Developing a Regional Water Financing Strategy for Development Financing Institutions in Asia

Developing a Regional Water Financing Strategy for Development Financing Institutions in Asia

Water is vital to human survival. It is also fundamental to the development and welfare of communities and industries across regions. Over time, however, multiple and competing uses of water supply in highly urban areas and emerging municipalities create concerns that affect levels of service coverage, quality, and cost of access and utility.

Global population projections indicate that a substantial volume of water is required to meet the demand for an additional two to three billion people in developing nations in the next two decades. In the Asia-Pacific region, where nearly half of the population subsists on less than $2 a day, about 20% does not have access to safe drinking water and half do not enjoy proper sanitation coverage.1 These scenarios call for a concerted effort among public and private sectors, international financing institutions, and non-public organizations to improve investment planning and resource management in areas deprived of developmental aid. Financing assistance must be refocused on the subsector such as sanitation and septage, water source development, and formal water service expansion in marginalized areas.

While major water utilities in Asia and the Pacific are able to meet the daily demand of consumers in urban areas, the number of unserved families continues to rise. This is due to population growth, as well as the reluctance of utilities to expand their present operations because of higher capital expenditures and the prospect of incurring more debts.

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