Channeling Financial Flows for Urban Water and Sanitation
November 27, 2019
- Providing clean water and sanitation will be one of the greatest global challenges over the next decade due to population growth and urbanization. Today, 785 million people lack access to clean drinking water, and over 2 billion lack access to a toilet.1,2
- Additional sources of finance are needed in order to reduce the investment gap for water and sanitation programs. The World Bank estimates that current investment levels will need to at least triple in order to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure that people in all countries have access to sustainable water and sanitation.3
- Through development agencies like USAID and OPIC, the United States can leverage additional private capital and increase the efficiency of existing water and sanitation programs. Reducing conflicts over water and ensuring stability in developing countries benefits U.S. development, security, and economic interests abroad.
Water sewage system in Monrovia, Liberia.
Many cities around the world have been forced to support populations with millions more people than ever intended. Originally constructed in 1824, Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, now has to provide public services like clean water, sanitation, and housing for over 1.5 million residents.12 Building new infrastructure for water and sewage systems in cities like Monrovia can be extremely difficult, as many of the existing underground water distribution networks were built using wooden or lead pipes and are difficult to map. Maintenance for some systems has been deferred for years, leading many to be at risk of collapsing in the next few years.
Jakarta is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet, mainly due to its citizens digging illegal wells for groundwater due to the scarcity of drinking water.
ACTION FOR WATER AND SANITATION ACCESS
Figure 1: SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Figure 2: Number of Individuals Gaining Access by Year
BOX 1: U.S. LEGISLATION ON GLOBAL WATER STRATEGIES
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINANCING WATER AND SANITATION
“A lack of funding and financing is a critical bottleneck to achieving the SDG WASH targets for vulnerable groups.”- Luis Andrés and Ye-rin um of the World Bank54
BOX 2: MICROFINANCE SOLUTIONS OFFERED BY WATER.ORG AND WATEREQUITY
Every dollar invested in WaterCredit creates $59 worth of impact.
GOING FORWARD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR U.S. AGENCIES
CSIS Briefs are produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions. Accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in this publication should be understood to be solely those of the author(s).
© 2019 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All rights reserved.
Please consult the PDF for references.