Water finance, investment and pricing


Water satellite site Button water finance


The Roundtable on Financing Water is a global public-private platform established by the OECD, the World Water Council and the Netherlands. 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 Roundtable (including videos and green talks)




Making Blended Finance Work for Water and Sanitation: Unlocking Commercial Finance for SDG 6

Blended finance can unlock additional commercial finance for water and sanitation and contribute to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular on SDG 6 ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This publication takes a commercial investment perspective and provides insights into three subsectors: (1) water and sanitation utilities, (2) small-scale off-grid sanitation and (3) multi-purpose water infrastructure and landscape-based approaches. The publication draws out recommendations for policy makers and practitioners to apply and scale innovative blended finance approaches where most appropriate.                          



The 2016 Policy Perspectives on Water, Growth and Finance argues that the issue is not only about raising more finance. It is about four inter-related pillars: 1) maximise the value of existing water security investments; 2) select investment pathways that reduce water risks at least cost over time; 3) ensure synergies and complementarities with investments in other sectors; and 4) scale-up financing through risk-return allocation schemes. 


Harnessing water to drive sustainable growth requires investments in water infrastructure, information and institutions. The Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth has argued that the most beneficial investments in water security are sequenced along strategic pathways. Securing Water, Sustaining Growth documents some of the pathways taken by cities, aquifers, and basins to water security.

pricing water and water services as a policy tool

Putting a price on water can signal its scarcity or the cost of pollution. As such, prices can promote water efficiency. The policy dialogues in Brazil and Korea provide concrete illustrations and practical discussions on the reform of pricing instruments for water management (abstraction charges, pollution charges).

Charging for water services can also generate revenues to finance these services. Lessons can be learned from good international practice. The social consequences of pricing deserve particular attention. The Expert Commission on water set up in 2016 in Ireland – in which the OECD participated - provides ample illustrations of the debates that accompany the reform of water charges in an OECD country.


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