Strengthening the provision of sustainable water services

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Strengthening the provision of sustainable water servicesTowards a concept paper which:Reflects DWA and SALGA perspectiveSuggest some roles for sector partnersBackground:…
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Strengthening the provision of sustainable water servicesTowards a concept paper which:Reflects DWA and SALGA perspectiveSuggest some roles for sector partnersBackground: DWA\SALGA meetings to discuss SALGA concernsAugust 2009
  • Bulk supplies – many muns don’t have money or skills to increase supply
  • Institutional arrangements are deficient
  • Municipal skills gaps
  • Pricing across the water value chain
  • State of wastewater treatment
  • September 2009
  • Who will provide support to muns if DWAF pulls back from local government support
  • Task: Develop a concept document to facilitate agreement on key challenges and appropriate interventions in the WS business and agree on roles and responsibilitiesSome lessons of the past 15 years
  • Outcomes are what matter most
  • Importance of good leadership, the right skills , citizen engagement, effective communication, sound financial management and strong accountability systems
  • Requirements of sustainable water services provision have been under-estimated
  • Water services are complex and require a more professional approach and appointment of personnel with appropriate skills
  • Bulk supply, bulk infrastructure, maintenance, refurbishment, emphasis on sound ‘business’ management, etc
  • Weak financial and revenue management compounds problems with water pricing
  • Institutional diversity: one size doesn’t fit all
  • Institutional restructuring is complex, risky and disruptive to service delivery - wherever possible, consolidate and rebuild rather than restructure
  • Effective service delivery requires strong IGR and the support of all spheres of government
  • Quick fixes seldom deliver lasting benefits: need a long-term perspective
  • Competent Water Services Institutions needed
  • Integrated nature of water services process (water resource management; environmental management; technical; financial & admin dimensions)
  • Good management vital for national water security
  • Reliable supplies of safe drinking water in context of deteriorating raw water quality, rising demand and growing scarcity
  • Greater reliance on re-use and recycling
  • Responses to current challenges
  • Re-engage citizens as active participants in effective service delivery
  • Prominent in LGTAS
  • Strengthen core governance and management systems in municipalities
  •  Prominent in LGTAS
  • Strengthen financial sustainability of water services
  • Ring-fencing
  • Review pricing across the water value chain
  • Most water tariffs are too low – but price increases are not feasible without significant service delivery improvements
  • Prepare tariff-setting guidelines for municipal water services
  • Responses to challenges (2)Greater Professionalisation (key objective in LGTAS)
  • Acknowledgement and understanding of core competencies required for effective water services provision
  • Fill posts with appropriate personnel
  • Delineate functions of politicians and officials
  • Make better use of skills and competencies available
  • Drive longer term skills development initiatives
  • Run water services as a business
  • In some cases, consolidate existing capacity into a larger entity or shared services centre
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Risk-based Prioritisation to inform & direct water services support interventionsRisk Rating of Water Services Provision Functional / coping water servicesAt riskHigh risk – potential to become within 8 monthsCrisis. Extremely high risk of disease outbreaks
  • Critical risk areas:
  • Under Administration / Wastewater treatment capacity / Blue Drop and Green Drop results / Regulatory actions initiated, Lack of Technical Skills incl Process Controllers
  • 9% of munics are in severe crisis – contamination, disease
  • 38% most likely to reach same ‘crisis’ within 8 months
  • A further 42% at risk to reach similar high risk profiles, if early intervention and turnaround not actioned
  • (DWA, Oct 2009)77Responses to Challenges (3)Dedicated water services support facility
  • Without effective support, the problems which result in non-compliance often cannot be fixed
  • Support and regulation are inter-dependent, and support is the key enabler of effective regulation
  • Additional resources needed to source hands-on specialist expertise through a “national resource pool”
  • Could be the specialist water services arm of the broader technical support units driven by COGTA
  • Business case and business plan needed
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Responding to Challenges (4)Strengthen sectoral skills development
  • DWA-led sector skills development strategy (aligning with educational bands and taking ‘pipe line” approach i.e. ensuring skills development for the sector takes place in each educational band)
  • Development of strategic management capacity for water services
  • Dedicated part-time training programme for WS managers
  • Hands on artisan and process controller training at dedicated municipal training facilities to support essential skills development for water service provision
  • Mentoring
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Responses to Challenges (5)Restructuring water services provision
  • No one size fits all approach – case by case assessments needed
  • Combining resources and skills of several munics into a large consolidated water utility or a combined services centre will enable greater scale economies than several small munic departments
  • Experience in setting up external stand-alone water utilities is mixed
  • Some form of institutional reform may be needed but wherever possible the emphasis should be on rebuild rather than restructure
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Responses to Challenges (6)Explore mechanisms to strengthen munic access to bulk supplies
  • Expand the footprint of water boards where financially feasible
  • Other mechanisms to be explored (REDS 5 + 1 approach?) in areas where it is not viable to provide wall-to-wall Water Board support (mechanism with comprehensive subsidies for areas where costs cannot be recovered from local users)
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Responses to Challenges (7)Strengthen sector monitoring and accountability mechanisms
  • Performance agreements in every WSA with firm, achievable targets
  • Strengthen resourcing and support for Regulations Performance Measurement System and other regulatory tools to drive early warning systems and response strategies
  • Promote local sector education initiatives to equip citizens and councilors to play a more pro-active role in strengthening service delivery
  • Achieve agreement on intervention protocols to enable swift responses to management and service shortcomings
  • Lead department: Partners:Response to challenges (8)Develop strategies and funding sources for informal settlements
  • Co-ordinated planning required as a matter of urgency
  • Categorise all informal settlements into 1 of 3 categories:
  • Imminent development
  • Urgent relocation required because of hazards
  • No settlement upgrading or relocation imminent
  • Focus on the vast majority for which there are no plans
  • Improved interim services, and / or incremental upgrading
  • Will require a dedicated funding mechanism as existing funding streams are inadequate
  • Lead Dept:Partners:Response to challenges (9)Strengthen IGR
  • Growing recognition that responsibility for municipal services does not lie with local govt alone
  • Integrated approach across three spheres of govt with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Building on the LGTAS and Presidency’s proposals (policy paper M&E), build consensus on
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Co-ordination and communication mechanisms
  • Mutual accountability mechanisms
  • Identify and address constraints to ensure any agreement is workable (funding, powers and functions, etc)
  • Clarify where responsibility for Sanitation lies
  • Way Forward
  • Are these the main issues? Do we agree with these responses? Any major gaps?
  • Looking at the responses - How do we ensure sector responds effectively?
  • What is in place?
  • Who leads / drives? Who are the key partners?
  • What funding exists or is needed?
  • How to position the sector? How to engage in the process and ensure readiness of sector?
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