Water Markets in Asia and the Pacific: An Overview of Trends, Opportunities, Risks and Policies

Water security has become a very important challenge for the Asia Pacific region to be urgently addressed. How to most efficiently manage this scarce and finite resource, while catering to increasing demands related to industrial growth, agricultural production and rapid urbanization is a key challenge for the region. Erratic weather patterns are increasingly affecting water security and climate change may exacerbate the situation. As of 2015, 277 million people in the region lacked access to safe drinking water sources; approximately half of them, 138 million, living in South and South-West Asia. Only 65 per cent of the population has access to basic sanitation (2015).

Investments for improving water efficiency and reusability of water resources are in high demand and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is creating a push for moving financial flows in that direction. The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of investment trends, and opportunities of water and sanitation markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It will also highlight risks and key policies that are important to stimulate water markets and investments in the region. The study is limited to an analysis of investments in the water purification and waste water management sectors which are very important for the region, where almost 90 per cent of the waste water is discharged untreated and the implementation of the sustainable development goal on improving water quality (SDG 6) is urgent due to the growing needs for fresh water resources in the region. In addition to a regional overview, selected countries, representing a range of countries to illustrate a variety of opportunities in the regional water and sanitation market were also examined.

Water Markets