Utility Platform
Newsletter - No. 4 - August 2023

Dear friends of the Utility Platform,

Water is high on the political agenda this year. In March, the United Nations hosted its first water conference in 50 years; in May, UN-Habitat's Global Water Operators' Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) invited the global community engaged in water operators’ partnerships (WOPs) to gather in Bonn at the 5th  Global WOPs Congress. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) subsequently hosted the high-level event "Water Operators‘ Partnerships – Sustainable Water Security Beyond Aid" in Berlin, followed by the 6th International Networking Event of the Utility Platform.

SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, along with four other goals of the 2030 Agenda, was subject to intensive discussion at the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum, which also serves to pave the way for the UN SDG Summit in September. It became evident that global progress in drinking water supply must be increased six-fold, in sanitation five-fold and in hygiene three-fold in order to achieve the goal. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, therefore insisted: "Water must be at the centre of the global political agenda."

In this issue of our newsletter, we look back at the last five months and sum up the learnings for the water sector and for our network. We report on our last network meeting, which provided an opportunity for the members of the Utility Platform to exchange ideas across partnerships and to work on making the cooperation between the partner utilities even more effective and efficient.

We also provide very concrete insights into the joint work of the utility partnerships: for example in field visits, measurement work and a laboratory course. Furthermore, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the great willingness of German municipal companies to donate technical goods for the repair and reconstruction of water infrastructure in Ukraine. The number of solidarity partnerships with Ukraine also keeps growing, which makes us particularly grateful.

In this context, we would like to draw attention to this year's German-Ukrainian Municipal Partnership Conference in Leipzig. Under the motto "Together for Europe: Solidarity, Reconstruction, Prospects for the Future" the event will be held from 13 to 15 November 2023. German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Development Minister Svenja Schulze will contribute to the high-level programme with their keynote speeches. German-Ukrainian utility partnerships from our network are very welcome to join the conference.

Have an inspiring read and please feel free to share our newsletter with your colleagues!

Your Utility Platform team
Heiko Heidemann (GIZ) und Linda Engel (SKEW)


The Water Action Agenda and the High-Level Political Forum shed light on the lack of progress in achieving clean water and sanitation for all. To achieve SDG 6 by 2030, countries around the world must accelerate their development efforts significantly. We summarise the results and findings from the High-Level Political Forum 2023 that took place in July 2023. 

Towards optimising utility partnerships in the water sector
Photos and short documentation of the 6th International Utility Platform network meeting in Berlin, 25-26 May 2023.

How can utilities in partner countries work more effectively and efficiently to meet people's needs for drinking water and wastewater while covering their costs? How can the German utilities best support their partners? These questions were the focus of the network event in Berlin which was attended by more than 70 participants from nine utility partnerships.

Women's power in the water industry
Laboratory course strengthens German-Ukrainian partnership

Stadtentwässerung Dresden now focuses women in the water sector more strongly, not only because travel opportunities for male employees of water utilities in Ukraine are very limited at the moment. In June 2023, Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH welcomed eight female laboratory technicians from five Vodokanals. In addition to visiting water treatment plants, the trip to Germany included a three-day laboratory course organised by the Saxony-Thuringia regional section of the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste.

Island drinking water from the freshwater lens
A political delegation from South Africa visiting: OOWV strengthens international cooperation

"This visit gave the whole project a boost," said Meike Lenzen, project engineer at OOWV. "There was a lot of interest in topics such as organic farming for groundwater protection, the quality of raw water and our environmental education sites" she reported from the expert exchange. The colleagues from Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality were particularly impressed by the water supply for the people on Spiekeroog and Langeoog via a freshwater lens below the respective island.

Installation of zone meters – GIS – asset management
In focus: the drinking water work package in Kabwe, Zambia

Three colleagues from Gelsenwasser accepted the invitation of their partner team from Lukanga Water Supply and Sanitation Company Limited and travelled to Kabwe, Zambia in May 2023. During the one-week visit, the focus of the cooperation was on reducing water losses by installing meters and improving the geographical information system. In addition, the team from Germany was able to give their Zambian partners a training session to introduce them to the basics of asset management. 

Valuable insights into the daily work in the field of water supply
A delegation from Jordan visits Germany in May 2023

Along with HAMBURG WASSER, Netze BW Wasser welcomed their colleagues from Jordan Water Company "Miyahuna", Amman and Yarmouk Water Company, Irbid in the City of Stuttgart. For the visiting delegation, the insights into the daily work in the field of water supply and distribution were of special benefit, as the topography of Stuttgart is similar to some cities in Jordan. This study trip also revealed how important personal exchange between utilities are – in order to increase the efficiency of work and cooperation through new input.

A week dedicated to the Water Operators‘ Partnerships (WOPs)
Network and workshop meetings in Berlin, Bonn, Dresden and Cologne, 22 - 26 May 2023

May 2023 was all about Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs) activities. In addition to the WOPs events in Bonn and Berlin, the utility partnerships of Dresden, Cologne and Berlin with Lviv, Ternopil and Nadvirna in Ukraine took the opportunity to work on project tasks, establish and consolidate their networks.

Utility partnerships: key to a water-secure future
In Germany, it is taken for granted, but in many countries of the Global South, it remains an unattained goal: safe drinking water – an overview of the partnership work

Operators in the Global South lose a lot of precious water due to leaks in the pipe network. Many waterworks do not cover their costs and consume too much energy. Optimising water filtration in wastewater treatment plants is also high on the agenda. More and more German water companies want to share their knowledge with partners in the Global South in order to jointly contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 "Clean Water and Sanitation".

872 donated goods for Ukrainian water utilities
Thank you very much for your donation!

Since January 2023, 36 companies from 10 German states have participated in the water sector's appeal for donations. A total of 52 goods packages consisting of 872 goods have been donated to 44 Ukrainian municipal enterprises (as of 26 July 2023). A sign of great solidarity with Ukraine! The number of solidarity utility partnerships with Ukraine also continues to rise, now to over ten.

German-Ukrainian Municipal Partnership Conference 2023
Together for Europe: Solidarity, Reconstruction, Prospects for the Future

The sixth German-Ukrainian municipal partnership conference will take place in Leipzig from 13 to 15 November 2023 and features a diverse programme comprising expert keynotes, networking opportunities and the exchange of experiences. German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze will contribute to the high-level event with their keynote presentations. Among the many technical workshops during the conference, the Utility Platform team will offer a workshop on water and wastewater.

Media Centre
Utility Platform
The Utility Platform is a joint project of:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Potsdamer Platz 10, 10785 Berlin | Deutschland
Kontakt: Heiko Heidemann
Email: heiko.heidemann@giz.de
Engagement Global gGmbH
Service Agency Communities in One World

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40, 53113 Bonn | Germany
Contact: Linda Engel
Email: linda.engel@engagement-global.de
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