IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
5. Water Governance and Water Security
Tapio Sakari Katko
Jarmo J. Hukka
Pekka E. Pietilä
Osmo T. Seppälä
Tapio S. Katko
Senior Research Fellow
University of Technology (TUT)
P.O. Box 541, FIN-33101 Tampere, FINLAND
tel. +358-3-3115 2183
fax -3115 2869
mobile 0400-737 407
This paper analyses firstly the key trends and focuses of the international policies concerning
water and sanitation services since the UN Conference Water for Peace in 1967, the 1977 Mar del Plata
Conference, the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade 1981-1990, the more recent MDGs,
and the International Water Decade for Action 2005-15 “Water for Life”. The decades had their own policies,
focuses and emphases: from technical to social aspects, community participation, economic and environmental
aspects, private sector participation, integrated water resources management, good governance and virtual water.
The changes in emphases as such are understandable and justified. However, this paper argues that more holistic and
systematic water and sanitation policies and strategies are needed for sustainable development. Secondly, the paper
argues that whatever our emphases are, adequate human resources and professionals will always be
This paper aims firstly at exploring and analysing the various policy emphases
regarding especially water supply and sanitation services since the 1960s to the early 21st century. Secondly, it
explores the emphases on related educational programmes and research and especially the foreseen needs for the
The various policy emphases in water supply and sanitation related to development
cooperation, as well as developed economies, have been explored in various studies by the authors as members of
the Capacity Development in Water and Environmental Services (CADWES) research group based at Tampere
University of Technology since the mid-1990s. Recently a questionnaire study was conducted exploring the views of
34 sector professionals representing four major interest groups: utility managers, consultants, civil servants and policy
makers, and educators and researchers.
Seppälä (2004), among others, has explored the
various policy emphases in water and sanitation services over the last four decades. The recent questionnaire on
education, research and social effectiveness concerning water and sanitation services shows that while the emphasis
has so far been almost entirely on treatment technologies, current curricula should be expanded to cover also
management, leadership, economics, policies, strategic thinking and best practices. The views of the various interest
groups were largely along the same lines – no substantial differences were found.
more holistic approach to water policies should be pursued while striving towards sustainable development.
More critical approaches to fashionable policies like the more recently budget support should be maintained.
In any policy and institutional framework qualified professionals will be the basic requirement of development.
Current curricula on water and sanitation services should be expanded to cover such areas as strategic planning and
thinking, institutional and management issues, policies and best practices.