Water Utility Financing (Self-paced)


The World Bank Water Global Practice, with support from the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the Open Learning Campus, turned a time-tested workshop on Water Utility Financing into a free self-paced online course. The Water Utility Financing e-learning explains why adequately financed utilities are imperative to achieving universal access and enhanced water security, then suggests ways to fill utility financing gaps.

Is the Water Utility Financing e-learning for you? 

The course is designed primarily for water and sanitation utility managers and their staff. However, professionals who work with them, such as national and sub-national government officials, regulators, potential private sector investors, academics, donors and other partners interested in the delivery of water and sanitation services will certainly benefit from taking the course as well.  

Why should you take the Water Utility Financing online course? 

While strides have been made over the past few decades in expanding water security worldwide, there is still much more to do. 2.4 billion people live without access to improved sanitation, 1 billion defecate in the open, and over 640 million lack improved drinking water sources.

Developing countries are committing to reach SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation for all) by upgrading current levels of water, sanitation and hygiene, and reducing the unserved population to zero.

Reaching these targets require significant increases in both public and private financing, which is necessary to expand infrastructure, maintain assets, hire and train staff, and close the gap for both water and sanitation services. Governments, donors and the private sector currently fund less than 20 percent of the needs to meet the water and sanitation SDG targets. And the need for irrigation and water resource management is believed to be considerably higher. When water utilities become more efficient, clarify and rationalize their policies, institutional, governance and regulatory arrangements to finally achieve creditworthiness, more public and private finance flows to deliver and maintain water and sanitation services.

Click here to watch a video teaser for the course 

Course objectives

  • Understand the importance of achieving financial sustainability and how it influences the ability to leverage commercial finance in the water sector.
  • Identify key factors impacting, and learn how to attain, financial creditworthiness.
  • Diagnose utility and service provider performance, operating efficiency, and readiness to tap private markets.
  • Describe how potential lenders evaluate financing decisions. 


You will be awarded a certificate upon completion of the following modules:

Module 1: Fundamentals of Utility Financing

Module 2: Financial Aspects of Water Utilities

Module 3: Applied Financial Concepts

Module 4: Utility Finance in Practice

Module 5: Assessment 

Click here to register the course. 

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