Water Operators Partnerships
Increasing the capacity of water operators
The role of water and wastewater utilities in attaining target 7 of the MDG’s is pivotal. Enhancing the ability of utilities to better serve existing customers and extending service provision, particularly to the urban poor, is critical if this target is to be met. The challenges that stand in the way of progress are manifold and many lie outside the remit or influence of a water operator. However, there are gains to be made through a variety of institutional, financial and technical mechanisms, whereby a water operator can incrementally work its way to better levels of service, accountability and financial feasibility. One such mechanism is Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs), a structured peer-to-peer support approach that facilitates the exchange and application of knowledge and skills from one utility to another.
Some of the key critical success factors for a WOP include the compatibility of utilities twinning, mutually agreed expectations and availability of financial and technical backstopping to enable their implementation. Within this context, as a global network of utilities, IWA has a leading role to play in promoting the WOPs approach to utilities and financiers, brokering of partnerships between utilities and the provision of technical assistance where required.