Finance at GWS

The beginning of a new era for water infrastucture finance.

Around the world, governments and investors are driving landmark changes to the way water projects are financed, procured and operated as they look to shift more responsibility to the private sector, and are unveiling some of the biggest project and investment opportunities in water infrastructure for the coming decade.

The Global Water Summit will be the ideal forum to learn about these opportunities first-hand and reach the decision makers behind them. Meet the people and institutions offering access to the markets providing $100 billion of project investment opportunities, and hear from the utility leaders, technology suppliers, and innovators looking for partners to help them turn these opportunities into reality.

Blended Finance

The pathway to financing water infrastructure is changing.

Governments and financial institutions are looking to combine their low-cost finance with larger volumes of private investment in infrastructure. They call it “Blended Finance” and it could be a game changer for the water sector, opening up new markets and project opportunities around the world.

This year, The Global Water Summit will feature a workshop and meetings run in partnership with the World Bank, exploring how to make blended finance work for the water sector. Find out more below:

Read Christopher Gasson’s columns for insights into the $100 billion of opportunities for water infrastructure presented at the Summit, and what blended finance could mean for water.

Putting the water sector into the blender
Do twelve figures in Paris spell growth for water?

Finance Sessions

Introducing Blended Finance

Governments and financial institutions across the world are looking to maximise the impact of their access to low cost finance, by using it to mobilise larger volumes of private investment in infrastructure. They call it “Blended Finance” and it could be a game changer for the water sector.

This workshop, hosted by the World Bank, aims to create the blueprint for how the sector should proceed in developing structures that bring together public and private resources to deliver water infrastructure projects in emerging markets. It brings together some of the top performing utility leaders and government officials from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia with the key bilateral and multilateral funding institutions and potential private sector partners.


Joel Kolker
Lead Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank

Bill Kingdom
Lead Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank

George Butler
Principal Water Specialist, IFC

Key Attendees

Mmetla Masire
CEO, Water Utilities Corporation, Botswana

Silver Mugisha
Managing Director, National Water and Sewage Company, Uganda

Francis Bryan Coballes
Undersecretary, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Philippines

Jose Luis Inglese
Board Chairman, Aguas y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA), Argentina

Malina Kroumova
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Bulgaria

Adil Hassnaoui
Financial Director, ONEE, Morocco

Hamilton Karugendo
Managing Director, Embu Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO), Kenya

Mosbah Helali
Président Directeur Général, SONEDE (Société Nationale d’Exploitation et de Distribution des Eaux), Tunisia

Nguyễn Văn Thiền
President, BIWASE(Binh Duong Water Environment Joint Stock Company), Vietnam

María Carolina Castillo Aguilar
General Manager, Empresa de Acueducto, Alcantarillado y Aseo de Bogotá ESP, Colombia

Charles Fall
Managing Director, SONES, Senegal

Deni Sanjaya
CEO, PDAM Kota Bogor-Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum, Indonesia

Dharmendra Gill
Member Secretary, Shimla Municipal Corporation Office, India

Mario Zeron
Financial Director, Empresa Municipal Aguas de Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Establishing Bankability

The biggest obstacle to any kind of water finance is bankability. Most utilities generate insufficient cashflows to service a debt. Many don’t even have their own balance sheets on which to borrow. Others are so poorly run that international donors fear that any grants they might make would be unauditable. Establishing utility bankability is a particularly pressing issue for blended finance. Without it commercial lenders and equity investors cannot get involved. This session addresses first the challenge of making utilities bankable, and second on the dynamics of attracting private finance into public private partnerships in emerging markets.


Rami Ghandour
Managing Director, Metito Utilities

William Muhairwe
Founder, 2ML Consulting, Executive Director, Global Water Leaders Group


Martin Proos
Director, Investec Asset Management

Pablo Bereciartua
Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Policy, Ministry of the Interior, Argentina

Rolfe Eberhard
Public Policy Consultant, Catalyst

Benson Ajisegiri
Head of Public-Private Partnerships, Ministry of Water Resources, Nigeria

Bastari Pandji Indra
Deputy Assistant for Housing, Land Acquisition and Infrastructure Financing Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Indonesia

Guilherme da Rocha Albuquerque
Head of the Sanitation Department, Privatization, National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES)

Water Finance Council: Better Collaboration

Global Water Intelligence, together with Aquafed are proposing to set up a new industry group – the Water Finance Council – to bring together the key stake holders involved in blended finance. The objective is to galvanise the development of new procurement and finance models to attract more investment, lower life-cycle costs, and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6. This panel asks what are the obstacles to better collaboration between the private sector and the public sector in water infrastructure delivery, and how can they be addressed?


Christopher Gasson
Publisher, Global Water Intelligence


Jean-Michel Herrewyn
Chairman, fWE

Kathleen Dominique
Environmental Economist, OECD

Carlos Cosin
CEO, Almar Water Solutions

Usha Rao Monari
Chief Executive Officer, Global Water Development Partners, Blackstone Portfolio Company

Hon. Hassan Ali Joho
Governor, Mombasa County, Kenya

Perfecting Procurement


Marshall Davert
Executive Vice President, Water, Stantec


Steve Capewell
General Manager, Operations Services, Water Corporation in Wastern Australia

Alan Thomson
Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), UAE

Richard Harasick
Senior Assistant General Manager – Water, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Mathieu de Kervenoael
Head of Global Strategy & Development, Treatment Infrastructure, Suez International

Bad procurement blights the water sector. It stifles innovation, creates combative relationships between customers and suppliers and in the long run significantly adds to the cost of owning infrastructure. There has got to be a better alternative. Proponents of four different models make the case for change:

  • The Australian Alliance model
  • The UK framework model
  • US alternative project delivery
  • Independent Water Projects in the UAE

Which one can deliver the most impressive innovation, low lifecycle costs and effective risk management? You decide.

Finance Roundtables

Meet the architects of the world’s major water investment plans.

Attend tightly focused roundtables focused on mobilising public-private partnerships and blended finance, and unpacking investment trends and emerging opportunities within key markets. See the roundtable hosts and topics below:

What does the World Bank expect from blended finance?

Joel Kolker
Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, USA

With limited public funding available to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, finding ways of mobilising commercial finance and private investment is a priority for the World Bank. Lead water and sanitation specialist Joel Kolker is leading the Bank’s efforts to develop blended finance for water infrastructure.

What do investors expect from water in 2018?

Deane Dray
Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, USA

Money piled into specialist water funds last year, but overall the sector underperformed largely because of weakness in Europe. While confidence in pure play water technology stocks seems to be growing, the threat of higher interest rates casts a shadow over the investor owned utilities sector. There is no better person to explain the trends than Wall Street analyst Deane Dray of RBC Capital Markets.

How does the IFC invest to promote public private partnerships?

Jean-Marc Arbogast
Senior Investment Officer, IFC, USA

The International Finance Corporation is the World Bank’s private sector development arm. It invests in both companies and projects to support public private partnerships in water, and it is looking to expand its impact.

What is KfW IPEX’s strategy in the global water market?

Norbert Gasten
Project Manager, KfW Ipex, Germany

The German bilateral finance institution is a leading player in the Middle East project finance market already, and now it is expanding its portfolio to public private partnerships in the Americas and South Africa. Project manager Norbert Gasten outlines how KfW can help European developers build the market.

What will be the next big M&A deal in water?

Thierry Noel
Managing Partner, Amane Advisors

The last couple of years have seen a string of big deals consolidating the water technology and engineering sectors. Are we to expect more of the same, or are new trends emerging in the M&A market? Amane Advisors Managing Partner Thierry Noel explains.

What is China looking for in international M&As?

Alex Zhang
Managing Partner China, Amane Advisors

From 2015-2017, with more than 45 environmental related international M&A deals by Chinese companies worth 6.6 billion USD, the China policy and environmental market has grown and Chinese companies will continue to be on the lookout for good investments. Alex Zhang, Amane Advisors Partner in China, will explain what M&A targets Chinese companies are looking for and how these deals can be win-win.

What is the World Bank’s strategy for achieving SDG 6 in South Asia?

Sumita Misra
Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, India

South Asia is one of the most challenging regions of the world for financing water and sanitation, not least because of the very low tariffs which are the norm across the subcontinent. Smita Misra, the World Bank’s lead water and sanitation specialist for the region, explains how the Bank is working in the region.

What next for the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank?

Sylvester Hsu
Senior Officer, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China

The AIIB has brought a Chinese dimension to the world of development finance. Senior officer Sylvester Hsu explains how its strategy for the water sector is developing.



Privatisation plans in Saudi Arabia will present the international water sector with its biggest opportunity over the next decade. $60 billion of investment will be needed to deliver success at every level of water and wastewater service provision. From privatising existing water production and water and wastewater distribution assets to attracting private finance to build out new water and wastewater treatment plants, there will be significant opportunities for the private sector.



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

Our new market report Financing Water to 2030 explores 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. Find out more and build your strategy for water infrastructure for the next decade.