The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to double its investments in the regional water sector for the next five years to over $2 billion annually, the Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, Inc. reported. The ADB said its new water financing program would help Asian governments improve sanitation and provide safe drinking water about 200 million more people and would improve irrigation and drainage services for an additional 40 million, as well as introduce management plans for 25 major river basins in the region.
The program should result in significant increases in investment in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam, with the funds to target reform and capacity development in the delivery of rural and urban water services. The ADB said additional funds were needed to assist governments falling short of their delivery targets due to rapid population growth and urbanization. It noted that as of 2002, some 700 million people in Asia lacked safe water supplies and about 2 billion did not have access to proper sanitation.