Management and pricing of water resources are important issues for improving access to water and sanitation, and also for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments around the world. Financing the sustainable management of water resources is a major and accelerating challenge because of the increasing competition on water resources, still growing populations and expanding needs. Water resources and their uses shift greatly around the world and in water resource management there are increasing attention to how pricing of water could be best coupled to financial strategies as well.
Achieving sustainable managements policies is very much related to appropriate optimization of water uses to achieve the “best value for the water resources” on all levels with attention to enhancing accessibility and affordability to water and sanitation. The cost of managing water resources to reach social, economic and environmental goals is increasing due to population and economic growth as well as to climate change. This is generally true in the developing countries especially in Africa.
Formed in 2003, the European Union Water Initiative Finance Working Group (EUWI-FWG) is focused on helping to shape the financial strategy of the EUWI. The FWG group encourages innovation, the development of institutional and regulatory frameworks and capacity building. It also encourages the use of development funding as a catalyst to leverage other forms of finance, including national budgets, donors, user and private finance, to improve access by the poor to water and sanitation services.