New York - March 23, 2023 – Today at the UN23 Water Conference in New York, H.E. Dr. Eng. Habtamu Itefa Geleta, Minister for the Ministry of Water and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General International Cooperation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, endorsed the launch of the Ethiopian SDG6 Water Management initiative.
The initiative has the aim to improve the water needs of over half a billion people and will be based on digitally verifiable outcomes focused on reduction of non-revenue water, increase of water quality, increased access to water, and higher availability of water. In a “first-ever”, leveraging the latest available technologies, the solution will measure, report, and verify outcomes of Water Management, starting in Addis Ababa, a city of 10 million inhabitants, starting in a sub-set of the city, using Digital Twins in a fully digital and transparent manner. This project is a collaboration of the Ethiopian local and federal government, and multiple innovators in the profit and non-profit sectors like Microsoft, Bentley Systems, Deltares and VEI/VITENS, and is endorsed by the Dutch Government. The SDG6 Water Management initiative has the potential to be rolled out to over nineteen other countries in fifty-five cities, improving the water needs of half a billion people.
Changing lives – African water challenges – In this era of climate disruption, African cities are grappling with a plethora of water-related challenges that are impacting the lives of their residents. The lack of infrastructure and investment is one of the main obstacles, resulting in restricted access to clean and safe water for many people. In addition, water pollution and contamination are prevalent, especially in informal settlements where residents have limited means of obtaining clean water. Furthermore, climate change and rising water demand are putting additional pressure on already scarce water resources, compounding the existing water challenges in African cities. These challenges must be addressed with innovative and sustainable solutions that improve access to safe water and ensure the long-term sustainability of water resources.
"We African’s are highly affected by the carbon emission released by the developed nations, and we are way behind to achieve the SDGs with the current pace unless we deploy new technologies and innovations. By synergizing the vision and mission of the two most committed and robust partners on the planet, along with the latest digital technologies available for water management at scale, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to transform the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people in Africa, who are suffering a lot in search of clean water. Therefore, call to action for Africans to join for cooperation and integration to transform the lives of our citizens’’, stated H.E. Dr. Eng. Habtamu Itefa Geleta, Minister for the Ministry of Water and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
True impact through results-based financing – the parties are adopting a results-based financing approach. Through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the use of innovative technologies and best practices, we aim to unite the world around water and pool global resources and expertise. The innovative solutions developed by the Dutch eco-system will help us overcome the water challenges that we face worldwide. The SDG6 Water Management initiative will ensure that partnerships between governments, businesses, and civil society are forged, leading to sustainable and equitable use of water that benefits all.
“As a citizen of the Netherlands, I am proud to say that water management is at the heart of our nation's identity. We have been facing the challenges of water for centuries, and through collaboration and innovation, we have found ways to turn these challenges into opportunities. In the Netherlands, we have a long history of working together to manage our water resources. From our world-renowned systems of dykes and pumps, to our innovative approaches to water treatment and reuse, we have shown that it is possible to turn the challenges of water into opportunities for progress and prosperity. By working together, the world can do the same. Together, we can build a future where everyone has access to the clean water they need to thrive, where our rivers and lakes are protected from pollution and overuse, and where we are able to adapt to the changing demands of a rapidly changing world.”, said Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General International Cooperation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Technology for good - Digital twin technology has the potential to significantly enhance water management in Africa, leading to better outcomes for communities in need. By creating a virtual replica of physical assets, such as water distribution systems, digital twins can be used to analyze, monitor, and optimize water usage and distribution in real-time. This, in turn, can lead to more efficient and effective management of water resources, reducing waste and improving water security. Digital twin technology can also help detect and prevent water leaks and other issues, thereby enhancing the access to clean water for communities, which is especially critical in areas with water scarcity. Additionally, digital twin technology can aid in the development of new water infrastructure projects, such as reservoirs, by simulating and assessing these projects in a virtual environment. This approach can provide valuable insights into the potential impact and effectiveness of these projects, reducing the risk of failure and improving outcomes.
Anke den Ouden, General Manager of Microsoft Netherlands, stated, "The introduction of digital twin technology in water management has the potential to significantly improve access to clean water and water security in Africa. It can optimize water usage and distribution, leading to a better quality of life for people in the region. We at Microsoft are proud to be a part of this initiative."
Impact Investments for a better world - Nedamco Africa is a company that invests in, and is fully committed to making a positive impact on Africa and the global environment. They recognize the crucial role that water management plays in the sustainability of the continent and are focused on finding innovative solutions to the challenges facing Africa's water supply. Nedamco Africa's investment strategy prioritizes the measurement of impact over financial returns, emphasizing sustainable solutions that benefit the environment and communities in Africa. They invest in cutting-edge technologies, such as cloud skills, digital twins, and climate-friendly solutions to create a lasting positive impact. In water management, Nedamco Africa is working to improve access to safe drinking water, reduce water waste, and promote water conservation. Nedamco Africa is a driving force for impact investments that contribute to creating a better world for everyone.
Michael Kogeler, CEO of Nedamco Africa, expressed, "With a complete commitment to Africa and the planet, Nedamco Africa is at the forefront of impact investments that prioritize sustainability and positive impact. Our emphasis on innovative technologies and measurement of the impact of our investments is driving positive change and creating a better future for Africa and the world."
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