A Study on the Critical Success Factors and Financing Mechanisms for Water Stewardship Projects at the Field Level
Water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and indispensable for human health and well-being. Against the background of population growth, evolving consumption patterns and climate change, the excessive use and pollution of water has led to water stress on a global level, while Water Governance mechanisms often lag behind. As a response, the concept of “Water Stewardship” has emerged. The concept emphasizes collective accountability and bottom-up collective action by water users towards a sustainable and responsible management of water resources. Given the popularity of Water Stewardship, this paper focuses on the concrete implementation of initiatives at the field level and aims at discussing two different, specific aspects of Water Stewardship; critical success factors and potential financing mechanisms. The focus primarily lies on projects in which the private sector involved. The analysis shows that concrete and valuable benefits need to be present to motivate actors to engage in Water Stewardship, while all affected parties need to be represented, and the collaboration with authorities is needed. Furthermore, public funding and integrated water resources management is needed to establish Water Governance in the long run. Finally, more attention should be paid to the collection of reliable data by corporates as well as public authorities.