Water as Leverage: Solutions to Water Related Challenges

During the recent Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia event in Singapore, 6 international teams  presented their designs aimed to turn water, urban and climate problems into opportunities. Dutch water-ambassador Henk Ovink was there in support of the teams during one of the workshop stages.

Man fishing

A man fishing in Semarang, Indonesia.

The local and international multidisciplinary teams represented the cities: Chennai (India), Khulna (Bangladesh) and Semarang (Indonesia). Their goal: design innovative and inclusive solutions to meet water related challenges in their region.

The 6 proposals - 2 per city - were selected from 35 schemes in early 2018. The designs were developed during 2 workshops. The first: local authorities and stakeholders; the second involved the teams’ conceptional designs which were presented to the financial sector.

The teams will continue to further develop their conceptual designs during a third workshop later this year. They will present their proposals during the next local meetings, that will take place in Chennai, Semarang and Khulna. At that stage, the 6 proposals will be converted into bankable projects.

Why bank involvement?

It was important to get the backing of the financial sector at an early stage of a project.  In the Water as Leverage program the banks are an crucial part of the engagement. By involving the banks early on, gives them a partnership role in the creation and development  of the projects, according to Henk Ovink, Dutch water envoy.

The financial sector’s positive response makes Ovink hopeful for the next phase of the Water as Leverage program.

Water as Leverage

The Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia program wants to be different. It aims to involve the international financial world, development banks and governments at the early stages of developing innovative, bankable and implementable ideas, so to prepare regions for natural disasters. The project’s aim is to accelerate climate change adaptation, through innovation interventions developed in and with the communities at risk, and with the partners that will manage the implementation.