Chief Strategy Officer & Global Managing Director, Water, The Nature Conservancy
The water sector has always struggled for investment, and each year the gap between dollars being spent and dollars that need to be spent on critical water infrastructure grows. The US, for example, is facing an $84bn funding gap by 2020, and it is estimated to grow to more than $140bn by 2040.
Despite numbers like these from around the world, investment in water remains low as cities struggle to keep annual budgets out of the red. Governments, international organisations and water utilities are trying to find solutions that provide for growing global populations, but traditional financing of engineered structures cannot get us there alone. We need to think beyond city boundaries and look to nature for a solution and an investment opportunity.
The provision of clean drinking water is arguably the most fundamental service provided by cities and utilities. It’s not only fundamental for sanitary living conditions; it’s expected by city residents. Despite this, cities struggle to access the capital required for the necessary investments to provide this “basic” service.