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Debating the three Ps of water governance

International Conference: Policies for Water and Food Security in the Dry Areas
Cairo, 24-26 June 2013


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What should the policymakers consider in drafting a sound water governance program? The panel discussions has seen some lively exchange from policy, science and development experts as they voiced their views and posed some challenging questions to their peers.


Are investments more important or subsidies?

Whom should the incentives be designed for – the commercial sector that holds the key to the national economy or the smallholder farmers in villages?


Dr. Paul Siegel, an agricultural risk management expert with the World Bank, pointed the three 3 Ps that in principle are important for a strong resource management program –

• Policy, both for water and other areas that affect water use, such as agriculture, investment and environment 

• Pricing, which can have several aspects, e.g., “even a decision not to price is a pricing policy”.
• Property rights for land and water

Siegel cited Turkey’s water management program as a good blend of all the Ps in implementing its water and food security strategy.


While the three Ps are important, there is no one formula to solve the problem. Schonberger, the Water and Agriculture Manager for MENA region at the World Bank, deliberated on the various approaches that could possibly provide for sound solution to water management. At the end, what actually gets implemented may be decided by yet another critical factor – the level of confidence in the institutions providing the solution.