What is the DANUBIS.org Water Platform?

DANUBIS.org stands for Danube Utility Benchmarking and Information Sharing. The DANUBIS.org Water Platform is an online knowledge space of resources on water and wastewater services in South-East, Eastern, and Central Europe. DANUBIS.org is jointly managed by the World Bank and IAWD, the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area. 

How to use and participiate in DANUBIS.org Water Platform

 

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Sector News

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08 May 2017

2017 GLAAS report stresses need for increased efficiency and new sources of funding

Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new GLAAS (Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water) report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of UN-Water - the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater-related issues, including sanitation.

“Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. 

The report stresses that countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding. According to the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report, countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene at an annual average rate of 4.9% over the last three years. Yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets for WASH services.

In many developing countries, current national coverage targets are based on achieving access to basic infrastructure, which may not always provide continuously safe and reliable services. Planned investments have yet to take into account the much more ambitious SDG targets, which aim for universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030.

In order to meet the SDG global targets, the World Bank estimates investments in infrastructure need to triple to US $114 billion per year - a figure which does not include operating and maintenance costs.

While the funding gap is vast, 147 countries have previously demonstrated the ability to mobilize the resources required to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without an improved source of water, and 95 met the corresponding target for sanitation. The much more ambitious SDG targets will require collective, coordinated and innovative efforts to mobilize even higher levels of funding from all sources: taxes, tariffs (payments and labour from households), and transfers from donors. 

"This is a challenge we have the ability to solve," says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization. "Increased investments in water and sanitation can yield substantial benefits for human health and development, generate employment and make sure that we leave no one behind."

Download the report here


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 May 2017

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19 April 2017

IWA Performance Indicators Conference 2017 - Program available

Appropriate performance indicators are essential for describing the quality of water supply. However, these are often difficult to establish: while they should be universally applicable, they should yet take account of special characteristics as well. Every other year, the IWA Benchmarking und Performance Assessment Specialist Group organises a conference showcasing international projects, applications and developments. This time, this international forum is to take place in Vienna (15 - 17 May 2017) and will offer participants an opportunity to keep up-to-date with the state of the art in the important field of performance indicators. The conference organised in Vienna by the International Water Asscotiation (IWA) and the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD) offers in-depth international information ranging from research to practical applications and will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Danube Water Conference (17 - 18 May 2017).

Please find the Program of the PI2017 here.

Walter Kling, IAWD Secretary General: “Technical performance indicators such as those determined by benchmarking are not to serve as justification vis-à-vis stakeholders but were developed to be able to measure one’s performance against that of industry colleagues and perhaps in this way to spot improvement potentials for one’s home company. However, consumers and political decision-makers, too, want to have access to data that discloses whether a water utility is well managed.”

To register for the IWA Performance Indicator Conference 2017, please go to www.iwa-pi2017.org!


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 19 April 2017

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13 April 2017

Sustainability of Water Services in Bosnia and Herzegovina

BANJA LUKA, 6 April 2017 On 5 and 6 April 2017 a regional conference on „Sustainability of water services in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was organized by the Association for Water and Environmental Protection Sector „Aquasan Network in B&H“,  Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations in B&H, Association „Waterworks RS“, Association of Employers of Utility Companies of the FB&H“, and the Association of Cities and Municipalities of the FB&H and the Association of Municipalities and Cities of the RS. The conference was held in Banja Luka.

Main objective of the conference was to support public utility companies (PUC) and local government units (LGU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) to actively strengthen their organizational, institutional and human capacities and create a supportive legal and institutional framework with the aim of increasing quality,  operational and financial sustainability of water services.

More than 150 participants from B&H and the Southeast Europe (SEE) attended the conference. In addition to the relevant representatives of the administration from all levels in B&H, including representatives of the relevant state, entity, cantonal ministries, entity agencies for water and environmental funds, representatives of LGUs and their PUCs, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as representatives of national and international financial institutions (IFIs) operating in B&H and SEE.

The conference began with a very attractive, but so far insufficiently tackled topic focused on the interest of young professionals for the field of water supply and wastewater disposal. Emphasis was given to the quality networking of academia and the labor market, to provide young professionals with the opportunity to answer the real needs of the market upon completion of their studies. The initiative to establish a network of young professionals was presented, as well as a new Facebook page, "Young water professionals and B&H" following the example of the support that the International Association for Water (IWA) provides to young professionals with the aim to empower the next generation of leaders in this sector. Edin Basic, a student of the fifth year of master study at Civil Engineering stated "As a final year student, I am very pleased that this topic was presented and discussed at such an important event, and I express my gratitude for the opportunity to offer students information what is available at the market, and to provide them opportunity to share vision on their involvement in the water and environmental protection sector ".

Establishing contacts with IWA to establish a network of young professionals in B&H is one of the conclusions of this session, according to the example of countries in SEE. Aquasan Network will invest efforts to transfer good practice and experience, and to establish cooperation between IWA and civil engineering faculties in B&H.

 

The possible ways to address the challenges faced by LGUs and their PUCs in B&H in terms of the sustainability of the quality of water services, relations with the founders and other levels of government were also presented during the conference. The participants were actively involved in the discussions on current topics, such as determining the procedure of adoption of water tariffs, optimizing the organizational structure of the PUCs, decisions on new investments, as well as the impact of those decisions on the increase of tariffs of services and their affordability for customers, asset management, reduction of non-revenue water etc. As Mrs. Branka Trninic, President of the Association "Waterworks RS" highlighted "Water services are services that must be available to consumers24 hours, and their sustainability means that quality water must be supplied, but also that this service must be paid in order to allow maintain infrastructure because water does not come alone to the customer."

 

Reference was made to the legal and institutional framework and the financial sustainability of water services.  The proposal of necessary changes in the regulation of water services in B&H was also presented. Through panel discussions, participants tackled the jurisdiction over water services, integration of the EU directives into laws on communal affairs, as well as the challenges of implementation of River Basin Management Plans. "The synergy between the LGUs and PUCs is necessary and only thus quality service for customers can be provided. The conference is a good opportunity for those who have already gone through the implementation of specific projects to communicate their experiences to others in order to avoid problems and challenges during the project realization, "explained Mr. Ibrahim Mujakic, a representative of the Municipality of Cazin.

New programs to strengthen the capacities of PUCs and LGUs in B&H offered by IFIs and donors, as well as a participation in those programs were presented during the second day of the conference.

Good response of national and international stakeholders has prompted organizers to seize this opportunity and to openly discuss the topic "Supporting the coordination between donors and IFIs and relevant institutions/organizations in B&H". Participants were content with an opportunity to exchange information, but also to learn more about, on the one hand local needs, and on the other hand, the offer of IFIs and donors, and to try as much as possible to reconcile these needs and offers. As a representative of the donor, Mrs. Violeta Wolff, one behalf of the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Basin (IAWD) stated the following "Donors are very interested to support PUCs, but need to identify those needs, especially the needs for capacity building". She praised the organization of a platform for dialogue in the framework of the conference, where donors and IFIs have had the opportunity to exchange information on the needs of local companies and institutions and offers of donors.

 

Conference participants have confirmed that water services are the most relevant and of highest priority to citizens, these are the services that require high quality and a 24-hour supply, but also  have a direct impact on the health of citizens and local economic development.

 

 

The main conference conclusions are:

  1. Horizontal and vertical coordination and continuation of dialogue necessary between all stakeholders on the current challenges in the water services sector, particularly on the sustainability of the PUCs and steps to be taken in order to initiate the necessary changes in the sector,
  2. It is important to strengthen cooperation between LGUs and PUCs, and their unions and associations,
  3. The needs should be properly identified, formulated and presented to local decision-makers, as well as IFIs and donors,
  4. Additional support is needed in the analysis of the regulatory framework in order to prepare a systematic and structured solutions and defining more precisely the competences, i.e. the rights and obligations, roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders,
  5. Systemic approach necessary to strengthen human, organizational and institutional capacities of PUCs and LGUs,
  6. Process of changes should be led by B&H institutions and organizations,
  7. Young professionals in the sector of water supply and wastewater should receive specific support, but they need to take the initiative.

Support to the implementation of the conference was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of Una-Sana Canton. Additional support was provided by the Open Regional Fund for Modernization of Municipal Services in SEE (GIZ) and the Danube water program (DWP), through the IAWD.

 


Contributed by Emilija Mazar on 13 April 2017

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Business Opportunities

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Job Opening

@ Romania

04 April 2017

UNDP looking for Climate Change Expert

The purpose of this project is to transfer technologies for climate resilient flood management in Vrbas River Basin (VRB), UNDP, BiH to enable the communities of the Vrbas basin to adapt to flood risk through the transfer of adaptation technologies for climate resilient flood management,   upgrade and rehabilitation of the hydrometric monitoring network, development of a flood forecasting system and early warning system, development of emergency response plans, and provision of training in flood-specific civil protection.  

The overall objective of this assignment is to prepare a plan of action for climate change adaptation in VRB with a focus on the most vulnerable sectors: agriculture and water management.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 04 April 2017

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Job Opening

@ Montenegro

07 March 2017

Communications Officer Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med)

The Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med) is seeking to hire a Communications Officer that will undertake related activities in the framework of the work programme of the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in Southeastern Europe, and the Thematic areas of (i) Transboundary Water Resources Management; (ii) Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 March 2017

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Calls and Tenders

@ REGIONAL

07 March 2017

Global Competition for #YouthLed Projects: Flood & Drought Special

The significance of engaging young people in the design and implementation of policies, plans and standards in Disaster Risk Reduction has been recognized by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The Youth Forum at the Budapest Water Summit 2016 further showed that young people are unified across disciplines and scales to understand, innovate and adapt to the complex and dynamic nature of the global water system and climate change.

There is a need for continued opportunities and resources for youth participation in decision-making, (applied) research, and project/programme creation and management to utilise youth’s innovative capacity for social change and sustainable development.

This competition has been designed to showcase the practical examples and cases on how an integrated approach to flood and drought risk management has been advanced in practice by or through the involvement of youth under the following three themes:

A.    Understanding risk: Participatory data collection (hazard, exposure, vulnerability), risk modelling tools, assessment and mapping and risk communication

B.    Early Warning System development: Impact based forecasting, needs assessment, warning communication (technologies), response, and warning evaluation

C.    Risk management and planning: Identifying, evaluating and implementing mitigation, preparedness, recovery and response measures at the local level


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 March 2017

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Danubis.org News

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16 May 2017

Summary of April 24, 2017 DANUBIS.org Steering Group meeting

Please find the Minutes of the DANUBIS.org Steering Group Meeting on 24 April 2017 attached.

 


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 May 2017

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11 May 2017

How to enter the DANUBIS.org Breakfast on 19 May?

Did you know the origin of the term “Benchmark”?

The term “bench mark”, or “benchmark”, originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a "bench" for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future. These marks were usually indicated with a chiseled arrow below the horizontal line. Even today, brass plates can be found all over the U.K. displaying the letters “OSBM” (Ordnance Survey Bench Mark).

Today, benchmarking is most used to measure performance using a specific indicator (cost per unit of measure, productivity per unit of measure, cycle time of x per unit of measure or defects per unit of measure) resulting in a metric of performance that is then compared to others.

If you want to learn more about the benchmarking database on DANUBIS.org, please use the password “Benchmark” to enter the DANUBIS.org Breakfast!

 


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 11 May 2017

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06 April 2017

Next DANUBIS.org Steering Group meeting

The next DANUBIS.org Steering group meeting will take place virtually through video-conferencing on 24 April at 1pm (CET). Details will be shared with members of the Steering Group in due course. If you would like to participate, please contact Philip Weller (weller@iawd.at) or Katerina Schilling (schilling@iawd.at). 


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 06 April 2017

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Upcoming Events

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@ REGIONAL

MEP Water Group

Public session on the United Nations World Water Development Report 2017 ‘Wastewater: The Untapped Resource’

Brussels, Belgium // 06 June 2017

Course / Training

Language: english

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 12 April 2017

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@ Austria

TU Wien

River Basins 2017 - Programme available

Vienna, Austria // 19 June 2017 - 20 June 2017

Conference / Workshop

River Basins is a biannual conference which provides a platform for the exchange of recent progresses and research in the field of river basin management. This includes the quantification of water and mass fluxes, the investigation of processes in river systems and ecological research as well as the implementation of promising management strategies.
Originally promoted and hosted by KIT Karlsruhe, for the first time the edition River Basins 2017 (http://www.riverbasins.kit.edu) will be hosted by TU Wien in Vienna (Austria) in a beautiful venue with view on the historic city center.

The theme will be Transboundary Management of Pollutants, with focus on Monitoring strategies, Modelling and Management.

Language: English

Contributed by Ottavia Zoboli on 10 January 2017

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WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT

@ REGIONAL

German Experts Association for Environmental Technology and Infrastructure

8th DEX Summer School on Wastewater Treatment Plant Design and Advances in Energy Positive Wastewater Treatment

Rottenbach, Austria // 02 July 2017 - 07 July 2017

Course / Training

Dex Summer School started in 2009 and was successfully continued since then with more than 120 participants from more than 12 different countries.

The 2017 program follows the strategy of maintaining basic lectures enriched with new topics of interest. As a special feature in 2017, part of the summer school will be held together with the summer school of the EU financed project POWERSTEP in Vienna, where innovative and cutting-edge research on creating energy positive wastewater treatment plants will be presented.

Post graduate and doctoral students, young water professionals from consulting companies, utilities and equipment suppliers from all over Europe are welcome to apply. Special emphasis is placed on participation of young water professionals from the new EU and accession countries in Central and Eastern Europe (sponsoring of fee is possible with a separate application supported by a supervisor).

More Information can be found in the pdf.

Cost: € 390.-

Language: English

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 28 February 2017

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Country resources

Sector strategy

20 March 2017

Pdf file available in:

(0.0/0)

AMAC Association

Sector Strategy for development of hydrographic basin of Black Sea - Prut District - Cycle 1, 2017 – 2022

Approved and edited in accordance with EU Directive 2000/60/CE by European Parliament and by Council from 23 October 2000, for stabilizing a unique politic frame, in Water Supply and Water Legislation #272 from 23.11.2011

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Contributed by Iuri Nistor on 20 March 2017

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Sector strategy

20 March 2017

Pdf file available in:

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AMAC Association

Management Plan for the Danube-Prut and Black Sea

River Basin Management Plan for the Danube-Prut and Black Sea pilot river basin district in the limits of the Republic of Moldova
Cycle I, 2017 – 2022

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Contributed by Iuri Nistor on 20 March 2017

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Government policy or strategy

09 March 2017

Pdf file available in:

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Iurii Nistor

INFO-EDUCATIONAL BULLETIN #16

Government Decision of Republic Moldova #1467 on 30 December 2016 for approval of "Regulations for public access to information regarding environment"

(Published: 24.02.2017 in Official Monitor #60-66 art: #132

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Contributed by Iuri Nistor on 09 March 2017

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Sector resources

Good Practice review

2017

Pdf file available in:

(5.0/1)

Geert Engelsman & Michel Leushuis

Review of success stories in urban water utility reform

Infrastructure is more than contract signing and cornerstone laying. Once the ribbons are cut, adequate operation and maintenance is required to reach the life-time potential of the built assets. In many countries, the reality is far from this ideal; Public Utilities struggle to sustain their infrastructure systems. Daily work is dominated by fire-fighting problems, rather than by good business conduct.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has published a new Review and Tool on how Public Utilities evolve into effective institutions. We wanted to learn from successful utility turn-arounds. Eight successful cases were studied to extract the factors that led success. The Tool helps to assess where a utility is in its development or reform process and offers guidance on potential reform paths, accommodating for the political context of the utility. The Tool can support a structured dialogue amongst the stakeholders in a utility reform process, the formulation of a utility-specific reform strategy, and the monitoring of reforms.

The review and tool can be downloaded from the SECO Infrastructure Financing website in the download section at the bottom of the page.

Publisher: Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO,

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Contributed by Cliff Hammer on 20 May 2017

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Background or theoretical study

2017

Pdf file available in:

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ICPDR

The 2015 Droughts in the Danube River Basin

In 2015 significant parts of the Danube River Basin were affected by droughts which negatively impacted different water-dependent economic sectors, vegetation and the aquatic environment. This is the latest of a series of events which occurred in Europe during the last decade. Similarly to the summer of 2003, a large part of continental Europe was affected by a severe drought in summer 2015, as a consequence of the combination of rain shortages and very high temperatures which resulted in high plant water requirement levels. Significant drought phenomena were experienced in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Following the 2015 droughts event, the ICPDR decided at the 18th Ordinary Meeting in December 2015 “to elaborate a report on the impacts of droughts in the Danube Basin in 2015, the measures taken and lessons learned”. The 2015 Droughts in the Danube River Basin Report includes an overview on the main characteristics of the meteorological and hydrological situation during 2015, summarises the main impacts on water-related sectors and includes an overview of measures which were taken by the individual Danube countries. Based on the analysis and discussions, lessons learned and conclusions for the Danube basin wide and national level were agreed which are summarised in the final chapter of the Report. The Report was adopted by the ICPDR at the 19th Ordinary Meeting in December 2016 and can be downloaded from this page.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 March 2017

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Manual or training material

2016

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Robert Bos

Manual of the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners

The aim of this Manual is to promote informed decision-making by operators, managers and regulators in their daily routine, as well as to encourage them to engage actively in the national debates that will take place in many countries where the HRWS is being translated into national and local policy, legislation, and regulation.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 February 2017

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