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Sustainability Insights Research: Lost Water: Challenges And Opportunities

In this research, S&P Global Ratings looks at water infrastructure challenges through the lens of non-revenue water (NRW), meaning water that a utility sources and treats but for which it receives no financial compensation. NRW, or lost water, deters investment in water infrastructure assets. Reducing it can have many benefits, including increasing universal access to safe water, mitigating water stress, reducing the impacts of freshwater withdrawals on ecosystems, and mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions. Investment decisions made today could significantly affect future NRW rates. Yet, in many cases--particularly emerging markets--access to private-sector funding is limited and regulatory incentives are insufficient.