In response to World Water Week in Stockholm last month, our partner WWF is hosting a water series on their blog On Balance to continue the conversation. Several different partners will be sharing their perspectives, and we're helping spread those stories here on Unbottled. Check back each day this week to get a snapshot of their posts and to jump into the conversation in the comments.

Last month’s World Water Week in Stockholm focused on how collaboration can help organisations develop solutions to the world’s water challenges. With the United Nations declaring 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, all eyes were on how partnerships can best work in practice.

From my point of view, it is partnerships involving the private sector that are moving things forward in the water development sector. The reason for this? It’s simply that, when working with the business world, there is no time to rest on one’s laurels. Projects must be delivered quickly and efficiently – because if a budget is not spent within a given time frame, with tangible results, there will be no more funds from the business partner.

It is this pay-cycle structure, and the way of thinking that prevails within the private sector, that has sparked a new era of productivity in water development projects. Business partners like The Coca-Cola Company act as a firelighter when it comes to creating more dynamic mechanisms within development agencies like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Wildlife Fund.  

So, working with the business sector can help development agencies move forward in terms of speed and efficiency. But collaboration within the development sector is important too. All too often, water-related activities duplicate each other with very similar projects existing in parallel. In the dry ‘badia’ areas of Jordan, for example, I have seen maybe 10 or 15 water harvesting projects funded by different donors, which are doing the same type of thing at any one time.

Bogachan discusses in deeper length why we clearly need to talk to each other more and stop reinventing the wheel on WWF's On Balance.

Bogachan Benli

Bogachan Benli, PhD - United Nations Development Programme/Every Drop Matters.

Every Drop Matters has funded over 60 innovative projects in 22 countries, from Croatia to Sri Lanka and from Belarus to Bangladesh. More than 800,000 people have directly benefited from the project, with over 300,000 of them now enjoying access to safe water and sanitation.