Tempering the focus on higher efficiencies
The call for improving water useefficiencies is supported and it is suggested that it be complemented by equal, if not more, focuson conservation in all uses. There were suggestions to further refine the strategy for promotinghigher efficiencies in agriculture to take into account the need to distinguish efficiency at field,system and basin levels – a fundamentally important issue that may be difficult for ADB toachieve. It is also suggested that variation in country and local conditions be considered whenpromoting efficiencies.6.
Setting realistic expectations from private sector participation
. Stimulatingincreased participation of private sector is supported. However, in the light of ADB’s weakperformance to date in private sector water operations, and the dearth of examples in ruralareas in the developing world (not just Asia), participants suggested that expectations for privatesector participation be set more carefully and worded in a manner that empowers governmentsto move ahead with promoting PSP while taking the views of civil society into account.7.
Maximizing existing capacities and expanding them
. Further discussions on makingbetter use of ADB’s existing capacities are needed, as well as in agreeing which capacitiesshould be further expanded and how. The Water Committee and CoP should be encouraged totake an active part in the discussion considering that it’s them who will benefit from improvedcapacities.8.
Agreeing how ADB should convey the message about the social and economicvalue of water
. The paper’s focus on the economic approach to water use efficiency isunderstood. However, due to sensitivities attached to promoting water as an economic good, itmay be prudent to be consistent with what the
Water for All
policy espouses, that is, “water is asocially vital economic good” and sustainable development and IWRM approaches must stressthe need for water management to balance economic, social and environmental outcomes.9.
Providing for resources to support
demand management approaches
. The shift inparadigm that the paper is trying to promote requires resources to be invested in labor intensivework for policy reforms, behavior changes, institutional reform, within the social and politicaleconomy. It is suggested that the costs associated with this type of work be included.