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Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions
Description/achievement of initiative

The Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions is a unique partnership led by UN DESA and ITAIPU BINACIONAL to promote Water and Energy Sustainability and other SDGs in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The objective is to build a global multi-stakeholder partnership and network to enhance capacities, dialogues and cooperation at all levels, for enabling cross-sectoral approaches, advocacy and knowledge management that address SDG6 and SDG7 and interlinkages with other SDGs holistically, in order to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The intention is to grow this global network over time to become one of the largest global multi-stakeholder-based knowledge networks on energy and water.

Implementation methodologies

Leveraging UNDESA and Itaipu’s complementary strengths, activities to be implemented under this project aim to achieve following outcomes: 1. Increased capacity of governmental institutions and relevant stakeholders to effectively manage the water-energy nexus and interlinkages with other SDGs for sustainable development to facilitate national implementation of the 2030 Agenda; 2. Enhanced knowledge management and best practice sharing on the water-energy nexus and interlinkages with other SDGs for sustainable development; 3. Enhanced global advocacy and outreach in the areas of energy and water and their interlinkages.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

For this partnership to achieve the desired outcomes, enhancing capacity of governmental institutions and relevant stakeholders to effectively manage the water-energy nexus for sustainable development and interlinkages with other SDGs will be essential. To do so, a series of capacity building initiatives will be implemented, including: - Undertake a stock-taking of capacity building gaps to identify priority needs, map existing efforts to reduce duplications and enhance relevance and synergy; - Conduct capacity building and training workshops, based on the needs assessment and covering all relevant areas including policies, project development, financing, innovation, technologies and monitoring. Drawing on lessons and best practices around the world from Africa, Arab States, Asia, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, knowledge sharing and technology transfer will be promoted through creating a large network for information sharing on water and energy initiatives and technologies, and promoting exchange of experiences at global level.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The governance structure of the initiative comprises: (1) a joint Programme Management Unit and (2) a Steering Committee. • The joint Programme Management Unit will manage day-to-day operations of the partneship, including programme implementation, global advocacy and partnership mobilization, and financing and administrative support. The joint Programme Management Unit will operate from two locations: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) at its headquarters in New York, USA, and Itaipu Binacional (in the side of Paraguay of Itaipu). • The Steering Committee will provide guidance on strategic direction for an effective implementation of the initiative. The Steering Committee will be composed of UNDESA, Itaipu Binacional, and other stakeholders/partners including governments, businesses, civil society and international organizations, and will be led by two Co-Chairs. Members of the Steering Committee will meet at least once each year.


ITAIPU Binacional (Paraguay-Brazil), UN DESA
Progress reports
Goal 6
6.1 - By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.3 - By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
6.4 - By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
6.5 - By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
6.6 - By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
6.a - By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
6.b - Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Goal 7
7.1 - By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.2 - By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
7.3 - By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
7.a - By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
7.b - By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Goal 16
Multi-stakeholder Global Steering Committee on Water and Energy interlinkages that will advise on strategic direction for an effective implementation of this partnership.
Case study collection, compiling best practices, lessons learnt and practical tools on water-energy interlinkages
Annual overview of partnerships on SDG6 and SDG7 interlinkages
Annual High-Level Event on Water-Energy Interlinkages in the margins of relevant intergovernmental processes
Financing (in USD)
1,600,000 USD

Basic information
Time-frame: 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2021
ITAIPU Binacional (Paraguay-Brazil), UN DESA
Contact information
Isabel Raya, Sustainable energy consultant, raya@un.org
United Nations