Ensuring sustainable water management for all by 2030

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We need to think more about urban and industrial water management.

Improving sustainable water management will close the water demand and supply gap.


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  • More than 1,000 partners from the private sector, government and civil society are working together through the 2030 Water Resources Group.
  • The group has facilitated close to $1 billion of financing for water-related programmes.
  • This multistakeholder collaboration aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

The world is not on track to achieving sustainable water management. We’re looking to change that.

The impact on improving water management.

The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 in Davos, Switzerland, to help close the gap between global water demand and supply by 2030.

Since its inception, the Forum-initiated 2030 WRG has grown into a network of more than 1,000 partners from the private sector, government and civil society and operates in 11 countries/states. To date, the 2030 WRG and its network have facilitated close to $1 billion of financing for water-related programmes and demonstrated tangible results in a number of areas, including:

  • Agricultural water efficiency
  • Urban and industrial water management
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Improved livelihoods for farmers

Through improved water pollution management and reducing the amount of water removed from natural sources, water abstraction, the group has managed to save nearly 1 billion cubic metres of water.

The 2030 WRG is concentrating its efforts on flagship accelerator projects. Initially, 5 of these projects will impact over 7 million people and facilitate over $400 million of financing within 3 years.


One accelerator initiative in Uttar Pradesh, India, is projected to benefit 1 million rice and sugarcane farmers. By mobilizing $100 million in private investments by 2025, the accelerator is working with agribusiness companies, technology players, and financial institutions, among others, to improve farm yields, reduce water and carbon footprints, and increase farmer incomes. The accelerator aims to drive a 10-fold increase in the area under water-efficient technologies such as Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) and drip irrigation, and a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from flooding of farmers’ fields. It builds on 2030 WRG’s experience in the Indian state of Karnataka, where it mobilized approximately $650 million in financing to implement automated community drip systems over 200,000 hectares of area. This approach has led to a doubling of the area under irrigation using the same amount of water.

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Other examples of water management impact include a collaboration with the German development agency GIZ which aims to advance circular economy solutions. Building on existing partnerships in Uttar Pradesh and Maharasthra, India, the 2030 WRG is improving the water-use efficiency and reuse of water in the Indian textile sector, and has secured over $1 million to support the adoption of wastewater reuse certificates.

Furthermore, 2030 WRG is leveraging disruptive technologies to upgrade Mongolia’s groundwater monitoring network. Launched in March 2021, Artificial Intelligence is enhancing a digital water platform for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and the Southern Gobi region, improving the quality of all groundwater level data. These datasets accurately predict the groundwater levels in the city up to six months in advance, enabling authorities in the capital city and the mining hubs to keep up with rapidly growing water demand and make better informed decisions. The Mongolian government is working with 2030 WRG to replicate this tool across the country.

What's the challenge with water management?

The gap between global water supply and demand is projected to reach 40% by 2030 if current practices continue. In many places, demand is already exceeding sustainable supply, and in others, water scarcity is hindering economic growth. Water insecurity risks triggering a global food crisis, while economic growth and more unpredictable weather patterns increase competition for access to water, impacting citizens, farmers, industries and governments. This means solutions for addressing the global water crisis must engage multiple stakeholders from all sectors of society.

Our approach to closing the water gap.

The 2030 WRG creates a neutral platform where the public and private sectors and civil society can collectively agree on ways to improve water resource management. This approach brings together relevant parties who would not otherwise meet to discuss water issues – stakeholders including heads of government, ministers who oversee energy, finance and/or economic growth, CEOs, and NGOs and development agencies.


How is the World Economic Forum fighting the climate crisis?

Following its launch in 2008, the 2030 Water Resources Group was incubated at the Forum from 2010 until 2012, when it moved to the International Finance Corporation. Since 2018, it has been hosted within the World Bank’s Water Global Practice, forming the key public-private partnership in the practice’s portfolio of multi-donor trust funds. The Forum served as the secretariat during the 2030 WRG’s incubation phase and continues to chair the steering board. It also holds a seat on the 2030 WRG’s governing council, the highest decision-making body.

The 2030 WRG currently has programmes in 11 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Viet Nam.

By engaging multiple stakeholders in these local programmes, the 2030 WRG is helping get back on track to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

How can you get involved?

The World Bank projects that water scarcity could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP by 2050. If your organisation is reversing the trend by improving water management at a regional or national level and you are interested in collaborating with the Forum and its partners, please contact us.

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