Financing water and sanitation: public realities

Authors: 
David Hall
Authors: 
Emanuele Lobina
Date: 
Mar 2012

This paper presents empirical evidence on the historical relative use of public and private finance for investment in water and sanitation systems in developed countries, evidence on the relative use of public and private finance and aid in developing countries, evidence on the likely impact of the economic crisis, and analyses the affordability of investment in water and sanitation systems for developing countries, and specifically investment in household connections. It identifies a gap between two models – the donor/development bank model, and the national model - with conflicting positions on four key aspects – source of finance, type of operator, ‘improved’ source or household connection, and leading role of donors or countries. The national model is in reality driving developments in the sector, and also reflects a new southern view on development. This is an updated version of an earlier paper.