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close this bookSourcebook of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in Africa (UNEP-IETC, 1998, 182 p.)
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Open this folder and view contentsPart B - Technology profiles
Open this folder and view contentsPart C - Case studies
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View the documentPart E - Institutional profiles
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Part E - Institutional profiles

The UNEP Water Branch

The UNEP Water Branch was established on 1 January 1996, with the consolidation of the former Freshwater Unit and the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Center (OCA/PAC).

A main function of the Water Branch is to promote and facilitate integrated water management, focusing on rivers, lakes and other freshwater systems, groundwater, and the coastal and marine waters into which they ultimately drain, including their living resources. The Water Branch integrates UNEP's water activities across (i) physical boundaries, (ii) disciplines, and (iii) types of water (fresh and marine waters). Particular attention is directed to internationally-shared water systems, including promotion of mechanisms for enhancing international cooperation for their sustainable management and use, as well as assisting riparian countries to undertake trans-boundary diagnostic analyses and to develop comprehensive management action plans. The focus is on both the scientific and technical issues (water supply and demand, pollution sources, flora, fauna, etc.) And the social, economic, institutional, legal and political issues that fundamentally shape the way in which humans use their water resources.

The Water Branch is UNEP's focal point for its role as secretariat of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, including its Technical Coordination Office in The Hague, The Netherlands. The Water Branch also administers and supports UNEP's 13 Regional Seas Programme involving more than 140 coastal States throughout the world, as well as UNEP's activities in support of such initiatives as the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the International Coral Reef Initiative and the Global Plan of Action for the conservation, Management and Utilization of Marine Mammals.

The activities of the Water Branch reflect the objectives and goals of Chapters 17 and 18 of Agenda 21, as well as other chapters of Agenda 21 relevant to the sustainable management and use of water resources, and to the direction provided by UNEP's Governing Council. The Water Branch supports activities of the International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) and the Office of Industry and the Environment (IE) of UNEP on matters related to the development and transfer of environmentally sound technologies (EST's) aimed at water resource management. It also participates in inter-agency initiatives involving common UN agency water issues.

To address its tasks and responsibilities, The Water Branch brings together expertise in river and lake limnology, groundwater hydrology, hydrologic engineering, coastal zone management, marine biodiversity, resource economics, monitoring and assessment, environmental technology, environmental law, capacity-building and public awareness. It also works with partner UN agencies, inter-governmental bodies, and international and nongovernmental organizations on integrated freshwater and coastal water resource issues.

Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD)

The Institute of Water and Sanitation Development is a non profit organization building capacity in the water and sanitation sector of the Southern Africa region. Formed as a UNDP-World Bank Project in 1989, the Institute has established a sound basis for its sustainable operation on a self financing basis.

Support from the UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme (RWSG-EA) ended in 1996 having been instrumental in the formation and growth of the Institute since 1989. It is expected that the Programme will continue to be closely associated with the Institute and use its services from time to time.

IWSD considers training as one of the important elements of human resource development, awareness creation and institutional strengthening. Training activities of the Institute are continuously growing. While the Institute's Community Management of Water Supplies and Sanitation course continued to be popular, the introduction of a course dealing with leak detection is welcomed in particular by the Local Authorities. The Institute took over responsibility for the training of water and waste water plant operators in 1996 at the request of the City of Harare. Since 1997 this programme is fully managed by the Institute.

Several research projects are being developed by IWSD with a focus on water management and water and the environment. A NORAD funded project on waste water treatment being carried out with the City of Harare has progressed well and provides valuable lessons.

A wide range of clients are using the Institute's technical support services. The client base will be expanded and opportunities are sought where IWSD would contribute meaningfully to policy change in the management and delivery of water and sanitation services. The information and advisory support services of IWSD are also becoming an effective resource for the water and sanitation sector in the African region.

Institute of Water and Development

7 Maasdorp Ave., Alexander Park,
P.O. Box MP 422, MT Pleasant,
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +(263-4) 738120/303288/303289
Fax: +(263-4) 303280

in collaboration with

Centre Regional pour L'Eau Potable et l'Assainissement a Faible Cout
Network for Water and Sanitation International
Training, Research and Network for Development


Osaka Office
2-110 Ryokuchi koen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka 538-0036 Japan
telephone: +81(0)6 915-4580
telefax: +81(0)6 915-0304

Shiga Office
1091 Oronoshimo-cho, Kusatsu-City, Shiga 525-0001 Japan
telephone: +81(0)77 568-4586
telefax: +81(0)77 568-4587

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