Supporting the European Commission in the Implementation of International Water Cooperation

Automatic irrigation system on an agricultural farm in the Western Cape of South Africa

Water insecurity ranks among the major risks facing humanity. Population growth, mismanagement, and climate change all cause and exacerbate this. The policies and laws of the EU to manage its freshwaters are among the most progressive ones globally: The Water Framework Directive and the Urban Wastewater Directive establish a framework for the EU member states to maintain and improve rivers, wetlands, lakes, and coastal waters. For many years, the EU has also been committed to supporting sustainable water management in countries and transboundary river basins outside Europe. Consequently, it has engaged in various cooperation activities at international, regional and national levels and supported various international initiatives.

This project aims to help the European Commission to improve its water cooperation with third countries and other international partners. To this end, the project partners, under the leadership of Fresh Thoughts Consulting, help the European Commission in sharing knowledge, best practices and lessons learnt with partner countries and other international initiatives. Analysing past and current EU water cooperation efforts and considering challenges and priorities of partner countries will form the basis for developing effective recommendations for future activities. The focus is set on partnerships with China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Iran, the Union for the Mediterranean, and selected international processes.

adelphi’s team focuses on South Africa with which the European Commission would like to expand its collaboration on water issues. adelphi will identify main challenges as well as regulatory and governance factors constraining investments in innovative and sustainable solutions in the South African water sector. In addition, the team will map existing collaborations between the European Union and South Africa and lessons that can be learnt from those engagements. Based on this, it will recommend topics and modalities for future cooperation.