This week, a delegation from Abu Dhabi’s Transmission & Despatch Company, TRANSCO, is visiting the Netherlands to study the Dutch water transmission and distribution system. NWP’s Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes and her colleague Sjoske Tuinstra were closely involved in organising the mission. In her blog, Sabrina talks about the visit and the follow-up. As one of the delegation members stated: “We are here to lay the foundation for future cooperation with the Netherlands.”
‘Earlier this year, the Dutch Embassy in Abu Dhabi received a mission request from TRANSCO.
TRANSCO is responsible for the entire power and water transmission system in Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates. It plays a pivotal role in Abu Dhabi’s strategic water infrastructure and reservoirs. TRANSCO wanted an in-depth look at the design of the Dutch water transmission system and how it is operated and managed.
The delegation’s focus during the visit is on benchmarking, asset management and seeing Dutch best practices. The incoming mission consists of four people from TRANSCO accompanied by Fleur Hoog Antink, Senior Commercial and Economic Advisor at the Dutch Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Uniting water, energy and food
The mission fits both NWP’s mandate and the Embassies’ multi-year strategy in the Gulf region of ‘uniting water, energy and food’. This will also be the theme of the Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai. Alongside initiatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), NWP is involved in the Oman Water Task Force with a mission to Oman in October and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Water Mission from the Gulf will visit the Amsterdam International Water Week.
Ensuring relevance and effectiveness, NWP designed and developed the TRANSCO mission programme in consultation with the Dutch Embassy in Abu Dhabi and TRANSCO itself. The programme focused on field visits, with ample opportunity for networking and building new partnerships. It worked well. As one of the delegation members said, “The Dutch Water Authorities, Vewin and Waternet, gave us more insights on how water is organised in the Netherlands and the financial models of drinking water companies. This is very important and interesting for us.’ The visits to KWR, the Water Management Center in Lelystad and the European Benchmarking Cooperation were highly appreciated as well.
Gulf Business Dialogue
I would also advise interested sector partners to note 27 September 2019 when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) will hold the Gulf Business Dialogue 2019 in The Hague. It is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the six countries in the Gulf region, expand your network and connect with experts. Part of the programme will also include a presentation and information on the Netherlands’ participation in EXPO 2020 Dubai World Exhibition. For six months, the Netherlands will show its smart and innovative solutions on the theme of ‘uniting water, energy and food’ at its Dutch Pavilion.
Photo: KWR Water Research Institute
Aiming for follow-up
The mission did not stand on its own but fits in a broader commitment to intensify cooperation with the countries in the Gulf region. We also want to take cooperation with Abu Dhabi one step further. Concrete follow-up is important in missions like these. It was an integral part of the incoming visit from Egypt in November last year. The visit by the Egyptian Public Authority for Drainage Projects (EPADP) and the Drainage Research Institute immediately led to an outgoing mission by a small delegation to Egypt in December, funded by the Partners for Water Programme (PvW) which is jointly implemented by RVO and NWP. PvW is now looking for opportunities to develop a pilot project in the field of controlled drainage and efficient irrigation. Under this programme, a sector meeting is envisioned for September or October 2019 to assess the viability of further cooperation in this field.
Promising starting point
I truly hope this will also be the road ahead for Abu Dhabi. The first appointments for follow-up meetings, such as a conference call between TRANSCO and KWR, have already been made. We always strive for concrete outcomes and hope this mission is a stepping stone for more stakeholders to be involved in Abu Dhabi and other Gulf countries in the field of water.’
Would you like to know more about NWP’s activities for the MENA region? Contact Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes: firstname.lastname@example.org.