Recent stories

Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah”: City in the Slum

With 5,000 acres of land being set aside to put up Kenya’s most ambitious infrastructure project to date, the construction of Africa’s “Silicon Savannah” is set to begin. Konza Techno City is a planned sustainable, world class global technology hub aimed at attracting international businesses and residents. One question, though: Will it work?

The Failure of Masdar City

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi was designed to be the most sustainable community on earth. Not only that: The city should provide more than 70 % of the entire country’s energy, using solar power. But the project is 15 years behind schedule and the only residents are students of a local science institute.

Sweaty in Delhi: India’s Power Woes Are More Than Just An Issue of Generation Capacity

As a (now infrequent) resident of Delhi, I’ve sweltered through my share of power shortages. Trying to find that sweet spot between fanning myself fast enough to stay cool, but not over-heating from the action while waiting for the lights to turn back on, was one of the more troublesome equations I wrestled with in my childhood. I’d like to say I bore these episodes with equanimity but that would be a lie. Luckily, I live(d) in an area of Delhi where power outages are rare and if they do happen, they are of short duration. The liberalising reforms that rolled through the country and down the corridors of the Ministry of Power in the ‘90s promised that a change was coming.

How can cash-strapped municipalities find funding for water projects?

As discussed in my previous post, there are a number of ways to finance water projects. However the topic of what options cash-strapped municipalities with low or non-existent credit ratings have for financing their water projects requires a more intensive look.  This is a big concern for municipalities around the world because they need to somehow finance expensive water and sanitation projects, such as putting in new pipes to expand water and sanitation coverage and maintaining and updating aging infrastructure. Following the session on “Where Does the Money Come From? Moving Forward on Strategic Financial Planning for Water” at the 6th World Water Forum, I sought to find the answer to this question.

Financing Water: Can We Find Capital to Invest?

One of the first sessions on the opening day of the sixth World Water Forum was an introductory panel discussion about the financial needs for water management entitled Mobilizing Finance for Water: Needs and Challenges. It was no surprise that finance was the first topic on the table.  According to an OECD report, water is the “hungriest” sector in terms of investment needs.  By 2020, 600 billion USD will be needed for water management.  In comparison, electricity will only require 80 billion USD and roads will only need 160 billion USD.