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Investment needs in water and wastewater infrastructure in fulfilling SDG 6

Hungarian Water Association is proud to report of our virtual sideevent for the UNWATER2023 Conference. We organized our event focusing on Bankability and affordability of WASH solutions full scale and/or near-to-consumer solutions and the role of horizontal and vertical solidarity with the title:


We had Karoly Kovacs (chairman of HWA) as our key-note speaker presenting the current deficiencies in the developed world in terms of maintenance and reconstruction of the existing infrastructure, plus the pricing and investment divergence between settlement groups based on size. Short after that depicting the problem in the developing world, he was exposing current situation to the goals, set by the international community. In that regard our occasion was intended as a PROBLEM STATEMENT supplemented by the definition of general requirements like horizontal and vertical solidarity that have to be considered when looking for practical solutions.

Among our guest speakers Iohannes Lohaus, (Secretary General of European Water Association) has confirmed the unfavourable tendencies in the European networks and put the emphasis on the requirement of state funding and ownership of water and wastewater networks.

From Asia Professor Zhou Zhiguang (Director of ASEMwater Research and Development Center) has introduced us of the development of the Chinese network, based on forward looking 5 years plans.

Luca Jendrek (Youth Delegate for Europe at World Water Council) has represented the young generation and she embraced the idea of blended finance in the development-concept of water and wastewater networks.

We have included two surveys into the run of the event. Firstly we asked the listeners whether they would spend as much on water services as they pay for telecommunication? Asking them in fact about the willingness of personal engagement in financing a proper water-wastewater network. We also asked them, what factors they felt important when talking about the network.

Overwhelming majority (3/4 of respondents) was open for taking responsibility and paying the proper price for a service that by all means produces safe water, secondly is reliable and safe for the environment. The factor of solidarity towards future generations closely followed by territorial solidarity was also important parts for our listeners, that they would be willing to spend for.

Based on what we heard it is now more evident then ever before that there are two very different road to follow (fullscale and near to consumer) when looking for solution for the same problem (sustainable provision of healthy drinking water for the people and sanitation that is harmless for the environment) The choice between those two shall depend on the size of the settlement (population density) and the financial capabilities of the people living there (that overwhelmingly coincides with the current existence of network).

Some further learnings from the event

-service price just need to be payed including depreciation cost of the network (survey)

-when we set our goals for drinking water provision we have to be realistic and choose realistic solutionS (solutions for what someone is willing and ready to pay proper price)

-There is no place not to be honest about price and cost

We greatly appreciate the contribution of our participants and also the co-organizers of the event:


Károly Kovács (Lead Speaker) - Chairman of the Hungarian Water Association, former President of European Water Association

Johannes Lohaus - Secretary General of the European Water Association

Zhou Zhiguang - ASEM Water Resources Development and Research Center

Luca Jendrek - Youth Delegate for Europe at World Water Council 


    • European Water Associaton
    • Blue Planet Foundation
    • Global Water Partnership - Hungary Foundation
    • National Waterworks Inc
    • National University of Public Service – Faculty of Water Sciences
    • Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary
    • ASEMwater Resources Research and Development Center
    • Hungarian Waterpartnership