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BRIEF January 3, 2018

Water Flagship Initiatives


Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis

August 20, 2019

The world faces an invisible crisis of water quality that is eliminating one-third of potential economic growth in heavily polluted areas and threatening human and environmental well-being, according to the report.


Doing More with Less - Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation

August 28, 2019

New World Bank research shows that governments across the world are pouring money into water and sanitation subsidies but all too often that funding doesn’t flow to those who need it most. However, subsidies can be powerful and progressive tools in delivering water and sanitation when they are designed in smart and targeted ways and implemented effectively.


Women in Water Utilities: Breaking Barriers

August 27, 2019

The report, funded in part by the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), finds that while all employees face certain challenges at different stages of their careers, women in particular face barriers to joining, staying and growing in a sector that is so dominated by men. 


#ItsTimeForAction: Investing in Menstrual Hygiene Management is to Invest in Human Capital

May 28, 2019

On Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28), Join World Bank Vice Presidents Annette Dixon, Hafez Ghanem, Hartwig Schafer, Laura Tuck, Makhtar Diop, Sandie Okoro and others in advocating for the actions needed to break the silence, build awareness, and invest in menstrual hygiene management for all women and girls.


Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Improved Nutrition

Apr. 3, 2019

Water, sanitation, and hygiene plays a key role in reducing malnutrition. Join us on a virtual journey to Huaichai village, Lao PDR, where families are focusing on improving WASH in pursuit of a better life. 


Integrating Green and Gray

Mar. 21, 2019

On March 21, the eve of World Water Day, we launched a joint report with the World Resources Institute that highlights how a new generation of infrastructure projects harnessing the power of nature can help improve climate resilience and water security.


Wastewater? Shifting Paradigms in Latin America and the Caribbean: from Waste to Resource


An important paradigm shift is necessary at multiple levels to advance sustainable sanitation services towards a circular economy in which wastewater is considered a valuable resource rather than a liability. To rise to this wastewater challenge in the region, the World Bank, together with CAF and other partners, is embarking on a new initiative “Wastewater: from waste to resource”. 

Sanitation workers in Durban, South Africa.

Sanitation Solutions for Africa

Feb. 18-22, Cape Town, South Africa

The Water GP convened/co-convened multiple sessions at AfricaSan5 and FSM5, February 18-22. In addition, the GP team met with development partners and government delegations to discuss ways to improve coordination and identify critical actions needed to bring access to scale.



20 Years of the Nile Basin Initiative

Feb. 22, 2019, Kigali, Rwanda
Representatives of the ten Nile Basin Initiative countries gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, on February 22 to celebrate the historic 20-year partnership and called for continued collaboration to ensure sustainable management of the shared Nile Basin water resources. 

Dead tree in dry salt flat in Namibia. © William Llewelyn Davies/IFC

Time to Adapt to Changing Climate: What Does It Mean for Water?

December 7, 2018, COP24, Poland

At COP24, the World Bank Group announced its new plan on climate financing for 2021-2025, which includes a significant boost for adaptation. What does this mean for our work related to both water resources and water services? Read the blog by Greg Browder, Global Lead for Water Security & Water Resources Management, and watch the replay of Facebook Live from Katowice, Poland.


A Year of Delivery from the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership

November 26, 2018

Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) published its first-ever Annual Report Water’s Edge – Rising to the Challenge of a Changing World which provides a snapshot of its first year of delivery. By bringing innovation, new knowledge and evidence, and flexibility to World Bank lending operations, the GWSP helps clients achieve more significant and more sustainable results.


World Toilet Day 2018

November 19, 2018

World Toilet Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the urgent actions needed to achieve adequate and equitable sanitation for all by 2030. To advance the sanitation agenda, we are working closely with partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A new partnership with the Gates Foundation – Urban Sanitation Innovation Partnership – was announced by President Jim Kim during the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing.


Watershed: A New Era of Water Governance in China

November 7, 2018

Effective management of water resources is central to China’s economic prosperity. A report jointly developed by the World Bank and the Development Research Center (DRC) of China’s State Council examines the key water management issues in the context of China’s rapid development and recommends a new approach to the governance of water. 

Iamage, Water hyacinth, Lake Victoria, Africa

Africa Water Week (AWW-7)

October 29 – November 2, 2018, Libreville, Gabon

AWW-7 provides an opportunity for all to advance the aspirations of the people of Africa for healthier and wealthier lives, and together, ensure that the critical role of water is both recognized and addressed through our joint efforts. These ambitious agendas require us to look beyond traditional approaches, and to harness the power of private financing and technology innovation in the service of the continent’s water agenda. 


Join the Farmer-led Irrigation Revolution

September 2018

Millions of small-scale farmers face significant challenges, including food and water insecurity, dependence on unpredictable rain, and increasing frequency of natural disasters. Farmer-led irrigation is a cost-effective and scalable agricultural water management solution. Scaling up farmer-led irrigation will help farmers adapt to a resource finite world.


World Water Week 2018

August 26-31, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden

The World Bank Group convenes and participates in several sessions of World Water Week 2018, taking place from August 26-31. Check out the list of World Bank Group (co)-convened sessions and sessions with World Bank Group participating speakers. 

School training on MHM in Kenya ©WASH United

Menstrual Hygiene Management Enables Women and Girls to Reach Their Full Potential

May 28, 2018

At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM). Learn about how the World Bank, through qualitative and quantitative analysis, guidance to practitioners, technical support to governments, and partnerships with other organizations, is working to ensure that women and girls are not limited by something as natural as their periods.


Water Project Results

Updated every month

The World Bank’s water portfolio currently covers 175 projects worth US$27 billion in lending and technical expertise. In the "Project of the Month" series, we feature the results achieved by these projects and showcase how the World Bank works with countries to address challenges and deliver solutions on the ground.


Thirsty Energy Initiative


For five years, the Thirsty Energy Initiativehas helped countries integrate water constraints into the energy sector and better address water and energy challenges, preparing them for an uncertain future.



8th World Water Forum

March 19 - 23, 2018

The World Bank Water Global Practice participated in a number of events and discussions at the world's largest water-related event, organized by the World Water Council.  


High Level Panel on Water

March 14, 2018

Concluding the mandate of the HLPW, the panel released an outcome document "Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action", which articulates an agenda at three levels: a foundation for action;leading an integrated agenda at the local, country, and regional levels; and catalyzing change, building partnerships and international cooperation at the global level.


2018 Water Cartoon Calendar

Dec. 14, 2017

Under the auspices of Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), the Water Cartoon Calendar has carried on the tradition of raising awareness around critical global water issues through humor. 


Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Initiative

Nov. 19, 2017

Citywide Inclusive Sanitation means that everybody benefits from adequate sanitation, with human waste being safely managed at every point along the service chain. The cities show-cased in these videos each demonstrate experiences that have embraced such approaches to ensuring the poor are provided with sanitation services.


Aggregation of Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities

Nov.14, 2017

Water Supply and Sanitation utilities work together, or “aggregate”, when multiple municipalities unite under a single administrative structure. The World Bank’s Water Global Practice launched a toolkit and background report which explore why, when and how water utilities can work together to provide better services.


Uncharted Waters: The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability

Oct. 24, 2017

The report looks at how the increasing number of droughts and floods impact farms, firms, and families in ways that are far costlier and longer lasting than known before. 


Water’s Promise

Sept. 21, 2017

As part of High Level Panel on Water (HLPW)’s campaign for valuing water, the video was shown to a few heads of state at the UN General Assembly 2017 in New York, calling for a fundamental shift in the way the world looks at water.


Beyond Scarcity: Water Security in the Middle East and North Africa

Aug. 29, 2017

The report draws on regional and global examples to show that limited water resources need not restrict the region’s future, but that a combination of technology, policy and management can convert scarcity into security.


The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender

Aug. 29, 2017

The report shows how water often reflects, and even reinforces, gender inequality examining how norms and practices related to water often exacerbate ingrained gender and other hierarchies.


Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative

Aug. 28, 2017

This initiative – which encompasses 18 countries ranging from fragile and conflict-affected states to middle-income countries – undertook multidisciplinary research and developed in­novative methods to fully appreciate the impacts of inadequate services on human development outcomes and identify the binding constraints to service delivery. 


2017 World Water Week

August 27 - September 01, 2017

World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. People from around the world come to Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking, and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today. The World Bank Group has convened and participated in over 30 sessions of 2017 World Water Week.


Thirsty Energy: Water-Smart Energy Planning in South Africa

June 15, 2017

As part of the Thirsty Energy Initiative to incorporate water constraints into its energy-planning model and foster a more sustainable system, the report “Modeling the Water–Energy Nexus: How Do Water Constraints Affect Energy Planning in South Africa?” finds that accounting for the regional vari­ability of water supply (and the associated costs of water supply infrastructure) can significantly impact energy planning, especially in a water-scarce country like South Africa.


Water-Scarce Cities Initiative

May 15, 2017

Water scarce cities around the world, in both high income and developing countries, are undertaking a paradigm shift in how policy, technology, and management systems are applied to improve financial and ecological sustainability and social equity. The Water Scarce Cities (WSC) Initiative brings together practitioners to learn from each other and accelerate the adoption of this new paradigm in all of the water stressed regions of the world.


2017 Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High-level Meetings - Finance Ministers’ Meeting

Apr. 20, 2017

The 2017 SWA High-level Meetings (HLMs), which took place in Washington D.C. on 20 April during World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, included a Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) convened by the World Bank on behalf of the SWA partnership, and a Sector Ministers’ Meeting convened by UNICEF, including ministers responsible for water, sanitation, and hygiene. Countries and partners discussed national plans to meet the challenges of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related SDG targets and required resources. 


Turbulent Waters: Pursuing Water Security in Fragile Contexts

Apr. 18, 2017

The report finds that when water insecurity repeatedly affects populations, it can act as a risk multiplier, fueling the perception that institutions and governments are ‘not doing enough’, exacerbating existing grievances, creating new risks, and deepening inequities. In turn, this contributes to destabilizing already fragile contexts, aggravating the challenges of water management, and perpetuating a vicious cycle of water insecurity and fragility.


Performance of Water Utilities in Africa

Mar. 21, 2017

The report finds that many water utilities in Africa are working hard to expand access, but most haven’t kept up with the growing demand or the maintenance on aging infrastructure. This has left only one third of urban residents with piped water to their homes. Increasing access to a safe water supply will require more investment in utility infrastructure, while improving the capacity to operate and maintain services.


Solar Water Pumping for Sustainable Water Supply

Jan. 1, 2017

Even though solar water pumping is ready for mainstreaming and has started to take off in some parts of the world, its benefits remain largely unknown to communities, governments, and development institutions. To address this knowledge gap, the World Bank has developed an accessible and interactive Knowledge Base on Solar Water Pumping, aiming to raise awareness about the technology and provide resources that help incorporate it into operations.