This report provides new estimates of the costs and economic returns on basic water supply and sanitation interventions on a national, regional, and global scale as they relate to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
- The economic returns of water supply and sanitation services are more conservative than those observed in previous studies.
- Drinking water supply and sanitation continue to be economically viable and can be used in support of greater resource allocations and strengthened WASH policies.
- Due to insufficient progress towards the MDG target, annual financing requirements for water and sanitation have increased over time.
- Targeting additional finances for the unserved populations risks the loss of services to the existing served populations as the costs to keep these populations served will exceed the costs of new coverage to meet the MDG target many times over.
- Financing from current sources needs to be further increased, and new financing sources explored.
- Focus should be on meeting the MDG target in all countries, while universal access is achievable in the longer-term with the prospects of continuing economic growth and increased demand for drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS) services.