The projects launched between mid 2006 and early 2008 are what are known as collaborative projects, each of which has numerous sub-projects. If everything proceeds according to plan, the projects will consist of up to three project phases, each lasting two or three years. The funding priority also includes measures aimed at improving the chances of creating the infrastructure required for the developed IWRM concepts at a later stage, for example by means of multilateral financing and support organizations.
The IWRM funding priority currently includes sixteen equally important research & development projects in developing and emerging countries. Universities, research institutions and commercial companies are involved in each of these projects. The research projects of the IWRM funding initiative are supported by three accompanying projects. The Water Technology and Waste Management division of the Project Management Agency Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Vietnam, Israel/Jordan/Palestine, Iran) and the Environment Division of Project Management Jülich GmbH (Mongolia, Namibia, South Africa, Uzbekistan) are responsible for managing the projects. The projects were selected on the basis of an ideas competition.
In order to ensure that the developed measures can later be realized, all of the collaborative projects include close cooperation with universities and research institutions in the partner countries as well as with local authorities and interest groups. As a rule, the research institutions in the partner countries will receive national project funding.
In many cases, the IWRM concepts developed in the research projects will necessitate significant infrastructure investments, for example in the areas of water collection and wastewater disposal. However, this step is not part of the projects themselves, with the possible exception of individual pilot plants. The problem is that the public and private sectors in the affected countries are hardly ever able to raise the necessary investment funds. For this reason, the International Bureau of the BMBF (IB) supports the project partners in improving the prospects of implementation. This includes providing advice aimed at ensuring that the project results can be taken into account in the preparation of relevant infrastructure projects of bilateral or multilateral development banks, such as KfW Entwicklungsbank, the World Bank (WB), or the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The possibility of taking advantage of synergies with multilateral funding programmes, for example those of the EU or the UN, is also being investigated. The BMBF, the responsible project management agencies and the IB also support the project partners in establishing contacts to and communicating with ministries, planning authorities and other relevant government bodies in the affected countries as well as with the German Embassies.
The IWRM funding priority supplements the technology-oriented collaborative projects “Decentralized supply and disposal systems” and “Export-oriented research and development in the field of drinking water and wastewater”. There are also points of contact with the BMBF Young Scientists’ Programme IPSWaT – International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies.