Did you know that—at a global level-more than 780 million people do not have access to drinking water, and that more than 2.5 billion have to live without adequate sanitation? Also, approximately 6 to 8 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
As part of a global company that provides essential life services, we act locally but maintain a global sense of responsibility for providing solutions to these challenges.
Last week, our own Patrick Cairo, senior vice president of Corporate Development, led a discussion in Washington, DC to galvanize leaders around collective solutions for global water challenges in advance of International Water Week – to be held in Singapore in early June. Speakers highlighted the alarming facts and numbers behind water and sanitation around the world, stressing that the private sector has to be a key component in this battle; and agreeing that all sectors must be accountable for results.
A speaker from the Millennium Challenge Corporation pointed out that partnering with a company like United Water – or in this case, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT—and making a water project “work” for private financing can provide solutions and bolster the local banking system. As an example, the speaker cited the Public-Private Partnership that invested in and expanded upon a wastewater treatment plant in Jordan.
This is why United Water and its parent company Suez Environnement provide local authorities with public-private solutions, from water management to skills transfer, in order to combine quality of service with environmental performance and results. It is infinitely possible to make water projects work for both public and private sectors. Doing so will also help local private sector participants to grow by investing in infrastructure that is essential to life.
The concept of the public-private partnership is not new, but it is becoming an increasingly familiar part of leaders’ international agenda. PPPs offer a mutual benefit to both the public and private partners, allowing both sectors to share not only their respective skills and assets, but also the risks and rewards.
We invite you to learn more about the topics surrounding International Water Week on their website or by following along with #SIWW on Twitter.