The GWP, in turn, will translate the global consensus on water management, as well as the options as presented by the Council, into field-based services to developing countries while developing a strategic action plan that would demonstrate the special role of the World Water Council.
The Global Water Partnership (GWP) was formally established in August 1996. GWP asserts that to manage water sustainable for continued human development, the competing uses for water must be reconciled. This can occur only if the parties competing for fresh water share the mutual goal of appropriately adjusting their demands and engage in a dialogue on how to do so. Integrated Water Resources Management IWRM) is the means to reach this goal, and it aims to ensure the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources by maximizing economic and social welfare without comprising the sustainability of vital economic systems.
GWP is an international network open to all organisations involved in water resources management: developed and developing country government institutions, agencies of the United Nations, bi-and multilateral development banks, professional associations, research institutes, NGOs, and the private sector. The partnership is funded by development cooperation agencies, so initial activities have focused on water issues in developing countries. Newly industrialized countries will be addressed within 1998, and in time, it is envisioned that developed countries will be addressed. A strategic plan that envisions the Partnership’s growth over the next five to ten years has been developed for annual review and distribution.
GWP has four arms of governance: the Consultative Group, the Steering Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee, and the Secretariat. The GWP will
o Support integrated water resources management by collaborating with governments and existing networks, and by forging new collaborative arrangements;
o Encourage governments, aid agencies and other stakeholders to adopt consistent and complementary policies and programmes;
o Build and reinforce mechanisms for sharing information and experience;
o Develop innovative and effective solutions to problems common to integrated water resources management;
o Suggest practical policies and good practices based on these solutions; and
o Help match needs to available resources.
By providing for a mechanism through which donors, the private sector, and water resources professionals can exchange information and needs, investments toward improved water infrastructure and management of it are more likely. GWP has identified two specific tools toward this end. A Financial Support Group (FSG) of donor agencies is being formed so that the donor community may work together to rationalise their financial support to the international priorities for water resources management, as identified by the GWP TAC. The FSG will also exist to provide a forum for debate among the donors about the criteria for their support to other (bilateral) water resources programmes. The FSG will meet annually, and their meetings will be open to all; only donor agencies may actively participate, however. Another major tool for professional exchange is the GWP Water Forum.