Japan-France Water Sector Cooperation

The goal of halving the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford to safe drinking water by the year 2015 was outlined in the UN Millennium Declaration, while a new objective of halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by the year 2015 was included in the Plan of Implementation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). These targets are driving the international community to mobilize maximum efforts towards addressing water-related issues.

This year, Japan is hosting the Third World Water Forum and the Ministerial Conference in Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka in March, and will host the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) in late September, while France will host the G8 summit in Evian in June. Water is a priority agenda in all three occasions. The two countries' development assistance put together accounts for about 40% of the total amount of world's bilateral and multilateral ODA (1999-2001 average) to water supply and sanitation. Both Japan and France also possess the needed expertise and technology to address a wide range of issues at the global level.

In view of the importance of water issues for the international community as well as the advantages both countries have in resolving various problems concerning water, Japan and France have decided to increase and to improve their cooperation. The two countries believe that their collaboration will double, through synergistic effects, what they have been doing individually in the water sector.

Japan and France have commenced discussions for possible cooperation in the water sector. Aiming to work together on a global scale, the two countries have identified the following activities as part of their initial collaborative efforts. They will undertake further discussions to expand the cooperation in other parts of the developing world. The two countries will also work at the local level and with the different stakeholders in a good dialogue with the governments and other donors, with a view to achieving the purpose of this initiative.

Senegal River Basin

Japan and France will intensify cooperation, through consultations and information exchanges, on the development of the Senegal River Basin, 1 focusing on water resources management as well as the improvement of the productivity of water for agricultural use. These consultations will be undertaken in close cooperation with "Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Senegal (OMVS)," a regional organization composed of Senegal, Mauritania, and Mali, and established to oversee the development of the Senegal River Basin.

The two countries will coordinate their activities on water supply projects and the resulting needs for capacity building, while fully respecting the ownership of the local and national authorities and the existing framework for water supply management that are already in place at the local level.


Japan and France will cooperate to address problems, through consultation and exchanges of information concerning the salinity of aquifers 2 in Djibouti, aiming to contribute to increase sources of water supply in the country.

Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)

Japan and France have initiated a collaborative undertaking to address the water shortage in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao PDR. Japan has already commenced a study on the master plan of water supply in Vientiane, to enhance the capacity and sustainability of the water supply system. Both countries have initiated a dialogue on how to conduct a feasibility study for the projects as identified in the master plan.


  1. Located in West Africa, the Senegal River Basin is drained by the 1,800 km-long Senegal River and its main tributaries, and is shared by Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal.
  2. An aquifer is a geological formation/structure that stores and/or transmits water to wells or springs. In Djibouti, aquifers are often unsuitable sources of drinking water due to their salt content.

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