Press Notice 55b, Session 2005-06

Terms of Reference for

Water and Sanitation Inquiry

Evidence of a global water crisis is widespread. Currently, more than 2 billion people have no access to sanitation and one billion are without access to clean water. The UN believes that over the next 2 decades the average supply of water per person worldwide will drop by a third. The increasing scarcity of water will hit poor people the hardest, with farmers, slum dwellers and women and children amongst the most vulnerable groups. Access to clean water and sanitation are basic human requirements, and are crucial to many aspects of poverty reduction, including improved health and sustainable economic and social development.

The International Development Committee is to begin an inquiry into Water and Sanitation. The main purpose of the inquiry will be to examine how donors - notably the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) - can support progress towards Millennium Development Goal 7, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015, and support progress towards other MDGs through achieving outcomes in water and sanitation.

In 2005, DFID announced a doubling of its aid to Africa for water. The 2006 DFID White Paper has doubled this figure again to £200 million by 2011. The White Paper pledges support for the delivery of water and sanitation services and the sustainable and equitable management of water resources. The inquiry will examine how DFID is fulfilling these commitments, as well as assessing multilateral efforts to secure progress on water and sanitation. The Committee will also look at progress by other stakeholders on water and sanitation.

The Committee invites interested organisations and individuals - especially those from developing countries - to submit written evidence addressing any of the following points:

Water service delivery

€ The role of donors and governments to ensure water service delivery to poor people

€ Securing the right balance between different aspects of service provision, including public/private sector involvement and urban/rural challenges

€ DFID's role in enhancing accountability and overall water governance

€ Co-operation, co-ordination and capacity-building between and with water operators, governments and donors (including public-public and public-private partnerships)

€ How DFID can support replication and scaling up of 'best-practice' water and sanitation provision


€ DFID's policies and resources for the three core aspects to sanitation: hygiene promotion, household sanitary arrangements and sewage treatment

€ DFID's prioritisation of sanitation within its overall programme

Financing and aid Instruments for water and sanitation

€ Ensuring international financing and aid instruments for water and sanitation are fit for purpose

€ How DFID can maximise the effectiveness of the EU Water Initiative and international funding mechanisms

€ The role of aid in supporting the private sector's involvement in water and sanitation

€ DFID's prioritisation of water and sanitation within its overall programme, including its Public Service Agreement and its individual country assistance plans

DFID's organisational capacity for support to water and sanitation

€ Internal co-ordination between Policy Division and country programmes

€ DFID's capacity to bring other stakeholders into the water and sanitation policy-making process

€ DFID's role in building political leadership across the UK Government for water and sanitation

Water resource management

€ How DFID can support the implementation of integrated water resources management

€ How DFID can help promote better irrigation and water storage, especially within Africa

€ How donors can help to mitigate the effect of dam-building on poor people

€ How the public and private sectors can work together to address water pollution

Urbanisation and water

€ The implications of rapid worldwide urbanisation for water and sanitation provision

Improving health and education through water and sanitation interventions

€ Links between water, sanitation, health and education

€ Coherence of DFID's water and sanitation work with its work on health and education

Gender aspects of water and sanitation issues

€ How donors can promote gender equitable access to water supply and to sanitation

€ Links between water, sanitation and women and girls' health and education

€ Gender mainstreaming and sensitivity within DFID's water and sanitation work

€ How DFID can support women as drivers of change for water and sanitation

Implications of climate change for water and sanitation

€ Future global supply of, demand for and conflict over water in the light of recent evidence on climate change

€ The coherence of DFID's work on climate change, conflict and water

Evidence should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee by Friday 20 October 2006.


Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), Mr Jeremy Hunt MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).

Committee website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)

Evidence submitted should:

- if possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format, either by e-mail to or on a disk. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail;

- the letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details;

- any memorandum of more than six pages should begin with a one page summary;

- have numbered paragraphs;

- and avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material;

- further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at;

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. Submissions can be sent via or, by post, to International Development Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, either by printing the written evidence alongside the oral evidence or by making the evidence available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


Detailed enquiries to Chle Challender, Committee Specialist on 020 7219 1522 or