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View water as an opportunity instead of a risk, experts say at IHE Delft seminar

  • View water as an opportunity instead of risk, experts say at IHE Delft seminar

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world.


To finance the investments needed to ensure that more people have access to water and sanitation, action is needed. That was the main message from a recent Panel on Blended Finance and Bankability in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector. Organizer Wilder McCoy, who graduated with an MSc from IHE Delft earlier this year, lists eight takeaways from the seminar.

  • Water should be viewed as an opportunity instead of a risk – this viewpoint synergizes the socioeconomic benefits of investing in water with the requirements of financiers.
  • Using private sector financing for public service goods such as water and sanitation services can be a highly sensitive as access to water and sanitation is a human right.
  • Good governance and enabling environments are critical to the ability to develop ‘bankable’ water infrastructure projects and businesses.
  • Water, and the various forms of water infrastructure and supply chain dynamics, must be considered within the larger nexus of climate, food, and energy.
  • While water-project and water-business bankability is slowly improving in some markets, certain business models, especially rural water services provision, still require public funding.
  • More research is needed on blended finance and other methodologies to bridge the financing in the water sector.
  • Data disclosure and transparency are increasingly important as tools to create a better understanding of the financial value of water.
  • Alternative financial intermediaries, such as public development banks, could play an important role in providing comfort and sharing risk, thereby attracting risk-averse and institutional investors; however, their role remains unclear

Want to know more?

Watch the seminar here. Speakers at the seminar, held 3 August 2022 at IHE Delft included:

Jim Brands, Executive, Capital Raising & Business Development at Climate Fund Managers; Iris Bijslma, Program Coordinator at the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO), part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy; Rick Elmendorp, Finance Manager at NWP (Netherlands Water Partnership); Pieter den Dekker, Policy Advisor UN 2023 Water Conference; Adriaan Mels, Regional Director at Vitens Evides International; Rik Recourt, Senior Associate, Dutch Fund for Climate and Development at FMO (Dutch entrepreneurial development bank); Aarno Keijzer, Manager Innovative Finance at Aqua for All, and Joris Van Oppenraaij, Senior Project Director Cardano Development.

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