The World Water Council (WWC) is urging governments, investment banks and funds worldwide to prioritise financing for adapting and mitigating water infrastructure to increase resilience to climate change effects.
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Dealing with climate change is at the core of the WWC's goal to strive for the availability of safe water for all, and to help increase water security at large. The WWC underscores the need to make financing a political priority to ensure safe water and sanitation universally. 

WWC states that about 100 billion euros will be needed each year for adequate new water infrastructure, and at least another 155 billion euros are needed to renew and improve equipment to adapt better to climate change, while also helping to mitigate global warming. 

Worldwide, the total cost of water insecurity to the global economy is estimated at around US$500 billion annually.

The focus on financing is key to overcoming hurdles to achieving the UN SDG6 to make safe water and sanitation a universal reality by 2030, and will be addressed by a Conference of Parties (CoP23) High Level Panel on Water and Climate Financing on November 10.

The UN's 23rd CoP23, presided by Fiji, will be held in Bonn from November 7-18. The CoP23 will feature water security as a connector for human development and a vector for climate change adaption. 

David Hebart-Coleman, African Development Bank expert on climate change and water, underscores the importance of adequate access to existing climate change funds for water infrastructure financing.

"Initially climate change was just seen as something we had to deal with," Hebart-Coleman said.

"Now, it is increasingly seen as an opportunity to push water up the agenda because we believe that most water supply and sanitation actions are climate resilient."

Crucial to public health and economic development, the water sector faces major challenges in obtaining sufficient funding to meet investment requirements. 

According to UN publications, 80% of countries report insufficient financing to meet national drink water and sanitation targets, despite a rise in domestic budget allocations.

Access to financing is a crucial step in the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) to ensure availability and sustainable management of safe drinking water and sanitation for all. The financing gap gas been identified as one of the greatest barriers to achieving this target.

With the aim of raising international awareness on water and climate change, documents, discussions and recommendations were compiled within the Water and Climate Blue Book as a tool to foster action.

A second edition with updates on progress and recommendations, including on financing water infrastructure, will be presented at the Moroccan Pavilion on November 11 during CoP23. Financing water infrastructure is a key element of the report. 

"As part of the World Water Council, we seek to encourage continued dialogue between the water and climate communities, as well as state and non-state actors for better water management and infrastructure financing within the uncertainty posed by climate change," said Dogan Altinbilek, vice president of the World Water Council.

Many of the discussions during the global environmental summit will pave the way to the world's biggest water related event - the 8th World Water Forum, which will take place in Brazil from March 18-23, 2108.

According to World Water Council president Benedito Braga, it is in water where we will find the best manner to adapt or mitigate the effects of climate change, and they are all united in their dedication.

"As the organiser of the World Water Forum, together with the Brazilian government, we look forward to catalysing change for a water-secure world during the 8th World Water Forum, which will unite over 30,000 stakeholders at the world's largest water related event," Braga concludes.