What we do

We help developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond, work towards the climate-resilient, sustainable management of their water resources.

We work with partners in the Indo-Pacific region to collectively improve sustainable and climate-resilient water resource management.

Our role is to support the water resource management and planning needs of countries, responding to demand for Australia’s expertise to tackle existing and future water issues in the region.

To make a real impact, effective collaboration with diverse partners and stakeholders is critical. Our partnerships ensure our activities respond to water management needs in ways that are relevant, meaningful, equitable and sustainable, while aligning with existing efforts and priorities.

Working in partnership enables sustainable development outcomes while also contributing to Australian diplomatic objectives.

Partnership

To enhance sustainable water management, we build and strengthen partnerships within and between three broad groups: Australian Partners, Indo-Pacific Partners and Regional and International Allies.

Our partnerships strive to ensure mutual trust, respect, reciprocity, exchange of ideas and information, co-design and joint problem solving in our ways of working.

Through our partnership approach, we continue to learn, innovate and communicate knowledge back to our community.

Australia has valuable expertise in managing water scarcity, drought and floods. Our water community is known globally for its resilience to harsh climatic conditions, and for engaging communities in complex water reform that balances the many values of water.

Our role in facilitating connections between Australian and Indo-Pacific partners enables two-way knowledge exchange and learning. The involvement of Australian partners can provide an opportunity for Indo-Pacific partners to share challenges and collectively identify solutions. At the same time, there is a concerted effort and recognition that local context and know-how is essential to achieve longer term impact.

Our Australian Partners include public and private organisations and businesses with a wide range of expertise within the field of water resources management. By partnering with AWP, Australian Partners have a mechanism for sharing their knowledge and expertise—including valuable First Nations knowledge—across the Indo-Pacific.

We have built strong relationships with many governments, water ministries and agencies in the Indo-Pacific region who are striving to ensure water is safe, reliable and sustainably managed in their countries.

Activities are often carried out in response to a request by an Indo-Pacific Partner for technical advice and assistance, and each of our engagements has a different level of expectation around outcomes, ambition and impact.

Collaboration and co-design with Indo-Pacific Partners is crucial to ensure we align effectively with each country’s unique needs, challenges and existing governance arrangements.

Our International Allies share our strategic aspirations and have demonstrated experience and influence across the Indo-Pacific. They are leaders in shaping water and climate policy and working towards SDG6. 

 We coordinate closely with International Allies on diverse projects ranging from capacity strengthening to technical inputs to outreach and dissemination.

By working together with these International Allies, we can leverage and add value to existing and ongoing projects and investments. This helps to enhance development outcomes for Indo-Pacific countries and support progress towards our vision and mission.

Our strategy for impact

Our goal is to make the strongest contribution possible to sustainable and climate-resilient water resource management in our region. We’ve identified that the best way we can do this is by pursuing Impact, Choice, Partnership and Connection.

Impact

As a water for development initiative, we measure our success by the impacts we achieve in partner countries. This means we strive to see evidence of sustained positive change in partner countries and communities.

Choice

To achieve the most impact, careful and considered trade-offs are made to ensure a balanced portfolio. Our activities are aligned with our principles, providing a mix of long and short-term activities across key geographies with identified pathways to impact.

Partnership

We value partnership as a way of working that enables enduring change. We support a range of different partnerships with Australian, international and local organisations, all of which value trust, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

Connection

Change in water systems is dependent on successful collaboration between people with different backgrounds. Through the way we work with partners, the way we communicate, and how we organise ourselves, we model how to value, respect and integrate different types of knowledge.

Knowledge and Learning Areas

We prioritise ‘climate resilience’, which is having the capacity to cope with climate shocks and changes so that people, communities and societies maintain their structure and function. Our knowledge and learning areas help Indo-Pacific Partners to achieve climate resilience, often by addressing supporting water scarcity solutions, drought mitigation, irrigation efficiency and sustainable water management governance.

Our Australian partnership base includes both a breadth and depth of water management expertise and experience. This means we are well practiced in all aspects of climate-resilient sustainable water management—from highly complex water management strategy to customised technical modelling methods.

Man with hat looking up at big gum tree

Portfolio

Our portfolio of activities supports Australia’s development priorities, focusing on the Pacific and Southeast Asia. 

Since AWP was established in 2015, we have supported hundreds of diverse activities in over 30 countries. Our flexible and adaptable approach ensures we are providing assistance when and where it is most needed.

A photo of temples in Cambodia

Cambodia

Cambodia’s agricultural sector is its primary water user, accounting for up to 96% of total water consumption each year.

Lao PDR

Situated almost entirely within the Mekong River Basin, Lao PDR has abundant freshwater resources.
An image of a boat on clear waters around the islands of Thailand

Thailand

Water scarcity is a major issue across large parts of Thailand, particularly in the centre, north and northeast.
An image of an old woman carrying rice along a path in Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam is heavily impacted by water resource management decisions made in upstream countries.
An image of three people riding bicycles through Indonesia

Indonesia

Indonesia’s water challenges are as diverse as its geography and people.
A photo of two boats along the shoreline of Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste

Situated north-west of Darwin, Timor-Leste is one of Australia’s closest neighbours.
Indigenous man and woman standing together at a Australian Waterpartnership event

Cross-cutting priorities

We have a societal responsibility to ensure that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are included and accounted for in water allocation and management processes and outcomes.

We also value collaboration with Indigenous and First Peoples, seeking their important contributions to the design of locally-led water management activities and providing time and space for their voices to be amplified.

Throughout our portfolio, you’ll find an emphasis on gender, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) and a recognition of the value of First Nations partnerships. This applies through all our activities, whether we are strengthening learning within organisations, promoting the adoption of effective tools or simply sharing the valuable experiences of Australian Partners.

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