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Nov 14 2011
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From October 29 to November 4, the city of Amsterdam will host the first International Water Week in the Netherlands (IWW). One of the conferences that was organized during the week of the event is the conference Water Operators’ Partnerships.

The Broker covers this conference and want to use this conference to share experiences of around the world in public to public partnerships and the Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs). Realizing the Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation (MDG 7c) is a huge challenge, in a great part of the world. Public water utilities and WOPs can play a significant role in order to achieve those MDGs, by sharing their know-how and experiences with colleagues in a deprived situation.

The former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the Chair of UNSGAB, Prince of Orange Willem Alexander, initiated the founding of the Global Waters Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA ) to promote and to support Water Operators’ Partnerships worldwide. GWOPA was launched in January 2009.

The concept of WOPs is based on exchanging know-how on the daily routine of integrated water management, aiming at capacity development on a not-for-profit basis. Through capacity development water utilities are able to develop themselves into well performing water operators. This means, water operators are capable of supplying drinking water and sanitary provisions to all the people in their concession area in a safe water environment. The ultimate goal is to develop these utilities into excellent performing water operators, competent and willing to share their know-how with other utilities in the region.

What do the supported partners value in this collaboration? Do they perceive this type of partnerships as an effective mean to improve the drinking water and sanitation situation in their countries? Are WOPs considered the most effective and sustainable way of achieving MDGs? Let us listen to each other, generate debate and learn!

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