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TITLE: Innovation to sustainable water management in Rwanda

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
A. Bridging science and policy
Author(s): Aimable Twahirwa
Aimable Twahirwa

Keyword(s): water,policy, science, Rwanda,innovation, Africa


Sustainable water management is an increasingly complex challenge and policy priority facing global society. Searching for a solution to problems born of inadequate management of water resources in the developing world with a specific example in Rwanda and the whole Sub-Saharan Africa has been described as an important part of innovative solutions towards job creation in developing countries. 

Even though it has been the focus of abundant research over the past decades, some key policy questions have not found clear answers yet. To what extent and how innovative solutions can contribute in coping with the challenge of assuring global access to safe –drinking through best practices and knowledge sharing? Should governments intervene to correct the problem and, if so, with what types of interventions? What should be their policy objectives?

To shed light on these important issues, the authors highlight some existing models and their conflicting policy implications and discuss the policies that may be justified based on recent relevant empirical studies.

These values include Innovative technologies for water supply, sanitation and storage. A key limitation is that that water use efficiency is the most pressing social problem in developing countries.

Current findings are not proving how these new approaches can be adopted as new investments for community projects. A large part of poor communities in developing countries are already benefiting from investments dedicated to address environmental impacts and mitigation in hydropower schemes.

It is of paramount to notice that in many developing countries, Science plays a critical role in informing and supporting management and policy decisions in the water sector. Local vulnerable communities in remote rural villages value the opportunity to turn into  water service providers themselves and make money while adopting these innovative solutions.

Maintaining the speed of innovation in translating scientific knowledge into a language accessible to policy-makers and managers, this will further expand opportunities for people to come up with entrepreneurial and water management sound community-based projects.  Entrepreneurship will drive economic change and innovation while at the same time boosting financial capacity for these communities living in remote zones.


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