The Water Resources Group wants to help manage your water

There is a new website up for The Water Resources Group. Those who have been following this group, which is part World Economic Forum, part IFC, part expert community may recall the report from 2009 about achieving Water Security by 2030 (pdf). That report was followed up by the book Water Security published by Island Press in 2011.

Given this history, it is interesting that on the new website (and on various pages) the WRG describes itself as “neutral.”

The word “neutral” is an odd choice, since it doesn’t say what it is neutral with respect to. And nothing is neutral with respect to everything. It will be interesting to see how this neutrality plays out given the explicit statement that WRG targets a change to the “political economy” of water in the passage lifted from the “about” section below.

“The Water Resources Group (WRG)

The Water Resources Group (WRG) is a neutral platform that provides a partnership to help government water officials and other water sector specialists accelerate reforms that will ensure sustainable water resource management for the long-term development and economic growth of their country. It does so by helping to change the “political economy” for water reform in the country by convening new actors and providing water resource data in ways that are manageable for politicians and business leaders. WRG acts as an independent entity and offers no political, partisan or national nuance to the advice proposed. It works closely with in-country water professionals and engages with its government clients in a rapid, time-bound manner, by invitation only.

WRG’s initial phase had been financed and nurtured during 2008-2011 through an informal collaboration between IFC, World Economic Forum (WEF) and some bilateral aid agencies, private sector companies and other organizations and was hosted at WEF.  WRG works solely at the invitation of governments to undertake its in-country activities. To date WRG has responded to invitations from the Governments of Karnataka (India), Jordan, South Africa and Mexico.  Following the Davos 2011 decision to transition the current WRG program into a scalable operation, IFC and various participants in the WRG have agreed to develop a more formal structure for WRG, to be hosted initially within IFC.  After the period of transfer between WEF and IFC, WRG started its second phase in July 2012.”

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