NBS for Water Supply Utilities

The World Bank
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Assignment Title: 1271404 - NBS for Water Supply Utilities
Assignment Countries: A selection of 2 to 3 projects will be selected where NBS can have added value for sustainable operation of water utilities. Communication between the consultant, the Bank and the clients will be by phone, e-mail and virtual meetings.

The World Bank Group now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services. Please note that the total size of all attachments should be less than 5MB. Consultants may associate to enhance their qualifications. Expressions of Interest should be submitted, in English, electronically through World Bank Group eConsultant2 (https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org/wbgec/index.html)

Following this invitation for Expression of Interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Shortlisting and selection will be subject to the availability of funding. Only those firms which have been shortlisted will receive notification. No debrief will be provided to firms which have not been shortlisted.

Enhancing Green Infrastructure for Water Supply for Human Consumption Supported by the Resilience track of the WRM GSG
This assignment will support systematic integration of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) across the World Banks operational and analytical portfolio on Water Supply, through knowledge production and project preparation.
Literature presents evidence that NBS can be both cost-effective for water users and generate social, environmental and economic co-benefits for communities. Especially now for the recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic these co-benefits are important as NBS can create new business opportunities and jobs in the implementation and maintenance of green interventions. New socio-economic opportunities will also help to improve livelihood upstream in the watersheds where communities are often poor and vulnerable. More proof becomes available on the benefit-cost ratio's indicating significant positive numbers, especially when all co-benefits are properly taken into consideration. Utilities are becoming more involved in basin management to assure availability and improve quality of their resource. This presents opportunities for NBS.
Nevertheless, options to include NBS or green infrastructure are still rarely considered by water supply utilities in their portfolio of capital investments. Ambiguity around and complexity related to when, why, and how NBS can be deployed remains a major challenge. Additionally, the recognition by regulators of NBS as a means of meeting compliance is an important challenge, adding to higher perceived risk of these solutions even though many successful interventions can be presented. This also is the result of a lack of knowledge and awareness among many stakeholders.
The report of WRI and the World Bank on Integrating Green and Gray describes interventions to support water utilities improving their services and develop a more effective and efficient business model. These include interventions related to watershed management for flow regulation as well as to improve source water quality and thereby reduce treatment requirements.
The collaboration of the World Bank with water utilities around the world provides many opportunities to support this sector in identifying potential NBS and finding the right balance between green and gray infrastructure. Improving communication, technical guidance and resources, as well as assessing existing experiences with green infrastructure could help in adopting this concept in policies and projects.
Activities of the consultant: The consultant will assist TTL's in the Bank in identifying NBS interventions for projects being prepared or under implementation that have an added value to improve urban water supply services. A limited number (2/3) of projects will be selected by the Bank.
The consultant advises on potential NBS and will identify with the Task Team and Client the NBS that can be applied in the project. A quick assessment will be done including efficacy in relation to the operation of the utility and of the costs and benefits for the utility and other stakeholders. Legal and institutional requirements will also be covered in the assessment. This will lead to a proposal prepared by the consultant on NBS to be considered.
The products to be delivered include:
- a report describing objective, methodology, results, conclusions and recommendations;
- an infographic (4 pages) summarizing the results in an attractive manner with references to relevant literature and tools. The objective of the infographic is to assist other task teams;
- a Power Point presentation that can be used to share the results of this activity with a broad audience.

Timeline: The activity will start as soon as possible with an expected delivery date of final reports of 15 May 2021