Everywhere I went, people were talking about a water crisis. There is a need for haste as the water crisis will only get worse. Unsurprisingly, smart water management, urban resilience, new financing models and climate adaptation were high on water agendas everywhere. So too in the Netherlands where NWP was a linchpin in collaboration and knowledge exchange nationally and internationally.
As always, NWP supported many organisations, organised country platform meetings, thematic meetings, international missions, Dutch Pavilions at leading water conferences and the major AIWW Summit to bring people together. Activities that were only possible because of the government programmes NWP is co-implementing and the close collaboration with the Dutch water sector.
Against the scenario of climate change seen in the floods and water scarcity I mention above, NWP is placing greater emphasis on water resilience in urban environments. We promoted this theme amongst others at two major events – the AIWW Summit 2018 and the Singapore International Water Week 2018. To foster solutions on too little, but also too much water, NWP extend its international outreach and collaboration.
Just some of the many collaborative efforts are the European Urban Water Partnership, collaboration with various entities on deltas, and several government to government MoUs. These are long-term and connect local needs to Dutch water expertise. Seeing the difference the Dutch water sector makes, we are investing in the future through YEP Programmes that trains hundreds of young people around the world.
Looking forward took a personal note as 2018 was my last year in office as Chairman of NWP. My farewell symposium, in April 2019, was of course on the theme Water crisis. In my eight years of office, I have experienced NWP as a very committed organisation that is a catalyst for water themes and opportunities for the Dutch sector abroad. I look back at eight years of pleasure working with NWP and am looking forward to exploring new horizons.