Establish water reuse infrastructure as an asset class – DBSA

6th November 2023 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Water reuse infrastructure in South Africa should be established as an asset class to attract private sector capital and improve the water sector’s resilience, says Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Water Partnerships Office head Johann Lübbe.

Unprecedented challenges, such as water scarcity and climate change, require innovative approaches that go beyond traditional technical and funding mechanisms.

“The financial gap in addressing water-related issues and climate change is undeniable. Public funding alone cannot bridge this gap. To truly make a difference, we need to leverage private sector investment in a blended finance manner by developing bankable projects with innovative financial instruments that encourage private participation across key sectors,” he explained.

Private sector investment will contribute towards filling the financial gap as well as bring in expertise, innovation and efficiency.

“A programmatic approach, similar to our previous successes, can guide us on this transformative journey,” he continued, referencing the successful implementation of initiatives such as the Climate Finance Facility, Embedded Generation Investment Programme and the Water Reuse Programme, which provide a roadmap and demonstrate the effectiveness of structured, systematic and comprehensive strategies to mobilise private investment in critical and strategic infrastructure.

“By building on these successes, we aim to expand our efforts to transform water reuse infrastructure into an investable asset class. By applying a structured framework and standardised approach, mitigating risks, incentivising investment and using data-driven decision-making, we can transform the water sector.”

This will lay the foundation for a sustainable, resilient water sector.