system to cover everyone in the country who is served by sewers. The road map, which is part of the project report, emphasizes the need to define specific public health actions to be linked to the wastewater data.

National testing can complement clinical testing data and help allocate critical public health resources to manage the spread of COVID-19. And because many other human pathogens can be measured in wastewater, development of wastewater surveillance capacity in Jordan will also be helpful for management of outbreaks of diseases — both known and unknown — other than COVID-19.

By the Global Waters Communication and Knowledge Management Activity supported by USAID’s RFS Center for Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Using Wastewater Surveillance to Monitor COVID-19 was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

✇UN-Water Affiliated News

New website for WASAG – the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture

By: Anna Nylander

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosts the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) in its Land and Water Division. Now, FAO has launched … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Online course on gender and integrated water resources management

By: Anna Nylander

A free, online course on gender and integrated water resources management (IWRM) is available until 31 March 2022. It is accessible on the Cap-Net virtual campus, and was jointly developed … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Workshop series on water quality monitoring

By: Anna Nylander

From the 29-31 March 2022 is the three-day opening workshop of the World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA) workshop series on water quality monitoring. The proposed series of workshops aims at … Read more

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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Webinar: Restoring Freshwater

By: Anna Nylander

As part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will host a webinar called … Read more

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10 Ways USAID is addressing Water Scarcity in Iraq

By: USAID Water Team

Abdi Ali, a farmer in Ninewa, proudly shows off a recently harvested pepper. USAID equipped Ali’s farm with a solar panel to pump water from his well, which helped him better irrigate his crops. Photo Credit: ICRI Ta’afi for USAID.

In Iraq, rising temperatures, reduced rainfall, and dropping water levels are all increasing the risk of drought and desertification. Growing water scarcity across the country threatens the health and livelihoods of at least seven million Iraqis. As water resources dry up, so too do the chances of long-term stability and prosperity.

Despite this harsh reality, hope remains where there is action. From rehabilitating wells and water treatment facilities to upgrading water networks to improve efficiency and increase water loss, here are ten ways USAID is helping to address water scarcity across Iraq.

  1. Upgrading Water Treatment Plants in 11 Provinces. USAID improved operations and maintenance of 70 water treatment plants across the provinces of Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, Basra, Ninewa, Wasit, Najaf, Diyala, Muthanna, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah, helping over 8 million Iraqis gain improved access to clean water.

A technician from the Ifras Water Center in Erbil adjusts the water intake settings according to the new operations and maintenance protocol introduced by USAID’s IGPA/Takamul project. IGPA supports water directorates across Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region better respond to citizens’ needs for potable water by improving water systems workflow and operations. Photo Credit: Maria Lourdes Luces, IGPA/Takamul Project for USAID.

2. Bringing Clean Water to Basrah. In 2018, after decades of overuse, pollution, and reduced rainfall from climate change, Basrah’s main water source became severely contaminated, sending 118,000 residents to the hospital due to water poisoning. In response to the water crisis, USAID rehabilitated nine of Basrah’s major water treatment plants to ensure they meet both local and international standards. The renovated treatment plants are bringing safe, clean water to more than 625,000 residents.

3. Modernizing Water Management. USAID is providing the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources with a state-of-the-art water management system to help the Ministry make strategic decisions on water conservation and counter the impacts of climate change, such as drought and flooding. As a symbol of its steadfast partnership, USAID just signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Iraq to promote its ongoing commitment to ensuring more sustainable water management.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller signs a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Government of Iraq at the International Water Conference in Baghdad in early March 2022. The Memorandum of Understanding reinforces the ongoing partnership between USAID and the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources. Photo Credit: IGPA/Takamul for USAID.

4. Rehabilitating Critical Water Infrastructure in West Mosul. When the Old West Water Project’s eight water pumps started failing, over half of West Mosul residents struggled to access enough water for their daily needs. USAID provided eight new water pumps and repaired the pump station building, which increased the Project’s pumping capacity, helping more water reach the 30 neighborhoods connected to the network.

A snapshot from a recent USAID-supported outreach activity in Mosul to raise awareness on the importance of water conservation. Photo Credit: ICRI Ta’afi for USAID.

5. Ensuring Safe, Potable Water in West Anbar. Western Anbar is one of the driest regions in Iraq. By rehabilitating water treatment plants and local distribution networks, USAID helped provide over one million Anbar residents with reliable access to safe, clean water.

6. Increasing Water Access in Soran. Soran is a city located in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region of Iraq and is home to about 125,000 residents. USAID and Coca-Cola, through the Water and Development Alliance (WADA), partnered with the Soran Water Directorate to improve water management practices, resulting in approximately 100 million liters of water saved annually and improving water access to 35,000 residents.

The team in Soran installs new water pipes across the city as part of the USAID-supported Water and Development Alliance, in partnership with Coca-Cola and the Soran Water Directorate. Photo Credit: WADA for USAID.

7. Saving Water in Five Governorates. USAID support to water directorates in Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, Basrah, and Ninewa have helped detect, document, and repair water losses more effectively and efficiently, resulting in up to 30 percent water savings.

8. Empowering Government Entities. The ISIS occupation left the water supply networks in Ninewa and Western Anbar seriously damaged and unable to meet residents’ needs. As a result households were forced to rely on expensive, unreliable, and low-quality water deliveries. USAID worked with the water directorates and equipped them with new water pumps, which increased the water supply to over 680,000 people across 46 residential areas.

USAID equipped the Ninewa Water Directorate with 8 low-flow water pumps, which increased the Directorate’s capacity in pumping water to residential areas. The head of the directorate confirmed, “After USAID support, the water station supply of water had increased from 5,000 m3/h to 9,000 m3/h”. Photo Credit: ICRI Ta’afi for USAID.

9. Boosting Awareness for Sustainable Consumption. Many Iraqis are not aware of how their personal water use can impact overall water scarcity. USAID launched a national online campaign with a series of educational videos to raise awareness of Iraq’s ongoing water crisis and promote more responsible water consumption. Since the start of the campaign, the videos have been viewed by over one million Iraqis. (See example below)

10. Pumping Up Irrigation to Farmers. Between climate change reducing rainfall and wells damaged by ISIS, farmers returning home to Ninewa and Western Anbar struggled to restart their activities. USAID fully operationalized 87 irrigation wells, which helped over 350 farming families start back up their farms and earn incomes for their families.

By Clara McLinden, Senior Development Outreach and Communications Specialist for USAID in Iraq.

10 Ways USAID is addressing Water Scarcity in Iraq was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

✇Water Integrity Network

What is sextortion and what does it have to do with water and sanitation?

By: Water Integrity Network

Back to basics: here’s a factsheet to better understand ‘sextortion’, a gendered form of corruption where sex is the currency of the bribe.

“When a person is hungry, thirsty, or short on cash, she gets desperate and will do anything to survive. In this position, they don’t have much to do. This is exploited by powerful people.”

Key Informant Interview, Korail-Dhaka (2021), forthcoming WIN research study on sextortion in Bangladesh

Many women, particularly poor women in vulnerable communities where infrastructure is inadequate, face sextortion on a regular basis when fetching water or accessing sanitation facilities. It’s an abhorrent act that needs to be better recognised and addressed in the water and sanitation sectors, with more awareness, training, support for survivors, and safe reporting mechanisms.


Also available in FR: Qu'est-ce que la sextorsion ? and in ES: ¿ Qué es la sextorsión ?


Find out:

  • What is sextortion?
  • What does sextortion have to do with water and sanitation?
  • How does sextortion impact women and their human rights to water and sanitation?
  • How can water integrity help combat sextortion?



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✇UN-Water Affiliated News

Gender equality in water governance: 10 stories of multi-stakeholder partnerships

By: Anna Nylander

A new multimedia publication by the Global Water Partnership (GWP), released on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022, celebrates the way women in all corners of the globe are continuing … Read more

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