Water Sanitation Health

Making water a part of economic development

The economic benefits of improved water management and services

By M. Sanctuary, H. Tropp and A. Berntell, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sweden

Five important messages
Photo: SIWI

Better access to clean water, sanitation services and water management creates tremendous opportunity for the poor and is a progressive strategy for economic growth. This report articulates the close link between water and the economy and makes the case that investing in water management and services is absolutely essential for the eradication of poverty and is a necessary condition for enabling sustained economic growth.

The poor gain directly from improved access to basic water and sanitation services through improved health, averted health care costs and time saved. Good management of water resources brings more certainty and efficiency in productivity across economic sectors and contributes to the health of the ecosystem. Taken together, these interventions lead to immediate and long-term economic, social and environmental benefits that make a difference to lives of billions of people.

This report was commissioned by the Governments of Norway and Sweden and prepared by the Stockholm International Water Institute in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

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