October 12, 2010 / 10:38 AM / 9 years ago

ADB: Asia needs $8 billion annual investment in water

MANILA (Reuters) - Asia needs around $8 billion a year to improve water security and meet goals of providing drinking water and sanitation, and most of that will need to come from the private sector, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

The ADB planned to maintain its current annual investment on water projects of $2-2.4 billion under a proposed 10-year plan, said Arjun Thapan, ADB’s senior advisor on water and convenor of four-day water crisis conference in Manila.

Thapan said the bank has been spending similar amounts for water projects since 2005, and wants to focus attention on managing demand and improving water consumption efficiency.

“Asia needs to aggressively adopt measures that dramatically improve water use efficiencies and safeguard the region’s food and energy security,” Thapan told a news conference on Tuesday.

Thapan said the region could face a 40 percent gap between water demand and supply in 2030. It loses as much as 29 billion cubic meters of treated water a year, valued at $9 billion, which could impact economic growth in the next 20 years.

He said there was a need to develop a corporate outlook in water services to attract more private investment and expertise, saying Manila’s experience in combating leakages could be a model in Asia to improving sustainable water supply.

Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair

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