The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Closing the Gap: New tool to track water solutions for Ceres Investor Network Members

This article was written by Robin Miller, Manager, Investor Engagement, Water Program at Ceres
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For the last eight years, investors, corporate executives and policymakers have
ranked water crises and extreme weather events (exacerbated by climate change) among the top five threats to economic growth and geopolitical stability. Additionally, the latest figures from the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 indicate that sizable parts of the global population still lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation (29 percent and 61 percent respectively) while only 59 percent of all wastewater is safely treated.

The funding needed to address the global water crisis remains comparably extensive. In the United States alone, the
American Water Works Association estimated that through 2050, $1.7 trillion USD would be needed to maintain water infrastructure. A survey in 2017 found that over 80 percent of countries reported insufficient financing to meet national water sanitation and hygiene targets.

So, how are we going to finance the solutions to the water crisis?

Institutional investors are increasingly turning their attention to the broad range of water issues that are not only
material to the long-term financial performance of their investments, but can also help preserve the water resources fundamental to building strong economies, markets and communities. Entrepreneurs and innovators are churning out solutions of all varieties to help meet the needs of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. However, there exists a need for greater flow of knowledge and data between investors and water solutions providers.

Ceres Investor Water Hub members noticed this gap. Ceres is now working to build a database of water solutions for its Investor Water Hub members — a working group with over 100 institutional investors interested in water risks and opportunities in their portfolio decision-making. We're grouping solutions into two main buckets: 1) investment products (funds, ETFs, indexes) and 2) technologies & services.

We’re in the early stages of building this database and casting a wide net with water solutions. Broadly, we're looking to capture those investment opportunities that are seeking to increase access to water, reduce water use, and improve water quality. The two forms below show the information we're capturing for each bucket. I encourage you to submit your own solution or others you know about. Ceres staff review solution submissions before they are added into the database.

Water-related Investment Product (Fund, ETF, Index)
Water-related Technology/Service

For any questions about this database, please reach out to Robin Miller, Manager, Investor Engagement, Water Program, Ceres at
miller@ceres.org. To learn more about Ceres work with investors on water, check out the Investor Water Toolkit.
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