National Multidisiplinary Team - Water Scarcity Program (WSP)
As a series of Water Scarcity Program (WSP) activities, The Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held the first National Multidisciplinary Team (NMT) Meeting on Monday, 13 September 2023, via hybrid event to discuss the initial draft outline of the National Water Scarcity Management Action Plan. Ninety-one attendees attended the meeting.
The meeting was opened by the Director of Water Resources of The Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, Mr Mohammad Irfan Saleh, informing the importance of the WSP program to help the formulation policy and strategic direction to manage water scarcity to achieve the Golden Indonesia Vision 2045. The opening was then continued by Caroline Turner from FAO Asia-Pacific, who explained the reality of increasing water scarcity in Asia-Pacific and the experiences of Africa region related to water scarcity management.
After the opening session, the following session was led by Fany Wedahuditama from Water Stewardship Indonesia (WSI) and Global Water Partnership Southeast Asia (GWP-SEA), focusing on the importance of National Multidisciplinary Team (NMT) in the implementation of WSP in Indonesia. The discussion was focused on the role and structure of NMT and the proposed membership of technical working groups. Below is the detailed information on the role of and structure of NMT.
Role of NMT:
- To create an enabling environment for policymakers to improve water management practices and inter-sectoral coordination under water-scarce conditions.
- To promote critical tenets of best practice water accounting and allocation by ensuring all water-using sectors are included and consulted to evaluate and understand trade-offs between competing water uses and sectors.
- To advocate for the institutional changes required to ensure sustainable water management in the future (including permanent Water Accounting Units, legal and regulatory development, and practical stakeholder engagement).
To develop the draft of the National Water Scarcity Action Plan (WSAP), Proposed Structure of NMT:
- High level decision-makers (Minister level).
- Inter-ministerial steering committee (Director level).
- Inter-ministerial Technical Committee (Director level).
- Technical Working Groups (Deputy Director level) with support from representatives of private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs).
- For Technical Working Groups defined by the categories for Technical dan Cross-cutting focus.
- For technical focus, categories based on sustainable availability (supply), efficient demand management and improved data management.
- For cross-cutting focus, categories based on Governance (policy & regulation, institutional and finance)
During the discussion, several members of NMT also proposed to add additional members that are important to be included in NMT, namely the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning / National Land Agency, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Home Affairs. These proposed ministries have several directorates with direct interest and relevance to water scarcity issues.
After the discussion on NMT was closed, it was followed up by a presentation on the Water Scarcity Action Plan draft outline by Fany Wedahuditama. The water Scarcity Action Plan (WSAP) is the main output of NMT, and it will inform how the Government of Indonesia will address water scarcity challenges by emphasizing implementable action items, providing detailed infrastructure and institutional investment plans, and designating clear responsibilities for primary stakeholders. The WSAP offers an in-depth understanding of the current water situation, proposes advancements in national water accounting and allocation practices, and presents forward-looking initiatives for effective water management. The WSAP will underscore the importance of multi-sectoral cooperation, legislative modifications, and collaboration at both national and international scales to achieve sustainable water use in the face of worsening water scarcity.
One primary input of the WSAP was on the incentive and disincentive mechanisms to encourage every priority river basin authority to develop water accounting as the basis of water allocation. This item was not yet included in the draft outline. Furthermore, as the next meeting of NMT, it is expected that the NMT can already have an agreement on the final annotated outline of WSAP; it was suggested that NMT have a collaboration platform to work together. The director of Water Resources proposed for Water Stewardship Indonesia/GWP SEA to propose the best platform options. Moodle and Google Classroom were mentioned as common platforms.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the next NMT meeting would be at the end of November or early December 2023. During October – November, the technical working Groups will have several meetings to discuss the WSAP outline and key issues that should be covered in the action plan. In addition, from the beginning, it would be useful to align the WSAP format with the existing government planning format. This will help in internalizing the WSAP into the planning and budgeting process.
The Water Security Program (WSP) is supported by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Partnership with the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) which is supported by the Australian Government.