This session convened by the World Bank relates to improving water charging and finance arrangements. This needs to include improving access to financing for the poor. Cross subsidizing of water use may be considered to facilitate access to water services for the poor. Establishing financing that creates incentives that we need for eco-efficient technologies would support technology development, adaptation and adoption. Financing is important for some key investments aimed at improving the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of water supply and of water use.
This includes financing for obtaining more value and crop per drop and replacing water-intensive crops; investing in replacing/maintaining old infrastructure, improving irrigation systems, and decreasing wastage; investing in sustainable agriculture and freshwater systems. For developing countries, in particular, finance may be needed to increase agricultural investment in infrastructure for value addition and to reduce water transmission losses in irrigation canals and traditional water systems.
Both in developing and developed countries, finance is needed to improve storage and water quality, and for investing in hard infrastructure (i.e. dams) to protect current assets at risk, when economically efficient to do so, and devise retrenchment strategies for other cases. Infrastructure must take into account the impacts on water quantity and water quality, biodiversity, energy and resource efficiency. Finance is also essential for water resources management, in particular for investing in the institutions and mechanisms needed to allocate water among competing demands in an equitable and sustainable manner.
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