Biodiversity, water and natural resource management

The Roundtable on Financing Water




Roundtable on Financing Water- Picture for homepage
‌The Roundtable on Financing Water is a global public-private platform established by the OECD, the Netherlands, the World Water Council and the World Bank. It draws upon political leadership and technical expertise, with the ambition of facilitating increased financing of investments that contribute to water security and sustainable growth. 

The Roundtable engages a diversity of actors – governments and regulators in developed, emerging and developing economies, private financiers (e.g. institutional investors, commercial banks, asset managers, impact investors), development financing institutions, bi-lateral donors, international organisations, academia and civil society organisations – focused on finding novel ideas and solutions (read more on the rationale of the Roundtable).





  • Background paper: Strategic Investment Pathways: The Zambezi Basin case study
    This case study provides a diagnosis of key barriers and opportunities to strengthen the enabling environment for investments that contribute to water security and sustainable growth in the Zambezi Basin. The paper makes the case that a pipeline of bankable projects should be situated within a strategic investment pathway, which takes a long-term approach in order to ensure that investments deliver benefits for the environment, the economy and society over the long-term.

  • Report: Financing Water Supply, Sanitation and Flood Protection- Challenges in EU Member States and Policy Options
    The OECD and the Directorate-General for Environment, the European Commission department responsible for EU policy on the environment, joined forces to examine current and future water-related financing challenges faced by EU member states. These include investments needed to comply with EU regulation for water supply, wastewater collection and treatment, and flood protection. Lessons from Europe outlined in this report can inspire similar research and policy discussions in other parts of the world.


  • Report: Making Blended Finance Work for Water and Sanitation- Unlocking Commercial Finance for SDG 6
    Blended finance can play an important role to strategically deploy development finance to crowd in commercial capital. This publication examines: what has worked so far in terms of experience with blended finance for water-related investments; and the potential to scale up blended finance approaches to apply to a broader range of investment types and contexts. 

Read the Policy Highlights (PDF)


  • Financing Water - Investing in Sustainable Growth. This 2018 Policy Perspectives summarises key messages about the economic case for water investment, the barriers to investment and the financing gap. It charts a course for action to better value water and to facilitate water investment at scale.  



Leading water and finance experts share their perspectives on the opportunities for scaling up financing for water and sustainable growth, the role the Roundtable on Financing Water could play to accelerate this agenda as well as the main ways forward to advance the water financing agenda.

Ms. Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission

Mr. Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO, PKA; Chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change

Ms. Susanne Dorasil, Head of Division, Water, Urban Development, Mobility, German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Ms. Ambika Jindal, Vice President, Sustainable Development, ING Wholesale Banking

Ms. Alyse Schrecongost, Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Mr. Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands and Sherpa to the High Level Panel on Water


Mr. José Carrera, Corporate Vice President of Social Development, CAF

Mr. Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director, Global Water Practice, World Bank Group



Haje Schütte of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, Xavier Leflaive and Kathleen Dominique of the OECD Environment Directorate, and Esther Delbourg, Head of Responsible Insurance at AXA, discussed the challenges of financing water, innovative solutions and ways forward to accelerate action in April 2018. The presentation drew on emerging messages from The Roundtable on Financing Water. Watch the video recording:

What policies and financing approaches can help to unlock investment and mobilise additional sources of capital? How to ensure that financing flows to investments that contribute most to water security and sustainable growth?

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require a historic scaling up of investment in water. The benefits from strategic investment in water security could exceed hundreds of billions of dollars annually by delivering valuable water services and reducing risks of flood and drought. To date, a strong economic case for water-related investment has failed to translate into a compelling financing case at scale globally.


Rationale of the Roundtable (PDF) 





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