Water equity requires that each person shares access and entitlements to water, and benefits from water use. As we enter the post-2015 development era, we will mark a decade since the 2006 Human Development Report, which positioned power, poverty and inequality at the heart of the global water crisis. But while we have a good idea of the central challenge, we still lack workable solutions.
Building on ODI research, this new paper from the Water Policy Programme identifies four propositions for debate – areas where we need to chart a different path if we are to see meaningful progress on water equity in the decade to come:
- Acknowledging flux and instability, rather than stasis and stability, as the new normal.
- Building on existing entrepreneurial capacity at local level, rather than fixating only on big business.
- Focusing on secure entitlements to water for productive uses, as well as for drinking, hygiene and sanitation, to ensure benefits are broadly shared as competition for water grows.
- Giving due attention to political context and support for institutions, without prescribing ideal institutional forms.
Roger Calow, Nathaniel Mason