The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $200 million equivalent loan facility in yuan with Shenzhen Water (Group) Co., Ltd. (SZWG) and Shenzhen Water and Environment Investment Group Co., Ltd. (SZWEIC) to promote climate and disaster-resilient smart urban water infrastructure in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The PRC is facing high water stress, exacerbated by climate change impacts such as flooding and drought as well as by water pollution. Conserving and making better use of water resources and building resilience to climate change are emerging national priorities.
“Smart, efficient, and climate-resilient urban water infrastructure systems are essential to cope with the stresses imposed on cities by rapid urbanization,” said Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Regional Cooperation at ADB’s East Asia Department Xiaoqin Fan. “This partnership with SZWG will help to deliver water sustainability and security, and transfer water management know-how from Shenzhen to third and fourth-tier cities.”
“SZWG helps cities manage and make the most of water resources to improve their long-term resilience,” said President of SZWG Wu Hui. “The implementation of smart water management accelerates the transition towards more sustainable use of water beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. SZWG values ADB’s support in enhancing the environmental, social, and gender impacts of our operations. We are pleased to collaborate with ADB to share the benefits of resilient and smart water management and lessons learned with the wider water community.”
The project will support the national “sponge city” program launched in 2015 to develop urban water infrastructure systems which replicate natural processes to soak up heavy rainfall and flooding and release stored water for reuse. It will apply innovative smart water solutions throughout the water value chain to reduce power consumption and water losses, improve operational efficiency, and enhance water quality.
“The project synthesizes transactional expertise and sector knowledge from across ADB to offer a one-stop solution," said Infrastructure Finance Division Director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific at ADB's Private Sector Operations Department Jackie B. Surtani. “The experience gained from developing smart water and sponge city systems will benefit operations in other parts of Asia and the Pacific.”
The project deepens ADB’s long-standing engagement with the PRC water sector. It benefited from ADB’s policy dialogue with PRC water sector partners and aims to disseminate knowledge to promote regional and global learning on climate-resilient and smart water infrastructure.
SZWG, established in 2001, is a leading water utility that provides comprehensive water solutions and services. SZWEIC is an investment platform of SZWG for operations outside Shenzhen. As of 2019, SZWG managed 129 water supply and wastewater treatment facilities, collectively serving more than 30 million people across 22 cities in the PRC.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.