The Water Resources Group aims to close the gap between water demand and supply by 2030.
The gap between water supply and demand is projected to reach 40% by 2030 if current practices continue. In many places, demand is already exceeding sustainable supply. In other places, water scarcity is already hindering economic growth.
Water insecurity risks triggering global food crises. Economic growth and more unpredictable weather patterns increase competition for access to water, impacting citizens, farmers, industries, governments and environmental protection organizations. This means that solutions must engage all user groups, experts and decision-makers from the public- and private-sectors and civil society.
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) creates a neutral platform where the public-sector, business and civil society can collectively identify and agree on ways to improve water resource management in individual countries. This approach brings together stakeholders who wouldn’t otherwise meet to discuss water issues, including heads of government, ministers who oversee energy, finance and economic growth, global chief executives, and NGOs and development agencies.
The 2030 WRG launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2008. The Forum incubated it from 2010 until 2012. Since then, the International Finance Corporation (on behalf of the World Bank Group) has hosted it. From January 2018, it will be hosted within the World Bank Water Global Practice, forming the key public-private partnership in its portfolio of multi-donor trust funds. The Forum served as the secretariat during the incubation phase. It continues to chair the steering board and holds a seat on the governing council, the highest decision-making body.
The 2030 WRG currently has programmes in 14 countries/states: Bangladesh, Brazil (São Paulo state), Ethiopia, India (national-level plus Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh), Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Viet Nam.
The System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security aims to find new ways to protect and value the global environmental commons. It does this by convening leading experts, innovators, investors, businesses, policy makers and civil society to support interventions that flip existing norms to create systemic change that reverses negative environmental trends.
The 2030 WRG grew from a nucleus of champions to a vibrant network of more than 500 actors, demonstrating tangible results in just five years. Focus areas include agricultural water efficiency, urban water management and water governance, industrial water management and economic incentives.
A pilot project on improving irrigation system efficiency through automation closed 3% of the national water gap in South Africa, and showed significant potential for scaling-up. South Africa’s No Drop programme is on track to help the country close more than 23% of the projected 2030 national water gap.
Mining sector analysis in Mongolia helped stakeholders understand that demand-side solutions are more cost-effective than surface water transfers worth around $1.3 billion. Eight companies have adopted a voluntary code of practice for mine water management in the region.
The 2030 WRG partnership supported the introduction of regulations to address critically low groundwater levels in Peru's coastal aquifers, which supply most of the country’s industrial and agricultural activity.
The Karnataka Sugarcane Platform in India secured government funding of $250 million to catalyse finance for drip irrigation to reduce water use by the region’s 700,000 sugarcane farmers. In the state of Maharashtra, a large-scale partnership is bringing together the government, global clothing brands, agribusiness industry and civil society to improve water security and the livelihoods of 500,000 cotton farmers.