Global Water Intelligence (GWI)

Financing Water to 2030: Charting the changing flows of public and private capital to water infrastructure

The paradigm for financing water infrastructure is changing. As the need for investment is becoming more urgent, governments are finding themselves increasingly constrained by their over stretched balance sheets. At the same time demographic change is driving demand for investments which can deliver a steady yield with a low degree of risk – the kind of profile that only water can offer. All of these trends point in the same direction: the growth of private investment in the water infrastructure sector.

£2,995.00 / $5,100.00
Mar. 2018


Yet obstacles remain. Many utilities remain heavily subsidised and uninvestible. Political opposition to private ownership and control of water remains strong in some areas. Overall water infrastructure remains an immature asset class from an investment perspective. Financing Water to 2030 assesses the scale of the potential opportunity and guides investors around the opportunities – and pitfalls – of the market.

The biggest opportunity, but potentially also the most difficult to realise lies within Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. With just $200 billion of new federal money on offer, much of the heavy lifting will need to be done by the private sector. More immediately accessible is Saudi Arabia’s $35 billion water privatisation programme which will see the sale of its desalination fleet, as well as concession arrangements for its water and wastewater networks, with private finance being brought in to expand the wastewater treatment capacity. In the UK, investors are getting ready for the 2020-25 spending review period. The outcome could send shockwaves through the system. With countries as disparate as Japan, Argentina, Vietnam and Nigeria all looking to tap private investment to build their water infrastructure, this report acts as an invaluable companion to anyone looking to make the most of what is on offer. 

The relevance of the changing funding mechanism stretches far beyond investors. It has implications right across the water supply chain, as new financial models entail new procurement models. This is nowhere more true than in emerging markets where the increased use of blended finance driven by the World Bank and other development finance institutions is likely to open out the supply chain in a way that never happened before.  

Financing Water to 2030 and its accompanying databases provide you with a detailed understanding of how capital flows in the water sector will change in the next 10 years, and where the finance sources & private sector opportunities for water are now. The digital report examines how much investment is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for water and sanitation, and the potential sources of this investment. It analyses the financial models, organisations, and risks at play in infrastructure finance allowing you to find the most viable markets and investment strategies for your organisation, as the world acts to harness the potential of private finance in water.


  • Current water sector spending by different sources and forecasts of the changes to 2030.
  • 5-year private capital expenditure & total capital expenditure forecasts by country.
  • Breakdowns of current water spending levels and forecasts of 2030 investment needs by country.

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Financing Water to 2030: Charting the changing flows of public and private capital to water infrastructure