Driving development by investing in water and sanitation - five facts support the argument

Working Paper Published: October 2004

Investing in water and sanitation can be an engine for accelerated economic growth, sustainable development, improved health and reduced poverty. In this information brochure five arguments are presented to support the argument.


Five Facts Support the Argument 

  1. Improved water supply and sanitation and water resources management boosts countries’ economic growth and contributes greatly to poverty eradication.
  2. The economic benefits of improved water supply and – in particular – sanitation far outweigh the investment costs, surprisingly good news for Northern and Southern decision makers who often view such investments as mere costs.
  3. National economies are more resilient to rainfall variability, and economic growth is boosted when water storage capacity is improved.
  4. Investing in water is good business – improved water resources management and water supply and sanitation contributes signifi cantly to increased production and productivity within economic sectors.
  5. The overall public and private investment needs for improved water supply and sanitation and water resources management are considerable. However, at the country level, meeting such investment challenges is highly feasible and within the reach of most nations.