The origins of WaterWorX

In 2015, former Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Ploumen pledged that the Netherlands would contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 6 by providing 30 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water and 50 million people with sustainable access to improved sanitation. This proposal has been detailed in the new Dutch WASH strategy 2016-2030.

WaterWorX is the joint programme of all ten Dutch water companies set up to ensure a substantial contribution to this Dutch WASH Strategy.

Water Operator Partnerships

WOPs are long term, not-for-profit partnerships. In a Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs) peer water and sanitation operators support with and exchange knowledge and experience to improve peer utilities’ operations and extent their service. The areas of expertise transfer range from technical expertise, such as maintenance of water distribution systems and reducing water losses, to organizational improvements, e.g. in the areas of leadership & management, financial planning, human resources and professional customer communication.

WaterWorX is a programme of WOPs. The programme invests in long term partnership between water and sanitation utilities focusing on the transfer of knowledge to improve the access and quality of services, and building together a more inclusive, (climate) resilient and sustainable water sector.

WaterWorX has the ambition to expand beyond the individual projects and strives to solidify a network of water operators worldwide that want and can support each other in providing services of quality in a sustainable manner. During phase 1 the programme has supported several initiatives contributing towards solidifying a network of operators. For example, the very well attended pro-poor coordinator meeting in Nairobi in 2019, or the well represented programme during the AfWA Congress in Kampala in February 2020.

Through the Communities of Practice WaterWorX generates and disseminates knowledge within this network, and has initiated exchange visits between partner utilities, contributing to the consolidation of the network beyond the individual projects. In phase 1 the programme twice hosted, in the Netherlands, representatives from all partner utilities. During these meetings partners share experiences and discuss issues common to utilities and reinforce partnerships within the respective region.


All Dutch water companies have combined forces under the WaterWorX programme. The collaboration for the programme is organised as a consortium of all Dutch drinking water companies, namely Brabant Water, Dunea, Evides, Oasen, PWN, Vitens, Waterbedrijf Groningen, Waternet, WMD and WML. For this programme, the WOPs of Vitens, Evides, WML, Waterbedrijf Groningen, Brabant Water and PWN are represented and performed by VEI BV. The drinking water companies Oasen and Dunea have their own international projects, and Waternet also has an ‘international’ subsidiary named World WaterNet.

VEI is the penlead of the consortium. This structure ensures an effective and flexible use of all available skills, networks and experiences of the Dutch water sector.