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Washington D.C., January 10, 2011
—Prominent water expert Anders Berntell has been appointed Executive Director of the 2030 Water Resources Group, a consortium of public and private sector and civil society entities that is helping countries to address the challenge of water security.
Beginning on January 26, the WRG will be housed at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. This follows a two-year incubation period at the World Economic Forum.
The WRG mobilizes public and private sector actors, civil society, and academic and finance institutions to help change the political economy for water reform in countries—by analyzing key issues and convening groups to engage in substantive dialogue and design joint solutions. Findings from the WRG’s country-by-country analysis and expertise drawn from its world-class network will help inform and accelerate governments’ efforts to implement sustainable changes in their water sectors in ways that support economic growth. Since June 2010, the WRG has partnered with country governments to pilot its unique public-private-civil-society model for water sector transformation.
Prior to joining the WRG, Mr. Berntell was Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, where he was responsible for the overall development and direction of SIWI’s activities. This includes administration of the highly regarded World Water Week, an annual event held in Stockholm. Mr. Berntell brings over 30 years of experience in the field of water, environment, and development to the WRG. His appointment is effective March 1, 2012.
Mr. Berntell said, “I am very excited about my new role as Executive Director of the Water Resources Group. Growing competition for scarce water resources has highlighted the strong links between water-resource management and economic development. The work of the Water Resources Group has helped to move decisions about water resources higher up the political agenda at this critical juncture.”
In 2011, the WRG engaged with country governments, at their invitation, to develop comprehensive strategy and action plans for water reform. Building on the cost-curve tools introduced in the 2009 report “Charting Our Water Future,” the WRG has used country-tailored analysis tools to develop water transformation plans and leveraged its extensive public-private-civil society network to establish in-country multi-stakeholder coalitions that tackle scarcity in Jordan, Karnataka state in India, Mexico, Mongolia, Shanxi province in China, and South Africa.
WRG has been financed and actively supported over the past 24 months through collaboration between IFC, the World Economic Forum and a number of bilateral development agencies and private sector companies, including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, USAID, Jordan, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SABMiller, The Coca-Cola Company, and Veolia Environnement.
Peter Brabeck, Chairman of the Water Resources Group and Chairman of Nestle, said, “As the 2030 Water Resources Group enters a new stage of development, Anders Berntell is the ideal person to take the lead as Executive Director. He will head up the extended work with governments, scaling up what worked well in pilots. His broad knowledge of water issues and his close contacts to the global network of experts in the field will continue the highest quality of the work of the WRG.”
Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of IFC, said
The Water Resources Group is showing how the public, private, and civil society sectors can partner to find cost-effective and practical solutions to water scarcity, a major challenge to global economic and social well-being. Anders’s leadership and expertise will help us deepen this partnership and build on our early successes.”
About the Water Resources Group
WRG is an innovative public-private platform for collaboration to mobilize stakeholders from the public and private sector, civil society, centers of academic expertise and financing institutions to engage in fact-based, analytical approaches and coalition building initiatives that help governments to catalyze sustainable water sector transformations in support of their economic growth plans. WRG engages with those governments who invite it to work on a comprehensive water sector reform strategy and then it provides a public-private approach to support them. WRG acts as an independent entity and offers no political, partisan or national nuance to its advice.
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