The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), a network hosted and chaired by the Stockholm International Water Institute, presented two new initiatives -- the new water climate bonds standard, and the Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) methodology -- during the White House Water Summit, held on World Water Day (March 22nd).
The Climate Water Bonds Standard, produced by AGWA in partnership with Ceres, the Climate Bonds Initiative, CDP, and the World Resources Institute, aims to provide investors with verifiable, science-based criteria for evaluating water-related bonds. It will also help corporate, municipal and other bond issuers expand their green bond offerings into water-related projects.
The standard can be used to evaluate projects in the fields of energy or industrial water efficiency, reuse, catchment or watershed restoration and or large-scale water supply infrastructure development.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is expected to be the first issuer to align its forthcoming bond sale with the standard -- some $6 billion USD sustainable storm water management and wastewater projects.
“To date, the water, climate, and finance communities have remained separate and divided. The new Water Climate Bond Standard promises to close these gaps by rewarding issuers and informing investors about climate risks and opportunities in water. We hope this standard can ensure that we have water security measured in decades if not centuries for both the developing and developed worlds,” said Karin Lexén, SIWI’s AGWA Chair and SIWI Director of International Processes.
The other initiative, CRIDA, which will be available for free download in July 2016, aims to provide guidance to enable water managers to plan for and manage water resources sustainably over decades and centuries, despite deep future climate uncertainty
CRIDA is primarily focused on engineering-oriented water managers and the agencies and institutions that employ them or facilitate finance for them. It can be used for hydropower, water treatment, agricultural management, urban systems, and natural resource management.
Senior partners and contributors for the initiative include SIWI (with AGWA), Colorado State University, Deltares, the Dutch Water & Environment Ministry, Oregon State University, the Pegasys Foundation, UNESCO-IHE, the University of Massachusetts, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Geological Survey, and the World Bank.
“Water managers all over the world are confronted with uncertainties in data, a lack of best practices for managing long-lived assets with long-term climate change, and a lack of capacity and institutional support. CRIDA seeks to answer these needs by mobilizing cutting-edge methodologies that foster climate resilience even when knowledge and institutional gaps exist,” said AGWA co-founder and secretariat coordinator John Matthews. “We are trying to meet water managers where they are, to help them reach where they want to be. The benefits of effective actions now will span generations.”
AGWA aims to expand CRIDA methods into a community of practice beginning with two graduate level and professional development courses at UNESCO-IHE and Oregon State University, and as an extended case study library online.
The White House Water Summit sought to raise awareness of water issues and solutions that can help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology. It supports the US Administration’s goal of reducing water consumption in the United States by 33 percent.
The summit included more than 150 external institutions, who along with the US government announced new efforts and commitments to enhance sustainability of water in the United States.