Private sector and water management

A business cultivates high-value crops (flowers/fruits) for export in greenhouses, using groundwater. Oromia Region, Ethiopia. Eva Ludi, Overseas Development Institute

Private companies for whom water is a key input are increasingly taking an interest in water management beyond the factory fence.

Water ‘security’ in many developing countries – the argument goes – will depend on businesses’ contributions, at catchment/basin levels and above, including involvement in activities that were previously the sole responsibility of public water authorities. For this, new ways of working are proposed and new and adapted concepts are emerging.

We have been following these developments, mapping the new frontiers of private-sector engagement on water, and what this may mean for transparent, accountable, equitable and sustainable water management.