The EBRD now invests in water efficiency via its Green Economy Transition approach.
The EBRD region includes some of the most water-stressed countries in the world, amongst them the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region and Central Asia. To mitigate the risks associated with water scarcity, the EBRD invests in projects that promote water efficiency and support the introduction of innovative, water efficient technologies.
Rational water use is important for economic development, food security, environmental quality and political stability. However, many countries where the EBRD in invests still lack sufficient levels of access to water and water efficient technologies. Often, water governance and water markets are weak and provide only limited or no incentives to manage water efficiently, let alone undertake investments in new technologies that would increase water efficiency.
Furthermore, many countries in the EBRD region are vulnerable to increasing water scarcity caused by climate change impacts such as increasing temperatures and more variable precipitation. Improving water efficiency is therefore an essential part of the Bank’s work on climate change adaptation in such countries.
The EBRD is responding to these challenges by providing finance to support investments that improve water efficiency. Between 2012 and 2015 the water component of the SRI built on the EBRD’s track record of financing municipal water infrastructure projects by focusing investments on demand-side water efficiency improvements across a wide range of sectors.
In particular, the EBRD extended its support to corporate clients in optimising water management for operational efficiency, product design and sustainable manufacturing.
The EBRD also offered technical assistance through energy and water investment programmes and audits. These aimed to identify specific water efficient technologies relevant for enterprises and suggest improvements to corporate water management practices. Technical assistance also comprised stakeholder engagement programmes which were mainly used in the municipal sector.