This report provides strong arguments that corruption in the water sector needs to be reduced or eliminated to ensure that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of ‘availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ will be achievable.

Although there are no reliable estimates of total losses, illustrating the need for better research and data, every 10 per cent of investment that is lost to corruption implies annual losses to the sector in excess of US$ 75 billion; some guesstimates put potential losses many times higher.

National supreme audit institutions (SAIs) can and must play a powerful role in holding public- sector institutions to account and dealing with frauds such as double-counting or ‘ghost’ projects.

Water integrity training has to become part of a long-term action programme of processes that build capacity, from grass-root to government levels. Monitoring works best when officials and users engage with each other.

Sector professionals, leaders and civil society groups can use this report as a trigger for active dialogue on the topic of water and corruption that will lead to changes in both policy and practice.