Water Governance

Project OverviewMore DetailsHow to ParticipateLatest

Providing access to clean water is becoming a major challenge for Governments all over the world. With increasing urbanisation, industrialisation and stress on agriculture availability , the demand for water is increasing at an unprecedented rate. However, assessing the situation in each region, one doesn’t have to look too hard to find out inefficiencies, poor technological or engineering choices or even misplaced habits. Governments and stakeholders can make interventions that do not need radical interventions.

The current UNDP figures establish two essential gaps in the water governance scenario globally. There are 900 million people who lack access to safe water and over 2.7 billion people live without access to basic sanitation. Evidently, such figures only reaffirm the need for establishment of a water management system,which is focused of adaptive, integrated and ecosystem based approaches as a model for effective water governance. Although many governments acknowledge that a water governance system must be localized there is inefficiency in terms of delegation of power and the necessary resources. This issue is further compounded by the significant socio-economic loses that are incurred by developing and least developed regions due to lack of proper sanitation services.

The Water Governance project at Oval Observer Foundation looks at a number of aspects that can bring significant relief to water stressed regions by way of improving sanitation and adaptive services.
A select few aspects include:

  • Transboundary water cooperation
  • Balancing the riparian priorities
  • Understanding the Water economy
  • Water Markets
  • Decentralization of water management
  • Promoting Integrated Water Resources Management

Project Activities

  • Scoping: Identifying and recruiting regions where Water Governance is a major issue
  • Panel Discussions: Organised every 2 months to get critical feedback from top experts
  • Key Research: Background research and putting forth detailed papers
  • Dialogues: With Governments and Regulatory authorities across various markets on implementing the Project
  • Working Groups: Made up of a small group of experts that will further the initiative
  • Campaign: Publishing a series of infographics, analytical insights and other short summaries circulated globally through multiple channels
  • Pilots: The project will identify pilots across emerging economies
  • Scale Up: To expand and replicate the Project in multiple markets


1. Transboundary water cooperation

  • International water cooperation
  • Inter-state water cooperation and dispute resolution
  • Water legislations and Governance models

2. Balancing the riparian priorities

  • E-flows or environmental flows
  • River Health
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Implementing Polluter pays principle
  • Pollution management

3. Understanding the Water economy

  • Eco-system services
  • Water-energy nexus
  • Water-land nexus
  • Water-health nexus
  • Water-food nexus

4. Water Markets

  • PPP models
  • Water quality trading
  • Water supply model frameworks


Who Can Join
1. Framework Developers
For those who would like to co-develop the various water governance frameworks

2. Capital Providers
For investors, lenders, insurers and guarantors who would like to support the execution of such projects

3. Governments and Regulatory bodies who would like to utilise some of the new innovative frameworks being developed through the Project

4. Innovative Technology & Solution Providers
Entities who have innovative water supply, treatment and management solutions that can be implemented

5. Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers
OEMs who would like to provide equipments to various projects.

6. Professional Services
For corporate finance firms, law firms, tax & accountancy or other professional services firms.

How to Join
Interested parties can join through becoming a formal member of the Foundation or by being a partner/collaborator. Those interested can request more details from the named contacts on this page.