Portfolio Investment Approach to Community Water Systems: An Interactive Discussion

Thursday 27 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH Congress Hall B
Safe Water Network

Globally over US$15B in external support was committed to water and sanitation in 2012,[1] primarily funding drinking water. However, many water systems fail prematurely: 30-60% of rural water supply schemes are not functioning at any given time[2] and many more operate sub-optimally, partly due to poor understanding of their financial viability at project inception.

A portfolio approach to water investment improves targeting of funding, and ultimately sustainability. A portfolio segments water systems according to ability to cover operating and maintenance costs and recover capital. This approach enables better understanding of short, medium, and long-term financial requirements of water supply including need for ongoing subsidy.

This interactive event draws on the knowledge of prominent sector leaders who will share experiences, analytical insights, and perspectives on how to use a portfolio approach to leverage different types of funding for community water solutions. Panelists will respond to questions from attendees, collected prior to the session, and engage the audience.

[1] WHO & UN-Water. (2014). GLAAS Report.

[2] Brikke, Francois and Bredero, Maarten. (2003). Linking Technology Choice with Operation and Maintenance in the Context of Community Water Supply and Sanitation. WHO and IRC Water and Sanitation Centre. 

Programme

14:00 

Welcome & Introduction of Panelists 

Mr. Dan Bena, Senior Director, Sustainable Development, PepsiCo (moderator) 

14:05 

Framing the Discussion

Mr. Louis Boorstin, Senior Adviser, Osprey Foundation

14:15

Presentation: Financial Viability of Community Water Solutions

Charles Nimako, Director, Africa Initiatives, Safe Water Network 

14:25

Interactive Panelist Discussion with Audience

Mr. Dan Bena, Senior Director, Sustainable Development, PepsiCo (moderator)

  • Mrs. Magdalene Apenteng, Director of Public Investment, Ministry of Finance, Government of Ghana
  • Mr. Louis Boorstin, Senior Adviser, Osprey Foundation
  • Mr. Patrick Moriarty, CEO, IRC
  • Mr. Charles Nimako, Director, Africa Initiatives, Safe Water Network

15:25

Conclusion: Wrap Up

Ms. Amanda Gimble, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Safe Water Network 

Conclusion

A Portfolio Investment Approach to Community Water Systems, co-convened by Safe Water Network and the PepsiCo Foundation, presented historical data from Safe Water Network’s operations in Ghana to project financial and operational benefits of managing community water systems in a cluster. The discussion addressed the fit of community water systems in complementing larger utilities that are insufficient or unsafe, and potential financing sources for expansion. Community water systems boast relatively low capital investment per capita and can withstand competition. Mrs. Magdalene Apenteng, Director of Public Investment at the Ministry of Finance, Ghana, emphasized the government’s readiness to assist the private sector in participating in the water sector as well as the government’s interest in diverse partnerships to cover the 10 million Ghanaians without access to safe water. The next steps for Safe Water Network in collaboration with the Government of Ghana are to expand an independent Field Services Entity that provides technical support services to a cluster of Stations, and to work with partners to spread the model to meet consumer demand.