Introducing the Urban Water Catalyst Fund

The case for accelerating utility turnaround

How do we make the urban water utility sector more bankable? This is a crucial challenge. The need for investment is there, and the willingness to invest is there, but there are simply not enough investible opportunities. That is largely because the utilities that need the money most are also those with the weakest record of operational performance. There is a strong risk that any money advanced to these utilities will leak out due to the inadequacy of the governance and management, and fail to deliver the expected impact on SDG6.

The key idea animating the Urban Water Catalyst Fund is to use finance as an incentive to accelerate the turnaround of utilities and to make them bankable. The Fund brings together technical assistance and early stage funding to break the cycle of utility decline, giving the partner utilities the forward momentum they need to secure and deploy funding for large-scale infrastructure investment.


Workshop objectives

The objective of this workshop is to develop the strategy of the Fund so that it can best accelerate the deployment of capital in the urban water sector. We bring together utility success stories, the views of development finance institutions and the insight of key professionals involved in delivering SDG6. Together, we will debate the best way to fix under-performing utilities and apply that learning to shape the Fund as an effective solution to the problem of deploying capital to utilities.

Please note that places are limited. You can confirm your attendance by email to


14.00 – 14.10


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

14.10 – 14.40

Success Stories Panel

Five successful utility leaders respond to the UWCF proposal and outline how they believe new models for technical assistance and early stage funding can accelerate utility turnarounds and their capability to take on investment finance sustainably.

Christopher Gasson, Publisher, Global Water Intelligence
Dr. Silver Mugisha, Managing Director, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda
Eng. Taqsem Khan, Managing Director, Dhaka WASA, Bangladesh
HE Eng. Iyad Dahiyat, Secretary General, Water Authority of Jordan, Jordan

14.40 – 15.00

Urban Water Catalyst Fund Presentation

Presentation given by Rolfe Eberhard, International Water Advisor.

15.00 – 15.30

Roundtable Discussions

Delegates are divided between eight discussion tables to discuss particular aspects of the Fund proposal.

15.30 – 16.00

Coffee Break

16.00 – 16.30

Roundtable Discussions – cont.

Delegates are divided between eight discussion tables to discuss particular aspects of the Fund proposal.

16.30 – 16.45

Reporting Back

The session chairs report back from the round tables.

16.45 – 17.20

DFI Panel

How can the Fund help DFIs to increase the flow of investments into the sector?

Regina Rossmann, Policy Advisor, Sustainable Water Policy Programme, GIZ
Sylvain Usher, Executive Director, African Water Association (AfWA), Cote d’Ivoire
Osward M Chanda, Manager, Water Security and Sanitation Division Water Development & Sanitation Department, AfDB
George Butler, Principal Water Specialist, World Bank
Celine Gilquin, Head of Water and Sanitation, French Development Agency (AFD)

17.20 – 17.30


Places are limited. Confirm your attendance to