Jean-Martin Brault, Senior Specialist in the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank´s Water Global Practice, participated in the last session on investment plans in Latin America held at INVESTAGUA on April 20, where he outlined the investment plans for water projects in the region: "We have to think about new models to boost resilience", he said after a brief presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on water companies.
Mr Brault talked about the World Bank's vision for water, which is a water-secure world for all, based on three pillars, protect and sustain water resources, deliver efficient and fair services, and build climate and non-climate resilience. As such, the water portfolio comprises 152 projects around the world with a total allocation of $25 billion, of which projects in Latin America and the Caribbean region amount to $3 billion. Most of them are in Argentina and Brazil, such as the Water and Sanitation Programme with a focus on vulnerable areas in Argentina ($300 million) or the reduction of non-revenue water and behavioural sciences in Recife, Brazil.
In addition, the ongoing global initiatives by the World Bank include: Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS); Water, Circular Economy and Resilience (WICER), which aims to incorporate water management into the circular economy; Utility of the Future (UoF), which analyses essential processes for water utilities; and Digitalisation (Smart Water Knowledge into Operation), with the collaboration of Idrica, iAgua and the American Water Association, to foster the digitalisation of companies.
To conclude, Jean-Martin Brault emphasised the need to "seek innovative ways to respond to known challenges and finance the sector”, the need for innovative companies (proactive, involved and committed to innovation), as well as the need to recover after the pandemic and be resilient: "build back better".