Access to clean water remains a luxury in many parts of the world. About 700 million people lack a clean water source, and it is estimated that 842,000 deaths per year could be prevented by improved access to water — a third of them children. One of the most difficult challenges in expanding access to clean water is helping water utilities become financially resilient in low-income areas, where revenue is generally low and operating costs are high. CGAP is exploring financial solutions that can help put water utilities on the path to sustainability by lowering costs. For example, prepaid water services similar to pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar loans can leverage digital payments and remote lockout technology to improve utilities’ ability to collect revenue, while advancing financial inclusion among poor customers.
Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest