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During the month of September the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) issued loans and highlighted work to address water-related issues including: conserving aquatic biodiversity; improving climate resilience; expanding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; and implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM).

wb.adb.ebd.afdb.gefSeptember 2014: During the month of September, the World Bank, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) issued loans and highlighted work to address water-related issues including: conserving aquatic biodiversity; improving climate resilience; expanding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM); and reducing disaster risk from flood and drought.

The World Bank approved a US$474 million loan through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for the Water Supply Augmentation Project, which will improve water supply to the Great Beirut and Mount Lebanon areas through the construction of a dam on the Bisri River. The project aims to address chronic water shortages that have become more severe due to recent drought and the influx of Syrian refugees. [World Bank Press Release 1] [World Bank Press Release 2]

The Bank highlighted a large-scale municipal loan programme in Brazil, beginning in 2004, which used an integrated urban water management (IUWM) approach to address water management challenges in the city of Uberaba. The US$16.03 million Agua Viva project reduced urban flooding and water loss, and collected and treated wastewater. [World Bank Press Release]

The Bank also approved US$150 million to promote sustainable WASH services, in Acre, Brazil. The IBRD loan will expand the Acre Social and Economic Inclusion Project (PROACRE) and will target isolated indigenous and forest communities in the Amazon. The project is expected to construct water treatment facilities and connect 1,120 households to piped water, pave community roads and implement integrated solid waste management. [World Bank Press Release]

Three loans were approved by the World Bank, providing US$500 million in IBRD loans for improved WASH services in Qinghai Xining, Shaanxi and Zhejiang, China, respectively. The Qinghai Xining Water Environment Project will reduce water pollution and increase wastewater reuse in the Huangshui River basin. The Shaanxi Small Towns Infrastructure Project will help with construction of water supply, wastewater collect and storm drainage. The Zheijiang Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project will help increase sewerage connections, construct treatment plants and water distribution networks, as well as enable sustainable management of WASH systems. [World Bank Press Release 1] [World Bank Press Release 2] [World Bank Press Release 3]

The World Bank highlighted the joint project Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, with the State and Peace-Building Fund (SPF) and the Haitian National Water and Sanitation Directorate (DINEPA). The project introduced local water and sanitation committees (CAEPAs) and water operators to manage local water supply systems using cost recovery, metering and low-tech water supply solutions. The management model was applied in nine communities, 15 water supply systems were constructed or rehabilitated and eight boreholes were installed. [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank debarred the state-owned company China International Water and Electric Corporation over sanctionable practices related to a hydropower project in Africa, as part of an agreement between the World Bank and the corporation, the company will aim to improve their internal compliance and cooperate with the Integrity Vice President (INT) of the World Bank. [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank outlined successes of the North East Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (NEPWASH) project in Sri Lanka. The project, funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), helped organize local communities into Water User Associations (WUAs), provided water 8,800 people and constructed latrines for 517 families. The WUAs gave communities a voice in WASH decision-making and provided a platform for inter-ethnic and inter-religious cooperation. [World Bank Press Release]

On 8 September, the World Bank and the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve cooperation. In particular the MoU is designed to elaborate the activities of the Third Aral Sea Basin Management Program, such as: developing regional data sharing and information management systems; improving water use and efficiency; ensuring dam safety; and implementing disaster risk reduction (DRR). [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank also identified successes of the Niger Basin Resources Development and Sustainable Ecosystems Management Project, which is investing US$233.2 million in Benin, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Niger. Among the project activities is the construction of dikes to provide flood protection for villages in northern Mali. The project has also provided village residents with improved irrigation and increased fish yields due to restoration of wild wetland plants. [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank also highlighted projects including the Urban Water Supply Project, the Second Water Sector Investment Project and the Northern Tunis Wastewater Project, which aim to improve water security and sustainable management of water resources in Tunisia. These projects upgraded water urban water supply infrastructure, made management and operation of irrigation schemes more efficiency, implemented IWRM and addressed wastewater issues. [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank announced the conclusion of the assessment studies for the Rogun Hydropower Project (HPP) in Tajikistan. As part of the consultative process the World Bank disclosed a number of reports including the ‘Techno-Economic Assessment Study (TEAS) Phase 2 Summary Report,’ the ‘Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Report,’ the ‘Report on the 5th Riparian Consultations,’ and the ‘Note – Key Issues for Consideration on the Proposed Rogun Hydropower Project.’ [World Bank Press Release]

The World Bank also drew attention to the ongoing drought in Central America, which has left 500,000 suffering from food insecurity in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. The World Bank noted ongoing projects to reduce disaster risk in the region, in particular to reduce the impacts of climate change, such as through crop diversification and use of rainwater irrigation. [World Bank Press Release]

The GEF approved three aquatic biodiversity grants and loans. The GEF CEO endorsed the Piloting Provincial-level Wetland Protected Area (PA) System in Jiangxi Province, China. The project aims to improve the ability of the PA to conserve biodiversity. [GEF Project Detail]

The GEF CEO approved the Enabling Transboundary Cooperation and IWRM in the Chu and Talas River Basins. The project will strengthen the water commissions of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and improve transboundary water cooperation in the region. [GEF Project Detail]

The Expanding the PA System to Incorporate Aquatic Ecosystems project was also approved by the GEF CEO in Bangladesh and will build capacity and engage local stakeholders in the management of PAs to conserve the Ganges river dolphin. [GEF Project Detail]

The AfDB board approved a US$91.10 million loan and US$10.6 million from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) Trust Fund for the One WASH National Programme in Ethiopia. The project will expand water supply facilities in rural areas, improve institutions and improve WASH services throughout the country. [AfDB Press Release]

The AfDB provided a €731,400 grant through the African Water Facility (AWF) to the Athi Water Services Board in Nairobi, Kenya. The grant will support a project to provide WASH services in poor urban settlements, with the aim to make WASH technology affordable and accessible through a partnership with Sanergy to scale up branded sanitation technology. [AfDB Press Release]

The AWF and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) formalized a partnership during World Water Week 2014, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1-6 September 2014. The NDF provided €6 million in funds and will provide technical expertise in the selection, preparation and implementation of projects that address water and climate change.

This partnership, along with support from Austrian Development Cooperation, will support the AWF launch of a call for proposals for ‘Preparation of Water and Climate Change Investment Projects’ announced on 2 September. The AWF will commit €16 million to fund development and preparation of water projects that build climate change resilience [AWF Press Release 1] [AWF Press Release 2]

A US$150 million loan facility was approved by the ADB to assist Karnataka, India, to develop a comprehensive water management plan. The project, the Karnataka Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Program will address inefficient agricultural use of water, increased urban and industrial demand and build climate resilience into water planning. The ADB also provided US63.6 million to improve water-related infrastructure in urban centers in Karnataka state. [ADB Press Release 1] [ADB Press Release 2]

The ADB approved US$60 million for a project to improve WASH facilities in 26 towns in Nepal. The project will support the goal to eliminate open defecation by 2017 and will provide 78,000 household water connections and 20,300 private toilets, as well as construct two wastewater treatment plants and construct drains to reduce flood risk. [ADB Press Release]

The EBRD highlighted a US$50 million loan to improve the climate resilience of the Qairokkum hydropower plant in Tajikistan. The project developed a model for basin hydrology under different climate scenarios in order to assess: the range of river flow conditions expected at the dam; options to ensure dam safety during floods; the amount of electricity to be generated; and options for upgrading the turbines. The EBRD also committed US$75.5 million to the hydropower sector in Tajikistan, in particular to modernize the Qairokkum hydropower plant to improve efficiency, reduce power outages, increase climate resilience of the plant and ensure it is managed in a transparent and accountable manner. [EBRD Press Release 1] [EBRD Press Release 2]