Insight.May 07, 2018

Falling short – new financing methods needed for the water sector

Reaching the goal of sustainable water and sanitation for all in time for the Agenda 2030 deadline is going to be a challenge. It will take infrastructure, governance, new perspectives, and a lot of money. Far more of the latter than the world is spending on water today.

This article is written by Victoria Veres and orginially published in WaterFront #1 2018.

SDG 6, ensuring water and sanitation for all by 2030, will require huge sums of money invested in the water sector in the coming years; 114 billion USD per year, according to the World Bank, in order to achieve targets 6.1 and 6.2 on water supply, and sanitation and health alone. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), claims that the total financial needs for making the world water secure could require additional investments of 500 billion USD annually between 2016 and 2030. But even when including all financial sources, public and private, the financing gap is huge. And the more time that passes the more difficult it will be to reach the target in time. According to Dr Alex Money, Programme Director at the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, estimations show that only about 20 per cent of the necessary investments are financed today, meaning there is still an 80 per cent gap.

The short pessimistic answer is that no, it will not be possible to close the financing gap

says Dr Money. He has a background in the private sector and has done extensive research on its role in the water sector. For a more optimistic view he points out the necessity of re-thinking and stop focusing on this as just a big sum of money. The more approachable way of looking at it is to use the SDG 6 and go through all its different targets from SDG 6.1 onwards on a country basis. Instead of just looking at one big number, this would make it possible to find the biggest gaps on a national basis today compared to the targets and then direct capital to where it can do the most good. Keep reading story here, or below >>

Download Stockholm WaterFront #1 2018 here.