ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs an annual investment of about $6 billion for the country’s water supply and sanitation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.
The estimated investment will account for about 2.3 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to the projected annual investment requirements for water supply and sanitation.
The Asian Water Growth Outlook 2020 report, Advancing Water Protection across Asia and the Pacific, reported that the overall projected annual expenditure needed to achieve universal access to securely controlled water supply and sanitation services in Asia and the Pacific over the period 2015-2030 is $198 billion per year.
This estimation, which covers the cost of capital, maintenance and activities, is based on estimates from the World Bank’s 2015 disparity in access to facilities and the cost of linking people without access, as well as on improving service levels for those with access to Sustainable Development Goals 6.1 and 6.2.
The study added that China ($60bn per year) and India ($22bn per year) have the largest annual water supply and sanitation expenditure needs. It also reveals that, with the exception of a few prominent outliers (Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan), most members of the ADB have to devote 1-2% of GDP, based on growth projections, to invest in water supply and sanitation facilities during 2015-2030.
The study further argues that tremendous investment is needed to boost water security in Asia and the Pacific from 2021 to 2030. The funding of such investments is a growing problem on the political agenda. In addition to social and environmental arguments for enhancing water quality, there is a strong economic argument for investing in water as well.
To minimise economic effects, water risks must be measured and regulated. For instance, weather-related disasters accounted for $750 billion in losses in the region during 2003-2013, with Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand among the most affected.
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Water conservation is essential for water protection, climate stability and economic development, the study said. Water resource management and water risk reduction are needed for sustainable and inclusive economic development in Asia and the Pacific.