Can the poor pay for drinking water?

by Rob Hope

Economists often ask awkward questions. With safe drinking water a human right as well one of the world’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there must be the money to pay for everyone to get drinking water, right? Apparently not. With over two billion people without safely-managed water and 663 million without basic water the costs to meet the target by 2030 runs to US$114 billion per year.

The policy puzzle is how to square safe water for everyone with financial sustainability? As words fly up, delivery on the ground remains tricky. So if we ask the question from the perspective of the poor, and what they will pay, does that help us think of new ways forward? Continue reading

Sustainable Development Goals in action

Paul van Gardingen is Director of ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation), a research programme part-funded by ESRC, delivering evidence and tools to create a more sustainable link between land and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.

Paul van Gardingen

I recently visited Bangladesh to attend the annual meeting of the Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP), a group that shares the common aim of promoting the integral role the environment can play in alleviating poverty. Continue reading