International water stewardship programme: ensuring water security through joint action

Project description

Title: International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
Country: Ethiopia, Grenada, Kenya, Pakistan, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Lead executing agency: Grenada: Ethiopia: Ministry of Industry (TBC);
Grenada: Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries; Kenya: Ministry of Water and Irrigation;
Pakistan: Ministry of Textile Industry; Saint Lucia: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM);
South Africa: Department of Water Affairs; Tanzania: Ministry of Water; Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment; Zambia: Ministry of Energy and Water Development
Overall term: 2013 to 2019


Global demand for water is increasing rapidly. With a fast growing population and steady economic growth, the demand for water is increasingly exceeding the amount available. In 2030, almost half of the world’s population will live in regions suffering from significant water stress due to the impacts of climate change. Effective approaches are required that involve all interest groups, especially the private sector. This will enable stakeholders to work together to implement measures to reduce water risks.


Actors from the public and private sectors and from civil society are contributing more to achieve water security. By the end of 2019, more than 1.23 million people will benefit directly from improved water security.


The term ‘water stewardship’ means that all water users take responsibility for their own influence on a shared resource and work together to manage it sustainably. This reflects the understanding that the problems and risks associated with water cannot be solved by individuals, but can only be addressed through coordinated collective action.

The International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) is an initiative that was launched at the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference. This international conference focused on interactions and interdependency in the supply of water and other resources. GIZ is implementing the transnational, multi-donor German development programme, which is limited to seven years. It coordinates the programme, monitors its progress and acts as the contact point between bilateral and regional partners. Projects are implemented in line with the Water Risk and Action Framework (WRAF) approach, which provides multilateral partnerships with methodological guidance and practical examples, enabling them to improve water security. In cooperation with partners from governments, companies and civil society, the programme identifies, develops and implements measures to reduce shared water risks. The private sector contributes financially to implementation.

The programme acts as an intermediary in this context, establishes a basis of trust between the stakeholders and thus improves the prerequisites and conditions for successful cooperation. In the nine countries currently active in the programme, the measures are implemented in close cooperation with the bilateral and regional projects of German development cooperation. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides funding for the programme.


To date, the programme has cooperated with over 30 companies and has been involved in 29 partnerships. These include international trading, drinks and agri-food businesses such as Coca-Cola, SABMiller/AB InBev, Marks & Spencer, Heineken, Kinyara Sugar and Olam, national companies such as Woolworths South Africa, the South African insurance firm Santam and the chemicals company Sasol.

Through its advisory services, the programme has succeeded in securing materials, equipment and financing worth over EUR 3.3 million from the private sector and over EUR 1.8 million through partnerships with the public sector.

Thus far, more than 860,000 people have benefited in a number of ways from the activities of the programme. These activities include cooperation with flower growing farms and European flower dealers, public institutions, water user organisations and people living around Lake Naivasha, one of the large freshwater lakes in East Africa.

Additional information