event 15 févr. 2018

BMZ Water Strategy // A Key Contribution to Implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement

For the global development agenda, the decisions taken in 2015 - above all the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement - mean a crucial paradigm shift and change of perspective with far-reaching consequences, not least in the water sector. With this new water strategy, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responding to the ambitious and challenging goals of economically sustainable, integrated and low-carbon development, and placing them in the context of a holistic approach. The water-energy-food nexus is an important piece in this puzzle.

Cover bmz water strategy 2017

Key Messages

  • Where there are competing interests for water use, German development cooperation will attach priority to the human rights-based approach and the leave no one behind (LNOB) principle contained in the 2030 Agenda.
  • German development cooperation will make the case for leveraging the potential of water as a resource for reducing conflict and mitigating the causes of displacement.
  • In all development cooperation measures that deal with water resources either directly or indirectly in the context of water quality contamination, we will emphasise the importance of complying with the principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM).
  • Projects involving investment in water infrastructure will support partners in operating sustainable service delivery structures. These projects will be accompanied by measures to support the capacity development of institutions and their staff. The measures will aim to enable partners to sustainably mobilise their own sources of funding, use these funds efficiently and transparently, and institutionalise technical and managerial expertise.
  • Preventive development cooperation measures to protect water security will be based on climate modelling. Given climate change, rising demand and dwindling freshwater resources, water risks are likely to increase.

Advancing the Nexus Perspective

Security of supply in one sector can constrain the security of supply in another. This requires an integrated perspective – which Germany committed to when it signed the 2030 Agenda. Only this nexus perspective will enable planners to optimally reconcile the interests of the water, energy and agriculture sectors as they compete to use scarce resources.

The link between water, energy and food security is particularly close, because measures in one sector almost always affect the other two, and solutions to challenges in one of the sectors can often be found in the adjacent sectors. Moreover, supplying people with water, food and energy is usually dependent on the same natural resources – chiefly water and soils – as well as ecosystem services such as water storage and purification, erosion control etc.

Through development cooperation Germany will support partners in addressing access and security of supply from the nexus perspective, and remaining within the planet's ecological limits.


BMZ website




BMZ Strategy Paper 08/2017

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