Although 1 billion more city dwellers now have clean drinking water than in 1990, the improvement has barely kept pace with urban population growth. Extending water supply services to burgeoning urban populations will require major investments, sound policies, and accountable institutions.
The World Bank finances the rehabilitation and extension of the water supply infrastructure. It helps countries determine appropriate options for their institutional frameworks, operations and management arrangements, and policies for pricing and subsidies.
Governments must address the needs of the poor as determined through household surveys, consultation and communication, and monitoring progress of improved access. Partnerships and dialogue among governments, utilities, and civil society are crucial to make sure reform measures are responsive to local needs.
To expand water services in urban areas, the Bank focuses on:
- Improving the performance of utilities.
- Strengthening regulation to increase transparency and stimulate improved performance
- Encouraging private financing to expand access.
- Pricing and subsidies to meet social, technical, and economic objectives.
- Supporting small providers in poor and underserved communities.