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Financing non-conventional water infrastructures

Last week, the “International Symposium on the use of non-conventional waters to achieve food security” was held, co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Spain, in Casa de América in Madrid. Focused on the search for innovative solutions, such as the use of non-conventional water resources, including reclaimed wastewater, desalination, fog harvesting and their associated technologies, the event featured experts from a variety of areas such as water and energy, food security, climate change, regulation and financing.

Almar Water Solutions was present through Arantxa Mencía, Global Business Development Manager, who gave a presentation titled ” Financing Non Conventional Water Resources” in session 5 “Investments and financial instruments in a circular economy”. Arantxa, who has led projects in Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, contributed her knowledge in the development of non-conventional water projects using innovative financing tools such as Public Private Partnerships (PPP) or Project Finance. Thanks to these tools, non-conventional water plants have been built in places where governments or public entities do not have the necessary funds, resulting in a highly positive impact on the citizens who need these resources.

UN-Water estimates indicate that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity, and reducing water losses and re-diverting water to water-stressed regions will require large investments and the use of non-conventional waters. But non-conventional water use requires changes in traditional water allocation frameworks, financing structures, water-quality standards, regulation and institutional mandates.

Almar Water Solutions, a company specialized in the development of non-conventional water infrastructure, has been awarded contracts for two desalination plants in 2019, one in Saudi Arabia and the other in Mombasa, and has acquired a wastewater treatment plant in Bahrain. Convinced that the use of non-conventional water is the only solution to deal with scarcity and the effects of climate change, it establishes this type of financing tool to develop water infrastructures in different geographical areas of the planet.