Valuing Water for Sustainable Development

7 November 2017, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

Valuing Water for Sustainable Development

Addressing global development challenges requires valuing and managing water effectively. Achieving universal, safely managed water and sanitation by 2030 is projected to require capital expenditures of USD 114 billion per year. Investment on this scale, along with the accompanying policy reforms to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can be motivated by a growing appreciation of the value of water.

The OECD Roundtable on Financing Water, UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water, and initiatives across the developing world create a global opportunity to rethink how we value water and to take stock of rapidly changing models and approaches for financing and allocation.

Join us in Oxford, on 7 November, for a one-day forum to advance new approaches to water valuation, finance and allocation. This forum will convene enterprise, development and government partners to advance action and learning from global experiences.


  1. Frame the opportunities for valuing water to address global development challenges;
  2. Understand the drivers, barriers and opportunities for new financial models and allocation systems;
  3. Learn from field experiences with new models of infrastructure finance and water allocation reform; and
  4. Establish priorities and strengthen partnerships to develop, test and scale up new and existing approaches.


Global and regional leaders from academia, industry, governments, civil society and development practice.

Event registration

Registration is now closed.


The final programme is now available online.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Fred Boltz, Managing Director for Ecosystems, Rockefeller Foundation;
  • Dr Nicholas Brozovic, Director of Policy, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, University of Nebraska;
  • Dr Richard Damania, Global Lead Economist, Water Global Practice, World Bank;
  • Kathleen Dominique, Environmental Economist, OECD
  • Prof Michael Hanemann, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, University of California - Berkeley;
  • Prof Cameron Hepburn, Professor of Environmental Economics, the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE), University of Oxford;
  • Dr Guy Hutton, Senior Advisor WASH, UNICEF;
  • Ambika Jindal, Vice President, Sustainable Finance, ING;
  • Dr Xavier Leflaive, Water Team Lead, OECD;
  • Dr Nathanial Matthews, Programme Director, Global Resilience Partnership;
  • Stuart Orr, Freshwater Practice Lead, WWF-International;
  • Henk Ovink, Special Envoy International Water Affairs, Government of the Netherlands;
  • Jennifer Sara, Director, Water Global Practice, World Bank.

Convened by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, in collaboration with the Oxford Water Network, Environmental Change Institute, REACH, Forum of Federations, and the World Bank.

Forum of Federations

Event videos

Key participants from the forum outlined their key messages via this series of video interviews.

Dr Richard Damania, World Bank: Three take-aways from 'Uncharted Waters: the new economics of water scarcity and variability'

Prof Michael Hanemann, California-Berkeley: What are the major challenges of valuing water?

Mr Henk Ovink, Government of the Netherlands: Why has the Netherlands decided to participate in the high level panel on water?

Mr Md. A.K. Azad, Government of Bangladesh: What is the opportunity for better valuing water in Bangladesh?

Prof Mahbuba Nasreen, University of Dhaka: How could bringing attention to the value of water help women?

Dr Giulio Boccaletti, The Nature Conservancy: What is the role of valuing water for nature and people?

Prof Jim Hall, University of Oxford: What have we learned from the Valuing Water for Sustainable Development conference?

Ms Jennifer Sara, World Bank: How does the World Bank GWP help countries realise the value of water?

Dr Rob Hope, University of Oxford: What has the SSEE been doing to understand and advance rural water services?

Dr Nicholas Brozovic, University of Nebraska: The Oxford-World Bank-Nebraska Partnership on Water Markets: it's role in valuing water debate

Dr Tushaar Shah, International Water Management Institute: What do water markets tell us about the value of water?

Ms Kathleen Dominique, OECD: What are the links between the allocation and financing of water?

Dr Alex Money, University of Oxford: What are the opportunities for the private sector in valuing water?

Mr Stuart Orr, WWF-International: What happens when we don't value rivers and water?