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Resilient urban water services: Toward the Green Economy

Research output: Other conference contributionPaper, poster or abstractScientific


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventPoverty's Causes and Consequences in the Urban Developing World - Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
Duration: 4 Aug 20166 Aug 2016


ConferencePoverty's Causes and Consequences in the Urban Developing World
Internet address


In 2050, urbanization will reach 70 percent in the world, implying an increase of 2.8 billion people in urban areas. Major growth will take place in developing countries, particularly in urban areas that already have an aging, inadequate or non-existent sewerage infrastructure, unable to keep up with rising population. Urban settlements also are the main source of point-source pollution. It has been estimated that the urban infrastructure of the world’s cities over the next 20 years will require USD 41 trillion for investments in urban infrastructure, including USD 22.6 trillion on water and sanitation.

Although worldwide the proportion of people with access to water and sanitation gradually increases, in 2008 there were more urban dwellers without access to improved water sources (114 million more) and basic sanitation (134 million more) than in the year 2000. Moreover, water storage, treatment and distribution systems are often poorly maintained. In many developing countries, water losses due to technical leakage and water theft, often exceed 40-60 percent of the total water distribution.

Yet, access to water and sanitation services is a fundamental precondition for poverty reduction and economic progress. Provision of adequate infrastructure and basic services to the poorest urban populations in developing countries will be an essential step to protect these communities and to build resilience to external stressors. Benefit-to-cost ratios have been reported to be as high as 7 to 1 for basic water and sanitation services. Water is also fundamental to the green economy because it is interwoven with so many sustainable development issues, such as health, food security, and poverty.

Therefore, the specific enabling governance and institutional conditions are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all” by 2030 to eradicate the urban poverty in the developing world.

Field of science, Statistics Finland