CEO Water Mandate

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Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA)

What are Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs)?

WOPs are peer support arrangements between two or more water and sanitation operators, carried out on a not-for-profit basis in the objective of strengthening operator capacity. WOPs are being promoted as a simple but effective mode of bolstering the ability of watsan service providers to play their full role in delivering and extending quality basic services for all.

Distinguishing itself from other uses of decentralized cooperation and exchange mechanisms, WOPs focus clearly on capacity development support between urban water and sanitation operators, rooted in a culture of solidarity with a pro-poor and participatory approach where universal access to water and sanitation is the ultimate goal. WOPs are based on the observation that capacity building and retention, facilitated by networking and mentoring, can equip operators to meet the challenges facing the sector.

It also draws on the fact that much of the innovation and expertise to address water operators’ challenges reside with operators themselves, and that a growing number of these successful operators are highly motivated to share their expertise and innovation with others as “mentors” on a not-for-profit basis. Another specific feature of WOPs is the emphasis put on the development of cooperation between the municipal institutions and local governments and the water utilities.

What is GWOPA?

GWOPA is an alliance of partners working towards the common goal of making Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) happen more often and with greater impact. The GWOPA Secretariat, currently hosted by UN-HABITAT in Barcelona, Spain, is driven by an international Steering Committee and supported by a global network of partners and members.

From the beginning, GWOPA has worked to grow its partner network and gain from the diverse strengths of partners in the implementation of all activities. GWOPA counts amongst its supporters utility associations on all continents representing thousands of water utilities, regional development banks, international financial institutions, labor unions, civil society organizations, development partners, and learning institutes.

GWOPA’s direct goal is to promote and enable impactful WOPs. It does this by creating awareness about WOPs, producing and sharing knowledge and tools, and rallying the funds and political backing to enable effective WOPs and practice.

GWOPA is ultimately contributing to Target 10 of the Millennium Development Goal 7 of halving the proportion of the world’s population that remains unserved by adequate water and sanitation services. WOPs make the greatest contribution through capacity development, while helping to catalyze the change required to increase access to the poor and move towards the fulfillment of the UNGA Resolution on the Right to Water and Sanitation.

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Take Action to Address Water Challenges

Water Operators’ Partnerships focus on addressing local water challenges in regions around the world by taking action on one or more Acton Areas such as by addressing access to water and sanitation, improving local water governance, increase public awareness and education on water issues, and/or promoting more efficient water use. Many projects focus on a variety of action areas towards the ultimate goal of providing improved water and sanitation services:


Action Area(s)




Metro Cebu West, Philippines and City West Water Ltd, Australia Cebu, Philippines Reducing non-revenue water and improving operational performance Learn More
Improved management of water service in Cuyultitán, Department of La Paz, El Salvador Cuyultitan, El Salvador Constitution of a public company management and execution of the infrastructure necessary for the realization of integrated water cycle. Learn More
Agricultural School and Irrigation network in Mlale and surrounding villages, Malawi Malawi Implementation of a school land, construction of a water distribution network for settlements and construction of infrastructure for irrigation Learn More