New Papers Focus on Water Supply and Sanitation and Carbon Financing for Water Treatment

1 October 2012: The Global Water Forum (GWF) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently published two discussion papers, titled “Water Supply and Sanitation in India: Meeting Targets and Beyond” and “Leveraging Carbon Financing to Enable Accountable Water Treatment Programs.”

The paper on water supply and sanitation in India, prepared by Sridhar Vedachalam of Cornell University, analyzes India's progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets on water supply and sanitation. The paper highlights that, with the expansion of the population with access to improved sources of drinking water to 92% by 2010, India is on its way to meet the target on improved drinking water.

The paper, however, demonstrates that India is behind on its sanitation goals, with the majority of the population not having any source of sanitation. It also highlights the role of gender and caste in achieving access to improved water supply and basic sanitation. The paper concludes by calling for targeted investments to expand access to sanitation, along with strengthened institutions.

The paper on carbon financing and water treatment programmes, prepared by Evan Alexander Thomas of Portland University, discusses the registration of a drinking water treatment project in Rwanda under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The project, which was registered by the social enterprise, Manna Energy Limited, will generate carbon credits by reducing carbon emissions from burning wood to boil water, one of the primary means of treating water. The paper highlights that the project is currently not scalable as it is not financially sustainable, collecting credits for only 5% of water treated. [Publication: Water Supply and Sanitation in India: Meeting Targets and Beyond] [Publication: Leveraging Carbon Financing to Enable Accountable Water Treatment Programs]