What is the True Cost of Water?

What is the True Cost of Water?

September 2018

In its latest research report, the Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development explored how nations are responding to the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) aim to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.’    Notwithstanding the progress made in the last fifteen years, and based on the current trajectory, the UN estimates that by the year 2050, 1 in 4 people will be impacted by recurring water shortages; close to 2.5 billion will face acute water shortages with little access to hygienic sanitation.   

‘’Providing everyone in the world with access to clean water and sanitation is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today.  Governments, industry and society must work together to find the right solutions and necessary financing.’’  said His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman, The Al-Attiyah Foundation.

Securing funding, the correct mechanisms to increase financial efficiency in infrastructure development, as well as viable approaches to tariff-setting are all challenges faced by governments in their quest to meet the aims of SDG6.   Current financing for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), according to the World Bank, is only sufficient enough to cover the capital costs to achieve basic services by 2030.   In addition, the World Bank believes that meeting SDG6 will require a tripling of capital investment to US$ 114 billion per year, not to mention the additional operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, which are key for sustainable services. 

So which governments are winning the race?  What strategies are working best?  How can countries learn from each other?  These questions are answered in the full report which can be obtained through the members portal on the Foundation website.