Investments in water and sanitation are a prerequisite to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular on SDG 6 ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Blended finance can play an important role in strategically investing development finance to mobilise additional commercial finance needed to fill the current investment gaps. Thus far, however, blended finance has not reached scale in the water and sanitation sector. A greater evidence base is needed to better understand the current applications as well as the potential of blended models in the water and sanitation sector. 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.
Water is essential for economic growth, human health, and the environment. Yet governments around the world face significant challenges in managing their water resources effectively. The problems are multiple and complex: billions of people are still without access to safe water and adequate sanitation; competition for water is increasing among the different uses and users; and major investment is required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. This OECD series on water provides policy analysis and guidance on the economic, financial and governance aspects of water resources management. These aspects generally lie at the heart of the water problem and hold the key to unlocking the policy puzzle.